(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Gao Shanshan. I am 32 years old, and I was born in Changchun City, Jilin Province, China. In the summer of 1995, my father introduced me to Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong. Having witnessed the changes in my father, my mother and I joined him in the practice of Falun Gong. My father was a senior engineer specializing in isotope dating. In 1986, he designed the first metal isotope dating equipment using ultra vacuum and diluted Argon gas, and was awarded the Third Prize for Invention at the National Scientific Exposition. He was also given an award as an Outstanding Worker by Jilin Province. In 1993, he had a stroke and was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. As a result, his limbs had become slow moving and he responded very slowly to things happening around him. He even forgot how to do Tai Chi, which he had been doing every morning for a long time. But he still wanted to do some exercises in the morning. It was then that he heard the beautiful Falun Gong music and found it very easy to learn. He started the practice.

Shortly afterward, he did not have to take the handful of medication that he needed before his meals, and he was becoming stronger and stronger. He could feel the Falun rotating inside him and cleansing his body, and he could walk much faster. He became clear-headed and looked great. My mother, who was generally in good health, came down with diabetes. After she started the practice, she also became healthier. As we were all quite hospitable as a family, our home hosted a study group. Every evening from 7-9 p.m., seven or eight practitioners would come to our home to study Zhuan Falun. We all felt that cultivation had made us happier and healthier.

In May 1998, I went to Japan to study. I studied Japanese for two years and English for another two years there, and I am now a third year university student. In July 1999, when Falun Gong was banned in China, the study group in our home was dissolved. Both of my parents were forced by their employer to give up the practice. The neighborhood committee member often came to our home to check. With the disappearance of the study group, my parents gradually gave up the study and practice. Six months later, my father's old illnesses came back and his health deteriorated. He had a cerebral hemorrhage and died shortly afterward. My mother was grief-stricken. As a result, her diabetes was getting more and more serious. Most of her pension was used to buy medication. Although I was overseas, spared of the direct persecution, I could not come home to see my father on his deathbed.

In December 1999, I went to Hong Kong to attend an experience sharing conference. I needed to go to China in order to have a transit visa to Hong Kong. So I went to Shenzhen with 17 other practitioners. One of us was held back at customs on our way back to Hong Kong because her passport was registered. Although all other practitioners passed customs, we did not want to leave her behind. We didn't want her to be sent back to China, so we stayed in Shenzhen to mediate with the officials. They took away our passports in the name of verification at around 4 p.m. and came back at midnight. Immigration officials body searched us, took our pictures and interrogated us. In the end, they took away all of our Falun Gong books and materials. They returned our passports, escorted us to Hong Kong immigration and handed us over to the Hong Kong police. We were released after the Hong Kong police briefly questioned us. Since then, my passport number has been registered and on their blacklist. When I went back to China via Shanghai and Beijing in 2000, I was detained and put under house arrest in a hotel. On the second day, I was put on a flight back to Japan. At the 2000 Spring Festival when I went back to China again, I was pushed back onto a Pakistan Airlines jet along with two other practitioners, and I was stuck in Pakistan for two days. I have not been able to go back to China since 2000.

In March 2003, my passport was going to expire, so I went to the Chinese Embassy to apply for a renewal. My passport was held, but not processed. After my persistent efforts, the embassy renewed my passport for one year, saying that I did not have any record of travel in the past few years. In March 2004, I needed to renew my passport again. I was told that it could not be processed. I had to talk to the staff responsible at the embassy and in July my passport was renewed. But I don't know if my passport has been registered. I can only use it for traveling outside China. I still cannot get back into China.

My aunt, who is over 50 years old, learned Falun Gong through my parents in 1996. When they started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, she went to Beijing to appeal and distributed materials there. She was arrested three times, each time for about two weeks. The last time, she was sentenced to two years at the forced labor in Changchun Heizuizi Detention Center. During her detention, she was forced to remain standing for long periods as punishment, brainwashed, beaten up and shocked with electric batons. When she passed out, they poured cold water on her face to wake her up and continued to torture her. Then she was forced to do slave labor for over 15 hours a day. All this could not change my aunt's faith in Falun Dafa. Two years later, she was released. Her steadfast faith in Falun Dafa gained the respect of her friends and relatives for Dafa and herself. When she first came out, she looked skeletal and exhausted. After a month, she regained her health and looked ten years younger. Her experience has shown everyone the power of Dafa, which also encouraged my mother to resume her practice of Falun Gong again.

The above is my personal experience of the persecution. I hope that we can receive support from all kind-hearted people in the world to stop the persecution, so that all practitioners can freely practice their beliefs.