Chinese Embassy in Belgium Refuses to Renew Passport for Acclaimed Computer Scientist
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Yang Lixin, and I am a male Falun Gong practitioner. In 1998 I started practicing Falun Dafa. Now I am doing post-doctoral work in the highly technical fields of Computer Vision and Information in Belgium.
On August 10, 2004, I went to the Consular Department of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium to renew my soon-to-expire passport. A staff member with the surname "Li" received my case. After handing him my application and all the requested materials including photos and identification, I was told it would take two weeks to process the renewal. On August 23, 2004, I received a phone call from Mr. Li who informed me that, at present, my passport couldn't be renewed and that I needed to pick up my nearly expired passport. On August 24, I went back to the Chinese Consulate Department to ask why they couldn't renew the passport. Mr. Li returned my passport and the photos without any documenting explanation, saying only that they needed to wait for information to arrive from China. Before handing in my materials to the Chinese Consular Department, I had made a special phone call to ask how long the formal procedure of renewing a passport would take. At that time they told me that some materials needed to be prepared and that it would take about two weeks. I asked Mr. Li why the renewal procedure for my passport couldn't be done the same as the formal procedure and why they had to wait for the information from China. I didn't get any formal explanation. When I requested proof that my new passport was being processed, Li refused to comment. When I asked if they were refusing to renew my passport, he again gave no answer. When I asked him what I should do if I was required to show my valid passport, he refused to make a comment.
My life and work are becoming very difficult because of their refusal to renew my passport. They didn't renew my passport because I believe in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance"; I practice Falun Gong. I mentioned to Mr. Li that he had no right to deprive me of my rights because of my belief. The persecution of Falun Gong is totally wrong. Prior to the persecution, when people cultivated according to "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" and tried to be good people, the Chinese government was supportive. You shouldn't refuse to renew my passport just because of Jiang Zemin's persecution of Falun Gong. What you have done was illegal back then and is still wrong. The last comment from Mr. Li was that they couldn't make a decision until they had received the information from China. I said to him, "Let the public judge the situation. I don't have any opinion about you personally. If you hadn't persecuted Falun Gong, we might have become friends. However, let me tell you, what you have done is wrong."
When I came to Belgium to study in 1995, I was elected to the position of Vice-President of the Brussels Chinese Students and Scholars Friendship Union. I sincerely served Chinese students, scholars and the overseas Chinese in Belgium. I also provided help for the Chinese Embassy and had very good relationships with the teachers from the Education Department. Meanwhile, as a resident of Belgium, I did my best to help Belgians and Europeans learn about traditional Chinese culture.
Our Teacher tells us that, wherever we are, we all should be good people. Although many Chinese scholars have immigrated to others countries, I always had a wish to go back to China to help out after finishing my studies in Belgium. Since Jiang Zemin started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, however, the propaganda of hatred toward Falun Gong has extended beyond China's borders and suddenly changed many harmonious relationships. Our Teacher says that when people treat us badly, we cannot treat them badly in return. Through the years of the persecution, I have clarified the facts about Falun Gong to people with compassion and gone to the Chinese Embassy to appeal for Falun Gong peacefully, hoping to stop the persecution.
Having my passport renewal refused has put me in very difficult situations, both in my life and in my work. However, the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is totally unacceptable according to the standards of international humanitarian societies. On September 2, my university sent a letter to the Chinese Embassy to request that they immediately renew my passport. Amnesty International is also actively helping me.
Brief Resume: In 1985, I was recommended for admission to the Northwest Industrial University and studied in the first experimental class of education reform, which had an excellent reputation for scholarship. I completed the undergraduate courses and got a masters degree in five and half years. In 1989 I earned a Bachelor's degree in Technology and at the beginning of 1991, a Master's degree in Computer Applications with excellent scores. Then I became a teacher and conducted scientific research at the same university, where I was given the title of Excellent Young Teacher and Excellent Teacher in Charge of a Class. For a time I was the Deputy-Director of the Picture Processing, Teaching and Research Office in the Computer Department. Before I came to Belgium, I had earned the title of "lecturer." In 1995, I studied in the Electron Department of the Brussels Freedom University in Belgium and in 1996 earned a Master's degree in Information Technology with great distinction. In 2004, I earned a doctorate in Technology with great distinction. At present, I am engaged in post-doctoral research.