November 23, 2006 Thursday

A 60-year-old Chinese woman, Xiao Yun Jiang, has been "kidnapped" by Chinese authorities because of her involvement in the Falun Gong movement, according to her Australian daughter and son-in-law.

Croydon's Phillip Law and wife Yan Xie said they believed she was being held in a "brainwashing" detention centre.

This is the second time Ms Xie's mother has been arrested and taken to the centre. In the first incident, the mother said she saw a man beaten to death because of his Falun Gong beliefs.

It is a story echoed by Ms Xie who was also taken to a similar facility five years ago when she was arrested for her Falun Gong beliefs.

While she was imprisoned, she says, she saw a woman being beaten to death for not renouncing the Falun Gong faith to Chinese authorities.

Ms Xie was later released with the help of federal MP John Murphy, who said he had been informed about Xiao Yun Jiang's case.

Mr Murphy said he would investigate this latest case.

''I have a duty to my constituents and I'm happy to do it,'' Mr Murphy said.

He said his first course of action would be to write to the Chinese Consul-General.

A spokesman for Mr Murphy said that at the time Ms Xie had been taken to the detention centre, an Australian visa application for her was being processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It is not known if Ms Xie's mother has applied for an Australian visa, or if she was permitted to do so by Chinese authorities.

Mr Law said his mother-in-law, who has trouble walking because of a car accident, was taken away by the authorities on November 9.

Since then, no one from her family has seen her, although a brother-in-law said he had a phone call from the prison.

"My wife's mother rang him and asked him to bring her some clothes because winter is starting soon," Mr Law said.

"But when he got to the detention centre, they wouldn't let him go in or give her the clothes."

Mr Law said his mother-in-law knows, all too well, the dangers of being in a detention centre, after her last stint inside one.

"One time they didn't let her sleep for four days and four nights," he said.