Falun Gong Practitioner Missing After Meeting With VP of European Parliament (Photo)
Cao Dong and his wife, Yang Xiaojing
One of the two Falun Dafa practitioners who met with Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament, on May 21, 2006 in Beijing, is missing. It is believed he has been arrested by the CCP regime.
The person who facilitated the meeting, U.S. businessman Steve Gigliotti was abducted and had his head covered by plain-clothes policemen right after the meeting. He was interrogated over 24 hours and deported back to the U.S. He was forced to send a false cell-phone message, stating that he was "safe." Another practitioner, Mr. Niu Jinping, is currently being monitored at home.
Mr. McMillan-Scott announced the missing Falun Gong practitioner incident at the "Future of China" forum, and declared that he has requested an urgent meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to the EU next week. He hopes that the CCP can ensure that the Falun Gong practitioners return home safely, will not be harassed in the future, and will be allowed to practice Falun Gong freely.
Falun Dafa practitioner Mr. Cao Dong, 36, a graduate of the French Department, Beijing Foreign Language University, used to work as a interpretor in a travel agency. His wife, Yang Xiaojing, a computer engineer at the Beijing Power Supply and Design Institute, is in a labor camp and detained by the CCP because she practices Falun Gong. Although they have been married for many years, the couple has been together for only a few weeks because of the persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP.
After the CCP started the persecution of Falun Gong, Cao Dong was first detained at the Drug Rehabilitation Center in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region for clarifying the truth to local people. On October 1, 2000, Mr. Cao Dong escorted his French clients onto an airplane as a tour guide, but he was harassed by police officers. Local policemen and State Security Agents checked with his boss, asked if he had overseas relatives, and threatened his boss that Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to do work involving contacting foreigners, which caused him to lose his job. He had to leave home to avoid being arrested.
On the night of November 20, 2000, the police arrested Cao Dong at home. He was interrogated along with 20 fellow practitioners, and then transferred and detained in several detention centers in Beijing, including the Seventh Ward, which normally detains death row or long-term prisoners. In March 2001, a court in Beijing illegally sentenced a group of Falun Gong practitioners. Among them was Cao Dong, who was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. He was sent to a prison in Gansu Province, where he was born. In prison, Cao Dong didn't give up his belief in Falun Gong. Under persecution, he peacefully appealed to the prison guards, telling them about his personal experiences and the benefits he found while practicing Falun Gong, which made the guard admire his courage.
In 2005, Cao Dong was released and sent home, but at that time, his wife, Yang Xiaojing was detained in a labor camp. Not long after Cao Dong was sentenced, Yang Xiaojing was sent to a labor camp in 2001. She was detained at the Fifth Section of the Beijing Xin'an Labor Camp. Because she refused to give up her belief in Falun Gong, she was brutally tortured with different torture methods. After Yang Xiaojing returned home, the State Security Agents arrested and detained her again in April 2004. She was sentenced to two and a half years of forced labor. Because she firmly holds on to her belief, she was sent to the Second Section (a Section that deals with the most firm believers) of the Beijing Women's Labor Camp, where she was tortured even more ruthlessly.
In May 2006, the Vice President of the European Parliament, Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott went to China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to investigate the current human rights situation. On May 21, he met with Cao Dong and Mr. Niu Jinping. On the forum in Hong Kong, Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott said, "Last Sunday (May 21), I met with two Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing, because I want to know first hand how the CCP treats these peace-loving, nice, innocent Falun Gong practitioners. All they want is to continue cultivating Falun Gong. I heard their testimonies for about one hour."
Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott said that these two Falun Gong practitioners have all been detained by the CCP, and their wives are all detained right now in the labor camp, or detention center. He called on the CCP regime to ensure these two practitioners' safety, especially as they disappeared right after meeting with him.