The Bitter Moon Festival of an Old Couple in Beijing
(Clearwisdom.net) Moon Festival is the time for family reunions in China, but an old couple in their 70s in the Chaoyang District of Beijing could only look at each other with tears in their eyes. They were longing for their three children who have been detained or had to leave home and become homeless due to the persecution of Falun Gong. Their eldest daughter, practitioner Xu Tianrong, had been arrested just before the Moon Festival and sentenced to forced labor.
On August 12, 2007, when Ms. Xu Tianrong was reading a Dafa book in her home, several policemen suddenly broke in. They arrested Ms. Xu and searched her home. On September 12, Ms. Xu was sentenced to forced labor for two and half years and detained in Xin'an Women's Forced Labor Camp.
Now the whole family--the old couple and Ms. Xu's daughter, a high school student--have to depend on only her husband's salary of about 700 yuan per month. Ms. Xu's mother goes to pick up trash to recycle every day in order to make a little bit money to help her daughter. Ms. Xu's daughter found a job after her mother was arrested, so she could make some money while continuing her education. In the night, when the family is in bed, the young girl cries quietly. Not wanting to make her grandparents sad, the young girl pretends to be happy and puts a smile on her face when she is in front of them.
The old couple hasn't had a single happy day since the persecution of Falun Gong began, and their family hasn't been reunited even once. In the past eight years, the old couple, their three children, and their families have been arrested, detained, and sentenced one after another, again and again.
Their son, Xu Tianbao, was sentenced to forced labor for three years in 2001. After being released from Shenzhen Forced Labor Camp, he hasn't been able to return home. Their daughter-in-law, Li Huimin, has been sentenced to forced labor twice. When she was released from the forced labor camp in the second half of 2006, her employer, the 507 Research Center of the Chinese Defense Department, took her away and nobody knows her whereabouts. Their youngest daughter, Xu Yuntian, and her husband have been detained and sentenced to forced labor many times. They have had to leave home to avoid persecution. Their elder daughter, Xu Tianrong, was sentenced to forced labor for two years in 2001.
When Ms. Xu Tianrong was arrested in 2001, over a dozen police cars came. All the roads in front of their home were full of bystanders and policemen. When Ms. Xu refused to get into the police car and instead clarified the facts of the persecution of Falun Gong to the bystanders, the policemen started shocking her with electric batons. Ms. Xu's daughter was only nine years old at the time. She saw many policemen beating her mother. In tears, she went up to try to pull her mother away. Policeman Liu Yanting suddenly shocked the girl on her legs with the electric baton. The electric baton immediately burned two fist size holes in her pants. The girl was so scared that she stood stock still and couldn't cry anymore. When Ms. Xu's husband saw what had happened to their child, he grabbed a shovel and tried to fight with the policemen. Because there were so many officers, before he could do anything, they pushed him down and beat him badly. They manhandled him into the police car and detained him for 15 days. The police also arrested the old couple that same day. First they detained them in Shahe Detention Center in Changping County, then transferred them to the Detention Center in Jinan City for two months, until the police got the money they wanted.
During this time, the nine-year-old girl was left at home on her own. When her father was released from custody, his place of employment had been bought out and he lost his job. He only got a pension of 100 yuan every month. Unable to find a job, he wandered around all day long and did not return home before midnight. The young girl didn't dare stay at home alone, so she waited on the street outside until her father returned. He only gave her 30 cents to buy food every day. Two months later, when the grandparents returned home, the girl had become very skinny due to malnutrition. Even so, the authorities still didn't stop harassing this young girl. Because she practiced Falun Gong with her family, they made her discuss this every day and told her to write the so-called three statements and threatened her that if she didn't give up practicing Falun Gong, she would be thrown out of school. One evil person even required her to stop contacting her mother. Afterward, her grandmother went out day and night to pick up trash to recycle to support their family of four.
In the second half of 2003, Ms. Xu Tianrong was released. She managed to find a job for her husband. The authorities tried to control Ms. Xu, so they transferred her to a very busy and exhausting job where she made only a few hundred yuan per month. Even so, they still weren't satisfied. They frequently went to her home to check on Ms. Xu and made phone calls all the time.
This time when the police arrested Ms. Xu, they arrested her parents and her daughter also and didn't release them until early the next morning. At the Moon Festival, the two older ones looked at each other with tears in their eyes. They have suffered greatly over such a long period.