The Persecution of My Parents
(Clearwisdom.net) I have been separated from my parents, who live in China, for the past 14 years. Had I known prior to coming to the US that my parents would later be tortured and imprisoned once I left, I am not sure if I would have had the courage to leave. For a long time--14 years--I have been unable to share my life with my parents. As they struggled for their lives, I was anguished but could not help; as a result, I could not feel joy in this free country.
My parents have been persecuted over the past nine years and have lived in exile for a long time. Apparently, they do not belong to what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims to be "a harmonious society."
My father is a physics professor, with versatile talents. He is selfless and is always the center of things wherever he goes. My mother, now suffering from the effects of a stroke, is an outgoing and inquisitive person. They have been married for 40 years. Even in the 1960s, when there were few material things to be had in China, we were a happy family and never felt embarrassed. After we grew up, my brother went to Beijing and I came to the United States. One day, my parents told me they had begun practicing Falun Gong. We were amazed at its miraculous health benefits and how it teaches people to be good.
My parents shared their wonderful experiences with us and told us that we should follow high moral standards and measure ourselves against the standard of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. We felt the wonder of Falun Gong, and our hearts become purer and purer. We started to cultivate.
But the merry times did not last. Former Communist regime head Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, a day forever etched in my memory. Overnight, countless ordinary Chinese citizens who cultivated Truth-Compassion-Forbearance were labeled "counterrevolutionaries" and therefore branded "enemies" of the Communist Party.
My parents lost their freedom, and I felt overwhelming pressure in my heart. During the first nine years that we lived on different continents, I lost touch with them again and again. Eventually I learned they had been fired, arrested, and detained several times and had left home to avoid re-arrest, but they were eventually sentenced to three years of forced labor and subjected to torture.
At their release in 2004, the local regime officials refused to issue my parents passports, so they were forbidden to visit my brother and me.
As the Olympics approached, disaster again befell them. More than 20 police officers broke into their home at 10 p.m. on July 16, 2008. They ransacked the place and arrested my 67-year-old mother and father. They were then incarcerated in a detention facility, officials claiming that such a move was necessary "to maintain social stability" before the Olympic Games. I do not know what my father's condition is, even today.
Not only were my parents subjected to the regime's oppression; in the past nine years, at least 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of persecution, including an eight-month-old infant and people in their 80s. Numerous families have been broken up, and many have suffered bankruptcy due to repeated extortion and ransacking at the hands of the Communist regime.
I am extremely proud of my parents because they have upheld their principles and persevered in their belief under impossible circumstances. They never bowed to the evil forces. But as their daughter, my heart is also pained to see them suffer in their old age. I simply cannot believe such atrocities are taking place in the 21st century, when human rights and similar values are the norm, in that ancient land that can boast 5000 years of civilization.
My conscience cannot rest as long as the persecution continues. I do not know if Falun Gong practitioners' compassion and fortitude will move the cruel hearts of the persecutors. Indifference toward evil is the same as abetting the evil. Dear fellow Chinese people, let us have courage and say to the Communist Party: Stop persecuting Falun Gong!
Details about my parents and their plight
My father Zhang Xingwu, 67, was a physics professor at the Jinan Education Institute in Shandong Province. My mother Liu Pinjie, 67, is a retiree from Jinan Semi-Conductor Research Institute in Jinan City.
They began practicing Falun Gong in 1995 and soon afterward experienced tremendous health improvements. They conducted themselves strictly according to the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. After the Party began persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, my parents were demoted, and their salaries were lowered.
They were eventually arrested and detained for refusing to renounce their belief, placed under surveillance, and harassed. My mother and father left home in 2000 and moved around to avoid being persecuted again. They were falsely charged with "promoting Falun Gong" and were sentenced to three years of forced labor on January 1, 2001. In the camp they are forced to work 17 hours a day.
My father was subjected to two brainwashing sessions, where he was forbidden to sleep, each session lasting six days and nights. My mother's sentence was extended twice.
Officials monitored and followed my parents after their release in 2003. They were forbidden to leave home without permission and were denied passports when they tried to visit me in the US.
More than 20 officers from Jinan City Police Department and its Weijiazhuang Police Station ordered a locksmith to open the door to my parents' home at 10 p.m. on July 16, 2008. They arrested my parents, ransacked their home, and took many personal belongings, including computer(s), printer(s) and the safe. My mother suffered a stroke and became paralyzed in the detention center.
The police told our relatives to take my mother home so they could shirk all responsibility for her condition. My father was taken to the Jinan Detention Center where all visits are forbidden. I do not know his current circumstances.