(Clearwisdom.net) A practitioner just finished his Ph.D. studies and would move out of the state to take a job in another city. On his last day at school, he invited his friends, colleagues and those who had practiced Falun Gong with us before but had quit practicing due to various reasons.

In spite of his busy schedule, the practitioner had been actively involved with many volunteer activities at the university, in the community and maintained a good relationship with the Chinese student community. His research won first place in an important conference in his field. He had unselfishly helped many people during his time at the school. On the day of the picnic about 50 people showed up to say goodbye to him.

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Practitioner from China describing the torture he suffered in a Chinese forced labor camp Another practitioner talking about US citizen Charles Li's arrest in China

The picnic was held in a park where the Falun Gong group practice takes place weekly. Some people who had quit practicing came early to join the morning practice. After the practice, several practitioners started preparing for the picnic.

The picnic started at about noon, as more and more people joined in. Practitioners broke into different groups and talked to the guests. Some talked to the people who had practiced with us before to let them know the current situation and to answer questions they may have.

A practitioner who just arrived from China after serving one and half year in Beijing's Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp talked about the torture he had suffered while he was detained. Three years ago he was arrested from his home without any legal procedures. Because he did not give up his belief in Falun Gong, he was sentenced to one year in the notorious Beijing Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp, where he suffered all kinds of inhuman tortures. One year later his sentence was extended by six months because he testified against a guard who had tortured another practitioner to the point of paralysis. He said that it was difficult to imagine how bad of a place the Beijing Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp was. People had to walk around with their heads lowered all day. Quite often he was shocked using electric batons on sensitive parts of his body. There was one time when he was not allowed to sleep for 15 days. One day his hands were tied behind his back, his head and legs were tied together, and then he was thrown under a mattress. Then several people sat on top of the mattress, almost suffocating him. After this, he could not walk for two weeks. Another Falun Gong practitioner was tortured in the same way, and he suffered a broken back, which caused him permanent paralysis below the waist. When he exposed the crime to higher authorities, the detention center extended his sentence for six months. The practitioner also pointed out that what he suffered was probably not have been as serious as other practitioners in China, because his family members in the U.S. initiated rescue efforts, and many people, including eight members of Congress, showed their support. He asked the people at the picnic to write to their congressperson to show their support of Falun Gong and to help end the persecution in China.

For many people it was first time to listen to live testimony of the cruelty of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Another practitioner pointed out that the persecution was not just limited to Chinese people. U.S. citizen Charles Li went back to visit his family but was arrested at airport on trumped up charges. A Florida resident was arrested as she went to have dinner at a friend's home in China.

After the practitioner's testimony, the picnic continued and practitioners talked to groups of people about the persecution in China. The picnic concluded at about 4 p.m. after many people had the opportunity to learn the facts about Falun Gong.

The practitioners used the opportunity to clarify the truth and let people know the situation of the persecution in China. The practitioner who hosted the picnic had laid a good foundation through his involvement with the community and school activities. His academic excellence also won the respect of his colleagues. He had gained good health from practicing Falun Gong and was also a direct victim of the Chinese government's persecution in the U.S. The Chinese Consulate had refused to renew his passport after making repeated phone calls to ask him to stop practicing Falun Gong, which he firmly refused.