The following article was published in German newspaper Hildesheimer Zeitung on the 30th of November 2004.

Xiong Wei, thirty-three, is currently traveling around Germany to tell people about her experiences in Beijing's Xin'an Women's Forced Labor Camp. She says that she spent two years there. The reason for her confinement was that she was a Falun Gong practitioner. She is the star witness in a court trial now underway in Leibzig, in which the Falun Gong movement is rejecting the accusation of being a 'sect'.

"Falun Gong is good," says the young woman with the mysterious smile. "Falun Gong is not a sect but a Buddhist school cultivation system." The Chinese lady had been invited by Elke Dölz to Nordstemmen's Mehrgenerationenhaus to report on her experiences. The daughter of a chief engineer and a pediatrician had been studying economics in Berlin from 1992 to 1999. This was also where she learned about Falun Gong.

Religious Sciences Professor Hubert Seiwert, a recognized expert on Falun Gong in Germany who is currently teaching at Oxford, explains that although opinions differ about the movement, it is certainly not a sect. Yet since 1999, Falun Gong has been prohibited in China.

"Falun Gong developed into a mass phenomenon over there and is consequently being viewed as a threat by the regime," says Xiong Wei. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) have called on Beijing to stop the persecution for years.

However, Xiong Wei's case is apparently only one of many others. She returned to her home country in 2002 and was arrested by police while she was distributing printed materials about the persecution of Falun Gong. She was taken for "re-education" to a forced labor camp without trial. She talks about beatings, humiliation, and sleep deprivation. "We had to wrap 6,000 disposable chopsticks every day."

Other countries, such as Germany, exerted pressure. Xiong Wei is especially grateful to human rights organizations, which collected 40,000 signatures, and for the intervention of the federal government for securing her release at the end of September and her return to Germany.