Remembering Liu Jian, a Jinan City Practitioner
On December 28 four years ago, Liu Jian passed away in the Jinan Forced Labor Camp at the age of 34 from torture. This once cheerful, energetic and warm practitioner was tortured to death, leaving behind his friends and relatives. The Jinan Forced Labor Camp has not publicly disclosed the cause of Liu Jian's death and has forbidden any detained practitioners from detailing information regarding the case.
While detained at the forced labor camp, Liu Jian went on several hunger strikes. A few days before he died, while going through the hall of the camp, I came across his younger brother who visited the dying Liu Jian. As one of his closest friends in our personal cultivation practice as well as in our validating Dafa, I cannot help but think of him.
I first met Liu Jian at Shandong Provincial Normal University in Lixia District in the winter of 1995. At that time, there was morning group exercise daily and Fa study on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. One night on our way back home from Fa-study, I started to get to know him. He gave me an impression of a warm and open type of person and looked much younger than his age of 28. During the several years that followed, while walking home on our way after the group Fa-study, we shared our cultivation experiences with each other. Sometimes we would talk until very late at night. Every day, Liu Jian spent a lot of time studying the Fa since he realized the importance of doing so. At that time I was a newcomer. It was partly through my conversations with him that I gradually learned how to look inward in cultivation practice.
In 1996, a Falun Gong exercise site was established at Shandong Architecture Engineering College. When it just got started, out of his own willingness, Liu Jian went there to support them. Early every morning he had to ride a bicycle very far in order to join their group exercise. Later when he came back to our site, for a certain period of time, Liu was in charge of the music player and had to show up much earlier than others. Later we all agreed that he should become the site assistant because of his diligence in the Fa and because of his enthusiasm.
At that time, our normal Shandong University site was the central contact when Dafa books or audio and video materials were needed by surrounding Falun Gong sites. During the years he volunteered to deliver books and Teacher's new articles, Liu Jian left lasting impressions at various sites in Lixia District. I can vividly remember his simple bicycle, big white canvas bag and his smile.
Liu Jian lived a simple and frugal life. A brown jacket was what he usually wore all year round and he wore flat cloth shoes. I recall that in 1997, his girlfriend gave him a pair of leather shoes as a gift. After wearing them, he jokingly said that he did not know how to walk with leather shoes. In his daily life Liu Jian was willing to help others and many practitioners were good friends with him. While together, we would talk and laugh. However, when at the exercise site or at the assistance center, or when getting others to study the Fa, Liu Jian would become serious and encourage all of us to read more and talk less of superficial things. He also led us to recite the Fa. In June 1998, while Jinan practitioners were going to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa and correct the false reports in the "Qilu Evening Paper", Liu Jian calmly led us to join the effort.
Later, since I moved away, our chances to see each other became less and less. But when I had the chance I would go to talk to him as I felt that he was more solid than me in Fa-study. Then, around May of 1999, Liu Jian became one of the first practitioners to be persecuted and was illegally detained because he sold Falun Gong books in his bookstore. The next time I saw him was in the winter of 1999. We accidentally came across each other on the street, so we had lunch together with two other practitioners and shared our cultivation experiences. At that time we all had been persecuted in one way or another, but our firm belief in Dafa was not changed.
During the October 1st holiday period of 2000, many Jinan City's practitioners stepped forward and went to Beijing to clarify the truth to the public. Liu Jian was there as well. At Tiananmen Square, he was brutally hit and beaten by the police when he tried to stop them from mistreating female practitioners. Then, with righteous thoughts, he safely returned home. In late October, the 610 Office of Jinan's Lixia District set up a brainwashing class to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. They abducted many Dafa practitioners, including Liu Jian, and sent them to the brainwashing class. To resist the persecution, Liu Jian and four other practitioners went on hunger strikes that lasted up to one week. Then he escaped and fled his home to avoid further persecution.
In mid November, Liu Jian was arrested while posting up the message "Falun Dafa is good." After going on a hunger strike again for 18 days, he escaped.
Towards the end of the year 2000, Liu went to Beijing to validate Dafa. On December 31, we met there and exchanged our understandings of what was happening.
On January 1, 2001, Liu Jian, along with other practitioners from many different places, and I went to Tiananmen Square again. On the way there, I felt honored to be able to validate Dafa during Teacher's period of Fa-rectification. At the Square, facing the Gate of Heavenly Peace, Liu Jian and I unfurled a banner and shouted out the words "Falun Dafa is good!" After the police seized us and beat us, we were taken to the Tiananmen police station. There, when a policeman was beating and hitting a fellow practitioner, Liu Jian stepped forward to stop them from abusing the practitioner. The policeman grabbed Liu Jian by the arm and head butted his nose. I also stepped in to stop the policeman. I later discovered that our clothes were splattered with Liu Jian's blood. Then we were transferred to Mentougou Detention Center to be dispatched. We sent forth righteous thoughts and two of us were able to escape. It was in the dead of night as we escaped, and when Liu Jian and I saw each other, we were very moved and hugged each other. That night we called a fellow practitioner at Shangdong Normal University site and encouraged him to keep his righteous thoughts and believe in Dafa. The several days following, both Liu and I wrote down our experiences to share with others. After accompanying me for my birthday that year, Liu went back to Jinan City.
In mid January of 2001, at the entrustment of others, Liu Jian went alone to Guangzhou and brought back safely ten notepad PC's to Beijing for their later distribution to various places for producing truth-clarifying materials. In March 2001, Liu Jian was again abducted and sent to another forced brainwashing class in Lixia District. This time he was sent to the one in Ground Minerals Bureau's Reception Center on Lishan Road. Liu Jian refused to comply with their orders, so on the second day he was unlawfully sent to Jinan City Forced Labor Camp. At the labor camp he conducted hunger strikes for up to about four months until July.
In August of 2001, while inside the same forced labor camp, I happened to be having a meal next to the small room that Liu Jian was detained in and he said hello to me. He had been tortured until he was nothing but skin and bone, but from the peaceful and determined look in his eyes, I saw his solid belief in Dafa. I gave him an apple. The next day, at his request, I met with him and we talked the whole morning. That was the very last time we talked to each other. He was calm and rational and I sensed his concern about me as a friend and his benevolence toward me as a fellow practitioner. I was moved by him and told him some parts of Teacher's latest article "A Suggestion" that I memorized from the quick glimpse of it I had earlier. Our conversation was cut short by the person guarding him. Before we departed, Liu Jian gave me some daily items. Later he was transferred from the downstairs of the camp to the upstairs to be watched by other camp instructors. Every day when I came back from the morning labor, sometimes I would see him standing by the second floor window and we would slightly wave to each other.
On the afternoon of December 28, 2001, we heard the sad news regarding Liu Jian. I went to the window of the storage room and peered closely, hoping to catch a glimpse of my good friend. What I saw was an ambulance taking Liu Jian out of the labor camp. My tears flowed continuously. Thinking of our days together, of unfurling a Dafa banner at Tiananmen Square, and of him saying that he intended to follow Teacher until the end; and in tears I wrote the article "In Memory of My Friend Liu Jian."
That night, as we gathered around the TV Room, suddenly the lights went off and turned back on a short while later. Things like that seldom happen anywhere so I thought that it was as if Liu Jian was telling us something. In the human world, he lost his young life, but during the Fa-rectification period he did what he was supposed to do as a practitioner. Confronting the evil persecution, he firmly upheld his belief. Facing life and death, he calmly made it through. His real life was renewed, sublime, and eternal.
While writing this article, I also remember many fellow practitioners who were with me during different time periods, under different circumstances, sharing difficult times. I wish them and all other fellow practitioners well; to cherish our past and, on our path of cultivation practice, to walk better and better; to keep our righteous thoughts and continuously advance until we reach consummation.