Dr. Wang Wenyi Explains Why She Petitioned at the White House
(Clearwisdom.net) Radio Free Asia reported on April 24 how shouting from a member of the press interrupted China's Hu Jintao just as he was beginning to make a speech during a welcoming ceremony hosted by U.S. President Bush on the south lawn of the White House. The yelling came from Ms. Wang Wenyi, a medical doctor and reporter for The Epoch Times. Ms. Wang attempted to unfurl a banner with "Falun Dafa is good" on it, and shouted in both English and Chinese "stop persecuting Falun Gong" and "Falun Dafa is good." She shouted for more than two minutes before being led away by security guards.
The following is a transcript of Radio Free Asia's interview with Ms. Wang, aired on a special program.
Reporter: Ms. Wang, could you tell us how long you had been planning your protest and how you managed to enter the White House?
Wang Wenyi: Since this is an ongoing case, my attorney advised me yesterday that I should not discuss anything related to the case with anyone. So I am sorry. I did not do this only to Radio Free Asia; I gave the same reply to all media agencies. That's because it could affect the legal procedures, including my upcoming hearing and the final court judgment.
Reporter: What did you shout at that time? And what was going through your mind?
Wang Wenyi: What I can remember now is--since it all happened in the larger context of Falun Gong being persecuted--I shouted "Falun Dafa is good" and I also shouted "Stop persecuting Falun Gong."
The 47-year-old Wang Wenyi told Radio Free Asia that she is a graduate from a medical college in Changchun, Jilin Province, and came to the U.S. to continue her studies 16 years ago. She received her doctorate degree in neurology from the University of Chicago and finished her internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Right now she is editor-in-chief with Medical Life, a journal published in North America. She is also a reporter for The Epoch Times, specializing in stories related to medicine. Ms. Wang is also a Falun Gong practitioner.
The Washington Post reported: "A spokesman for the National Security Council, which accredited the foreign media representatives attending the event, said that the Epoch Times is a legitimate news organization and that its reporters had attended White House events previously.
"They had always comported themselves in a professional way," Frederick Jones said. "We would have no reason to not allow them entry.""
Reporter: As a journalist, why did you choose to do such a thing on such an occasion and in such a way?
Wang Wenyi: Actually, this is more than simply the issue of the persecution of Falun Gong. I am a doctor, and a doctor's responsibility is to treat patients. It is a job - or a privilege bestowed by heaven. But in recent months, I've learned something that's quite urgent. That is, organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. At the end of February, two people told The Epoch Times that large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners were victims of live organ harvesting in Sujiatun District of Shenyang City, China. These informants risked their own lives to bring this issue to the public. It happened between 2001 and 2003. Upon learning this news, we conducted extensive interviews and wrote a story, which was published in the March 9th edition of the Epoch Times newspaper and on the website.
Two weeks later, a third source, this time a retired army doctor, called and testified that this situation [live organ harvesting] exists in labor camps all over China, with many hospitals involved. According to his statement, there are 36 large concentration camps that hold Falun Gong practitioners. After the horror was revealed, the U.S. State Department expressed its concerns, but the Chinese communist regime did not respond until three weeks later when it held a press conference. As we expected, it denied the existence of such horrors.
The regime has been lying about this all along. In addition to the press conference, it issued a new regulation on organ transplants, but it is not to take effect immediately; rather, it will become effective on July 1. Probing by an international inquiry organization found that after the story was reported, many hospitals called their patients and urged them to receive transplant operations before July 1. Investigators posing as patients called the hospitals, asking them if they had fresh organs--organs from qigong practitioners, such as Falun Gong practitioners. The hospitals replied that they did.
One hospital was able to perform 14 kidney transplants a day. This is quite unusual, as one or two surgeries per day is already considered capacity for a hospital. From this fact, one may conclude that they have a large stock of organs, and they are wasting no time to do the surgeries so as to destroy the evidence while turning a profit. That is why I felt it's so urgent. If this persecution in the form of a genocide is not stopped, and if this brutal organ harvesting is not brought to a halt, we, humanity as a whole, are committing a crime.
Reporter: I was also at the White House that day. As I entered through the north entrance early in the morning, I saw crowds of Falun Gong practitioners outside, holding demonstrations. Did they know that you would do what you did?
Wang Wenyi: No, they didn't. I need to clarify something. What I did was purely my personal action, and it had nothing to do with any organizations or groups, and it had nothing to do with the newspaper. I did it based on the belief that a doctor should save people. It is most horrifying if everyone is silent when facing such atrocities. As a matter of fact, the international community and the media have been quite insensitive to the horror. When the two sources stepped forward, most major media did not pay any attention. Some governments, upon hearing it, said that they would have to verify it, but the way they proceeded in doing so is far from adequate to save lives. So I want to place on record here that I did what I did completely out of my personal intention to save people's lives.
(When the incident occurred, the live TV coverage across the U.S. was divided instantly, as the viewers could watch Ms. Wang shouting in one picture, and the reactions from Mr. Bush and Mr. Hu in another. The official media from China, however, did not mention a word about the incident. Normally, luxury hotels and residential areas can receive signals from CNN, but the French News Agency cited a producer from CNN as saying; neither the protestor's screams at Hu Jintao, or the international media's commentary on the incident were broadcast in China.
The Epoch Times issued a statement on the day of the event, saying that the newspaper did not know that Wang Wenyi had been planning a protest. The statement apologized to President Bush and the White House, but not to Hu Jintao.)
Reporter: We saw on TV that President Hu Jintao looked embarrassed, and the Chinese officials were all upset. Understandably, many Chinese will think that you have stolen the spotlight from Hu Jintao, which is a disgrace for China. What's your take on that?
Wang Wenyi: This is what I think: if the Chinese people know about such a horror, then every member of that society should feel it's a shame. If it is not stopped, it is going to disgrace all of humanity. The fact is, if I did not have the least confidence in this government, I wouldn't have shouted at it. [I did it] because there were no channels through which to let Hu Jintao know. If, after he knew it, whatever conscience that's still left within him compelled him to stop the live organ harvesting; he would have done a good thing. If, on the other hand, the horror continues under his rule, his crime becomes more horrendous. People have always believed that both goodness and evilness will be returned in kind. A horror like this is happening before a top state leader's eyes; how could he not be held responsible? So it can be said that I did it out of kindness, giving him a chance to stop it and correct a mistake. I believe that when the international media bring the horror to light, he will have an opportunity to redress this.
(The U.S. Federal District Attorney's office has launched a lawsuit against Ms. Wang Wenyi in the Washington D.C. district court on charges of "intimidating, coercing, and harassing foreign officials, and obstructing such officials from functioning." If convicted, Ms. Wang could face up to six months in jail. On the afternoon of April 21, Judge Deborah Robinson refused to pass a judgment on the case. Instead, the case has been turned over to Judge Kay. A hearing is scheduled to take place on May 3; at 9:30 a.m. Ms. Wang was released without bail, but ordered not to go near the White House prior to the hearing.)