Wendy Guo has been arrested four times.

The 30-year-old was taken by authorities to a stadium in Beijing along with thousands of other freedom-seeking Falun Gong protesters seven years ago.

Her first brush with Chinese authorities that day in October paints a stark contrast to the peaceful religion.

"I was beaten, kicked down by police, and they stepped on my face," said the five-foot-tall Guo, who brought a gruesome message to Orillia yesterday with the help of two fellow practitioners holding up a white banner in front of city hall.

The banner called attention to what the group describes as a government-run death camp in China that's killing Falun Gong practitioners and selling their organs.

Guo, the director of the Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners, bellowed the group's complaint through a megaphone while a handful of passersby signed a petition.

The trio would later leave a letter for Mayor Ron Stevens before heading off to Midland to finish up a daylong awareness tour that also included a stop in Barrie.

Since its public introduction in 1992, Falun Gong, [...] has surged in popularity in China. It garnered international attention when the Chinese government started suppressing practitioners in 1999, the same year thousands staged a mass protest against the persecutions.

Guo, who now lives in Toronto and is pursuing a master's degree, came to Canada in 2004 and was astonished by her new home's religious freedom.

Equally surprising to her was just how far Chinese authorities would go to crack down on her faith.

"I never imagined the persecution in China would go beyond control."

Guo has been arrested for what she believes is telling the truth about Falun Gong and how the government has treated its adherents.

"I produced some videos telling the truth about Falun Gong."

With her four arrests, she's accumulated about nine months of detention, Guo figured, noting during those times, she was subject to sleep deprivation and brainwashing.

Guo said knowing people in Singapore likely saved her from a harsher fate: "They can torture you to death and nobody will ever know."

Guo and her colleagues want the Canadian government to put more pressure on China to stop the persecution.

The federal government has raised concerns about the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners with Chinese authorities on several occasions, a foreign affairs spokeswoman said yesterday.

"We remain concerned about ongoing reports of the suppression of freedoms of expression and association in China, including the treatment of members of Falun Gong," said Pamela Greenwell.

The group is planning a rally on Parliament Hill.

"I have the right to persist in what I believe," Guo said.

Category: Organ Harvesting