Former Engineer of FAW-Volkswagen Co. Ltd. Writes to the CEO about Being Persecuted for Practicing Falun Gong
(Clearwisdom.net) From 2000 to 2003, at least ten Falun Gong practitioners were dismissed by FAW-Volkswagen Co. Ltd. for practicing Falun Gong. The headquarters of the company in Germany keeps silent about such wrongdoings. A former engineer from FAW-VW of Changchun wrote to CEO Pischetsrieder. Following is a translation of the letter:
Dear Dr. Pischetsrieder:
As a Falun gong practitioner I am writing to ask you and the directors of VW Company to pay special attention to the current survival conditions of some dismissed employees of FAW-VW and, as the CEO of VW Group, to help us.
I'm a former engineer in FAW-VW of Changchun. I was dismissed with the evasive excuse of being absent from work for over three days. The actual reason was that I practice Falun Gong. FAW-VW is considered to be one of the most profitable firms in the Northeast area, and no one would willingly endanger his or her their career in FAW-VW. But from 1999 to 2003, at least ten Falun Gong practitioner employees were dismissed for refusing to give up their belief in Falun Gong. This incomplete list includes:
Mr. Ren Yue-Qiang: Worked in the Passenger Car Plant. Dismissed in the fall of 1999 for reading a Falun Gong manuscript in his dormitory.
Mr. Wang Yong-Qing: Worked in the Marketing department. Arrested for giving out information revealing the truth of Falun Gong to the public in the fall of 2001 and sentenced to four years imprisonment and dismissed as a result by FAW-VW.
Mrs. Deng Hong, Mrs. Tian Yan, and Mrs. Li Hai-Feng: Worked in the Production department. Made a peaceful plea to the public in October 2000 for the unjust treatment they received at the hands of the CCP regime but were arrested and sentenced to forced labor and jail. Unable to go back to work due to the unlawful detention, they were dismissed in December 2000.
Mr. Li Rong-Ze (Korean-Chinese) and Mrs. Li Ming-Xia: Worked in the Transmission Plant. For making an appeal to the higher authorities and distributing information about the true circumstances of Falun Gong to the public, they were condemned to imprisonment for three years. Unable to go back to work due to the detention, they were dismissed in December 2000.
Mr. Wang Jian and Mr. Jiang Long-Sheng: Worked in the Passenger Car Plant. In March 2002 they were arrested for no particular reason on their way home from work during the period of the "All-out Capture of Falun Gong Practitioners" spurred on by the so-called Changchun TV Interrupting Incident; dismissed by FAW-VW.
Mr. Jiang Wan-Chen: Worked in the Logistics Department. Arrested in summer 2001 and sent to forced labor imprisonment for one year for giving out information about the facts of Falun Gong to the public. Dismissed as a result by FAW-VW.
FAW-VW has never given any of us a formal written document indicating the real reason for our dismissals. We were only informed orally that we were laid off for violating the regulations of the company. We believe that the Human Resource Department and the Chinese General Manager covered up the fact that these Falun Gong employees were laid off for defending their civil rights guaranteed by the constitution. The words spoken by the labor union chairman at the time, Mr. Lu Liang-Sheng, were revealing, "We are claiming this is not because of Falun Gong, but the reason really is Falun Gong." Everyone knows that this is an immediate consequence of practicing Falun Gong. Great mental and physical harm was thus brought upon these employees, their families and their friends. At least one of them got divorced as a result.
Unfortunately the Volkswagen headquarters in Germany hears nothing of these scandals happening at Volkswagen of China. China is already Volkswagen's second largest market outside of Germany. Volkswagen's presence in China has grown steadily. China's objective in encouraging investment from Germany and other Western nations comes at a cost of lowering the value of natural resources and sacrificing the interests of laborers. Not only does China aim to increase its social wealth, more importantly, it wants to showcase Western democracy within a tyrannical environment. As the largest car manufacturer in Europe, Volkswagen should take on the moral responsibility of promoting the value of humanity instead of being co-opted by the local regime.
As we know, during the Second World War some 20,000 forced laborers worked at Volkswagenwerks. In September 1998, in recognition of the events of that time, the humanitarian fund of Volkswagen AG was established on behalf of those compelled to work at Volkswagen during the Second World War. Furthermore, a memorial in remembrance of the forced labor was also established at Wolfsburg to keep alive the sentiment often expressed among Western nations following World War II: "Never again,"We are witnessing the exact same thing happening again in China today. Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally arrested and detained. More than 500 have been sentenced to prison terms of up to eighteen years. Several thousand Falun Gong practitioners have been forced into mental hospitals, an act condemned by the World Psychiatric Association. Over 100,000 have been illegally sent to labor camps without trials. More than 1,000 deaths of Falun Gong practitioners caused by persecution in police custody have been confirmed and more are being uncovered each day, although sources inside the Chinese government have disclosed that the actual number is many times higher. More than 2898 practitioners have been verified as being tortured to death. FAW-VW has incontestably facilitated this persecution.
We understand that the conduct of German enterprises in China are inevitably dominated to some extent by the policies of the Germany Government concerning China. During his seven years in power, Chancellor Schröder implemented a policy of "Commerce comes before human rights." As a result, no accusation against the human rights persecution in China was ever heard in public. Chancellor Schroder knew that promoting the long-term values of democracy might harm the short-term commercial benefits.We are very glad to see that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has changed Germany's long-term stance on China's human rights issues and has begun to take notice of Chinese dissidents. She raised divisive issues of human rights at meetings in Beijing in May on her first visit to China as chancellor: "I have made it clear that human rights are inviolable." she said. [...] For over a decade Western countries had stuck to the custom of speaking only of China's economy and avoiding the subject of China's human rights violations, but they are now apparently taking a new diplomatic tack. German Falun Gong practitioners have written to the Human Rights Working Group and Charity Assistance of the Federal Parliament to appeal for their attention to the persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. Hermann Gröhe, the chairman of the Workgroup, Mr. Markus Lackamp, the principal for human rights policies, Mr. Alois Karl, and Mr. Thomas Silberhorn have given their responses. In his response letter, Mr. Alois Karl wrote, "According to my personal experiences, details in individual human violation cases should be particularly stressed. We should not underestimate the significance of describing each individual case precisely, so that my colleagues and I can talk to the representatives from these countries and deliver the necessary assistance to the victims directly." [...]
Based on the above, I ask you to:
1. Urge the German General Manager of FAW-VW to investigate what happened to the Falun Gong employees in Changchun, look into the current survival and health conditions of those dismissed practitioners, and rehire those employees and compensate them for what they suffered.
2. Pay attention to an on-going labor dispute lawsuit against FAW-VW brought by one of the former employees of FAW-VW and use your power to give it your moral support.
3. Let every member of the Directorate of VW in Germany knows what's been happening in Changchun.
Thank you for your time.
A former employee of FAW-VW