(Clearwisdom.net) In front of the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver, Canada, a young lady named Ms. Zhou has joined the sit-in, which began in March 2005, to protest and call for an end to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. Ms. Zhou and her husband were arrested three days after marrying in China. Innocent of any crime, she was imprisoned and tortured by the CCP anyway. After countless hardships, the couple managed to come to Vancouver. Below is her story


Ms. Zhou practices the exercises in front of Chinese Consulate and calls for an end to the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong

Starting to practice Falun Gong

At the beginning of 1999, Ms. Zhou's mother suddenly developed heart disease. She showed no improvement after treatment in several large hospitals. A graduate student who practiced Falun Gong in her mother's work unit introduced Falun Gong to her mother and gave her the book Zhuan Falun. Ms. Zhou's mother started to practice Falun Gong, and she recovered completely and was in good spirits. It was a miracle that everyone in her family witnessed.

In early May, a local Falun Dafa cultivation experience sharing conference was held. More than one thousand people attended the conference. Ms. Zhou and her mother also participated. She was moved by the experience sharing of the practitioners and the peaceful atmosphere at the conference. She started to practice Falun Gong in May.

Ms. Zhou and her family were persecuted just two months after she started practicing Falun Gong

Since then, Ms. Zhou and her mother have participated in group practice and reading Dafa books in the morning and evening. She was so happy then.

Unexpectedly, the CCP initiated the brutal persecution of Faun Gong, just two months after she started practicing. Ms. Zhou recalled, "On July 20, 1999, my mother and I went to the provincial government to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. Many Falun Gong practitioners stood on the sidewalks around the government building. Armed police motorcades came one after another, followed by many buses. They stopped besides the practitioners. It was forty Celsius (about 104°F). The practitioners were quiet and orderly. They even picked up trash on ground, including empty drink cans left by the armed police. Later the armed police pulled Falun Gong practitioners onto the buses."

She continued, "The buses were driven to a large stadium in the suburbs. Everyone was registered and sent back to the city. The next day, my grandmother called and asked us to watch the news on TV. At that point, the TV, radio stations, and newspapers started blatantly defaming and framing Falun Gong. I kept steadfast belief in Dafa, though I felt the tremendous pressure.

"On October 2000, I went to Beijing to appeal with a fellow practitioner from my university. It was my second appeal to Beijing. I saw many practitioners unfurling banners on Tiananmen Square and shouting, 'Falun Dafa is great'. I also saw the police beating Falun Gong practitioners brutally on the square.

"During that appeal, I met He, my husband. On June 2003, my mother, my husband and I were arrested for clarifying the truth about Falun Gong. It was the third day after we got our marriage license. We had not yet held the ceremony.

"On March 1, 2004, I was sentenced to one year's imprisonment, my husband to three years, and my mother to two years. After I was released later that year, I came to Vancouver, Canada."

Inhuman persecution

During the four and a half years of persecution, Ms. Zhou experienced various tortures, both physically and mentally. She recalled, "In July 2000, my mother and I went to Beijing to appeal. After we got back, officials from my university monitored me. In December 2000, I was imprisoned for half a year in a detention center and a brainwashing center. Once at midnight, I was called out of my home by a fellow teacher. When I stepped out of my apartment building, five police officers surrounded me and dragged me into a police vehicle. They interrogated me about the distribution of truth-clarification flyers and deprived me of sleep. I did not answer them. Two days later, several practitioners and I were detained again. Several days later, I was taken to the Number One Detention Center for Women. Practitioners were not allowed to talk to each other. The criminal inmates were instigated to beat us and monitor us. We were forced to do hard labor. My hands were swollen in the winter and I could not wash my clothes.

"In the Intensive Control Unit, monitoring cameras were installed in each room. On Chinese New Year's day, we held a group exercise. The guard handcuffed us one by one. I saw guards beating some practitioners in the hands. Beating is a common thing in the detention center. We held a hunger strike to protest, and the situation became a little better. Eight practitioners from my university were arrested and four of them were sentenced to forced labor camp."

Ms. Zhou continued, "After half a year of detention, I returned to school. My school's officials intimidated me, saying that I would be expelled if I did not give up my belief. I told them that I did not do anything wrong. I was selected as an excellent student each year and never failed any exam. Why should I quit school?"

Her husband, Mr. He recalled, "As my whole family practices Falun Gong, we were monitored by the police and the local 610 Office. I was well-known in my university because of this monitoring. When I graduated, my university did not issue my diploma to me. I only got it later.

"In June 2003, I was arrested along with my wife. I was sentenced to a three-year term the next year. I had severe bleeding. After an examination, holes were found in my lung and I was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The prison guards were afraid of this contagious disease and refused to accept me. I was put under house arrest."

In June 2008, Mr. He managed to come to Vancouver. The couple finally reunited after a five-year separation.

Twenty-four-hour protest at the Chinese Consulate

Twenty-four hours a day, Falun Gong practitioners in Vancouver maintain a peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Consulate. They are not alone, as many righteous people stand with them.

Ms. Zhou said, "I was most impressed about something that happened on Thanksgiving in 2006. It was evening and it very cold and snowing. There were no pedestrians and few cars. Christmas decorations and colorful lights were seen on the houses along the road. All the stores were closed. At around 9:00 p.m., a Chinese-Canadian who grew up in Canada came to our small blue hut [a small shelter set up by practitioners at the protest site]. I knew him. He was the express mail delivery man for the Chinese Consulate. He knew about Falun Gong from us. He thought that all the stores were closed that night and that everyone was enjoying dinner at home. He suddenly wondered whether Falun Gong practitioners might be staying in front of the Consulate. He came to the blue hut and saw the dim light from far away. He told us he admired Falun Gong practitioners. Before leaving, he said, 'All doors are closed tonight. Only your Falun Gong's door is open.'"