The Chinese New Year Only Deepens My Pain: Why Has My Happy Family Been Torn Apart?
(Minghui.org) Everyone wants to have a happy life with the family together. So do I. I once had a wonderful family life that was filled with warmth and happiness. But now this simple wish has become a distant hope.
Since childhood, I always wanted to have a happy family life. However, my mother passed away when I was eight years old, and I suffered from many illnesses. My father married another woman and no longer took care of me. I had to leave school when I was 13 and did various jobs in order to survive.
I Finally Got a Wonderful Family
At the age of 21, I met Mr. Liu Qingtao and we married. I was extremely happy and cherished my family life very much.
After I gave birth to my son, however, my husband's attitude changed. He became bad-tempered and developed some bad habits, including smoking, getting drunk and playing mahjong. He often left home after dinner and didn't return until around midnight, smelling of alcohol. Sometimes, he was away for the whole night. In order to keep our family together for my son's sake, I swallowed my anger and did not complain.
My husband's attitude changed again when our son was three years old. This time for the better. He stopped smoking, drinking and playing mahjong, and gave up many other bad habits. He also became healthy. I didn’t know what had happened to him until I found the book Zhuan Falun in our home. It turned out that he started practicing Falun Gong.
Since then, my family was filled with warmth and happiness. My husband told me that Falun Gong taught people to be good and that practicing can improve one’s mind and body. I was very grateful that Falun Gong made my husband a better person, and I felt like I was the happiest woman in the world.
However, my happy family was broken up in 1999.
My Husband Is Imprisoned for Seven Years
On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution against Falun Gong. They deprived practitioners their right to practice and used the media to defame the Falun Gong.
In order to clarify the facts to the local officials, my husband went to the city government offices. He planned to talk to the officials there, but was taken back home. Officers from Zhongchang Police Station ransacked our home and confiscated his Falun Gong books. In addition, he was required to report to the police station every day.
My husband later went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He was arrested by officers from the Jingzhou police station and held in Sanli Detention Center, where he was held for two and a half years. The guards often handcuffed him to heating pipes at a height which made it difficult for him to stand or sit. He was also forced to do hard labor every day. Some work involved handling hazardous substances. My husband was forced to work from early in the morning until late at night. I requested to visit him, but was turned away.
Two and a half years later, my husband was sentenced to five years in prison. He was first held in the Wafangdian Prison for over a month, and was then transferred to the Dengtahuazi Prison in Liaoyang City. The guards severely beat him and shocked his head, chest, mouth and other parts of his body with electric batons.
As my husband had already spent 2.5 years in the detention center, he was able to return home at the end of October 2004. He was extremely weak, and suffered from coronary heart disease due to the severe torture he endured in the prison. He was unable to take care of himself, and it took him quite a long time to recover.
Officers from the Dalian Development Zone Police Department and the Wanli Police Station arrested my husband again on August 2, 2006, and took him to the Dalian Development Zone Detention Center. The police then ransacked our home and took away his car.
My mother-in-law, my son and I went to the police department every day to request my husband's immediate release. However, the officials there refused to listen to us. In desperation, my mother-in-law hung a sign around her neck, with “Give back my son Liu Qingtao” written on it. When Xu Yungang, head of the local 610 Office, saw the sign, he forcibly grabbed my mother-in-la. Xu pulled her away from the police department gate, threatening her and injuring her in the process.
My husband was later sentenced to two years in the Dalian Forced Labor Camp. My mother-in-law and I were very concerned about his health, and repeatedly requested to visit him. However, the guards denied us visitation rights, saying that we could not see him unless he agreed to be transformed.
My husband was supposed to be released in July 2008. However, officers from the Jinzhou Police Department transferred him to the Luotaishanzhuang Brainwashing Center in Fushun City on July 21, 2008. He was not released until a month later.
Reunited Family Broken Up Again
As I was about to go to work on the morning of July 6, 2012, I was stopped by two police officers as soon as I stepped out of my house. They forced me to unlock my front door, and about a dozen officers forced their way in. They ransacked the place without presenting any legal documents, and confiscated two laptops (one of our own and one that we were fixing for someone else), a printer, cell phones and many other personal belongings. When the police tried to search my 83-year-old mother-in-law’s room, she refused to allow them in. They twisted her arms and pushed her aside. My mother-in-law was terribly frightened.
I was taken to the Wanli Police Station, where I was interrogated and threatened. They showed me a bag which my husband often carried, and asked me, “You recognize this bag, don’t you?” I then realized that my husband had been arrested again. I felt pressured and overwhelmed. I though: “My son is in college. My mother-in-law is in her 80s and suffers from coronary heart disease and has gallstones. If I were also imprisoned, who is to take care of my family?”
I was detained in the police station for 16 hours, during which time I wasn't given any food or water. They didn’t let me leave until 11:00 p.m. It was after midnight when I got home. I had no keys and had to knock on the door. I waited for quite a while until my mother-in-law opened it. She had to crawl on the ground to open the door because she got injured when the police searched her room. We hugged each other and cried.
In the following months, my mother-in-law and I visited different government agencies to appeal for justice and hired a lawyer to defend my husband. When the lawyer went to the Daheishan Detention Center to see him, he found out that his coronary heart disease had recurred. We requested his release for medical treatment, but our request was denied.
It was winter and cold, and I worried about my husband's health. So I took a winter coat to the detention center, and asked the guards to give it to him. A guard said, “It’s very warm inside. He won’t need it.” However, when the lawyer later met with my husband, my husband told him that it was very cold inside. He said, “Sometimes I get woken up by cold at night. The guards make me to do hard labor every day. It’s terrible in here.”
When Will My Family be Reunited?
I should have a happy and complete family. I have a wonderful husband who practices Falun Gong to be a better person. Our son was cared for by his loving parents. However, everything was ruined by the CCP. They broke up my family and made my life a tale of sorrow.
The persecution also deprived my son of paternal love. He was seven years old when my husband went to Beijing to appeal in 1999. He didn’t see his father again until he was 12 years old. Children his age are supposed to enjoy family and paternal love, but he couldn’t even see his father.
When my husband was arrested in 2006, my son was in middle school. Now my son is in college, but still without his father, who is illegally held in the detention center. Facing the CCP’s persecution, he encouraged me to wait for his father to come back so that we can be a complete family again.
During the past 13 years, I've had to work from dawn to dusk to support the whole family. I haven’t had new clothes for years. I try to save every cent I can, but very often the money is still far from enough, and we are forced to pay for my husband’s living expenses in the detention center.
I’m very worried about my husband. The guards won't let me visit him. I have no idea of his condition. I miss him so much.
As the Chinese New Year approached, people were setting off firecrackers to celebrate the holiday. But to me, each sound they made was like a tear drop, telling the story of my family’s suffering and pain. During this holiday families traditionally get together, but when will my family be reunited?