Overcoming the Persecution within Chinese Prisons
(Minghui.org) Whenever I come across articles on the Minghui website about Falun Dafa practitioners being persecuted for their faith, my heart is pained. One of my family members was illegally imprisoned for three years and tortured.
Having learned first hand, I would like to share the process of how practitioners cooperate with each other to oppose the persecution both inside and outside of prison.
Family Visits Curtailed
We went to visit Ying (alias) three days after she was transferred to a prison. Many practitioners went to the prison to send forth righteous thoughts close by.
On trying to visit his wife, Ying’s husband was questioned as to whether he practiced Falun Gong. He became very upset and challenged the person who raised the question, retorting, “What do you care?”
The prison allowed no more than three people to visit Ying at a time. The guards were arrogant; they didn't like Ying’s husband’s attitude and told him that they wouldn't allow him to visit his wife if he kept it up. This first visit lasted only about 10 minutes.
On the second visit, Ying and her husband only had a very brief conversation before the guards stopped the meeting.
Lawyer's Visit Restricted
About a month later, Ying’s lawyer visited her at the prison. Normally a lawyer has no obligation to see his client again after the second trial. No lawyer had ever visited practitioners in the prison before.
The prison guards didn’t know how to handle the situation and reported to their superiors. They tried to stop the lawyer from visiting Ying. The lawyer presented the required legal documents, however, and the meeting was arranged.
The lawyer said that the meeting was quite a show. Many guards and management personnel stood behind Ying. They kept interrupting her when she tried to answer the lawyer's questions and threatened her to be careful as to how much she disclosed.
Ying managed to communicate to the lawyer about the abuse she experienced in the prison. She was forced to sit on a small stool for a very long period of time. She was denied access to the restroom. And she could not use her own money to buy daily necessities, among other restrictions.
The lawyer’s visit shook the prison personnel. It also strengthened Ying’s righteous thoughts and confidence.
Safeguarding Practitioner's Legal Rights
Based on the information the lawyer gathered from his visit, we reviewed the relevant sections of the law as it pertains to prisoners' rights. Then we began to summarize the prison's many violations. For instance, it is illegal to have one prisoner monitor another prisoner and to carry out corporal punishment or other mistreatment.
In order to safeguard the legal rights of the detained practitioners, we went to each prison department to talk to the person in charge.
Within a month, Ying's situation dramatically improved. During that period of time, we called the prison almost every day. We also visited each department more than twice a week.
Before we made each phone call, we prepared what we wanted to say. During the call, we were very polite but also very firm.
Whenever we went to the prison, we demonstrated our determination to safeguard our rights as family members.
During this process, we realized that no matter how evil or kind the guards acted, it was superficial. When practitioners sent out strong righteous thoughts outside the prison during the meetings, the prison personnel would agree to do almost everything that we asked them to do.
Encouraging Family Members to Take Action
During the wave of bringing Jiang to justice, when practitioners and their family members filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin for starting the persecution, Ying asked us to help her mail out her criminal complaint. We also helped her deliver her letters to the prison.
After Ying was released, she told us that because of the tireless efforts of family members and her lawyer, the detained practitioners’ prison environment improved greatly.
In dismantling the prison's persecution, I realized that we should also approach the non-practitioner family members of detained practitioners. Most of them did not know the facts about Dafa and some of them had misunderstandings towards their imprisoned family members.
We can help them understand that the fundamental cause of their suffering is the Chinese Communist Party's persecution, not practitioners’ upholding their belief. We should encourage them to undertake the responsibility of protecting their own family members. Their just actions will ensure a bright future for themselves and provide righteous support in dismantling the evil elements behind the persecution.
Local practitioners' attention to the detained practitioners is key. Their strong righteous thoughts, selfless care and tremendous encouragement are a great contribution to practitioners, their family members and society as a whole.