Anthony OBrien (not a Falun Gong practitioner)

Dublin, Ireland

18th April 2000

They dragged him from his concrete cell

to an evil place of pain

where they cuffed his hands behind him

and then hooked them to a chain.

They hauled him to the ceiling

as his shoulder joints gave way,

then plied him with electrodes

laughing, "Now, let's see you pray."

But as they beat and tortured him

and did their fearful worst

he prayed for them a Buddhist prayer

and neither swore nor cursed.

Compassion, truth, forbearance

were the essence of his creed,

and yet he was imprisoned

as though for a criminal deed,

a criminal deed to hold a faith

Beijing declares is wrong,

a crime to follow faithfully

the path of Falun Gong.

In labour camp, he would not eat

in protest to defy

a regime which imprisoned him

because he would not deny,

nor yet betray the Falun Gong

nor lie to save his skin

but went on hunger strike instead-

true to his faith within.

They dragged him out and strapped him down,

and down his throat they pushed

a tube which tore right through his throat

and left his larynx crushed

and tore his lungs while they force-fed

him with the prison food,

and into his lungs instead of air

went turgid soup and blood.

He did not die a sudden death

despite this mortal blow

the wounds inside him festered

and his death was long and slow.

In the liberal west, we should protest

against this, unafraid,

but sad to relate, our heads of state

would rather talk of trade.

In the liberal west we can protest,

and dream our peaceful dreams

for our days don't start with torture

and our nights don't end with screams.

Our faith is rarely tested

by torturers with whips,

and the words we say in protest

aren't beaten from our lips.

Our shame is keeping silent

while the cruelty goes on,

that kills Tibetan Buddhists,

and the peaceful Falun Gong,

that kills Tibetan children

who sing a freedom song,

and Xinjiang's Uighur Muslims

and all who won't repent -

in the face of Beijing's evil rule

- their brave deeds of dissent.

In labour camp, in Jining town,

Liu Xuguo died in pain,

so we must all speak up for him

so his death was not in vain,

and just because we live in freedom

we can not do less

than plead for all the people

that Beijing would suppress.