April 3rd 2004 was the day of the annual meeting of the IGFM (International Society for Human Rights) in Germany. The meeting attracted more than 250 members from over twenty countries. This is the third year that Falun Gong practitioners have attended and discussed the status of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, as well as the progress of the lawsuit against Jiang in Germany.
A Falun Gong practitioner appealed for his mother’s release
In the witness reporting session, Chen Yuan, a German Falun Gong practitioner, talked about his mother’s experience of being arrested and detained in the Beijing Xin’an Female Forced Labour Camp because she handed out Falun Gong leaflets in Beijing. His mother has been practising Falun Gong since 1996. Before she learned the practice, she had needed to take a lot of medicine everyday. After practising, her body became very healthy without taking any medicine. She was arrested in April 2003.
Chen Yuan said that his mother, “Just wanted to expose the truth of the persecution and the way that the Chinese media used propaganda against Falun Gong. She wanted to let her peers know what kind of thing the Jiang regime has done to these peaceful people”. He appealed for the immediate release of his mother: “Didn’t do anything wrong. She is innocent and she is persecuted because she dared to tell the truth under such pressure from the government of China.”
Chen Yuan has no way of knowing about his mother’s welfare in the camp, but he detailed the torture that is common practice in Chinese labour camps, such as being denied sleep for more than ten days, electric shocks, brainwashing, highly intensive labour, and other mental and physical tortures. He said, “I don’t know how long my fifty year old mother can exist in such circumstances. Even if she comes out alive, I don’t know how much damage this will have done to her state of mind. “
Xiong Wei, who was rescued from a labour camp by the German Government and non-governmental organisations at the beginning of January 2004, had been detained in Beijing Xin’An Female Forced Labour Camp. During her arrest, international human rights institutes aggressively joined the rescue efforts, and wrote to the German government, urging them to appeal to China to release Xiong Wei. Karl Hafen, Chairman of the institute, gathered more than thirty signatures for Xiong Wei. Many letters were also sent to the German Government and Xin’An Labour Camp directly.
Attendees support Falun Gong practitioners' belief in freedom
Wu Hongda, the specially invited human rights delegate in the meeting, said in his speech that everyone should have their own freedom of belief. Falun Gong does not hurt anyone, so they should be free to believe as they wish. Haibach, a member of the German Parliament Human Rights Department, said that if human rights in China are only limited to the right to live, this is undoubtedly a strange definition. Falun Gong practitioners and members of other groups are alive, but, the Chinese Government is brain washing and torturing them, and denying them of their rights to spiritual belief.
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