After I came to Canada in 2005, I could practise the Falun Gong exercises, study the Falun Dafa books, and listen to Dafa music. My health and spirit visibly improved the moment I arrived here. The most important thing is that in Canada, one can freely practise Falun Gong because Canada respects one's freedom of belief. I cannot help but shudder whenever I think about my days under the persecution in China. Under the persecution, my husband was murdered, my son and daughter-in-law could not find a job, we could not visit our friends and relatives, and my son and I could not go back home. I don't want to keep the memory of that terror in my mind.
Back in China I started to practise Falun Gong in October 1994. My whole family became Falun Gong practitioners. Before my husband was persecuted to death, he was an associate professor and doctor at a medical college, as well as the vice chair doctor at the hospital. Because of his outstanding medical knowledge and well-known status, he was often invited to visit U.S. and Canadian medical institutions and organisations for academic exchanges.
As soon as my son learned about Falun Gong during his internship in Beijing in 1994, he returned home immediately and introduced Falun Gong to the whole family. After that we all started practising Falun Gong. After studying the Falun Dafa books and practising for a while, my severe heart attack syndrome (due to a heart attack, I had collapsed and was in intensive care for 21 days at the hospital before regaining consciousness) improved noticeably, and I stopped all medication. I felt more open-minded, uplifted both mentally and physically, and conducted myself according to the Dafa principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." My husband also appeared jubilant after practising Falun Gong. He appeared younger than others in the same age category and was in excellent health.
In 1996, we started a practice site for local practitioners in our area using the house we had just built for my son for when he married and started a new family. Each day we had a full house. More than 100 people joined us for the Falun Gong exercises on a daily basis. Among them were Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members, middle level administrators, young children in elementary school from the third and fourth grades, elderly people in their 70s, young people working at the TV station, local court personnel and hospital employees. Many of them were outstanding contributors at their jobs. They showed up at the clubhouse from 5:00 to 6:30 a.m. in the morning for the standing exercises, and came to our son's house from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the evening to study the Falun Dafa teachings. I bought many Dafa books, lecture tapes and other material to give to my relatives, friends and other practitioners.
The CCP started persecuting Falun Gong on July 20th 1999. Overnight they started mass arrests and it was very terrifying. Practitioners could no longer study the teachings together. My son and some other Falun Gong practitioners went to appeal to the Provincial Government on the night of July 20th. Yet the Provincial Government was arresting people right off the street and throwing them into buses. My son and another practitioner escaped and returned home. Because my home was a well-known practice site, every day officials from the Retirement Administration, Public Security Bureau, police station, neighbourhood administration office, and workplace would come to check on us and harass us. They would ask, "Why did you provide a practice site for Falun Gong practitioners? What was your motive?" I replied, "Falun Gong was beneficial to maintaining the stability of society, improving people's quality of health and moral values and it was welcomed everywhere. That is why I provided the practice site." They tried to force me to surrender my Falun Gong books, and my audio and videotapes. They sent deputies to stay at my house to monitor us so that we could no longer study the teachings as we used to. Practising the exercises was out of the question at that time. We had to wait until late at night before we dared to take out the book to study. We were under constant fear that they might confiscate our books. Even so, we never bowed under pressure and continued studying. They, on the other hand, tried to figure out all kinds of ways to persecute us.
In the beginning, they knew I had a severe heart condition before practising Falun Gong and that their threatening wouldn't work on me. They adopted a strategy to work on my husband and son, using my son as a hostage. They figured that my health would be adversely affected by torturing my husband and son. If I died because of that, then the whole family would lose its pillar and daily support. That would spell the demise of my family. Because my house was the only local practice site and Falun Dafa material distribution site, my husband was a well-known doctor locally, and my whole family practised Falun Gong, we became a highly valued target for persecution. My son was also on their "black list" (most wanted list) because he was a determined Falun Gong practitioner. They knew my husband and I were very concerned about our son's safety and well-being, so they doubled their effort to coerce and threaten us.
In early August, a couple of people from my son's workplace came to our house. They asked us as soon as arrived, "Your son escaped. Where did he go?" My husband and I nearly fainted on the spot, concerned that they had arrested my son without any due process. They warned us, "If we cannot find your son today, we will take you two." Then they called an emergency meeting, sending their men to bus stations and train stations to find my son. Later, they sent someone to my son's home and found out he was resting after completing a long night-shift. If he had been found on the street, it would have been a good enough excuse for them to arrest him immediately. Because my son refused to sign any guarantee statement to give up practising Falun Gong, and carried on his practising and studying the books as usual, his workplace dismissed him and his wife of just two months from their jobs without pay. They even asked him to think it over, while each day someone from his workplace visited, interrogated, threatened and coerced them. They were forced to write many pages of self-criticism to be turned in the next day. They were under constant mental pressure and torture, unable to get any decent rest.
I also did not sleep well and lost my appetite altogether. I was constantly afraid that they would arrest my son. I was also trying to help him write those self-criticising papers. Nobody dared to visit us, the authorities even monitored our phone. Our activities were restricted, with people patrolling outside our house at night. We lost contact with other Dafa practitioners, afraid that we might implicate them. We could not read Teacher's newly published articles. After a while, my hair started to turn white, and I appeared to have gained quite a few years in age. My husband also suffered both mentally and physically because he could no longer practise Falun Gong, and was concerned about our son no longer having a job.
In order to escape from being persecuted, my husband, son, daughter-in-law and I moved away from our house in December 1999. Even though we lost our regular income, my son was still subjected to daily investigation and brainwashing. Because my son never gave in, his work unit administrators tried every imaginable means to force him to relent. On Christmas Eve the local police called us saying, "We took your son in, and you better bring some clothes for him." My husband and I nearly fainted. They finally arrested my son. I called a taxi right away, and I had to pay double that evening because of the holiday. By the time I arrived at the police station, the officer on duty told me to pay a 1,000 yuan1 fine the next day. Meanwhile they would release him with conditions. So my son got home well past midnight, and that was how my family spent Christmas Eve. This proved to be quite common later on.
In early 2000, my husband fell ill and was bedridden due to the neighbourhood association, police, and workplace's constant harassment and coercion. His workplace still tried to get him to go to a public meeting to criticise and denounce his son. I told them, "He cannot get up anymore!" They replied, "We will send a car to pick him up." Later, I was forced to attend the public meeting. At the meeting I spoke out, "I wanted my son to practise Falun Gong to become a good citizen." Yet one of the CCP officials said, "You should have asked him to learn bad things!" In July 2000 my husband underwent surgery and was hospitalised. His work unit did not allow our son to attend to him, while still requesting him to attend the daily interrogations and brainwashing sessions. In the end I was the only one who could shoulder the task of looking after my husband. I suffered a lot both mentally and physically. Because my husband was retired, his workplace should have reimbursed his medical and hospital expenses. Yet they penalised us financially, by allowing reimbursement of only half of his bill. They allowed us only 300 yuan monthly for drug expenses. In December 2000, the local hospital could no longer treat my husband, and he had to be transferred to another hospital for a second surgery. This time they did not allow any reimbursement for drugs. I needed to borrow money to get my husband hospitalised at the other hospital, and my son was facing investigation and was not permitted to take care of his father. For more than a month, I was the only one who could sustain caring for my husband. I spent the New Year of 2001 at the hospital. During this month I did not have a place to live. Each day I slept on the floor for just a little while, with additional resting time just sitting on a small chair. Sometimes I went all day without eating a meal. I never had a chance to sleep taking off my clothes, nor did I take a bath since I had to take care of my husband, as well as worry about our son. I finally returned home a few days before the Chinese New Year 2001. Yet on Chinese New Year's Eve 2001, my son's workplace called me again, accusing him with six more charges. The phone never stopped ringing, whether the call was from the police, the law and judicial committee, or my workplace. The constant pressure and coercion was most unbearable.
They carefully planned to increase the persecution right after Chinese New Year 2001. At one of the public meetings to criticise and denounce, officials from the city Public Security Bureau, the neighbourhood association, my workplace, and the TV station all came to organise the criticising and denouncing meeting. That evening the whole meeting was televised. My relatives and friends became more frightened after watching the programme. Some even scolded us, afraid that they could be implicated. I was tormented, yet I could not even tell my husband about it since his health was deteriorating rapidly and I was afraid that he could not bear such horrible news. My husband's weight dropped to only 35 kgs. (77 lb.) towards his final days. I could no longer stay up either, and passed out for three days and nights lying on the sofa. My second daughter had no choice but to resign her job to take care of us at home. With all of our money spent, my husband finally passed away leaving us with regret. After he died, no one dared to pay us a visit. Only two practitioners came by quietly to bring us Teacher's new articles and related materials. Because of the mental and physical torment, my hair was all white. I lost my teeth, and could not get out of bed. I just slept, and had no appetite. With my family broken and our relatives abandoning us, I finally left the city where we lived, and moved in with my second daughter, crying all along the way.
The authorities could not find me, so they persecuted my son even harder. Finally unwilling to bear the mental torture any further, my son resigned from his workplace. Because he was a Falun Gong practitioner, no other work unit dared to hire him after his resignation. The people in my son's original workplace cheered, "This time he will starve to death, and we will just see if he continues to practise Falun Gong." Without a job, my son had a hard time, yet he never gave up Dafa work. I continued to support my son by giving him all of my husband's funeral expense reimbursement (about 10,000 yuan). He and several practitioners used the money to make VCDs and flyers to expose the persecution.
Originally I planned to stay a while with my second daughter before returning home. Unexpectedly one day in 2002, someone knocked on the door. I opened the door and found my son outside. I was shocked and knew something happened. My son told me that two nights prior, he and two other practitioners went out to distribute flyers. The police arrested one of them and put him into a detention centre. That practitioner's family disclosed my son's whereabouts to the police, so the police started looking for him. At that time it was just about a week or two since my daughter-in-law had given birth to their first child. My son immediately left home to escape from the police. He did not even dare to get on the train at the local train station. He came to his second sister to avoid the police for a while. No one could take care of his wife and their newborn baby. The police and neighbourhood association people went in two squad cars to search my elder daughter's home. Since my elder daughter had no way to contact my son, they just camped at her home, waiting for him to call her, in order to search where my son was calling from. They even coerced her with dismissal from her job. My elder daughter was forced to tell them how to get hold of my second daughter on her mobile phone. So they started to call my second daughter, threatening her to surrender my son, or else they would come search her home. This potentially would cost my second daughter her job. In order to avoid them finding out where my second daughter lived, she and I would take a bus to some far away place before answering her mobile phone. Since we knew they could track the mobile location, we had to get away from where we lived. After facing them head on we never relented, nor did we surrender my son.
Later, my second daughter went back quietly to where my son lived and took his wife and baby back. So my son's family and I continued living with my second daughter in constant fear. Each day, we continued studying the Falun Dafa books without any interruption. I will never give up practising Falun Gong. We got in touch with local fellow practitioners so that we could receive Teacher's new articles and lectures from them.
During the time we stayed with my second daughter, the city government where she lived offered to pay a 6,000 yuan reward for anyone disclosing the whereabouts of a Falun Gong practitioner, leading to his or her arrest and putting them in prison. My son and I could not return home. My son persisted with his faith in Falun Gong even without a job. I tried to do my best to support the local truth clarifying effort financially. After I used all the money that I had, I sold the house and gave 3,000 yuan to them to print more flyers, as well as giving my son's family some money for their living expenses.
In 2004, my second daughter and her husband immigrated to Canada. In order to apply for my immigration to avoid further persecution, they started working immediately in Canada. As soon as they qualified with enough income they applied for my immigration. Very fortunately, I immigrated to Canada in 2005.
As soon as I arrived, my second daughter helped me to find a practice site so that I could study the books and practise the exercises as I did previously. Every Saturday and Sunday, I go to the nearby practice site to do the exercises, and each Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. I join others to study the teachings at a fellow practitioner's home. On Friday evening we go to the University of Toronto for group study. I also participate in various activities with other practitioners. I never cease telling people the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. I seize every opportunity, along with my fellow practitioners, to distribute flyers and pamphlets and to clarify the truth.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2005/8/17/108596.html
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