Speech from London Activities to Commemorate April 25th: "My experience of being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party"

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The following speech was given at a press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy in London on Saturday April 28th 2007. The press conference was the start of a day of activities to commemorate April 25th, 1999, when Falun Gong practitioners in China appealed to the government to release fellow practitioners who were wrongfully imprisoned.

My name is Xinxia Jiang. I have been practicing Falun Gong since 1994. On 21st of July 1999, I went to Beijing with some of my fellow practitioners to appeal to the central government to lift the ban on Falun Gong. Police arrested all of us. I was sent back to the school in Shanghai where I worked as a fine arts teacher. Once back, I was locked up in a small classroom and was not allowed to see anyone for over a month. During which time, five to six policemen took turns interrogating me everyday. They deprived me of sleep for a fortnight; forced me to watch videos slandering Falun Gong. The 610 office put pressure on my school, forcing them to assign two teaching staff to watch over me everyday. Although the teachers knew that was wrong but they dare not disobey the order.

The police also harassed my elderly parents. When my mother heard that I might be given an eight to ten years prison sentenced, her hair turned grey overnight. They also threatened my sister and my brother, forcing them to put pressure on me to give up my practice. I succumbed to the enormous pressure from all sides and was made to write a statement using their words to denounce Falun Gong. During that time, the brainwashing had caused me to doubt whether my belief in the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance had indeed been correct. It was an extremely painful form of mental torture. I was extremely distressed and thought of killing myself in order to put an end to all of it. The 610 Office in the Shanghai Pudong New District told me that they will stop persecuting me if I sign another statement to denounce Falun Gong. I agreed. They then said I had to denounce Falun Gong on the Shanghai city TV. I refused. Two policemen threatened that if I refuse, they would detain me indefinitely and cut me off from the outside world. I was forced to agree to go on the TV to read a script that they prepared.

In 2002, the horrific news broke out that eighteen female Falun Gong practitioners were stripped naked by the labour camp guards before being thrown into a cell for male criminals. They were raped.

I was letting people know about the incident by handing out leaflets in the street. I was re-arrested. At the detention centre, a policewoman searched me with great force. She tore open my shirt and handcuffed me with two pairs of handcuffs which left scars that are still clearly visible. I felt utterly humiliated and cried. They wanted to find out where I got the leaflets from. They interrogated me for twenty four hours round the clock. When I refused to give them the information, they rubbed tiger balm into my eyes and pinched me to stop me from falling asleep. The room where I was locked up was very cold. They forced me to stand for ten continuous hours or more for three days. They then drugged my food. It caused me to dribble uncontrollably and felt hungry all the time. On the seventh day I began to hallucinate, thinking that the policeman’s cigarette packet was my computer mouse. I became very weak and started to drift in and out of consciousness. Finally I collapsed on the floor. The police splashed cold water on me to bring me round. My body was swollen all over and I could hardly walk. They tried to persuade me to betray other Falun Gong practitioners in return for a shorter sentence. I refused.

At the labour camp, I was given only a small amount of food everyday. I was constantly hungry. They also deprived me of sleep. I was tortured mentally when I was forced to watch videos and read books slandering Falun Gong. I was not allowed to rest and soon I became mentally exhausted. I wished for only a single second’s peace. My self-respect was destroyed. I felt totally shattered and again I betrayed my own conscience. I promised to write another statement.

When I woke up the next day I regretted what I did, but the police refused to give the statement back to me. Time passed, the police ordered drug addicts to follow me everywhere and intimidate me twenty four hours a day. After four months they wore me down. Filled with fear, I again betrayed myself by agreeing to become their accomplice in brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners kept there.

It was 2004 and I had already spent two years in a living hell. I had to comfort my mother on the phone from the labour camp by saying I was ok. I would never let her know what I had been through. When I was eventually sent home after two years, I could barely walk. I was suffering from severe malnutrition and came down with multiple diseases. My mum was absolutely terrified. I destroyed some materials about Falun Gong that I had at home because I was scared. I could not bring myself to read any Falun Gong books for months.

I felt terrible. Because of this, my life seemed meaningless. It seems the spiritual part of me had gone with only the flesh remained. I felt as though I had been killed after being forced to give up my belief. After a few months, the only thing I wanted to do was to practice Falun Gong. I began to do the Falun Gong exercises at home again. Six months later I was back on my feet.

The police told me that I must report to them wherever I go. I was put under the supervision of the school headmaster. Even when I was writing a letter to my parents, a colleague had to monitor what I wrote. Because of police harassment, my friends and colleagues were afraid to talk to me. I felt lonely and isolated. Once I went to visit my former tutor at my university. The next day the head of the university told my tutor to cut off all connection with me. No one dared to talk to me. My life was totally ruined.

Although I am ashamed of some of the things I did in the labour camp, I still think the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance’ are right. In March 2006, two witnesses revealed to the western world that a lot of Falun Gong practitioners’ internal vital organs had been brutally harvested while they were still alive. After their organs were removed, their remains were simply cremated! I suddenly remembered that in the detention centre, many Falun Gong practitioners and I were taken to a hospital for blood tests. It was probably for the purpose of adding mine and other practitioners’ names to the organ harvesting list.

My experience is not an isolated case. It is one of the countless cases of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted by the CCP. More than 3000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed by the CCP according to verified evidence. More than 100 thousand have been jailed, sent to forced-labour camps or mental hospitals. They have suffered unbearable mental and physical torture. Their lives are at risk under a regime that opposes basic human values.

Some of my friends are still in jail. My old school friend Yanlai Qu was handed a five year sentence. He went on a hunger strike. I read on the Internet recently that he is critically ill. His sister is also being detained. I am constantly worrying about their situation.

However, I would like to appeal to the staff at the Chinese Embassy: please know that the CCP has been brutally persecuting Falun Gong; know the evil nature of the CCP; join the millions and renounce from the CCP and its affiliated organisations. By doing so, you will have chosen a bright future.

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