AFP Reports Plight of Falun Gong Couple Fleeing China

In an April 24th report by Shaun Tandon, AFP (Agence France Presse) reported the plight of a Falun Gong couple fleeing political persecution in China.

“A husband and wife who said they endured years of ill treatment in Chinese camps for practising Falun Gong are urging greater global attention to the plight of the spiritual movement.”

Zhang Lianying and her husband Niu Jinping, apparently angered Chinese communist authorities by talking to foreigners. They arrived in the United States in January with their daughter.

They have endured repeated detention and violence over the last ten years. In the days leading up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the police recently took them from their home with bags over their heads.

Zhang was taken to the Masanjia forced labour camp where she said that hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners were held. The guards tried to make an example out of her.

"I went through all sorts of torture. I would shout, 'Falun Gong is good!', all the time and then they would beat me on the mouth with a big plank of wood or tie me up," she said, showing indentations on her wrists she said came from rope. "My face would be covered all black and blue from bruises," she told AFP on a recent visit to Washington.

The article says that according to Zhang, “guards at the Masanjia camp, which is near the northeastern city of Shenyang, put psychological pressure on Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith and then to beat fellow inmates who would not.

“One woman 'was cursed and verbally abused so much by the guards, especially during public meetings, that instead of beating others she began to bite them and the officials encouraged her,' Zhang said.

“Her husband said he was told that he was detained for meeting in Beijing with Edward McMillan-Scott, a Briton who serves as a vice president of the European parliament, to discuss the Falun Gong's plight.”

More than a dozen officers and four inmates stripped him to his underwear and administered electric shocks across his body.

The two were freed late last year, and were somehow able to obtain US visas.

"It was a miracle, really. I have never seen this before," said Levi Browde, spokesman for the Falun Dafa Information Center in New York.

The article continued, “Zhang said she wanted the United States and other countries to put greater attention on the Falun Gong. 'The Chinese news media do not talk about the Falungong persecution, but it is still going on intensely behind closed doors,' she said.”

The article concluded that, “The United States and China will hold an annual dialogue on human rights in Beijing starting on Wednesday. Michael Posner, who will lead the US side at the talks, said at a recent press conference that China's labour camps were 'full of people that have affiliation with Falun Gong.'”

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