A Family of Practitioners Disappears in China

On August 7, Chi Jian, his wife Ms. Sun Fenglong, and their 15-year-old daughter, Chi Yifan were illegally arrested in China. There have been no further messages from them since then.

Chi Jian and his family live at 34 Marie Reynoart Avenue, Grenoble City, France. Chi Jian is enrolled in a PhD program in the Economics Department at the University of Pierre Mend France. His wife runs a take-out Chinese restaurant located at 15 Cour Berriat, and their daughter is a Stendhal middle school student.

The three are all practitioners of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice for mind and body which has been severely persecuted in China since July 1999. To support Falun Gong, the Chi family has participated in numerous peaceful activities such as the demonstration in front of the United Nations in Geneva this March.

The Chi's returned to their hometown in Inner Mongolia this July to visit relatives. On the evening of August 7, officers from the Chinese Public Security Bureau intruded into and searched their home, then forcefully took them away. As of August 25, 2001, the location of where they are imprisoned and their condition are unknown. In view of the inhumane persecution methods being consistently applied to Falun Gong practitioners, we are extremely worried that this family faces great danger. At least 267 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death in captivity. All imprisoned practitioners are subjected to forced brainwashing, or "re-education," and women are commonly raped or otherwise sexually abused.

The only reason these three Chinese people who hold French residential cards were imprisoned is that they practice Falun Gong. As with all the other practitioners who have been persecuted during the last two years, Mr. Chi, his wife and their daughter have not broken any laws, but have simply remained faithful to their beliefs. At present we do not know whether they were reported by their neighbours, or if information about them was provided by the Chinese delegation in Europe. The second supposition seems more reasonable, as it is an undeniable fact that a blacklist of overseas Falun Gong practitioners has been compiled.
Next week, little Yifan should begin her new semester at school. If there is no public outcry for her return, her desk will still be vacant.

(Update: The Chi Family returned to France on September 11 after their release from detention in China)

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