Former Police Officer Recalls the Ruthless Treatment of Dafa Practitioners in Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1999

My name is Zheng Xiaoyan (pseudonym), and I used to work at a prison in Jilin Province. I was fired because I persisted in Dafa practice. Around 8:20 a.m. on October 1, 1999, I witnessed Jiang Zemin publicly abusing his power and ordering the police and military to use bestial violence to brutally suppress Dafa practitioners who practice Truth--Compassion-Tolerance.

Benefiting from Dafa practice

I began practising Falun Dafa in 1994. Before that date, all my colleagues knew I was sickly and could never participate in any sports. After I had practised Falun Gong, though, my colleagues signed me up for several sports competitions, including a 100-meter race, a 200-meter race, a 400-meter race, an 800-meter race and 4 x 200 meter relay race. Several of my races took place in one day during these two-day games and I won the second and third place in most races. I was the champion in the 800-meter race. People in the whole sports field shouted my name. My superior said to me, "Xiaoyan, you are so good!" I said, "Let me tell you - that's because I practice Falun Gong! Falun Gong helped me get rid of my illnesses so I feel energetic." My superior said, "Practice it well."

Crimes in broad daylight

In 1999, Jiang's group used the whole propaganda system to slander and defame Falun Gong. These people didn't give Dafa practitioners any freedom to practice. They deprived the practitioners of their basic human rights, working rights, living rights, and they forced government workers who are Falun Gong practitioners to write so-called "guarantee statements" and sign agreements to relinquish their Dafa practice.

On September 27, 1999, my superior talked to me for the second time and tried to stop me from going to Beijing to appeal. I remember political secretary Liu saying to me, "The government doesn't allow civil servants to practice Falun Gong. All of them have to sign agreements and write guarantee statements." I answered, "Even if I'm laid off, fired, sent to prison or killed, I will always practice Dafa and will never give it up."

When I was buying a train ticket, I saw that the whole train station and waiting room were filled with police officers carrying batons. After I got on the train, six or seven Dafa practitioners were pulled off from my section of the train. Some police officers cursed Master right after they got on the train. Several practitioners tried to talk to them and were taken away. Some practitioners refused to curse Master and Dafa as the police demanded, and as a result they were taken away. The police then came to me and asked for my recommendation letter and ID, I said, "I didn't bring them." The police asked, "You don't have any witnesses?" I said, "Chinese law doesn't say I need to bring a recommendation letter, ID or someone who knows me on my trip." After a while, another police officer came and told me to curse Master. I said, "I never curse. Why are you, a police officer, asking people to curse?" A while later, two train police officers came to me and tried to snatch my ticket by saying they wanted to check it. I firmly resisted and their attempt failed.

I finally arrived in Beijing. All hotels in Beijing had signs on them that read, "No Falun Gong practitioners allowed." Around 2:00 a.m. on October 1, I walked toward Tiananmen Square. October 1 is a National Holiday, and many people were watching the flag-hoisting ceremony. Around 8:30 a.m., the crowd stirred and I saw a group of foreign tourists shouting "Falun Gong" while waving small flags. I approached the crowd and heard a young man shouting, "Every kind-hearted person, every conscientious Chinese should support them..." Before he could finish, five or six police officers beat him to the ground and blood gushed from his eyes, nose and mouth. The young man struggled to take off his jacket and revealed a yellow T-shirt underneath that read, "Truth- Compassion-Tolerance." I saw he was a Dafa practitioner, so I ran up and said to the police, "Don't beat him, he is a good person." A plainclothes police officer yelled at me, saying, "We are executing public order, go away!" I said, "I'm also a police officer. Police should suppress the bad and support the good. You shouldn't beat people like this!" I also wore civil clothes at the time, and I covered the Dafa practitioner with my body. The police then dragged the practitioner by his feet toward the centre of the square, leaving a trail of blood from the practitioner's head on the ground. I tried to protect the practitioner but was no match for the six police officers, and I was pulled over. The crowd had dispersed by now and only Dafa practitioners and police officers remained. Most practitioners were beaten to the ground. I could still hear "Falun Dafa is great" and "Falun Dafa is a righteous way!" as well as the police's cursing and the practitioners' screams.

At this time I saw three cordons of police surrounding the whole Tiananmen Square. The outermost string consisted of police officers, the middle were military police, and the innermost layer were riot-police in full riot gear wearing steel helmets and holding wooden clubs. Only Jiang would abuse his power in this manner to suppress people.

As if on cue, the police struck the practitioners' heads with wooden clubs and they just about struck down each practitioner with a single blow. Some practitioners shouted, "Falun Dafa is great;" other practitioners did the Dafa exercises; several practitioners unfurled banners, but they passed out from the blows and fell down. The police then dragged them toward the centre of the square by their feet. By this time I was at the centre of the square and saw a police officer pinning down a female practitioner who shouted, "Falun Dafa is great." He violently kicked the practitioner's head until blood ran down her face and her eyeball popped out of the socket. The practitioner screamed and held her eyeball with her hand, yet the police cursed and still dragged her to the centre. I saw that the middle of the square was made up of piles of Dafa practitioners. The police were throwing the practitioners down like sacks of potatoes.

They threw a practitioner into the pile and hit a female practitioner with a baby on her chest and a four-year-old boy clinging to her leg and crying. The baby fell and was buried in the pile. The female practitioner and I frantically dug for the baby, and when we pulled it out, its eyes were closed and it was not making any sound. The female practitioner clutched the baby to her chest.

The police tossed the practitioners into two military trucks with canvas roofs and drove away. I suddenly understood the brutal reality and shouted, "Don't let the criminals take them away! Protect the injured practitioners!" A police officer pointed at me with an electric baton and said, "You! Kneel down!" I said, "Why should I kneel if I didn't commit any crimes? You are the criminals!" I pointed at the officer and he was furious. He dropped his baton and went after other practitioners.

I held hands with other practitioners and we surrounded injured practitioners. At this time "Falun Dafa is great" and "Falun Dafa is a righteous way" reverberated between heaven and earth. We separated the police from the injured practitioners and they violently kicked our backs and legs, but we refused to loosen our grip on each other's hands, even when we were kicked to the ground.

One foreigner took many pictures, but a group of police ran up and smashed his camera, took out the film and took away the foreigner. Many buses came, filled with military police. We were forcibly put into these buses and were taken to suburban Beijing. When the buses stopped to pay a toll, I heard someone say "19 buses."

The whole violent incident lasted 40 minutes. We were taken to an empty shed where male and female practitioners were separated. I heard a police officer say there were more than 2,600 male practitioners and more than 2,800 female practitioners. Around 11:00 p.m., Dafa practitioners were still being arrested and sent in, and many female practitioners held their children. Many practitioners came as a whole family. Every time a practitioner arrived, we stood up and applauded to encourage him or her. In the evening we were separated for interrogation. We were then sent back to our own cities. Determined practitioners were sent to forced labour camps.

Because I didn't want to implicate my family and my superiors, I firmly refused to give my name and identity and later held a seven-day hunger strike in Beijing. The next day around 11:00 p.m., the police took me to a detention centre in suburban Beijing. I was not allowed to eat or sleep for two days, so I began a hunger strike. They put me in a metal cage and ordered the inmates to search me. They found my ID and verified that I was a police officer, so they asked me not to expose my true identity and called me Dafa practitioner No. 13. Because I held a hunger strike, the police ordered the inmates to monitor me. In the daytime I was ordered to mop the floor and work. They took turns interrogating me. At night I was forced to work as a guard. Usually a shift is two hours, but I was made to work three to five hours.

I always firmly believed in Dafa and Master and overcame the difficulties of the hunger strike and experienced the magnificent power of Falun Dafa.

On the seventh day I was sent to No. 1 Detention Centre in Jilin City and locked in the same room with TB patients who vomited blood. The guards didn't allow us to open the window or the door for seventeen days, yet they sprayed the hallways where the guards walked, with disinfectants three times a day.

With firm belief in Master's Fa principles, I defeated a potential TB bacteria attack and experienced the magnificent power of Falun Dafa, but also the baseness of the persecutors. On the seventh day of my detention, the guards said they would send me home, while in fact they were secretly taking me to Heizuizi Labour Camp in Changchun City for two years of forced labour.

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