Annie Yang is a 42-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from China. Agnes Wilton, a resident of London, has known Annie (Feng) Yang for 10 years. They are not only business partners but also very close friends. Mrs. Wilton treats Annie as her own daughter.
Annie was arrested at a friend’s house in Beijing between 10:00 and 10.30pm (local time) on 1st March 2005 after she went there to give them some Falun Gong materials. The policemen immediately took her back to her flat. They showed her a search warrant and asked her to sign it. She refused and told the police that she had done nothing wrong. After forcefully searching Ms Yang’s flat, the policemen took her away, along with her computer and other property. They left behind her 14-year-old, frightened son to fend for himself. The boy could do nothing but phone other family members for help in the late night after they left.
After the arrest, Ms Yang’s family members requested to visit her but were refused. No one knows where she is. UK Falun Gong practitioners are calling for the world’s support in finding and rescuing Feng Yang from illegal imprisonment in China.
Feng Yang was born in 1963. She lives in Shuanyushu in the Haidian District of Beijing. She is divorced and has a 14-year-old son. She ran her own antique business and used to study at a language school in the UK. She often travelled between Beijing and London on business.
Mrs. Wilton has known Ms Yang for 10 years since she came to England to learn English. Later, they became business partners. Mrs. Wilton said, “The arrest has affected my business. She used to be my contact in China but now I do not have any there.”
Ms Yang is also a close friend to Mrs Wilto:, “She’s been coming, staying with me and helping me in the shop. Not only that: if I was ill, she looked after me; cooked and cleaned the house. She lived here just like it was her home. I keep an empty room for her. I treat her as a daughter. ”
Mrs. Wilton, who does not practise Falun Gong, thinks the arrest of Ms Yang is wrong. She has witnessed positive changes of Ms Yang since she started to practise Falun Gong. Mrs. Wilton said, “Falun Gong is very peaceful. It does no harm and is not political. Everyone around me likes Annie.”
Phil FitzGerald from Ireland, another friend of Ms Yang who has known her for 6 years, was “shocked and horrified” by the arrest. He said, “I feel deeply sorry for her. She is a very good person, honest and kind.”
Both Mrs. Wilton and Mr. FitzGerald, together with Ms Yang’s other friends, are working hard to appeal for her release.
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