Austrian Falun Gong Practitioners: "My experience applying for refugee status in Austria"

Extension of my passport is unreasonably refused by the Chinese Embassy

On February 27th, 2006, I submitted my passport to the Chinese Embassy in Austria to apply for an extension before it expired. A staff member in the Embassy accepted my application and told me that I could get my passport back the following week.

On March 6th, 2006, the first time I went to the Embassy in Austria for my passport, the reply I got was that as the national emblem on the cover of my passport showed sign of wear and tear, they would ask their superior for instructions. They asked me to leave my telephone number and told me that they would let me know when they had the result. I felt somewhat strange because I did not hear from them despite waiting for many days.

On March 10th, when I again went to the Embassy for my passport, the reply was: “According to the related regulation, we can not extend your passport, because your actions have endangered the safety of China.” “Is it because I practice Falun Gong?” I asked. “Yes, that is right,” he answered. I thought, “How can a group of people who cultivate according to the principle of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance threaten others and their own country?” In the criminal law of China, endangering the safety of the country is a very severe crime. The top penalty is death. How could a diplomatic institution pass a judgment instead of a judicial organ? I asked them if they had got a written adjudication, they answered “No.”

The staff in the Embassy did not want to carry on discussing the matter with me. Then I handed in an open letter, which was about spot checks on 25284 Falun Gong practitioners conducted by State Bureau of Physical Education between September and October of 1998. The total number of those who had become healthy and whose illnesses were removed reached as high as 97.9 %. For this, the State Bureau of Physical Education in China spoke highly of Falun Gong. After reading the open letter, the staff member asked me to wait for a while. Shortly afterwards I was asked to go to the reception room and have a talk with the person in charge.

The person in charge said, “We know that you are a Falun Gong practitioner. You often distribute information to Chinese tourists and take part in activities, such as the peaceful petition near the Chinese Embassy in Austria with other practitioners every week. There is no problem about the wear and tear on the cover of your passport. As long as you write a guarantee saying that you will give up practising Falun Gong, your passport will be extended. And you will have no trouble when you go back to China”. I answered him very clearly: “I won’t give up practising Falun Gong. Neutrality does not exist in front of kindness and evilness, right and wrong. Ignoring the evil persecution of kind and good people means conniving the evilness.Crimes without being punished by the law and plagued by morality cannot but overspread viciously and finally those who keep silent will become the next victim”.

The person in charge asked, “If your passport is not extended, what will you do?” “I can do nothing but apply for asylum”, I replied. The person in charge told me, “Now Austria has adopted a new law for refugees, and the investigation is very strict. I hope you will carefully consider it. ”

My fellow Chinese are being cruelly persecuted by the CCP authorities. Up to the present, the number of Falun Gong practitioners in china who have been illegally persecuted to death has reached as high as 3020 (The time period of statistics: From July 1999 – April 2007, it is 93 months. The number of people: 3020 all together. The average number of people who have been persecuted to death every month: 32.) How can I look on this with folded arms? Together with all Falun Dafa practitioners in the world, I will try my utmost to call on to stop this inhuman persecution of Falun Gong practitioners both physically and spiritually. Overseas, Falun Gong practitioners’ passports have been confiscated, refused to give extension and refused to renew, this is happening in 18 countries such as Austria, Canada, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Singapore, the UK, Ireland, Holland, France, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Belgium, the USA, Germany and New Zealand. Even a series of serious incidents of persecution have happened such as some people sent by the CCP going to Falun Gong practitioners’ home beating them up, destroying and hijacking their goods. Recently, Jiang’s group has also participated in planning and kidnapping a Falun Gong practitioner back to China for further persecution.

Applying for asylum

In the middle ten days of March 2006, I told local Falun Gong practitioners of my experience in the Chinese Embassy and my decision applying for asylum. From then on, Falun Gong practitioners in Austria started, unselfishly and warmly, helping me. My heart had been filled with moving warmth which accompanied me in tiding over numerous bitter days and nights.

On March 16th, 2006, the Falun Dafa Information centre quickly reported my experience with pictures and words and carried it on the internet. A western practitioner, who came to Austria in early years because of the persecution by a former Communist country in East Europe, passed on my experience to the Austrian Parliament. Some western fellow practitioner interviewed me through the media and broadcast it over the local radio station.

In the later part of March, accompanied by a western practitioner, we went to Caritas, an official Refugee Consultation Centre in Vienna, Austria. There we met staff in different departments. The western practitioner told them about the cruel and illegal persecution of Falun Gong in China and my experience. Finally a legal worker in Caritas decided to apply for asylum to the Federation of the Refugee Office in Austria on my behalf. During the process, my client told me that as Austria carried out a new law of refugees on January 1st, 2006, my case was the first one for her after the new law was implemented; therefore, she was not so sure about it. She also told me that once the Refugee Office did not accept my asylum application, I would be deported to China. Under such a condition, she finally asked me to confirm if I decided to have her to be my representative. Through the interpreter, I peacefully asked her whether my conditions accorded with that of refugees, she said, “Of course.” On March 26th, I signed a power of attorney. Later the western practitioner told me: “This is your test. Are you afraid? Let your fear go with the wind.” It was in early part of March that media in the west reported that Jiang’s group removed organs from live Falun Gong practitioners in China. The evidence was irrefutable. Take liver transplants as an example. Medically, the liver is the only organ a person has, if this person’s liver has been removed, he will die. According to official statistics in China, from 1991 to 1998, within these eight years, the total number of people who had a liver transplant was only 78. Since 1999 (When the persecution of Falun Gong started in mainland China), the number of liver transplants has been madly increasing. In 1999, the number of liver transplant was 118; in 2000, the number was 254, and in 2001, it was 486. In these three years, the total number of liver transplant was 996. Until 2003, the number of liver transplant rose sharply over 3000. Those who keep silent, do you dare to insure that on certain day when your liver or the liver of your relative who you love dearly still belong to you?

As Traiskirchen, a refugee camp where I first submitted my asylum application to was thirty minutes’ drive from Vienna; my client found me a driver and also a companion.

He was an old man in his sixties and a Christian from Austria. After his retirement from a bank, he worked for Caritas.

On March 30th at 7 am, the old gentleman came to collect me at my student accommodation. This day was also the day when I lived in Austria for exact four years.

When we reached the refugee camp, as my initial application procedure was arranged on the afternoon, the old gentleman decided to use this period of time driving me to a nearby well-known small town for a cup of coffee. I thought there was a lot of truth clarifying materials about Falun Dafa in German, and this was also a god-given opportunity for local people to learn Falun Dafa. When we got there, the old gentleman found an open cafe in a commercial street where I was distributing material to passers-by, the old gentleman was quietly reading my power of attorney and many other material about Falun Dafa reported in Austria. When we went back to the refugee camp on the afternoon, we met four Chinese men who had also applied for asylum there.

On April 6th, it was the first time for an official to arrange to have a talk with me. The talk would determine whether Federation of Refugee Office in Austria accept and hear my case. If they did not, I would be possibly deported. During the talk lasted about an hour and half, I was asked about thirty questions such as whether I was a Falun Dafa practitioner or only a sympathiser, when and where I started practising Falun Gong, and something about my practising Falun Gong in Austria and about myself. After the talk, my interpreter was pleased to tell me, “They have accepted your application.” My international application for asylum would be officially delivered to the Federation of Refugee Office in Austria and finally they would decide whether I would be given a refugee status.

In the middle part of October 2006, my representative informed me that the Federation of Refugee Office would interrogate me by a legal procedure and then decide on my international application for asylum. My client told me that the officer of the Refugee Office who was appointed at the earlier time for interrogating me was kind and familiar with her. But the appointed officer was not able to come on the 16th for some reason and was replaced by another officer of the Refugee Office. According to her, this officer was well known in the whole legal sector for his sternness and high rejection rate. For this, my client, who felt very strained and told me to get mentally prepared, asked me whether or not I needed a senior solicitor specialising in area of the Refugee Law. I told her that I did not need. On that day, we went together with two Falun Gong practitioners, a western Doctor and his Chinese wife, went to the Federation of Refugee Office. At the beginning, the attitude of the officer was not very friendly. As the interview continued, his attitude gradually became kind. The interview lasted about two hours, during which, he asked, “Since you came to Vienna in 2002, why didn’t you apply for asylum then but waited for the time when your passport would soon be expired?” I told him, “I love my motherland. I don’t want to lose my nationality easily”. In fact, I had much to say but I did not. At that time, I had been wishing: before my passport expired, I hoped that the CCP would stop its illegal persecution of Falun Gong so that I could be able to go back to the motherland I miss.

On March 5th, 2007, I received the verdict of the Austrian Federation of Refugee Office. I got refugee status according to “Asylum Law”. On April 5th, I got a Refugee Passport endorsed by the Austrian Republic. Until this day, the procedure of my asylum application lasted one year and one month and nine days.

I understood two points when I was granted asylum.

1. Up to the present, nearly for eight years, around 100 million Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted in mainland China, about a million people are being illegally detained in prisons, labour camps, brainwashing classes and mental hospitals. A great number of innocent Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally persecuted to death. Even so, the persecution is still going on, which is really happening in a so-called civilised world. It has already been proved by European Alliance and governments of other countries please do not doubt the abilities of intelligence agencies from European countries confirming the shocking crimes which have never happened on this earth before. Otherwise foreign countries governments will not grant real Falun Gong practitioners’ asylum applications. Among asylum seekers are Afghan, Chechens, people from Kosovo and Iraqi, most of whom are facing danger of losing their lives because of bloody battles happening in their own countries, and they can do nothing but choose the way of escape. In the eyes of officers in the Refugee Office, in present China where there is no war, but real Falun Gong practitioners are also facing threat of losing their lives in mainland China, so they need salvation from international communities.

2. Falun Dafa is very good and righteous, which has been recognised by immigration officers. Falun Dafa takes Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance as its criterion; it is to cultivate kindness and is peaceful. All its activities are open and voluntary. Cultivation of Falun Gong does not only make one healthy but also make one become honest, kind, tolerant and peaceful. Through the cultivation, it can unlock one’s wisdom and make cultivators gradually reach the state of discerning their lives and realm. For a society, cultivating Falun Gong can increase its stability, forgiveness and peacefulness and improve people’s quality in both their spirit and lives. If it were like shocking lies the CCP media has made such as that people killed themselves were resulted from practicing Falun Gong, in over eighty countries and areas in the present world, can their governments grant asylum to real Falun Dafa practitioners? Grant their own future citizens? Can they allow groups of Falun Gong practitioners exist in their own countries? Because when one has been granted a refugee status, it means that he or she can live in this European country permanently, he or she has permit to work and get Austrian nationality in few years. Even readers who have received primary education can tell what is right or wrong, and what is kind and what is evil. I sincerely hope that readers who have read this article, can come and learn the truth.

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