WASHINGTON—Exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer used her unique perspective to describe Shen Yun Performing Arts at Kennedy Center on Friday, having seen it twice in four days.
“Democracy, human rights, ancient times, and modern times were all depicted [in the performance],” said Ms. Kadeer.
She used to be one of China’s richest women. It was not long until she was labeled as a “public enemy” by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1999 and jailed for five years for openly criticizing about Beijing’s “Iron Fist Policy” in Xinjiang.
Ms. Kadeer noted that the Shen Yun perfromance Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution "accurately delineated reality in China." It portrays the story of a father who is tortured to death for practicing the spiritual discipline Falun Gong.
“In my own jail, I saw the beating of Falun Gong practitioners,” she said. Since the CCP banned Falun Gong in 1999, the regime sent hundreds thousands of Falun Gong practitioners prisons and labor camps for refusing to renounce their belief, attempting to "reeducate" and torturing many of them.
“I saw them bashing his [a Falun Gong practitioner’s] legs. I saw his arms with my own eyes. Because I’ve stayed with them in jail, once I watched the program depicting the persecution, my tears dropped,” she said.
“His [the lead dancer's] heroic appearance remained even when so many people were hitting him. He still did not say anything. Shen Yun’s depiction was so similar to reality. That’s why I was so touched today,” she said.
When asked which performance she appreciated most, Ms. Kadeer said, “I like all of them. They are all wonderful and each one is better than the previous. The singing was also fantastic."
Since the end of 2006, the now 61-year-old Ms. Kadeer has been the president of the World Uighur Congress (WUC) headquartered in Munich, Germany and Washington D.C.
Her stance, she said, has never been opposed to the Chinese Han people—the ethnic majority in China, but against the CCP.
“The Chinese communist regime exists… to spread lies. Today’s performance made it as if the Chinese Communist Party was not there anymore. The performance was so great,” said Ms. Kadeer.
After staging one VIP show and six public shows at the Kennedy Center from August 25 to 30, Shen Yun Performing Arts will return to the venue with completely new programs from January 20 to 24, 2010.
For more information please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
NTDTV, a media partner of The Epoch Times and also a sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts, contributed to this article.