NEW YORK—Sisters Ma Chunmei and Ma Chunxia, who escaped the persecution of Falun Gong in China, stood outside of the Chinese Consulate in New York Monday and called for the Chinese communist regime to release their other sister, Ma Chunling.
Ma Chunling is a hard-working insurance saleswoman who was arrested on Aug. 29 in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian. She was reported to the authorities by a cruise ship crewman to whom she mentioned Falun Gong.
Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that involves living according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance and doing five sets of meditative exercises.
In 1999 then-paramount leader Jiang Zemin began a campaign to eradicate the practice in China. Jiang feared how popular the practice had become (100 million had taken up the practice by early 1999, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center) and the attraction to the Chinese people of its traditional moral teachings.
As a result of Jiang’s campaign, which still continues 10 years after Jiang left office, Chunling is being held at a local detention center called Yaojia.
“She is the sweetest among the three of us. Since I’m the youngest in my family, she always looked after me growing up,” said a heartbroken Chunxia, who now lives in New York.
Chunmei, the oldest of the three sisters, resides in Washington, D.C. She and Chunxia made their way to the United States two years ago by applying for asylum from the United Nations refugee office in Thailand.
Like her sister, Chunmei was persecuted for her belief in Falun Gong while in China. From 2000 to 2004, she endured long hours of labor, brainwashing, and torture in a concentration camp called Heizuizi in northeastern China’s Jilin Province.
Physical abuse was a daily routine at Heizuizi, and authorities made sure that camp guards did all they could to try to get practitioners of Falun Gong to sign documents renouncing their belief. For those that refused to do so, like Chunmei, torture methods such as the “deathbed” are used.
She recalled making chopsticks and wrapping up herbal nutrition supplements in a ‘filthy environment.’
“The ‘deathbed’ was a metal board with chains and handcuffs to lock up one’s four limbs. Once, I was put on a death bed for three days,” said a distraught Chunmei. “I had bruises from being beaten all over my body. When I was finally allowed to get off from the bed, I felt like a dead person. Then I understood why it was called the ‘deathbed.’”
Labor camps like Heizuizi are tools for profit used to enrich communist authorities.
“Everyday we had to work for 16 to 17 hours. When we went to the bathroom and did not come out as quickly as the guards wanted, they would yell at us and beat us,” said Chunmei.
She recalled binding English books of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales to be exported, and making chopsticks and wrapping up herbal nutrition supplements in a “filthy environment.”
Both Chunxia and Chunmei were introduced to Falun Gong by Chunling.
“Falun Gong teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Before we started practicing Falun Gong, some of my customers with whom we did not get along were like enemies to me. But I later started treating our relationship as required by the practice, so the ice between us was removed,” said Chunmei who owned a gas station in Jilin Province before the persecution. “Many locals became practitioners after hearing about Falun Gong from us. Every so often, about 70 to 80 people practiced the exercises of Falun Gong in a small area near our gas station [before the persecution began].”
“I could name a dozen girlfriends who have lost their lives in the persecution. I don’t want the same to happen to Chunling,” said Chunmei. “I want this brutal persecution to stop, and I want Chunling to come out of it alive.”
persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing to participate in the persecution any longer. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the
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