A 23-year-old woman whose father was tortured to death for his faith in the spiritual practice Falun Gong collected signatures and thumbprints from 15,000 residents of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province in a petition that urges the Communist regime to investigate his case and to free her imprisoned mother and sister. This is the third time in the last two months that Chinese citizens have signed petitions on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners.
“As a girl I do not have money nor do I have power,” wrote Qin Rongqian in her petition dated May 31, “But I believe in justice and the Chinese people’s moral values. How can those who have power jail and murder ordinary people at will?” Several articles published by the Falun Gong website Minghui provide the source for this article.
On Feb. 26, 2011, Qin Rongqian was informed that her father Qin Yueming had died at Jiamusi Prison in Heilongjiang days after being taken by authorities to a special task force in charge of making Falun Gong practitioners renounce their beliefs. Two other practitioners of Falun Gong were tortured to death by the task force within weeks of Yueming’s death.
“Every signature and thumbprint of yours, your kindness and attention to the matter will help my family find justice for my father and freedom for my sister and mother,” wrote Qin in her petition.
Rongqian’s mother Wang Xiuqing and her sister Hailong, who is younger than Rongqian, were arrested and sentenced in November 2011, to one and one-half years of forced labor.
In Chinese culture, thumbprints represent a commitment to serious oaths.
Demand For Truth
On Feb. 26, 2011, the Qin family received a call from the prison telling them that Yueming “suddenly died” as his day of release was coming close.
“This was a big blow,” wrote Rongqian. “For the past nine years we hoped to get him back to us, and our hope was smashed.”
The family rushed to the prison only to witness a scene of horror. “My father’s facial expressions clearly indicated that he had been suffering. His lips had turned purple. When we flipped his body over, blood poured out from his mouth and nose. His chest, neck, back, waist, and legs were a dark purple or black color and covered in bruises,” said Rongqian.
Rongqian, Hailong, and Wang Xiuqing rejected the explanation from the prison that Yueming died of “natural causes” and “a heart attack.”
The prison refused to give an official statement with the reason for the death or the video recording from the surveillance camera taken of Yueming before he died. After many requests from the Qins, prison officials told them that the video recordings “were wiped out.”
The prison suggested that the case could be solved just between them and the Qin family, to which the Qin family answered “No.”
An insider told Rongqian that her father died of violent force-feeding after the feeding tubes touched his lung. “Within six days [after being put in the task force], my father was tortured to death,” said Rongqian.
In the following five months, Rongqian and her sister and mother visited many officials and demanded they investigate the truth behind Yueming’s death. Everyone refused.
On Aug. 5, 2011, Jiamusi Prison informed them, “Qin Yueming died of natural causes, and therefore no compensation will be issued.” The Qin family was repeatedly followed and threatened by the authorities as they sought justice for Yueming’s death.
On Nov. 13, 2011, Harbin City’s Public Security Bureau arrested Wang Xiuqing and Hailong in a joint effort with Shuangcheng City’s Public Security Bureau. They have since been detained at Qianjin Labor Camp in Harbin City.
Representatives from Heilongjiang Province’s 610 Office—the Party organ set up specifically to persecute Falun Gong—and the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee held brainwashing sessions at the labor camp and demanded that Wang Xiuqing and Hailong withdraw their appeal for an official investigation into the death of the girls’ father.
On Dec. 31, 2011, the Lunar Calendar birthday that Rongqian shares with her mother, she attempted to send her mother and sister a package. In response, the local Public Security Bureau tied Hailong to a tiger bench—a form of torture in which the victim is secured to a bench, with the knees pressed down and the ankles elevated—for eight hours.
The Missed Reunion
Rongqian’s father Yueming started practicing Falun Gong in 1997, and was known throughout the village for his good deeds for others. As a shop owner he served his customers well.
He also helped repair damaged roads in his village. Fellow villagers said that they were taken care of by “the Falun Gong practitioner.”
After the former head of the CCP Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution against Falun Gong in 1999, Yueming was targeted. He spent three years in labor camp from 1999 to 2002.
Shortly after his release, the police came to arrest Yueming again. Fearing not having her father by her side again, Rongqian tried to stop the police. That year, Rongqian was 13 years old. The police detained her for a month, which was illegal given Rongqian’s age, and interrogated her about the identities of Falun Gong practitioners. Yueming was given another sentence of 10 years. He was scheduled to be released this year.
Wang Xiuqing was also frequently jailed after 1999. In order to support herself and her sister Rongqian started washing dishes in restaurants when she was 16.
“When we saw others gather with their families and parents, my sister and I also hoped to be with our parents. Everyday, we counted how many days were left until dad could come home,” wrote Rongqian in her petition letter. “Our hearts broke after knowing that he died in prison.”
Yueming’s case is similar to that of Falun Gong practitioners in Zhouguantun Village in Hebei Province and in Tangshan City, also in Hebei Province. All three men were admired by their neighbors who, given the opportunity, have braved possible retaliation to stand up for them.
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 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 any longer to participate in the persecution. 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.
Read the original Chinese article.
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