A Chinese family has been reunited in Australia after years of constant monitoring, harassment and fearing for their lives in China.
Mr. Fu Qiang Gao, his wife Shu Qing Shi and their daughter Yan Gao of mainland China were reunited with their son David when they arrived in Australia in late Nov 2011.
For the past 6 years, the family had stayed in touch via phone calls, but avoided any conversation about the reality of their daily lives in China.
Monitored by Chinese police, they were unable to share their struggles in living under the largest suppression of a spiritual group in modern times—the persecution of Falun Gong, otherwise known as Falun Dafa.
Although an extremely popular practice of over 70 million practitioners at the time, in 1999 Falun Gong was outlawed by the Chinese Communist Party. Practitioners who do not recant their beliefs are subjected to well-documented human rights violations, including torture and forced labour.
A few months before Mr. Gao’s family arrived in Australia, the local police called him twice, saying that his wife and daughter needed to come to the local station. Mr. Gao knew full well that such a request may end in his wife and daughter being sent to prison or “brainwashing” camps.
His daughter, Yan , told The Epoch Times that officials at these centres are paid large commissions to ‘reform’ practitioners and write letters renouncing Falun Dafa.
“Thousands of practitioners who won’t waver often will not make it out alive,” she said.
Amnesty International, the US State Department and other agencies continue to report on the torture and ill treatment that Falun Dafa practitioners undergo in Chinese detention centres. Western Governments, however, have often failed to address the issue directly with Chinese officials.
The Gao family’s neighbour, Li Xin also a Falun Dafa practitioner was sentenced to 6 years in prison on July 28, 2011 for disseminating Falun Dafa materials. The aim of these materials was to inform members of the public about the horrific persecution going on right under their noses. Li’s family is unable to see him and has no idea how he is.
“With fellow practitioners being persecuted, we felt extremely scared and anxious,” said daughter Yan.
Naturally fearing the worst and at great expense, the Gao family made their way out of China. The fortune of coming to Australian and being reunited with David make it possible for them to tell their story and appeal for the many Falun Dafa practitioners who continue to suffer back in their homeland.