Testimony from a Practitioner in Ireland: Criminals are Often Encouraged by Authorities to Persecute Falun Gong Practitioners in China

My name is Jiang Guangyu. I am a twenty-nine-old actor and have practised Falun Gong since 1999. I have been living in Ireland for two and a half years now after being forced out of my hometown in China just as my acting career was enjoying great success. I have applied to the Irish government for refugee status.

On July 21st 1999, I heard that the Jiang regime labelled Falun Gong an illegal organisation and prohibited the people [of China] from adhering to the principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. I went to the Appeals Office of the Central Government to tell the authorities the truth about Falun Gong. As soon as I arrived at the Appeals Office, there were uniformed and plainclothes police all around the office. All of the police were fully armed. From time to time, they would stop pedestrians and ask, “Are you Falun Gong practitioners?” Those that answered “Yes” were dragged quickly into a police truck and beaten violently by a crowd of policemen. I saw so many practitioners’ whose faces were bloody as a result of severe injuries inflicted by the beatings. I could not tolerate such cruelty. I walked up to request that they halt the beatings. As I did, they kicked me cruelly and threw me into the truck.

Along with some other practitioners, I was taken to an office near Beijing. I was discharged at 7:00 pm that night. However, this was just the beginning of Jiang’s attempt to destroy Falun Gong. From then on, Falun Gong practitioners continued to petition peacefully to the Beijing Appeals Office, to request that Chinese authorities stop the persecution and restore the reputation of Falun Gong.

About a year later, on April 25th 2000, I decided to appeal at the Beijing Office again. I stood at the West Gate of Zhongnanhai [the central compound of the Chinese Communist Party] and practised the Falun Gong exercise peacefully. Shortly after I raised my arms, a policeman swiftly ran towards me to grab my arm and began to choke me. “What are you doing here?” he asked. I said that I came to petition peacefully as a Falun Gong practitioner. I was then sent to a nearby office for detention. Many practitioners were detained there. When we began to practise the exercises, the guards would threaten to shock us with electric batons. After that, I was sent to another detention centre near Beijing, where I witnessed an inhuman scene: In the freezing cold of April in Beijing, a prison guard forced male practitioners to strip completely and to stand on the cement floor outside in the freezing cold. On top of this, the guards poured basins of cold water over them in the morning. They added at least another 100 basins in the afternoon. This kind of torture in the freezing winter in northern China is a very common penalty for those held in detention centres or prisons.

Their intention is very clear: to force Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief in Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. Practitioners shared prison cells with criminals charged with legitimate and serious offences, and the guards encouraged the criminals to persecute the practitioners further, telling them that their prison sentence would be reduced if they cooperated. In the case of practitioners being tortured to death, they would simply say it was suicide. The real killer would not suffer any consequences. A policeman told me proudly: “In the first two months, I saw a practitioner sent in with two healthy feet, but when he was moved out he was crippled and had to crawl.” He seemed to show off and boast about his “great achievement.”

I was locked in a room, smaller than 10 square metres and without any bed or bathroom. However, since a lot of policemen had seen me on TV, they did not beat me. After twenty four hours, I was released, but not before I had witnessed some of the crimes committed by Jiang’s regime.

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