German Newspaper Rheinpfalz Reports on the Release of an Imprisoned Chinese Practitioner who Returned to Germany

GERMERSHEIM: Xiong Wei from China is released from detention thanks to Germersheimer student’s efforts
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Xiong Wei has gained her freedom! Thanks to many people living in Germany who demanded, through signing their name, the freedom of the Berlin Technological University student who was imprisoned in China, among them many students in Germersheim. Xiong Wei, like many of her fellow countrywomen, was detained and tortured solely because she practises Falun Gong and publicly admits to practising this Buddhist meditation system.

More than seventy million people in China practised the five exercises, which are similar to Yoga. This practice is said to harmonise body and mind with the cosmos. In 1992, Master Li Hongzhi brought Falun Gong to the public. Within a short time, the exercises became popular throughout China because of their impact and benefits to one’s health. The 33-year-old Chinese lady told us in Rheinpfalz that the popularity of Falun Gong among the masses became a thorn in the side of the regime. Mostly they were apprehensive about Falun Gong’s principles, because they are based on “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.”

Exposing the truth about the persecution was one of the main reasons for Xiong Wei distributing flyers in Beijing, in January of 2002. These flyers were meant to make her fellow citizens aware of the persecution of Falun Gong adherents by their regime. She was well aware that her actions could lead to arrest and torture. Therefore, she quit her job with the German heating technology subsidiary of “Buderus,” located in Beijing.

What ensued made her a martyr. Three policemen detained Xiong Wei for six hours in a cell, with standing room for one only. Three bars surrounded the imprisoned person who could not eat, drink or use the toilet.

Subsequently, she was held for three months in an interim holding prison in North Beijing. She shared a cell with twenty other women. She was allowed a wooden bench for sleeping, but had to share it with three women. For food she was given highly salted Chinese cabbage full of maggots. During that period Xiong Wei was held in an apartment for two weeks with so-called re-education personnel who talked to her day and night, forbid her to sleep, beat her up and threatened to break each of her fingers, one at a time, if she would not sign a document renouncing Falun Gong.

During that time, she was presented with a document which told her that she was sentenced to two years of forced labour. There was no court hearing. At a collection point she was forced into hard labour, sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. She was forced to put labels on and pack chopsticks without a break.

On April the 18th 2002, Xiong Wei was taken to a women’s forced labour camp where some inmates who went on a strike were threatened with one hundred knee-bends. Also the women, especially Falun Gong adherents, suffered psychological torture. Even during a bathroom break the so-called privileged inmates, mostly women who were addicted to drugs and who were assigned special duties by the guards, watched them. Re-education broadcasts on television were broadcast agonisingly loud day and night. Xiong Wei also suffered the torture method “Flying.” Under this method, the arms are twisted to the back, and then tied above the head, which makes blood accumulate in the head.

Xiong Wei told us all this, yet we perceived no hatred of her tormentors in her. The meditative techniques of Falun Gong and its teachings of great compassion helped her survive this internment without becoming psychologically impaired. After she was released in January of 2004, she endured being under house arrest at for another nine months until the day in September when she could leave for Germany.

Xiong Wei was more fortunate than others. She had made many friends while studying in Germany. These friends fought for her release. They sent postcards to the forced labour camp, appealing for her release. They also collected many signatures. Christine Gaeckler of the International Society for Human Rights was one of those appealing for her release. Others included the students Jing Wang and Xiu Wang, who were enrolled at the Germersheim University. Germany’s Federal Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, delivered an appeal to the Chinese Regime for the release of Xiong Wei and other fellow sufferers.

Xiong Wei told us that it is highly unusual for anyone to be released after two years. She also feels most fortunate that she survived the detention. She is extremely grateful to the German people for not giving up on her. After she was released from the camp, she was able to receive the camp parcels that never reached her containing scarves, gloves and chocolate.

Xiong Wei hopes to see a little of the help on her behalf be transferred to other detained Falun Gong adherents. She gives speeches in Germany and tells about her experience and suffering in China. She wants to insure that people understand that Falun Gong is more spiritual oriented and not revolutionary. She states clearly that she is not looking towards change in the regime, but only that people are allowed to practice Falun Gong. She, Xiu Wang and Christine Gaeckler hope with all their heart that the Germans continue to appeal for human rights in China.

Originally published in German at

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