Article from Main Post Newspaper in Germany: Deportation Topic Discussed in Berlin

An asylum seeker’s application rejected in Würzburg resulted in imprisonment in a forced labour camp in China
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The Lower House of the German Parliament and the country’s national press are seriously discussing the deportation of asylum seeker Jiang Renzheng and his family. As reported previously, the Falun Gong adherent was sentenced to three years in a labour camp on his return to China and is now under house arrest. He is expected to renounce Falun Gong, but Jiang refuses to comply with this demand. The movement that teaches people to attain morals and ethics through self-discipline has been banned in China since July 1999.

The Würzburg Administrative Court rejected Jiang’s asylum request in March 2005. The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees reversed its decision in November — only after he was persecuted and sentenced in China — and approved Jiang’s asylum request retroactively. However, this delayed recognition of the family’s plight does not do that family any good. Jiang’s passport was confiscated and he cannot leave China.

Friends of Jiang said that the twenty-nine year old fell ill after several months in the slave labour camp and the intense brainwashing and is cared for by his parents. German magazine Der Spiegel reported only recently about the odyssey of this Chinese family.

In the meantime, Elsenfelder Mittenberg county’s Member of Parliament Heidi Wright has taken an interest and is working with the Committee on Petitions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that such cases do not happen in the future. Wright is a representative of the Committee, which is working on resolving a number of Falun Gong issues. When contacted, she said that one must achieve an improved human rights situation in China through diplomatic means. The same applies to the Jiang Renzheng case.

Wright promised to keep an eye on the Jiang situation. At the same time, the representative hopes to make a political difference and bring an end to the persecution of Falun Gong adherents in China. Despite the dramatic fate suffered by Jiang Renzheng, this case opened the eyes of the Federal Refugee authorities and the Administrative Court to the impending dangers in China. However this does not represent a carte blanche for self-declared Falun Gong adherents. She said, “Each case will be carefully screened on a case-by-case basis. When in doubt, the decision would be tilted towards the asylum seeker and will not go against him or her.”

Originally published in German at

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