Witnessing History: One Chinese Woman's Fight for Freedom
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"A glimpse not just of the true face of the Chinese government but of the threat holiness poses to the powerful. . . . A useful counterbalance to the reckless enthusiasm of our leaders and media for the Chinese miracle. . . . Should be mandatory reading."-Sydney Morning Herald
Zheng (Jennifer) Zeng was a graduate in science from Beijing University. She was a wife, a mother, and a Communist Party member. But because she followed a spiritual practice called Falun Gong, her life in China was shattered. Adhering to the practice's simple tenets of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance, she was amazed that the Party would institute a crack down, arrest her and demand that she recant. After twice being held at a detention center and refusing, she was sentenced without trial to reeducation through forced labor. Her "enlightenment"-in part undertaken by fellow prisoners incarcerated for prostitution, pornography and drug addiction-took the form of beatings, torture with electric prods, starvation, sleep deprivation, and forced labor. She was compelled to knit for days at a time, her hands bleeding, to produce goods contracted for sale in the US market. Many Falun Gong practitioners died under the harsh conditions. Zheng Zeng was lucky.
Thousands of others remain deprived by an oppressive Chinese government of their freedom of speech and assembly and the freedom to believe as they choose. This is the testament to her ordeal and theirs.
Jennifer Zeng was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1966. She now lives in Australia.
willing to write such a statement. All I knew, though, was that Falun Gong did not call on us to do anything other than practise Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Our teacher had not taught us anything else but to do good, to do more good and in everything to take an upright path. Where on earth would I start if I was going to criticise this? I sat there numbly for a while then started to answer the questions methodically. The first ones were easy and I answered them frankly. When I got
defendant appearing in person. 22 July 2004 More than 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners and supporters from all over the world held a public rally on the theme of ‘Uncompromising Courage’ and a parade on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Seventeen teenage Canadian Falun Gong practitioners cycle from Toronto to Washington to promote the ‘Save China’s Persecuted Kids’ Bicycle Parade. Their 1, 200-km journey takes 23 days. 23 July 2004 Over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners from all over the world form a
for discovering how this information had made it out of the hospital. Although busy with their conference, they still found the time to summon the two policemen and instruct them on the line of action they were to pursue. I wondered if they were going to attempt to extort another confession from me. Sure enough, they asked me if I had received the material Wang Yan had sent me. I replied that I had. They asked me what had happened to it. I replied that after I typed it up on the computer I had
arrived from the despatch division and the little sentry notified Song Mei and Li Wen to get their things together and move to Company 4, which had just been set up. There was something of a commotion in the corridor as women from other squads prepared to move as well. We all pitched in to help Song Mei and Li Wen pack. Kuai Wei got out her coat-hangers and insisted that they each take some, and a regular who had been responsible for keeping guard on Li Wen shed silent tears as she folded Li
I put my head down and knitted for all I was worth every day, paying no attention to anybody and not listening to what was being said around me. But I couldn’t escape the excitement the ‘reformed’ ones showed after ‘reforming’. Their chatter about it being right to ‘reform’, about ‘reform’ being a more advanced level of practice, swirled around me and seeped into my head. Their words thudded into my body like poisoned arrows, leaving me utterly defenceless. ‘Surely reforming isn’t right, is it?’