Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Jan. 31, 2003
An Australian Falun Gong member says she was held incommunicado in a hotel in south-west China’s Chengdu city for weeks by police wanting to know more about her activities.
Nancy Chen, 35, was put on a flight to Hong Kong on Thursday after her release. She says she was followed shortly after she arrived in Chengdu on January 21 for a visit to see her parents in Yibing town.
The Falun Gong spiritual group is banned in China as an “evil cult”. It says eight undercover officers followed Ms Chen wherever she went in Chengdu, even “in the toilet” the day she arrived.
“I managed to break away from them by taking a taxi to the US consulate for assistance,” she said while en route to Sydney.
The mother of a six-year-old girl says a US consulate officer allowed her into the mission to make phone calls to her family telling them she was being tailed by police but would not let her seek refuge.
There is no Australian mission in Chengdu.
Ms Chen says she was held at her hotel the next day after she tried to book a flight back to Sydney via Hong Kong.
“I was treated like a criminal by them,” said Ms Chen, adding she was asked repeatedly who sent for her, what she was doing in Chengdu and whom she was meeting.
“They also questioned me about my trip to Chengdu two years ago,” said Ms Chen, explaining she had met local Falun Gong practitioners at the time.