Released Falun Gong member shares details of China ordeal

Sporting a pin with a Falun symbol, Lin Hsiao-kai broke his promise to Shanghai City’s National Security Bureau and shared his experiences yesterday on how Chinese authorities manipulated his trust in human beings.

“They threatened to make it impossible for me to survive in Taiwan if I exposed them. They told me ‘we will definitely find you in Taiwan,'” Lin said at a press conference held in the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Lin returned to Taiwan on Monday after being detained in China for 20 days. Worried that China had bugged his home and was watching his every movement, Lin felt uncomfortable upon his return, and he and his wife decided to stay in a hotel in Yuanlin, Changhua County.

“I was not sure whether the man was my husband or not after he spoke his first sentence to me,” said Lin’s wife Chen Shu-ya, describing how it felt to be asked by her husband, “Can I trust you? Will you sell me out?”

Lin went to Shanghai on September 29 to deliver some updated Falun Gong literature to a Chinese devotee called Madame Yang, who had urged Lin in repeated calls from China since early September to help her collect the latest Falun Gong information.

By the time Lin arrived in China, however, Madame Yang had disappeared, leading Lin to believe Chinese authorities had set him up.

On October 7, shortly before Lin was scheduled to return to Taiwan, “five to six” secret agents burst into his hotel room and arrested him for practicing Falun Gong. Lin suspects he had been monitored and his room bugged from the day he arrived.

“They know everything about me, my wife, and our friends. They even intercepted one of my e-mails sent to the Minhui.net (a Falun Gong-operated Web site),” Lin recalled.

During his 20-day detainment, representatives of China’s National Security Bureau attempted to persuade Lin to stop practicing Falun Gong, to betray his fellow religious devotees, and to act as a stool pigeon in Taiwan.

Lin said he considered abandoning his devotion to Falun Gong to avoid harming other members of the faith, but he ultimately decided against the idea because of his belief that religious freedom was a fundamental human right.

“They actually gave me an hour to decide whether I wanted to be sentenced or released. I told them to sentence me. They seemed shocked (at my choice),” Lin said.

Shortly before Lin’s press conference in Taiwan, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council confirmed in Beijing that Lin had violated “the motherland’s regulations,” and had confessed his crimes to China’s justice departments.

“Considering the positive attitude he showed in confessing his crimes, the justice departments decided to drop the criminal charge against him,” said Zhang Mingqing, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office, in a routine press conference yesterday morning.

According to Lin, his confessions should be considered invalid because he was forced to sign them under duress in order to be released.

At yesterday’s press conference, Lin and his wife both said that public pressure from Taiwan brought to bear on the Chinese authorities was instrumental in securing his release. Lin’s wife Chen said, however, that it was a difficult decision to make the case public.

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