Chinese abuses protested

A woman, battered and bloody, crouches in a small wooden cage as a guard looms nearby. Another woman, her hands bound overhead, is beaten with a heavy baton. A third, her fingernails punctured by bamboo shoots, stares distantly at the ground as a guard threatens her with a baton. Their crime? Practising an ancient form of meditation and self-improvement called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).

The Falun Dafa Association of Canada staged a gory torture re-enactment outside the Winnipeg Convention Centre yesterday afternoon to raise awareness of the persecution of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

While unimaginable for most passing by, the torture scenes were all too real for Lizhi He.

He spent 3 1/2 years in a Beijing prison after police caught the construction engineer mailing letters to friends disputing government propaganda discrediting Falun Gong.


“At that time, the whole propaganda vilified Falun Gong. All the materials were based on lies,” said He, who now lives in Winnipeg.

He said he benefited greatly from Falun Gong, which is based on principles of tolerance, compassion and truthfulness.

During his time in prison, he was tortured with electrical shock and contracted tuberculosis.

Recognized as a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International Canada, He immigrated to Canada last January shortly after his release.

Falun Gong is an ancient spiritual practice that only gained wide public exposure in China in 1992, said Falun Dafa Association spokesman Dave Meek. Within a few years, the number of known Falun Gong practitioners in China reached as high as 60 million, rivalling membership in China’s Communist party.

In 1999, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin ordered an official ban on the practice. Since then, anywhere from 10,000 to 500,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured or imprisoned because of their beliefs, Meek said.

“Because of the closed system in China it’s virtually impossible to get correct statistics. No information goes in or out of China except for secret sources, leaks and people who immigrated and have the heart to tell people what’s going on.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Winnipeg Sun, Canada
Aug. 17, 2004
Dean Pritchard, Staff Reporter

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday August 17, 2004.
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