June 04, 2016 | When she was a news editor at a Wuhan television station, Ms. Jiang Xiaoping said she was burned out. Despite her youth, she suffered from tuberculosis, high blood pressure, migraines, and respiratory problems.
Feeling like her life had come to a dead end, Ms. Jiang was delighted when she discovered Falun Gong, a mind and body practice with tremendous power to improve health.
After a short period of practice, she returned to health and felt totally refreshed. “I experienced a peace and serenity that I never had before,” she said.
She hoped that this would go on forever. Little did she know, with the sweeping popularity of Falun Gong in China, everything was about to be turned upside down by the Communist Party.
The Prepared Propaganda Video
In June 1999, Ms. Jiang discovered that a round of propaganda videos were about to be broadcast by the state-controlled TV station where she worked. It was just one month before the nationwide crackdown on Falun Gong was officially launched by the then Party leader, Jiang Zemin.
Her supervisor was aware that Ms. Jiang practiced Falun Gong and suspected that she might leak information about the video. He feared that Falun Gong practitioners would protest at the TV station, demanding the video not be shown.
“Four officers from the Wuhan Police Department took me to the basement at the police station to interrogate me. That was the first time that I felt I was in danger and that my life was being threatened,” Ms. Jiang recalled.
That was only the beginning.
“I didn’t know what would happen after the interrogation. When that same propaganda video was broadcast nationwide on the afternoon of July 22, 1999, I knew that my peaceful life had come to an end.
“To justify the persecution, many TV stations around China produced all kinds of videos to demonize Falun Gong, especially the Tiananmen self-immolation hoax. Millions of Chinese were deceived and brainwashed by the slanderous propaganda.”
Facing the overwhelming propaganda that attacked Falun Gong, Ms. Jiang decided to go to Beijing to speak out for her belief. As she spoke to people on Tiananmen Square about Falun Gong in July 2000, she was arrested.
After one day at the police station without food or water, she was taken to Haidian District Detention Center.
She recalled that the guards stripped and searched her. The food was rotten and the air stank. More than 30 people were placed in a room about 150 square feet. They had to sleep on their sides, close to each other. During the day, everyone was forced to sit on the floor and not allowed to move.
After she was taken back home after five days of detention, the authorities placed her under house arrest for one year.
In addition to persecuting Ms. Jiang, the authorities also targeted her family.
In August of 2000, more than 20 officers raided her in-laws’ home, looking for Falun Gong related materials. They also threatened to arrest them. Ms. Jiang’s 70-year-old mother-in-law was so terrified that she fell down and burst into tears.
Having lived through dozens of Chinese Communist Party political campaigns, her 77-year-old father-in-law was so traumatized by the outrageous behavior of the police that he lived in perpetual fear of another police visit. He couldn’t eat or sleep well. He was soon diagnosed with cancer and passed away six months later.
80-year-old Father Forced to See Daughter Tortured
Ms. Jiang was sent to Chenjiaji Brainwashing Center in Jiang’an District in Wuhan twice in 2004. There she was subjected to months of intensive brainwashing and torture. Two inmates monitored her around the clock and held her in isolation. She was forced to stand for a long time, deprived of sleep, and had to clean the restroom.
When she held a hunger strike to protest the persecution, the guards tied her to a chair and force fed her. They pinched her nose and inserted a long hollow wooden stick down her throat to pour in liquids.
“I was suffocating. The pain was so intense that I felt like I was dying,” said Ms. Jiang as she recounted that chilling experience. “What was even more outrageous was that they brought my 80-year-old father to the brainwashing center to watch me being tortured. It broke my heart to see him in tears in front of me.”
“For all these years, the mental pressure of living through the persecution was beyond words. You have to be on full alert to everything happening around you, because you can never predict when you will be arrested again.”
While on a business trip in September 2007, Ms. Jiang noticed how her colleagues constantly reported her situation to the station. “Everywhere I went, I felt like there were eyes staring at me.”
As soon as she returned home from the trip, she packed her bags and set out to hide from the police.
She later learned that staff from the 610 Office and the police went to her workplace the next day, waiting for her to come to work and then arrest her.
When they learned of her escape, they were infuriated and went to harass her father, husband, and daughter, which created enormous pressure on her daughter at school.
In order to find her, the authorities constantly monitored her husband. He was so distressed that he had a nervous breakdown and developed stomach ulcers and high blood pressure.
Third Brainwashing Center Detention
After two and a half months of going from place to place to escape arrest, Ms. Jiang returned home. She was told that her employer would not send her to a brainwashing center. It turned out to be an empty promise.
On March 17, 2008, about three months after she returned home, Ms. Jiang was taken to the Tangxunhu Brainwashing Center on her way to work. This time, she was detained for 45 days.
“They found more people to monitor and brainwash me, non-stop. I was forced to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong. They forced me sing and dance in praise of the [communist] Party.”
Filing a Criminal Complaint against the Dictator Who Launched the Persecution
On June 17, 2015, Ms. Jiang filed a criminal complaint with the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, joining hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners around the world in their efforts to bring the former dictator Jiang Zemin to justice.
“Jiang is responsible for all the suffering my family and I have endured over the past 17 years. No matter how difficult it is to endure the persecution, he can never change my heart to practice Falun Gong. Eventually he will have to pay for everything he has done in the persecution,” she said.