Chinese New Year fell on February 16 this year. At this most important holiday for 1.3 billion people, the core event is the family gathering for several days.
While ordinary households are happily celebrating, many families with Falun Gong practitioners facing persecution will spend the New Year with tears in their eyes and worries in their hearts.
Misery Suffered by Ms. Liu Yufang and Her Family
There is an abandoned house in Xiaozhengzi Village, Lingyuan City, Liaoning Province. Weeds and trees cover the roof and the yard. The inner walls of the building have fallen down. The furniture and farming tools are buried in dirt and leaves. The water well is dry.
The hostess of the house, Ms. Liu Yufang was arrested during the Chinese New Year 15 years ago, when she was preparing New Year’s eve dinner for the family. Because of her belief in Falun Gong, she was sentenced to three years of hard labor.
Her daughter was arrested at the same time, and released a few weeks later.
Liu Dianyuan, Ms. Liu’s husband, was 64 years old back then. When his wife and daughter were arrested, he was already imprisoned.
Their son, then 14 years old, found nobody at home on his arrival. The boy was all alone during that new year.
The Liu’s family has experienced worse than a horrifying New Year. During the 18-years of the persecution, Mr. Liu was imprisoned for 7 years, and homeless for 4 years. He was arrested again in November 2015.
The 79-year-old man was sentenced by the local court to 11-and-a-half years, and has not been released to date.
Ms. Liu was incarcerated for three years in a labor camp, and another four years in a prison. The then 16-year-old daughter had to quit school, because both parents were imprisoned. She had to find a job to support herself and her younger brother.
The Suffering of Ms. Feng Xiaomei and Family
Ms. Feng Xiaomei, a senior engineer living in Shijiazhuang City of Hebei Province, had a harmonious family life. Most of his family members practiced Falun Gong.
However, two years after the persecution of Falun Gong was launched in 1999, Ms. Feng’s husband, sister, and father were tortured to death because of their faith. Her brother-in-law is still imprisoned.
Ms. Feng was imprisoned in 2010. After being released, she was able to connect with her nephew Wang Tianxing, whose father is in jail and whose mother died. Now, she lives with her 13-year-old son Wang Boru, her nephew, and her mother-in-law.
Lawyer: Persecution Founded on Lies
A lawyer who has defended Falun Gong practitioners said: “The persecution of Falun Gong is completely founded on lies and violence. Thousands of families have been broken apart because of this persecution.”
He continued, “Everyone must judge the ongoing persecution based on their own conscience. I believe that we still have justice in this society. I hope all the law enforcement entities in our country will serve our people as they are meant to in the near future.”
He ended by saying, “When we defend Falun Gong, we are defending the laws and the universal values of humanity.”