Weathering the Storm, Chapter 1 of Part Five

Zhong Fangqiong

PureInsight | December 20, 2004


Part 5. While the Trees Try to Be Still, the Wind Won't Stop Blowing

Chapter 2: Human Rights Abuses


After I returned home, Ran, the head of the local police station, ordered me to call the police station from my home phone every night at 9 PM so that they would know I was home. I also had to get permission from them first if I wanted to leave Chengdu city for any reason. Initially I thought that a Falun Gong practitioner should always think about other people first and it would not be a big deal to call them every day. I also felt sorry for them as they were also victims of the persecution by Jiang's regime. So I called them every night at first.

Since I had not visited my hometown for several years, I wanted to go back there for a visit during the Chinese New Year. I told Li Qiangjun, the head of the residential district office, my plan. He told me, "I can not make a decision of whether to allow you to leave town until I talk to my boss." After the request was approved by many levels of authorities, I was allowed to visit my hometown under one condition – someone from the residential district office had to go with me. Before the trip, the head of the police station told me, "When you get there, you have to call me or Mr. Li from your home phone every day." That way, they could monitor me. (Later on, I realized calling them or telling them whenever I went was wrong. That is because when I did that, I was saying that I should be monitored. What did I do wrong that made it necessary for them to monitor me? What was wrong with wanting to be a better person?)

In March, I had to go to my hometown again to take care of some personal business. This time, I left Chengdu without telling the police. On the evening before I was scheduled to go back to Chengdu, I called the police station from my hometown using my cell phone. Ran was on duty that night. He realized that I was calling him from my cell phone. He asked me where I was. I replied, "I am in my hometown – Jian Yang." He became angry and raised his voice, "Who allowed you to leave town?" I said: "I have my rights." Then I hung up the phone.

The next day on my way home, I got many phone calls from Li, the head of the residential district office. On his last call, he asked me impolitely: "Who told you that you could leave town?" I turned off the phone after that. After I got home, my mother told me, "Li Qiangjun came to our home very early in the morning. I told him that you went to our hometown for personal business and you might be back in the middle of the day. Li came back around 1 pm and asked me to tell you to go to police station after you came back. Li came back a 3rd time around 3 pm. He told me that you should be prepared to bear severe consequences if you didn't visit the police station after you came home. Finally, he came back around 6 pm. He asked me whether you have returned home. I told him that you went out after coming back." At around 8 pm he came back to my home again. He left after he saw me at home.

Restricting My Freedom

From May 2000 until now, the police monitored my home constantly whether I was home or not. Ran, the head of the Wannian Police Station, told me, "You have to call the police station from your home phone at 9 pm everyday. You must get our permission first if you want to go anywhere outside of Chengdu city." I opposed the order with my righteous thoughts and stopped reporting to the police every day.

In the spring of 2003, I became paralyzed after being tortured by the police (I will talk about what happened later in the book). On May 11, 2003, I went out for the first time after I regained the ability to walk. That day, I rode my bicycle to buy a pair of shoes for my son. A security guard saw me and reported me to the police station. When I returned home, just as I got to the second floor of my apartment building, I saw several policemen and Li Qiangjun running toward me. I asked them what they were doing at my home. They said, "We are here to see you and see how you are." I said, "Thank you for thinking of me." Li Qiangjun asked me to open the door of my apartment on the third floor. I said, "You are here to see me. Now you have seen me. Why do you still want me to open my door to let you in?" Li said, "Let's talk about that after you let us in." I said, "I'm not going to open the door." Li said, "We will wait here then and see how long you can be like this." I told him, "All these years, I have treated you as my friends. I always made tea or prepared fruit for you whenever you visited my home no matter which excuses you were using. I always told you the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. What did I get in return? For the past two years, I have been constantly jailed. I was tortured badly and I almost lost my life twice. Now I have learned my lesson. I do not want you to do bad things in my home."

Li Qiangjun asked me in a menacing voice, "Are you going to open the door or not?" I answered solemnly, "No. Why do you want to get into my house? What good things are you going to do there other than ransacking the house and kidnapping people?" A policeman said right away: "We aren't planning to do that today. We aren't planning to do that. Zhong Fangqiong, don't go to different places left and right anymore. You know, you have caused Policeman Wei Daping a lot of heartaches. Both he and his wife have been laid off. His son is the same age as your son." I replied, "I am not the one who has hurt him. Anyone who persecutes good people will surely face retribution."

The policeman then said: "Director Li, let her be if she doesn't want to open the door. Let's talk to her out here!" Li Qiangjun said: "OK. Zhong Qiongfang, you listen to me. From now on, you are not allowed to take even half a step outside of your apartment complex. Otherwise, be prepared to face the consequences." I asked in return, "Who made that rule? Show me the paperwork. If there is no paperwork, you should write your order down on a piece of paper so I will have evidence when I go to appeal your order. This way, everyone will see who is limiting my freedom." They refused to write down anything and finally left without getting anywhere.

Several days later, I went out for a walk after dinner and went to the Guomei Department Store in Wannian Square. The security guard at the apartment complex with the surname of Chen saw me leaving and asked an old man to follow me. He then called Li Qiangjun. Li hurried over in a taxi and tried to drag me home by force from the store. I firmly refused to obey his order. Li ground his teeth and was about to strike m. But he didn't want people in the store to witness that. So he asked the guard on duty at the Yinhe Innovation Technology, Inc. to beat me. I said, "Who dares to beat good people?" The security guard was restrained by my righteous thoughts and couldn't raise his fist against me. Later on, Li Qiangjun dragged and pushed me towards home. On the way home, I clarified the facts to him and told him that Jiang Zemin had already been sued by Falun Gong practitioners in many countries and he himself would receive retribution if he continued to follow Jiang and do bad deeds. Li Qiangjun said, "I am not afraid of anything." When we arrived at the main entrance of my apartment complex, Li gave instructions to the two guards there, Chen and Xia, "Don't let her go out of the apartment complex. If she doesn't listen, beat her. I will take the responsibility for any consequence." I asked them in return, "Who dares to beat people? Beating people is a human rights violation and a crime. What you say doesn't count. I decide how I should spend the day. I have the right to decide whether I want to go out or not." We argued for a long time at the main entrance without getting anywhere. Finally Li gave up. He called a taxi and went home.

300,000 Yuan turned into 11,500 Yuan
During the last several years since Jiang Zemin started the comprehensive suppression against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, I have suffered great financial losses. I originally had more than 700,000 Yuan in personal assets. In addition to purchasing an apartment unit and a car, between 1994 and 1997 I had put 380,000 Yuan into the secondary stock market as my retirement fund. In October 1999 when I had practiced Falun Gong for half a year, I was illegally detained at Jiurucun Detention Center. During that time I realized that playing with stocks was a disguised form of gambling and I shouldn't gamble anymore. When I was released 15 days later, I immediately took my stocks to the market to sell. Because I didn't have enough financial knowledge to handle the transaction, I had to ask an acquaintance to help me with the matter. However, in the more than three years that followed, I had been illegally imprisoned for a long period of time in labor camps, and repeatedly detained in various detention centers. It was not until 2002 when I was forced to leave home and couldn't support myself financially that I called the person whom I asked to handle the selling of my stocks. I was told that since I hadn't been around to tell him what to do, he was only able to sell the stocks that I had purchased for 380,000 Yuan for 11,500 Yuan. After deducting a total of 10,000 Yuan for my mother and son's living expenses and various school expenses, I only had 1,500 Yuan left.

I had planned to use 1,350 Yuan of the money to rent a small place for three months and the remaining 150 Yuan for living expenses. But that money was forcefully taken away from me when Zhang Zhi, a policeman at Guangrong Police Station in Chengdu city, led more than ten people in ransacking my apartment. Moreover, because I have been illegally detained repeatedly during a long period of time over the last several years, I couldn't use my car and yet I had to pay a high traffic regulation fee every month. So I had no choice but to sell the car at a price far below its market price.

My Relatives Being Punished Because of Me

In November of 1999, I lost my contract with Chengdu city's Road Construction Department because I wouldn't promise to stop practicing Falun Gong. I had worked with that department for 9 years and had been on excellent terms with officials in that department. But because of Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong, they didn't dare to associate with me anymore. I had been making more than 10,000 Yuan per month. I was suddenly left with no income. My mother is a retired farm worker and does not have a pension. Because I had no income to support my family, I decided to find a renter for my large apartment, which is about 100 square meters in area. My plan was to rent a tiny place for my mother, my son and me, and use the difference in rent between the two places to pay for our living expenses.

Under such a difficult circumstance, the local police still refused to leave us alone. Police officers from the Tiaodenghe Police Station, a security guard from my apartment complex named Sun Young, and a staff member from the Tiaodenghe Community District named Liu Yingfang repeatedly harassed and threatened my younger brother at his small business when they couldn't find me. They told him, "If your sister does not come back to her apartment, we will issue an arrest warrant for her." They also told my brother, "We won't allow your sister to rent her apartment out. Whoever rents the room will be driven out!" For the next several years, the police officers from the police station maintained continuous surveillance at my apartment to make sure that I wouldn't be able to rent out or sell my apartment.

Making My Life Difficult in Every Possible Way

At the end of April 2003, my son was about to finish elementary school. He had to have an official city residence registration before the city would allow him to take the entrance examination for middle school (he was previously registered with me in my hometown, a farming village). According to the country's official policy, my son should be given an official city residence registration for two reasons. First, the city allows official city residence registrations for two people in any household that purchase a property bigger than 90 square meters in the city. Secondly, my son's father is an official resident of the city. But Wei Daping, the policeman in charge of the resident registration in my district, did everything he could to make the registration difficult. He told me, "You have yet to receive the official title for your apartment. Therefore, you can't register anybody under that apartment." It costs about 3,000 Yuan to get the official title, and I was going to borrow that money from people in order to receive the official title so that my son could go to middle school. But Wei then told me, "You must first obtain a national land certificate before you can apply for the official title. You will need about 20,000 Yuan to obtain that certificate." Because I no longer have any source of income and I was unable to borrow that much money to obtain the national land certificate, I couldn't use my apartment to get my son the official city residence registration.

I decided to ask my brother to talk to my son's father and ask him to get the official city residence registration for our son (he and I had separated more than 10 years ago). But his apartment building had been torn down and he was renting a place while waiting for a new apartment. His official residence registration had been transferred to the same police station that has jurisdiction over me. It would be easy for the policeman Wei Daping to register my son under his father. But Wei said, "The police station from your son's father's district has to certify that he is not a Falun Gong practitioner." After my son's father obtained that certificate, Wei said, "Your son's father's employer has to certify that he is not a Falun Gong practitioner." When the second certificate arrived, Wei said, "The Residence Committee that has jurisdiction over your son's father must also produce the same certificate." As my son's father was a renter on a short-term lease, the Resident Committee didn't know him and wouldn't produce the certificate for him. Oh, heaven! Isn't it clear that Wei was deliberately making it impossible for my son to get the city residence registration? Why is it that the practice of Falun Gong, which means cultivating "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" and becoming a good person considered a crime? Why is it that the police have no regard for the legal rights of a child?

In the end, a middle school allowed my son to go there as long as I could pay an astronomical amount of money first. I have recently been notified by the school that I have to pay a lump sum of 10,000 Yuan to the school. If I couldn't come up with that money, I would have to pay 4,500 Yuan per semester if I want my son to remain in school. There is no way that I can come up with such a large sum of money. I don't know what is going to happen to my son. Does it mean that his education is about to end? He is just a twelve year-old child! There are many Falun Gong practitioners with young children and many of these children have been deprived of their right to a free public education. There are numerous families in a situation similar to mine.

Hereby, I appeal to people everywhere to help stop the persecution against my family, stop the persecution against Falun Gong, and let our children grow up in a happy and healthy environment.

Threatening My Family Members and Friends

In February 2003, I was tortured by the police and became paralyzed. My elder sister had just died from an illness. My 70-year-old mother had no time to mourn for my sister because she had to take care of me. Every night after finishing his homework my then 11-year-old son who was a sixth grader at the time, had to change the diaper that I had to wear and washed my feet and legs with warm water to maintain blood circulation. Even while I was bedridden, Wei Daping and a security guard of my apartment complex with the surname of Chen broke into my apartment. They tried to confiscate my Falun Gong books and abduct me. We used righteous thoughts to stop their evil conduct, and got the books back. After they left, my mother told me, "While you were away, they constantly came here to harass your son and me. One day, Director Li Qiangjun and Policeman Wei Daping came to our home and tried to force me to pay them 3,000 Yuan. I told them that I didn't even have enough money to buy food. Li said that I could sell our TV set and washing machine to raise that money."

Wei Daping once personally told me, "I have to support my parents and my son. Because of that, I have to do what my superiors tell me to do. But if you can pay me 2,000 Yuan per month, I would work for you." Money is clearly the only thing that people who assist Jiang's regime to persecute Falun Gong care about.

Shortly before April 25, 2003, Wei Daping and Li Qiangjun broke into my home one day around noon time while I was having lunch. They wanted to take me to the local police station. I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the evils behind them and oppose their arrangement. My son's father and uncle were visiting us at the time. Wei and Li asked to see their ID cards. My son's uncle said, "Our ID cards are at home." Wei and Li decided to go to their home to check their ID cards. The four of them left. A short while later, Wei and Li returned. We refused to open the door. The two of them yelled, kept pressing the doorbell and repeatedly kicked the door. They finally left when it was clear that we wouldn't open the door.

On July 22 after 11 AM, I had just left my home. Before I even got out of the apartment building, I ran into a policeman from the Wan Nianchang Police Station

He wanted me to go back to my apartment and unlock the door. I refused to do that. He asked me, "Zhong Fangqiong, have you been out of town recently? Do you still have copies of Falun Gong books at your home?" I replied, "Get out. I go out everyday to take care of personal affairs. You can see that I am on my way out. You should leave now." I continued to walk outside and he followed me. When we got outside of the apartment building, he began to walk in front of me. I saw that the head of the police station surnamed Ran and other policeman were waiting outside of my apartment building. They had a police car with them. It was clear that they intended to take me to the police station. I ran back to my apartment, locked the door, and began to send righteous thoughts. They finally left after a while.

The police constantly came to my apartment to harass me using a variety of excuses. As time went on, as soon as we heard the telephone or the doorbell ring, my mother, my son and I would immediately wonder if it was the police again. My son has suffered a lot after watching his mother being arrested and taken away from our home repeatedly.

Illegally Confiscating My Family's Property and Imprisoning Me
During the last several years, the police ransacked my home a total of 5 times. Out of the 5 times, they only had proper paperwork once. They even dared to physically assault me in front of my neighbors, which they brought in as so-called witnesses for the home search.

Every time when the police came to arrest me, they not only ransacked my home to take away Falun Gong related material, they also stole other personal property on the sly. In September of 2002, I was forced to leave my home to escape from further persecution. The local police station and the Residence Committee came to ransack my home. We had a big roll of air-conditioning cable left over from a home remodeling. The director of the Residence Committee took it with him when they ransacked my home. My mother asked Policeman Wei Daping about the missing cable again and again, and finally got it returned to my younger brother. They also stole 570 Yuan that my 11-year-old son had, which was given to him by relatives as the Chinese New Year gift.

Since July 20th, 1999, I have been illegally imprisoned 29 times for a total of 743 days. A total of 38 different government departments participated in persecuting me. I was arrested on criminal charges four times and detained for a total of 93 days. I was detained 10 times for a total of 140 days for "violating public security." I was also detained at a variety of other places, including the Qingyang District Drug Rehabilitation Center and the Wannianchang local police station, 13 times for a total of 25 days. I was tortured over a period of 30 days once, and spent 455 days in a labor camp (more than 3 months longer than the term of my original sentence).

Next, I would like to talk about how I almost died on two separate occasions because of the persecution by the Jiang regime.

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