Thousands of People Sign Petitions to Release Detained Falun Gong Practitioners
[PureInsight.org] In June of 2012, a Falun Gong practitioner from Zhengding County, Hebei Province, was detained. More than 700 local residents signed a petition to ask for his release. The incident immediately received international attention and the news even reached the United States Congress. In order to stop the petition campaign, high ranking provincial officials from Hebei Province decided to station themselves in Zhengding County, to try to carry out even more severe persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The officials visited many village families and threatened village residents with punishment if people continued to support Falun Gong. Up until now, three more Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally sent to forced labor camps, and four have been illegally detained. However, local residents are not showing any fear. They are still voicing their support and they continue to sign petitions to ask for the release of those jailed Falun Gong practitioners. Following the 700-person petition incident, there have been three more similar petition campaigns—one with 306 signatures, one with 903 signatures, and the latest one with 1,108 signatures and fingerprints.
When the news about the US Congress’ inquiry about the “700-person petition incident” reached China, officials in Hebei Province decided to carry out a series of interrogations of local residents in Zhengding County. The officials told local people that whoever signed the petition would soon face serious consequences. The Deputy Director of the Zhengding Police Department, Gao Guo, who is also in charge of the area’s notorious “610 office,” personally broke into several Falun Gong practitioners’ houses and abducted at least 16 Falun Gong practitioners and their family members. One Falun Gong practitioner died from falling from a building when Gao Guo tried to arrest her. Those being abducted were covered with black hoods and sent to a torture unit where they were brutally tortured, deprived of sleep, hand-cuffed to iron chairs, and shocked and beaten with high voltage electric batons. The situation was simply horrifying. As of now, three of the practitioners have been sent on to labor camps, five others remain in detention, and the rest have been released.
The People’s Voice
The terror campaign carried out by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has actually exposed the evil nature of the party itself, which has lost the trust of the Chinese people. Recently, 1,108 local residents voiced their support of Falun Gong and signed a petition to release the jailed practitioners, and to stop this new round of brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Many touching stories have occurred during the petition campaign.
One elderly lady told the petition campaign organizers that she was more than happy to sign her signature. She said, “I want to sign. This is a good deed to do. To save others is just the same as saving oneself. To harm others is simply against the principles of the heaven, let me sign it!” She continued, “I know that Falun Dafa is good, I support you.”
In another case, four or five people were working at a construction site. Obviously they had already learned the truth about Falun Gong because when they saw a petition volunteer approach them, they immediately recognized the volunteer and shouted: “Hey, aren’t you practicing Falun Gong? What new stories do you have for us?” The volunteer told the construction workers about one of the practitioner’s story and one of the workers said at once, “I know Falun Dafa is good, I’d like to sign.” The rest of the workers all followed suit and signed as well.
When a village woman was asked for her signature, she immediately replied, “This is to save people. It’s a good deed and I want to support it. Let me sign.” One watermelon peddler heard about the petition and said, “I want to support you. I want to sign. This is a really good deed.”
Another village woman said, “All those Falun Gong practitioners in our village are good people. Our village has benefitted from them. Look, there are so many disasters these days, yet our village has not run into any of them. To help release Falun Gong practitioners, I definitely want to sign. All the village folks should sign.”
Some other local residents also expressed their disgust of the CCP when signing their signatures. One retired government official who used to work in Beijing said, “The Communist Party is corrupt to its very core. Soon it will be done with. I know a lot more about it. Falun Gong practitioners follow the principle of Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance; it’s a very good thing, and the majority of the party members are not against such principles.”
One afternoon, two middle aged men were walking in the street. When asked about the petition, one of them said right away, “Good, good, I want to sign.” The other followed, “Yes, I want to sign as well. The Communist Party is so bad and so corrupt that it should have already been wiped out. I support Falun Dafa.”
One local village official said, “Falun Gong practitioners are all known to the public as good citizens, they follow the principle of Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance. I don’t want to get involved in the persecution of such good people. People from the ‘610 office’ as well as those public security agents are not doing the right thing. I want to sign to help release Falun Gong practitioners.” This same official also put his fingerprints on the petition.
Background on the 700 Signature Petition Incident
In June of 2012, Chinese government leader Xi Jinping invited a U.S. governor to visit Daizhai Village in Zhengding County, Hebei Province. Local officers from the “610 office” used this occasion as an excuse to arrest a Falun Gong practitioner there.
The practitioner had once been paralyzed from an accident and was bed-ridden for more than two years. After practicing Falun Gong for one month, he completely recovered. He follows the principles of Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance, and is known to everyone around as a good-hearted, honest person. He used to have a short temper and would fight with his wife. After learning Falun Gong, he completely changed his temper and never fought with his wife. His wife also started practicing Falun Gong later on, and her epilepsy was cured. The couple began to live a very happy life. Their miraculous story spread all across the village and nearby areas, and many people began to practice Falun Gong as a result. The number of practitioners in the area at one point reached more than 200.
When New Tang Dynasty TV reporters conducted a survey among local villagers about the practitioner, many people told the reporters that he was an honest, good-hearted, and kind person. They expressed confusion as to why such a good man would be arrested by the government. Local villagers said that he had worked as a collector of recycled materials, and he was always willing to help others and never took advantage of others. He was regarded by everyone as a good citizen. One woman said, “He is a very caring son to his parents. As for his work, almost everyone around here wants to sell recycled materials to him because he won’t cheat people in his business.”
When Hope of Sound radio reporters conducted a similar survey, one local villager said, “All the village people are discussing this now. Everyone’s saying that since he is a good person, why has he been arrested? He’s an honest, kind person. He’s got a very good relationship with almost everyone in the village. If you can bail him out, please bail him out as soon as possible. The whole village is hoping that he can return home soon.”
After the practitioner was arrested, more than 700 local residents petitioned the local government for his release. The petition campaign is still ongoing right now, with more and more people choosing to stand up against the government’s persecution of Falun Gong. They want to express their true views towards Falun Gong, since Falun Gong has already been accepted by the public. When the CCP started its persecution of Falun Gong, many people didn’t pay any attention to the anti-persecution efforts by Falun Gong practitioners. They assumed that the CCP was simply too powerful to be challenged. They claimed that one should “realize the situation and just follow the trend.” After 12 years, even those in high authority are not brazen enough to utter such words now.
Who is the straw, and who is the wind now?
Translated from: http://news.zhengjian.org/node/14512