Statement from Kunlun Zhang at the Press Conference
January 18, 2001
I am Kunlun Zhang. I am happy to be back in Canada. I am very fortunate to have an opportunity to talk freely about my experience here today.
I'd like to thank everyone who has made this possible. I was very moved when I heard how Canadian people rescued me from the Chinese labor camp. I would like to thank the Canadian government especially Foreign Affairs, Amnesty International and other human rights groups, my legal counsel Mr. Irwin Cotler, other MPs, the Canadian media and especially the tens of thousands of kind hearted Canadians who signed petitions and wrote letters for my release.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I was persecuted for being a Falun Gong practitioner in China. I was detained 3 times in the past 6 months for doing nothing wrong.
- They ransacked my home twice, confiscated my Falun Gong books, and tapped my phone. Once, 3 practitioners wanted to visit me. They called me ahead and our phone conversation was heard by the police. Two policemen came right after and asked me who they are. I was detained in the police station. They could not get what they wanted. I was then released.
- During my first detention in July, The head of the police station said to me:"As long as you are member of Falun Gong. We can do whatever to you without taking any responsibilities. If you were beaten to death, we could simply bury you and tell the outside world that you had committed suicide." He and another policeman then started to torture my whole body with electric shocks. They threatened me: "If you shout, we will electric shock your mouth." My arms, legs and bodies were burnt on many spots from the electricity. You could smell the burning skin. My left leg was badly injured. I could not walk properly. It took over 3 months to heal.
- In the detention center, 18 prisoners were put into a cell of 20 square meters. There was no bed. Everyone had to sleep on the concrete floor. Everything took place in the same cell: eating, drinking, toileting, washing, etc. The food was Chinese cabbage boiled in water. Not enough to eat.
- I was forced to the Falun Gong converting class in October. There was no freedom at all in the class. We were completely isolated from the outside world. We were forced to pay 10,000 Yuan (1 year salary in China) for the class. If one could not be converted in 3 months, he or she would be forced to take another term, forced to pay another 10,000 Yuan. Practitioners would not be allowed to go home unless they wrote a letter of confession and denounced Falun Gong. Otherwise, they would be sentenced to 3 years in labor camps.
- While I was on a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention, an officer told me: "We do not care if you eat or not. Later on, we can send you to mental hospitals, where they will force feed you through the nose with fluid food and inject you." After 6 days of a hunger strike, I was sent to a hospital. I was then released on the 9th day, which ended my 2nd detention.
- On November 14th, 2000, I was arrested by police at home. They sent me to a labor camp without any legal process. A doctor asked me during the physical check-up, "Still practice Falun Gong?" I said: "Yes." He told me: "If you continue to practice Falun Gong, you are going to die here."
- During the detention, No visits from family members were allowed. No telephone calls to anybody. Everyday, all practitioners were forced to hear remarks from officers and the brainwashing propaganda on TV.
- They beat all practitioners who were doing exercise and appealed. They electrically shocked them. Some were beaten until unconscious. They were forced to write letters of confession and to denounce Falun Gong. I saw the injuries from the beating and burns on their bodies.
- Since December, they started to treat me differently. They stopped beating me. They focused more on brainwashing me. Everyday from early morning until late at night, 4-5 people stayed around me to try to force me to change my mind. They monitored me 24 hours a day, without one minute to let me alone. I felt this mental torture was even worse than the physical one.
- 3 weeks before my release they started to cook good food especially for me. I felt this was strange. The staff at the labor camp were kinder to me before I was released. At that time, I thought those were their kind hearts of human beings. I acknowledged their "kindness", which was videotaped by the camp authorities. Only after I was released, I realized that the kindness that the staff showed me in the labor camp was all planned. They wanted me to look physically well to prove that they did not mistreat me. They lured me to say some nice words to deceive the public that they treated me well and lied that I was converted in the labor camp.
I like to tell the whole world that Falun Dafa is good. I never renounced Falun Gong. How can I? I have benefited so much from Falun Dafa. It tells me how to be a noble person. It makes me strive to be a healthier, kinder more compassionate person. I'll practice Falun Gong my whole life.
I feel very sad for the tens of thousands Falun Gong practitioners who are still imprisoned abused and tortured in detention centers, labor camps and mental hospital in China. I appeal to you, please do not forget THEM. They need your help badly. They are innocent and they deserve freedom too. I wish millions of Chinese families like mine will resume their peaceful life again and be able to freely practice Falun Gong. I appeal you to help to bring an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Category: Accounts of Persecution