Former Tsinghua University Associate Professor Chronicles the April 25 Appeal in 1999 -Part 2 (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) continued from http://clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2011/5/3/124835.html
Around Noon on April 25, 1999, a Second Group of Practitioners Entered Zhongnanhai to Report the Situation
Word came from the West Gate of Zhongnanhai that government officials wanted to meet with the Beijing Falun Dafa Research Association to discuss the situation around noon. Thus Beijing Falun Dafa Research Association volunteers and several practitioners from Beijing entered the Zhongnanhai Compound as representatives. They raised the following three requests to government officials.
(1) Release Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested in Tianjin;
(2) Give practitioners a fair and legal cultivation environment;
(3) Allow Falun Gong books to be published openly.
During lunch time, Mr. Xu noticed that some practitioners brought lunch with them; some practitioners went to the nearby restaurants and food stores to buy lunch, and everyone politely stood in line; some practitioners neither ate nor drank.
Thinking that skipping lunch would save the trouble of buying lunch or going to the rest room, Mr. Xu finally decided not to eat or drink.
Between 2:00 to 3:00 pm, April 25, 1999, the “Two Offices” Gave Notice
Between 2:00 to 3:00 pm, some people in plain clothes distributed flyers to practitioners. Mr. Xu was also given a flyer. It had a notice from the “Two Offices” (General Office of the regime Central Committee and General Office of the State Council). The notice said that the government never opposed people practicing qigong and everyone had freedom to practice cultivation, and asked practitioners not to be used by bad people. Mr. Xu thought, “As practitioners, we just hope that the government will not be instigated and misguided by someone to be antagonistic to Falun Gong. We hope the government will release the practitioners who were illegally arrested in Tianjin and permit Falun Gong books to be published openly. All these are reasonable and legal requests. Why does the notice mentioned being used by bad people?”
Many practitioners were given the flyers, but no one left because the practitioners arrested in Tianjin had not been released yet.
Around 9:00 pm, April 25, 1999, Problems were Resolved and Everyone Left Away
It was already dark around 9:00 pm. The practitioners who appealed to Zhongnanhai had been there all day. However, everyone was still waiting patiently. The police came out and said, “Your problems have been solved. Officials from Tianjin are about to release the practitioners.” However, the practitioners around Zhongnanhai were not sure whether this was true or just a police method to drive everyone away. Therefore, everyone still kept waiting.
Soon words came from practitioners around the West Gate of Zhongnanhai, saying that “Practitioners arrested in Tianjin have been released. Additionally, two other requests are being processed.” Practitioners began to leave. Those who came by bike went to get their bikes. Those who came by bus left for the bus stations. Ten thousand practitioners quietly left the area in less than an hour. Mr. Xu left last. As he was walking away, he observed that all the dustbins were filled. There was no trash on the ground at all. Under the reflection of the street lamps, the ground surface sparkled and was even cleaner than if it had been swept. Although over ten thousand practitioners stayed there for an entire day, the street was immaculately clean after they left.
On the way to the bus station, Mr. Xu heard four policemen talking about practitioners in front of him. One policeman said with an admiring tone, “Look at those who practice Falun Gong!”
Afterwards, Mr. Xu heard that the regime’s high-level officials said that Falun Gong practitioners were highly disciplined and even better than well trained troops.
Around 11:00 pm on April 25, 1999, Mr. Xu Safely Returned Home
Around 11:00 pm, Mr. Xu finally arrived home. Thinking the problems had been solved, he felt very happy and quickly went to bed because he had class the following day.
Before July 20, 1999 When the Persecution Began
Mr. Xu went to class as usual on Monday, April 26, 1999. He felt the appeal to Zhongnanhai was similar to explaining the truth about Falun Gong in the past to TV stations or writing truth-clarifying letters to the government at different levels, just in another form. However, developments in the following 12 years showed that the effect of ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealing to Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999 went far beyond Mr. Xu’s imagination at that time.
The foreign media first reported this peaceful appeal widely, and spoke very highly of Falun Gong practitioners, as well as Premier Zhu.
At the same time, however, the CCP was secretly preparing to persecute Falun Gong. In June, some new people came to Mr. Xu’s practice site, saying that they were practitioners from other cities and that they wanted to exchange cultivation experiences with assistants at the site. Some said they had practiced Falun Gong for quite a few years, but they couldn’t persist to the end when doing the second set of exercises. This was not something that happened at just one practice site. There were many new faces appearing at different practice sites in Beijing and throughout the country.
Meanwhile, some department officials from Tsinghua University privately talked to students who practiced Falun Gong. They told the students to keep away from politics. Sometimes when practitioners went to other practitioners' homes to share cultivation experiences, there were police in plainclothes following them.
From April to July 1999, the Tsinghua University made a list ranking faculty members who practiced Falun Gong according to their power of influence, and then conducted a detailed investigation into the members who were listed as the top ten. The investigation covered topics from moral quality, work achievement to evaluations by colleagues and students. As a result, all ten practitioners were found to be excellent faculty members. Mr. Xu was one of the ten practitioners. In his evaluation of Mr. Xu, the official said, “If every faculty member were as good as Mr. Xu Yin, our university would be easily be the leader.”
Although everything still appeared to be normal on the surface, all the above actions gave people the feeling that a rising wind forebode the coming storm.
After the Persecution Began on July 20, 1999: Mr. Xu is Persecuted, Tortured and Forced to Leave Home
The persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999 and resulted in many academics being arrested, tortured and forced to leave their hometowns. Mr. Xu was one of them.
Mr. Xu was a respected professor in the Civil Engineering Department. Several of his articles were published in international professional journals, and his contributions to the advancement of civil engineering won several academic awards at the national level. He earned the titles of "Advanced Worker" and "Outstanding Young Teacher" several times. Before Mr. Xu was detained in the forced labor camp in 2006, he had been repeatedly rated as one of the top 5% of the faculty in the end-of-semester faculty evaluation for three continuous years. Many students and professors at Tsinghua University greatly respect Professor Xu.
From March 2006 to March 2008, Mr. Xu was subjected to forced labor for two years. He was detained in No. 1 Ward of the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp in Beijing. There he was incarcerated in an isolation room for eight months where he was forced to sit still on a small stool facing a wall for 18-19 hours a day. If he moved even a little bit, the guards badly scolded him and severely beat and kicked him.
Torture Demonstration: Punishment by forced sitting on a plastic stool in one position for long periods of time, while being monitored by prisoners. Sometimes practitioners could hardly sit straight. Some practitioners developed bruises on their buttocks. The edge of the stool caused bruises and open sores.
Because of sitting on a plastic stool in one position for long periods of time, Mr. Xu developed bruises on his buttocks. Every day, the guards allowed him to sleep for only a short time. But even during this short time, the guards often interfered with him and woke him up, causing his physical and mental condition to be exhausted and fragile. The guards alternated this with attempting to brainwash him. At the same time, they limited or even forbade him to contact his family, and didn’t allow him to take a bath or buy food. The guards often tortured Mr. Xu both physically and mentally, and forced him to take off clothes so as to insult him.
The persecution tremendously damaged Mr. Xu both physically and mentally. Whenever there was a slight change of weather, he caught cold and had a fever. He often suffered chest pain and palpitation, and had aches all over his body. In addition, his hair turned white. So far he still has lumbar pains due to the forced sitting torture.
After Mr. Xu was released in March 2008, the police still continuously harassed him. He fled to the U.S. with his family in August that year.
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Looking back at the April 25 Appeal, Mr. Xu Yin thought, “The peaceful appeal of ten thousand practitioners actually provided the communist regime an opportunity. If the regime chose another path, things would have been totally different in China. If more and more people choose to be good, how many benefits they would bring to society!”
Thinking back to the April 25 Appeal 12 years ago, Mr. Xu still believes that his joining the appeal that day was the right thing to do. As he has always done, Mr. Xu will continue to resist the persecution.