Seeing his father, Jia Hua, eat a piece of moon cake is Jia Mingzhen’s greatest wish, but for him and his mother, Liu Chunli, a family reunion is just wishful thinking.
The week before this year’s Moon Festival—traditionally a time for cake and family reunion, the mother and son sat down with the Epoch Times in front of the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Australia and told the story of their family’s suffering and separation.
Their story begins with unexpected good fortune.
“In 1996, my mom was very lethargic because she suffered from some chronic conditions, one of which was uterine fibroids,” Liu Chunli recalled. “A neighbor introduced her to the practice of Falun Gong.” Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice that includes doing slow-motion, meditative exercises.
“Soon after learning, my mom became a completely different person and all her health problems disappeared,” Liu said. “Having witnessed her amazing transformation and recovery, my whole family started to practice Falun Gong.”
“After studying the teachings of Falun Gong my husband was recognized as one of the top ten pacesetters in the electric and power industry in Shaanxi Province.” Liu said. “Following the guiding principles of Falun Gong—truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance—he became a model worker for his whole plant. He was never greedy, and never took advantage of people.
“All of the new graduates allocated to the factory each year requested to be assigned to his unit. Inspired by him, many people there also started practicing Falun Gong. That was the happiest time for our family. We all studied the teachings of Falun Gong, practiced the exercises, and introduced Falun Gong to others. Our family environment was very harmonious.”
In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Since then, Liu’s family has lived in turmoil.
“My husband went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong,” Liu said. “He was arrested and illegally detained for three months. He refused to attend brainwashing classes in 2001 and was then sentenced for one and half years to a labor camp.
“Two months after he returned home, the police came, attempting to force him to go to a brainwashing class again. In order to avoid abduction on that evening, he jumped out of a third floor window in our home.
“Later I learned that in his attempt to escape the police, he had walked 30 kilometers [18.6 miles], even though he had injured his abdomen and ankle from the jump. After walking all night, his legs and feet became swollen and turned black. He never returned home.”
Jia Hua wandered for six years, separated from his family. The family was then briefly reunited—at Weinan Prison, where Jia Hua is currently being held.
“My son looked at my husband’s grey hair; he didn’t even know how to talk to him. Except for eating, using the restroom, and sleeping, my husband sits on a little stool all day. He is not allowed to speak with other Falun Gong practitioners at all. There are four to five criminals given the task of monitoring him, and he has also been forced to endure brainwashing,” said Liu Chunli.
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