Canadian Student: “Please Help Rescue My Mom”
Daughter speaks out on Mother’s Incarceration for Faith
“Today, I am sharing the story about me and my family. But this is also the story of countless Falun Gong practitioners over the past 20 years,” Liu Mingyuan (Lucy) said on Nov. 18 at a protest outside the Chinese Consulate in Toronto.
The 24-year-old animation student, who is studying at Sheridan College in Ontario, and her family have faced harassment and arrest for their belief in Falun Gong since she was two years old. Most recently her mother, Ms. Liu Yan, was arrested on September 30, 2021. Mingyuan’s mother is currently being detained at the Kunming Detention Center.
Given the Chinese regime’s brutal repression of Falun Gong, Mingyuan hopes to draw international attention to her mother’s plight and appeal for her release.
Cherishing her identity in a democratic country, she says, “[In Canada, ] On this land of freedom, I am able to use my voice, to call on the world to help rescue my mother.”
Mind and Body Improved Through Falun Gong
Mingyuan’s parents began to practice Falun Gong while studying at the Northeast Normal University. After practicing Falun Gong, both experienced tremendous benefits in their lives.
For Mr. Liu, it was overcoming a serious sleep disorder and poor health. Through studying the teachings of Falun Gong, he also became more friendly and hard-working, having a good reputation among his colleagues and teacher.
Ms. Liu’s liver congestion, insomnia, and other health problems also improved through the practice. Through Falun Gong’s principles of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance, Ms. Liu began to treat others kindlier. She took care of her paralyzed mother-in-law and mother, who had difficulty walking.
The couple also credits Falun Gong for bestowing them with wisdom. Mr. Liu often had inspiration and developed wonderful painting techniques. Many of his works have been published in prominent journals in China, and he was recognized as a painter whose artwork had the greatest potential value by the Chinese Collection magazine in 2007. He later was named as one of the top 100 painters in China.
Ms. Liu was also an accomplished English professional. From 1999-2001, she was a lecturer at the Jilin University Lambton College and the chief director of the Foreign Education Exchange Office. The school was run jointly by the Canada Memorial University of Newfoundland and Ms. Liu played a key role in building the Canada-China partnership in Education.
After relocating to Yunnan in 2001, Ms. Liu served as the dean of the foreign language school at the Yunnan Normal University. During her employment there, Ms. Liu reformed the foreign language teaching rate at the school by fourfold, resulting in the Yunnan Normal University being in the top-3 independent schools in Yunnan province in 2011. She also published a textbook called “Fluent Spoken English”, which has been republished three times by renowned Fudan University publishing in China and has been recognized various times for her teaching abilities.
Persecuted for Upholding Faith
After the persecution began, the Liu family went to Beijing twice to appeal to the Chinese government for the right to practice Falun Gong.
The first time, in August 2000, the Liu family was detained at the gate at the Appeals Office. Ms. Liu and then her 2-year-old daughter would be detained for over a week at a hotel belonging to Ms. Liu’s workplace.
“My daughter and I were held at the hotel of the Second Aeronautics College for more than 12 days. We were monitored by colleagues 24 hours a day.”
Mr. Liu and his mother-in-law (a practitioner) were also detained for two weeks.
Later, Ms. Liu and Mr. Liu would both go again to Beijing to appeal and both be arrested. To protest the arbitrary detention of the practitioners, Ms. Liu, and some detained practitioners would hold a hunger strike. They would be force-fed, an excruciatingly painful process. Luckily both would be released within days.
To avoid the persecution, the Liu family relocated to Kunming and began teaching at the business school of the Yunnan Normal University. However, they would continue to be persecuted.
In June 2001, police came to arrest Ms. Liu at school. With the kind help of colleagues, however, Liu was able to escape. The police abducted Liu’s daughter from daycare to use her as ransom.
When the police could not find me, they took my [4-year-old] daughter from daycare as a hostage. My daughter was kept there until midnight, when my kind colleagues went to get her.
On September 1, 2012, Mr. Liu was arrested for writing “Falun Dafa is Good. Truth-Compassion-Tolerance is good” on the wall while working on an art project in a public space. The Liu’s house was subsequently ransacked and under immense threat, Ms. Liu had to leave home for a month to avoid arrest. Mr. Liu’s arrest was also formalized at this time. He would then be sentenced to four years.
The sudden events caused a great blow to Mr. Liu’s mother, who became very thin. Liu’s daughter, who had just entered high school at the time, had to live at a friend’s house for over a month and was unable to focus on her studies.
Then, two tragedies befell the family.
“My paternal grandma passed away because of the unspeakable stress, fear and heartbreak that the communist regime brought upon our family. My maternal grandma suffered such shock and trauma that she has became paralyzed.”
For distributing informational materials on her belief, Ms. Liu would be arrested in 2015. This was before Mingyuan’s National exams for college, and police tried to prevent her from taking the exams.
Mingyuan recounted, “The police pressured the school teachers to not allow me to attend the National exams, but to no avail. Most of my grades ranked very low except for the fine arts because of the horrible worry I was suffering [from] thinking of my parents in prison. Luckily, with all the kind help, I got accepted by the China Academy of Art in 2015.”
Mingyuan now studies in Canada and is a talented animator. She received the Tibor Madjar award for best animation at Sheridan College earlier this year.
Now outside of China, she also uses her voice to appeal for her mother and other Falun Gong practitioners who have been incarcerated in China.
Recounting the past 20 some years of persecution, Mingyuan said,
“I have lived in fear every day, even here in Canada. Now, I worry once again for my mom’s safety.
Falun Gong practitioners follow the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice teaches us to be kind to others. In China, this practice has been outlawed and persecuted for no reason by the CCP. This is not just the story of our family. It is also the story of millions of Falun Gong practitioners over the past 20+ years, many of which have been persecuted to death.
Today, I stand up in public to ask the Canadian people, parliamentarians, and government with a sense of justice to help me and call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately release my mother and stop the persecution of Falun Gong.
I do hope all the righteous Canadians, our governments can help me to voice up for my mom and for all the victim[s] living under the Beijing Communist regime.”