Expelled from China for Singing “Falun Dafa is Good,” 61 Year-Old Canadian Woman Tells of Her Detention
Police Secretly Film 3-Hour Interrogation in Effort to Contrive Damaging Propaganda
TORONTO, January 29th, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – 61 year-old Canadian Connie Chipkar returned to Toronto late this past Thursday after police hauled her away from Tiananmen Square earlier in the week for her peaceful appeal for Falun Gong. Greeted by family, fellow Falun Gong practitioners, and the media at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Ms. Chipkar related her experiences of being held for nearly 24 hours after Chinese police led her away for singing songs about Falun Dafa as she walked through the Square wearing a sash that read “Falun Dafa SOS.”
Five-month Trip Through Europe to Raise Awareness about Persecution Leads to Tiananmen
Raising awareness of China’s persecution of Falun Gong throughout southern Europe, Ms. Chipkar traveled from city to city for the past five months educating the public about the practice and the crisis in China. She had earlier toured Canada’s far-north, gaining wide public support for justice for Falun Dafa even above the Arctic Circle.
Ms. Chipkar visited over a dozen European countries and received overwhelming support from government officials and the public. A police officer with his own radio show in Sicily was eager to broadcast the truth about Falun Gong, saying, “We only tell our listeners about peaceful and good things.” Explaining Falun Dafa’s guiding principles of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance to people she met along the way, many remarked that, “If you don’t have those three words in your heart, you have nothing.”
Why Face the Threat of Arrest, Torture, Even Death Appealing in China?
“I went to help save the lives of other people. I didn’t even think about myself. As long as people are being tortured to death for being good people how can a person not do something about it?” Ms. Chipkar explained.
“I want to break the Chinese government’s media blockade to bring a message of encouragement and support to fellow practitioners in China who stand up for and protect “Zhen, Shan, Ren” – Truth, Compassion, Tolerance. I want to deliver best wishes from the people I met in more than 30 cities in 14 countries. Most importantly, I want to tell the Chinese people not to be deceived by propaganda demonizing Falun Gong, and to stop aiding in this persecution of innocent people.”
Led Off Tiananmen Square by Police, Detained for Interrogation
Ms. Chipkar entered Tiananmen Square on January 23rd. She removed her overcoat, displaying the “Falun Dafa SOS” sash she had worn across Europe and began to softly sing a song about Falun Dafa. In a matter of minutes, authorities cut Ms. Chipkar’s appeal short, escorting her to a local police station.
“One man grabbed my arms and began to drag me,” Ms. Chipkar explains. “I continued to sing my song. When the policeman grabbed me he forcefully dragged me through the square and violently ripped the sash off my clothes. He then forced me into a police van.”
Experience in Police Custody
Ms. Chipkar was interrogated through a translator in the police station for 3 hours by a woman appearing to be a high-ranking official, “They told me I broke the law so I must be punished to which I replied, ‘Your “laws” hurt innocent people and when this persecution ends everyone who has helped aid in this persecution will pay for their crimes against humanity in world court.’ Then they became silent,” Ms. Chipkar related.
The interrogator claimed that she had been present at the self-immolation incident one year before Ms. Chipkar’s appeal. Ms. Chipkar replied, “Then you know the real truth. We have evidence to prove that the self immolation was staged by your Chinese government to try to demonize Falun Gong.” The interrogator again became very quiet.
The interrogating officer then shared family and cultural stories with Ms. Chipkar, who could feel that the police grew to respect her as a mother and a good person. “They told me I had a very kind face.”
Soon, Ms. Chipkar realized that all her responses were being secretly videotaped. Concerned that her words may be twisted to make misleading propaganda, she said to the translator, “You tricked me and now I will not cooperate any longer!” He bowed his head and said sorrowfully, “I’m so sorry ma’am but it’s my job.” Ms. Chipkar explains “I knew he respected me as a Falun Gong practitioner and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.”
Held overnight in a police hotel, Ms. Chipkar slept for only about two hours. Through the night she observed that the TV programs the police were watching over and over were packed with hate propaganda and distorted views of Falun Gong. She realized how seriously brainwashed and manipulated some of the officers were and had concerns that they could turn and assault her at any moment.
“My heart is sad for all the innocent people in China who are being brainwashed and forced to persecute innocent Falun Gong practitioners, and I appeal to them to please stop for the goodness of their own future.”
Interviews with Connie Chipkar are available. Please contact Joel Chipkar 416-709-8678.