Help Can Go a Long Way Even as Far as Beijing
Congressman Doyle, local organizations help rescue wife from torture
PHILADELPHIA (FDI) – Cailu Xu and his wife, Xiaomei Jia once had a peaceful life. During their spare time they would exercise and meditate together outside their apartment complex.
Then one day they were torn apart.
Mr. Xu, an associate professor who worked at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University (commonly referred to as “China’s MIT”), was practicing his meditation exercise when police arrested him and detained him in June, 2000, but was released after 30 hours. His wife, however, was not so lucky.
In October 2001, she was forced to leave home to avoid being taken away for practicing Falun Gong.
One month later, she was detained by Chinese police for handing out flyers exposing the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr. Xu’s wife of 14 years was then sent to the notorious Beijing Female Labor Camp, where Falun Gong practitioners are regularly deprived of food and sleep, made to do hard labor and electrocuted with electric batons.
Husband Seeks Help in the U.S.
After living in fear since his wife’s arrest, Mr. Xu left China in July to attend an academic conference in Boston and never went back. “In China, I can do nothing,” he says.
Since arriving in the U.S. Mr. Xu, who now lives in Pittsburgh, has been working tirelessly to rescue his wife from torture and abuse. His local community has also joined the efforts.
The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University’s Amnesty International chapters wrote letters to the Chinese Embassy. University of Pittsburgh’s Chinese American Student Association helped collect signatures. Pittsburgh City Councilman William Peduto and the local media also tried to help get the word out.
“I have made a great deal of effort to rescue my wife,” Mr. Xu says, “and I have got so much help from you.”
On May 3, 2003 Xiaomei Jia was released from imprisonment.
Mr. Xu credits U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Swissvale, for gaining her release. The Congressman’s office says they consider the case of the wife jailed in China to be part of the casework that they are responsible for. Congressman Doyle’s office forwarded Mr. Xu’s letters to his wife. The Congressman also wrote his own letters to U.S. and Chinese officials, including the U.S. Ambassador to Beijing, urging her release.
The rescue effort for Xiaomei Jia, however, is not over.
Mr. Xu says his wife is under tight surveillance and restrictions back home, while their 13 year-old son lives with his aunt in Beijing. He now hopes U.S. officials can help bring her safely to the United States.
“We’re still trying to getting her out of the country,” said a staff member in Congressman Doyle’s office.
“I would to take this opportunity to appeal to all the kind hearted Pittsburgh people to help me further, to get her here to reunite us,” says Mr. Xu. “It is powerful if everyone speaks up for justice.”
Xiaomei Jia is one of thirty nine persecuted Falun Gong practitioners with family residing in the U.S.