Mr. Eric Jia
Australian Student Raises Awareness of Family's Persecution
An Australian college student is raising awareness of his father’s plight in China. Eric Jia and his family practice Falun Dafa, and his father has been severely persecuted for being a steadfast follower.
Eric Jia and his mom, Chunli Liu, fled from China to Australia in 2012 when he was 11 years old. That was the last time he saw his father, Ye Jia.
“He was still in prison,” Eric, now 22, recalled. “All I knew at that time was, my family was imprisoned for doing nothing wrong, and that the Chinese police is evil, the communist party is evil, but there is nothing I can do.”
Now in a free country, everything has changed.
“After arriving in Australia, the worry of being in danger and discriminated for our beliefs has completely disappeared. We can be ourselves again,” he said.
Only, Ye Jia is not free yet. Eric has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of his father’s plight, sharing his family’s story with local media and writing letters to government officials, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull among others.
Here is the Ye family’s story as told in the words of Eric:
Below is a more detailed overview of the family’s story. The following is adapted from an article published by The Epoch Times.
Mind and Body Improved Through Falun Dafa
“My [paternal] grandmother had many illnesses, including Emphysema, tracheitis, heart disease and the worst was her uterine fibroids,” Eric said. “After she started practicing, her uterine fibroids magically disappeared in three months. All illnesses she had were eventually gone with the practice of Falun Gong.”
After experiencing the enormous positive changes to his mother’s health, Ye Jia began practicing Falun Dafa. Ye, who previously had a weak immune system, also became healthy through the practice.
Chunli also began practicing, noting improvement in her relationships with business partners improved and that their family had become more harmonious and peaceful.
The positive mind and body benefits the Ye family experienced was typical of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and their families.
Peaceful Appeals Returned By Brutal Retaliation
Ye Jia went to Tiananmen Square (or the Gate of Heavenly Peace) in Beijing in April 2000 to peacefully appeal for his faith. However, he would be “identified and arrested,” by Beijing police.
“He was brought back and was sentenced at ‘Hu County (Drug) Addiction Treatment Center’ for one month. The police even charged us 2,000 yuan (approx. US$300) for petrol,” Eric said.
In September 2001, Ye was again arrested and taken to Hu County Detention Center, Xi’an City, for a year and two months. Eric, who was a toddler back then, remembers that his family were continuously harassed by the police.
To avoid persecution, Ye was forced into homelessness for six years.
Sentenced Eight Years after Pre-Olympic Roundup
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the CCP began the mass arrests of Falun Gong adherents and groups they deemed “undesirable”.
Ye Jia would be arrested on June 4, 2008, and later sentenced to eight years in Wei Nan Prison, Weinan City, in September that year.
During his incarceration, Ye Jia’s health quickly deteriorated due to the persecution. For periods as long as two weeks, he was locked to a bunk bed and handcuffed for more than 12 hours a day. Due to the severe torture, he lost weight, suffered from hemoptysis, black sputum, and liver pain.
Eric said that his father was also put under solitary confinement. “He was locked in a small room for 6 years, with 2 to 3 prison guards watching him every day,” he said.
“He was only allowed to go out when a family member visited him once a month. During the first year and a half, we weren’t permitted to visit him. He was only allowed to go out when there was a ‘yearly reporting time,’ which happened only twice a year.”
When Eric’s father left home in 2003 to avoid persecution, his hair was all black. But when he and his mother visited Ye in prison around the beginning of 2009, his hair was “almost all white.” Eric recalled that when his grandmother met his dad in jail on Sept. 8, 2013, she was “shocked.”
“My father’s face was very pale, white, and he looked very weak. She asked him what happened. That is when we got to know that he was locked in an isolation room all the time,” Eric said.
Grandma and Aunt Arrested, Father Taken to Brainwashing Center
Eric’s father was released from Wei Nan prison on July 23, 2016, after eight years. After his release, he tried living a normal life and finding a job. However not long after, in 2017, Ye Jia would be rearrested and taken to Ba Qiao brainwashing center in Xin He district, Xi’an city. Eric’s grandmother, then 73, and older aunt, Chunxia Liu, were arrested in the same year.
To expose the injustice forced upon his family, Eric, his mother, and younger aunt stood outside the Australian parliament, holding signs that read, “Please help rescue my family.” Fortunately, their peaceful appeal caught the attention of the Australian Greens senator for Victoria, Janet Rice.
Moved by what she heard, Rice wrote a letter to the Mayor of Xi’an city, to “immediately and unconditionally release Ye Jia and Chunxia Liu,” reported Minghui.org.
Senator Rice wrote: “I am informed that they have been detained solely for exercising the right to freedom of belief and expression. Pending their release, please ensure that they have regular and unrestricted access to their family and lawyers.”
After the letter, Ye Jia was released on Dec. 21 that year and Chunxia was tried on Dec. 26, and later sentenced to four years in prison in January 2018. She was released from prison in late March this year.
The family is still unable to unite though, as Chinese authorities confiscated Ye Jia’s passport.
Based on an original report from The Epoch Times: