“Release my Sister,” Demands an Israeli Whose Sister was Arrested in Beijing

An Israeli practitioner of Falun Gong says his sister was apprehended in an attempt to stop him from protesting in Israel

TEL AVIV, January 10, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – Two days ago, Xiong Zion, a 35-year old Israeli citizen of Chinese origin received a call from his family in Beijing informing him that his sister, Xiong Wei, 31, had disappeared. Sources in China have confirmed that Wei, a former student of Berlin University and a practitioner of Falun Gong, was arrested by Beijing Police shortly after police broke into the Xion’s house and conducted a search for Falun Dafa materials. At present, her whereabouts and condition are unknown.

Family members say Zion’s mother had suffered a heart attack shortly after the police raid of the Xiong home.

Soon after Wei’s disappearance, her husband, also a practitioner of Falun Gong, was arrested as well. His company, however, was able to get him released from the detention center due to the fact that he was a “very good worker” and needed at the workplace. Wei’s husband is now living under security watch by his company and local police officers.

Zion, a Netanya resident, is a vocal supporter of Falun Gong in Israel. He frequently appeals to the Chinese Government in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv. A year ago, he was summoned to the Chinese Embassy for “investigation.” The Embassy spent hours trying to pressure him to stop practicing Falun Gong. Zion, however, maintained that the Chinese government was wrong to persecute Falun Gong.

Shortly after this meeting, the Embassy informed him that his visa to China would not be renewed. This jeopardized Zion’s import business, which depended on frequent travel to China. In a subsequent four-hour meeting he was told that he would not receive a visa if he does not stop practicing Falun Gong.

The Chinese Embassy appears intolerant of the Falun Dafa activities in Israel. According to a high-ranking Israeli police officer, they have put extensive pressure on the Tel Aviv Police Department to stop providing Israeli practitioners with appeal permits in front of the Embassy.

Israeli practitioners believe that the disappearance of Zion’s sister is directly related to the Embassy’s monitoring of Zion’s activities and their attempts to pressure him to stop his appeal.

In November an Israeli citizen, Leeshai Lemish, was illegally arrested and beaten in Beijing after he participated in an international peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square.

Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) is an ancient mind-body meditation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It was first taught to the public in 1992 by Li Hongzhi, a two- time Noble Peace Prize nominee. After a Chinese government survey revealed that there were more people practicing Falun Gong then there were Chinese Communist Party members, the government-controlled media began extensively slandering Falun Gong, and the practice was banned in July of 1999. To date, it is known that over 100,000 practitioners have been detained illegally, over 20,000 sent to labor camps and mental institutions, and 338 have died as a result of police brutality while in custody. According to a Chinese government source, however, the actual number of deaths is well over 1,600.

As of late 2001, over 600 awards and proclamations from government officials around the world have been issued commending Falun Gong, and condemning the persecution in China. Falun Gong is practiced freely in over 50 countries (including Hong Kong and Taiwan).