Survivor of Chinas Wanjia Labour Camp Lands in Canada Today After Emergency Rescue Effort
TORONTO, November 12, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Centre) — Ms. Yuzhi Wang has been incarcerated in China’s notoriously brutal Wanjia Labour Camp (news), where, preliminary reports say, she faced brutal torture and witnessed horrific scenes. But yesterday, thanks to an around-the-clock emergency rescue effort by practitioners, supporters and government officials in Canada, she has been rescued to Canada from the Middle East, and landed in Vancouver yesterday.
Ms. Wang will hold a news conference in Vancouver on Wednesday November 13th, and plans to reveal the persecution she suffered in China and the United Arab Emirates under pressure from the Chinese consulate there.
Jiang’s Global Persecution Campaign Strikes in the Middle East
Ms. Yuzhi Wang is 46-years old and a resident of Harbin City in Heilongjiang Province, where she used to own a computer store. Because she practices Falun Gong, she was arrested three times in China. The last time she was sent to Wanjia Labour Camp in Harbin City, where she says she suffered brutal torture. “I almost lost my eyesight,” Ms. Wang recalled during a brief phone interview over the weekend. Because her health severely deteriorated in detention, police temporarily released her in May 2002 to push the responsibility of taking care of her to her family.
To avoid further persecution, Ms. Wang departed for the United Arab Emirates as a visitor on June 1.
Ms. Wang says she was spotted by an agent of the Chinese consulate while speaking with fellow Chinese people in a local airport in the United Arab Emirates on Oct 31st. “Due to the saturation of anti-Falun Gong propaganda in the Chinese media from Jiang’s regime, many Chinese people have heard nothing about the persecution of Falun Gong and believe the lies about Falun Gong that Jiang’s regime spreads,” Ms. Wang explains. “Thus, it is quite common for practitioners and supporters around the world to speak with Chinese people openly about this matter, and provide them with news reports and other information about what is happening to Falun Gong practitioners.”
“We are clarifying the facts,” Ms. Wang summarizes.
Ms. Wang said local policemen, after being deceived and pressured by Chinese consulate officials, arrested her and planned to send her back to China. After her appeals were rejected, she called help from Canadian Falun Gong practitioners through her family members.
An Emergency Rescue Effort
According to one of the coordinators of this rescue effort, Mr. John Zhang, Ms. Wang was arrested on Thursday, October 31 local time. Canadian Falun Gong practitioners received the news on Friday evening Eastern Standard Time.
Falun Dafa Association of Canada acted quickly and sent news reports and other information clarifying the facts regarding Falun Gong to the government of United Arab Emirates as well as local police over the weekend, and requested that Ms. Wang be freed immediately.
At the same time, practitioners wrote letters to Canadian government officials, asking the government to rescue Ms. Wang.
Ms. Wang said in a phone interview: “Everything was like in a dream. They questioned me for countless times these last few days. The local police and the [Chinese] consulate officials were trying their best to send me back to China. By 7am on Monday, I was still being attacked by United Arab Emirates policemen while being detained. But by 9am, the policemen’s attitude totally changed. They allowed me to call my family. On Monday afternoon I was released… My family and I held each other and cried for a long time.”
Under pressure from the Chinese consulate, however, the United Arab Emirates government required her to leave the country within 5 workdays.
Canada Quickly Issues Special Visa
Upon hearing Ms. Wang would need to leave the United Arab Emirates within 5 days, the Canadian Falun Dafa Association immediately wrote to the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as requested the Canadian Embassy in United Arab Emirates to quickly issue a visa to Ms. Wang under this emergency situation.On Wednesday, Ms. Wang received a special visa andarrived safely in Vancouver yesterday.
Ms. Wang said: “On behalf of my family, I sincerely thank the Canadian government, and the Canadian Falun Dafa Association. I am merely an extremely lucky one among tens of thousands of victims. I hope other Falun Gong practitioners in China will regain freedom like me as soon as possible.”
First Successful Rescue from a Third Country
Since this July, four Falun Gong practitioners have been released due to pressure from the global “rescue our family members” campaign (news/website). Three of them have been rescued by the Canadian government, but Ms. Wang is the first Falun Gong practitioner to be rescued from a third country.