Two More Family Members Released from Chinese Labor Camps as International Family Rescue Drive Continues

U.S. and Canadian Family Members Released in Early October

A Family Rescue press conference held outside the UN building in New York City.

A Family Rescue press conference held outside the UN building in New York City.

NEW YORK, October 14, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — New York architect Yibing Shi had been working very hard to secure the release of his 68-year-old mother from a Chinese labor camp.

In September, the case of Mr. Shi’s mother was incorporated into an international drive to rescue family members in China who have been illegally detained, imprisoned and even tortured by Chinese authorities, simply because they practice Falun Gong.

Last Tuesday, Mr. Shi suddenly found himself on the phone with his mother. “This has been a very traumatic experience, but she seemed to be in relatively good spirits,” Mr. Shi said. “She could not say much, however, because her phone is being monitored.”

An International Rescue Drive

The “Rescue Our Family Members” drive was first launched in Canada in July and, in early September, secured the release of Yangying Wu, the sister of Toronto resident Yanxia Wu. The United States, Germany, Australia, Japan and other countries launched their Family Rescue drives in August and September.

During the first month of the rescue drive in the U.S., press conferences were held in Boston, New York City, Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Francisco. Last week, Harvard medical researcher, Haiying He, spoke at a rally in Washington DC organized by human rights groups and members of Congress to talk about the plight of his family in China. Mr. He has not seen his mother, sister, or brother in over three years. Since the persecution campaign against Falun Gong began in China on July 20, 1999, all three have been detained and/or tortured for their practice of Falun Gong.

The Sudden Release of New Yorker’s Mother

According to a statement by Mr. Shi, his mother was arrested on May 13, 2002 because she openly talked about Falun Gong with friends and neighbors. The police ransacked her home and then took her by force to the Urumqi Women’s Detention Center in Urumqi , Xianjian Province.

In July, Mr. Shi’s mother was taken to brainwashing classes where she was tortured, and pressured to sign statements renouncing her practice of Falun Gong. She refused.

The last news Mr. Shi heard about his mother was from his sister in China who was granted only one brief meeting with his mother during her imprisonment. “She looked very skinny and couldn’t say much because she was surrounded by guards,” his sister had told him.

“I wasn’t sure I would ever hear from her again,” said an emotional Mr. Shi.

Second Canadian Family Member Released in a Month

Ms. Nannan Qiu of Toronto, Canada, received a similar surprise recently.

On October 1, Ms. Nannan Qiu made a phone call to her father’s work unit in China. The work unit informed her that he had been released on September 28 “for medical reasons.”

“Unheard of,” says Ms. Nannan Qiu regarding the medical parole her father received. “If someone suffers medical problems in a Chinese forced labor camp, either he is sent to a hospital directly and then returned to the labor camp upon recovery or — as is more often the case — he is left to suffer with his illness in the labor camp.” Ms. Nannan Qiu continued, “Clearly, my father’s early release is related to the international family rescue efforts underway.”

Ms. Nannan Qiu’s father, Mr. Zhaojin Qiu, is the second Canadian family member to be released since the Family Rescue efforts were initiated in Canada in July of this year. It is also the fifth release in a series of ongoing Falun Gong rescue campaigns in Canada, which have gained the support and participation of Amnesty International and numerous officials at all three levels of government.

Mr. Zhaojin Qiu is a painter by profession who worked as the art editor for Shangdong Jinan Newspaper Group (formerly Shangdong Public Daily) before his imprisonment. In October 2000, he went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was sentenced to three years in a forced labor camp, along with his son, Bo Qiu. They were both held at Jinan Liuchangshan Labor Camp.

Bo Qiu, remains incarcerated at the labor camp.

Mr. Zhaojin Qiu told his daughter over the phone that he still needed to report to local police every week and that the labor camp periodically came to his home to “monitor and inspect” him.

“I hope the Canada government can help rescue my father and brother to Canada so that they can be truly free of persecution,” said Ms. Nannan Qiu.