The Minnesota Senate recently passed a resolution that is expressly concerned with “persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned, forced organ harvesting from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience, primarily from Falun Gong practitioners ... in the People’s Republic of China.”
I would like to thank my state senator, Kari Dziedzic, for co-sponsoring this resolution and Dr. Kirk Allison in the University’s Human Rights Program for providing testimony to the Senate Judiciary committee regarding this issue.
I am from China, and many members of my family practice Falun Gong. After its public introduction in 1992, this meditation practice became the most popular form of qigong in China, with its three principles: truth, compassion and forbearance.
On July 20, 1999, communist party leader Jiang Zemin declared Falun Gong “illegal” due to its great popularity. After that, all newspapers, radio and TV stations broadcasted propaganda to create hatred toward Falun Gong. This spurred mass arrests.
Thinking there was a misunderstanding with the government, my family went to Beijing to make a public appeal.
For this effort, my grandma and my aunts were detained in a detention center, where they were pressured to give up their beliefs. My mother was monitored and followed 24 hours a day, and my father was pressured heavily in his workplace.
I was 6 years old, and I didn’t truly understand what was happening. My mother sent me to live with my grandma, since my house was monitored all day. In school, my teacher forced students to watch videos discrediting Falun Gong and to sign our names on a banner saying bad things about Falun Gong.
For the following 12 years, I lived in fear. Even after coming to the U.S., it took me two years to come to the public and openly say that I practice Falun Gong. The persecution continues today — my mother was illegally arrested just last year.
According to Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, an estimated 100,000-200,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs since the year 2000.
I want to represent my entire family to say thank you to everyone for supporting this resolution. Greater awareness is very important and can help save innocent lives.
This letter has been edited for clarity.