My First Speech outside China: The worst thing about the Labour Camp

Jennifer giving her first public speech after she escaped from China.

My name is Jennifer and I come from mainland China. This is my first time to Australia. I graduated from one of the best universities in China with a Master’s Degree in Science. After I graduated, I worked as a research fellow and then as an investment consultant. In 1997, after suffering from hepatitis C for 5 years, 4 years of which I could not work, I began to practise Falun Gong. Also known as Falun Dafa, Falun Gong is an ancient meditation practice to improve the body, mind and spirit. It is based on the universal principles of ‘Truth-Compassion and Forbearance’. After just one month’s practice, my hepatitis C disappeared, my strength came back, and I was at last healthy once more. It is difficult to describe how happy I was then. 
But catastrophe struck when in July of 1999, the government decided to ban Falun Gong. From
then on thousands upon thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were subjected to the most ruthless
persecution. 
At about 2 am of 13 April 2000 when I was still in a deep sleep, I was taken by the police from
home and was sent to the Detention center for the third time, without any explanation from the
police. Several days later the police showed me a letter I wrote to my parents-in-law. In this letter,
I was trying to explain to them why I continued to practice Falun Gong. This letter was intercepted
by the police from the internet when it was being emailed out. Because of this letter and because I
refused to denounce Falun Gong, I was sentenced to labour camp for one year. 
During this one-year, I suffered and witnessed various unimaginable inhuman treatment by the police and other criminals who were encouraged to torture us in order to “reform” us. . I was beaten and electric shocked till I was unconscious. I had to stand and squat motionlessly for sixteen hours a day. In addition I was forced to do unbearably hard labour work, deprived of baths and washing for extended periods and deprived of sleep…the list goes on. We were even forced to watch other practitioners being tortured. In one case, an unmarried female practitioner in her twenties was tied up to a chair by male guards and had electric rods applied to her head, breast and private parts until she lost control of her bowels. 
Sometimes the labour quota was so heavy that I even dared not wash my hands after I went to the toilet, because I could not afford to waste even a few minutes time. I was almost tired to death. Interestingly most of the products we made in the labour camp were exported to foreign countries. Once we made 100,000 promotional toy rabbits for a well known multi-national company. The prisoners of course were not paid anything. Instead, we were often forced to work from 5.30am to 3am the next day to reach our quota. Sometimes we weren’t allowed to sleep at all. If I had not practised Falun Gong and had good health, I could not imagine how I could have managed to survive all this.
The worst thing about the Labour Camp is that in order to be freed in due time, I was finally forced to sign the so-called “reformed letter” against my own will. For me, this action was unforgivable and shameful beyond description. After that, I was mercilessly haunted by my own conscience day and night. This kind of suffering felt worse than being murdered or even being raped.
After I came to Australia and told my story to some kind-hearted westerners here, many of them asked me a same question:” Why does the government do all these things to people who believe in ‘truth, compassion and forbearance’ and who just practise meditation and exercises peacefully?” But Chinese people seldom ask me this question, because they know the nature of a totalitarian regime better. Either they themselves, their parents or grandparents have once suffered different kinds of mistreatment by the government. They know of a government who is capable of firing at its own students and citizens like they did in the 1989 Tiananmen student massacre, is capable of doing anything. Kind-hearted westerners who have no experience of living in a country where basic human rights are not respected can not understand why the Chinese government wants to “exterminate” Falun Gong, just as I or anyone cannot imagine how the terrorists managed to keep sane when they were aiming at the World Trade Center, knowing they too would be killed. How can the government persecute and terrorise millions of innocent people who safeguard peaceful beliefs…beliefs that are universal and the basis of a humane and safe world. Many people believe that the main reason for the persecution is that the practitioners of Falun Gong outnumbered the Communist Party member. When jealousy cannot converted to kindness and rationality, it can easily be developed into evil, and evil people will of course view good people as their enemy.
Actually, with Falun Gong''''s non-political and non-violent character, we have never been involved in any anti-government activities. I personally am not against the Government as such. In fact I am a member of the Chinese Communist Party. But what the current government is doing, lead by President Jiang Zemin, is wrong and evil. All we ask is the basic human right to practice our own beliefs. But hundreds of practitioners if not thousands have lost their lives for this basic right, with millions losing their freedom. Right now, at this moment, tens of thousands of my fellow practitioners are suffering, even dying in various jails or labour camps in China…. suffering and dying in silence. Among them is my own younger sister. Because our principles teach nonviolence in all circumstances, I fear if the people of China and the outside world don’t hear the Truth, then another humanitarian disaster could eventuate. This can be stopped if the Chinese Government realises that Falun Dafa poses no political thread and is in fact good for society.
I am so glad that today I am given an opportunity to give a speech here. The worst thing about China is that all the media are under the tightest control of the government. All the evil things the government says about Falun Gong are totally lies. They even went so far as to produce a fabricated “self-immolation” incident in Tian’anmen Square, because they could find nothing wrong about Falun Gong. Only by grossly misleading people all over the world can the Chinese government continue to justify for so long its cruel persecution. It is a shame to the civilization of the whole world as long as this evil persecution is allowed to continue. So I am here to call for the help of all kind-hearted people, especially people working in the media. I need your help to tell my story and the story of millions of innocent people to the public, to your family and friends. Please offer your moral supports by signing the petition for stopping the persecution in China, by writing to your government representatives and asking them to speak out against the human rights violations in China. By doing so, you will save the lives of thousands upon thousands of noble and innocent people, and bring back happiness and peace to them and their loved ones.
Thank you, ….thank you with all my heart.
October, 2001, in Brisbane, Australia

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Click here for info about where to read or buy Jennifer's book in English and Chinese, as well as where to watch award winning documentary based on Jennifer's story: "Free China: The Courage to Believe"
https://www.facebook.com/jenniferzeng97/posts/965320766901896:0

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