NEW YORK – A young woman living in New York is working to secure the release of her relatives in northeastern China, even as she struggles to know more about their condition and even precise whereabouts.
22-year-old Ms Liu Junchun’s mother, father, aunt and uncle were all abducted from their two respective homes in Jilin City on the evening of July 1st, 2012. Earlier on the same day, Jilin City police travelled 60 miles away to Changchun City, where they abducted Ms Liu’s 17-year-old cousin and six other Falun Gong practitioners.
The cousin, Mr Liu Xinyu, was released after nearly one month. But his parents, Liu Jingjun and Kang Limin, and Ms Liu Junchun’s parents, Liu Jingli and Zhang Jinghua, are still being detained at the Liaoyuan Detention Centre, where they have been been subjected to physical abuse and forced labour.
“Sweeps that result in the abduction of multiple practitioners are the result of weeks, perhaps months, of sophisticated surveillance,” said Levi Browde, director of the Falun Dafa Information Centre. “When one Falun Gong practitioner is found, they will often be followed, their mobile phones tapped, and their email account hacked, giving authorities information that will lead to other practitioners.”
“As seen in the case of Liu Xinyu, the 17-year old boy who was kidnapped while visiting friends 60 miles away, these efforts might well extend across an entire region,” Browde continued.
Liu Junchun learned of the abductions the day after they happened and has received periodic updates from contacts in China since. According to these contacts, her relatives are forced to wrap of individual toothpicks in plastic, at a rate of 3800 per day.
They have also been routinely beaten for refusing to do labour, including her mother, who was beaten by five criminal inmates, and her uncle, who was beaten with electric batons.
Every three days, they have also been subjected to intimidating and sometimes violent sessions where they have been forced to tell the names of other Falun Gong practitioners and details of their meetings.
Ms Liu’s cousin’s whereabouts are currently unknown. “Both his parents’ home and my parents’ home were ransacked and damaged on July 1st,” said Liu. “They took anything valuable and then locked the doors and took the keys. Even if my cousin wanted to return there, he can’t, because they won’t give him the keys. He’s just a boy. I don’t know where he is or who is looking after him.”
Sources in Jilin City maintain that at least 22 other Falun Gong practitioners are currently being held at the Liaoyuan Detention Centre.
The Falun Dafa Information Centre urges the authorities in Jilin City to immediately release all Falun Gong practitioners at the Liaoyuan Detention Centre and to make reparations for the damage done to the Liu Family homes.