MILWAUKEE—“They hung me on the window frame while twisting my neck. When they couldn’t turn my neck any further, they would fiercely snap it toward the opposite direction. During those four days and nights I never got any food or sleep. I was continually tortured and assaulted,” said Peter Zheng, a guest speaker at the rally to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the persecution of the Falun Gong held in Milwaukee’s City Hall.
Ten years ago, on July 20, 1999, former Chinese Communist Party-head Jiang Zemin launched a violent campaign to “eradicate” the Falun Gong spiritual discipline, practiced at the time by tens of millions of ordinary Chinese citizens. Since then, the Party has used coercion, imprisonment, torture, and systematic villification in an effort to force anyone known to practice Falun Gong to recant the basic tenets of his or her peaceful faith.
Mr. Zheng, who now resides in Chicago, told his horrific experiences in China when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the crackdown of the Falun Gong in 1999 due to its popularity. Prior to the crackdown, the Chinese government gave Falun Gong numerous awards and accolades for being the “star qigong”.
With resounding confidence, Mr. Zheng talked about having untreated scabies that itched terribly while locked in small prison cell for over a year. He spoke of slave labor and brain washing sessions, and watching CCP guard officials torturing and eventually killing a 23-year-old practitioner.
“I reminded myself everyday that I needed to continue living so that I could expose the (CCP) evilness,” said Mr. Zheng.
Falun Dafa also know as Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese self-improvement practice consisting of gentle exercises, meditation, and moral teachings. The practice is based on the principles of Truthfulness Compassion and Forbearance.
Another speaker, Peter Feng, who currently lives in the Wisconsin Dells, said he was arrested in November 1999 after speaking out against the CCP in a press conference to tell the world of the lies and propaganda the CCP was spreading about the Falun Gong.
“They used torture methods like boiling egg on me. That is when they don’t allow you to sleep and if you show signs of sleepiness, they punch you with their fists. I was tortured like this for a week. I was also forced to squat for long periods of time and if I couldn’t’ hold the position I was shocked with an electric baton,” said Mr. Feng.
Jenny Hu, who now lives in the Wisconsin Dells, also spoke about the ensuing persecution in China. “I didn’t understand why such a good practice was banned, so my mother, sister and I went to appeal.”
After Ms. Hu was driven away from at Beijing’s appeal office, the police forced themselves into her home and ransacked her home, confiscating all Falun Gong books and tapes. She was jailed without the right to a trial and forced to work over 16 hours a day doing repetitive slave labor. After being arrested a second time, Ms. Hu, who currently lives in the Wisconsin Dells, protested the illegal detention by going on a hunger strike. In response, the police forced fed her, a form of extreme torture.
“They jammed a tube through my nose into my stomach and used a large syringe to inject food. To increase pain, they left the tube inside my body after the force feeding. The feeling was brutal,” said Ms. Hu.
Ms. Hu said that during detainment authorities checked and tested blood types of Falun Gong practitioners and many were taken to an unknown place. “Later, I learned that practitioners with good health were put into concentration camps and the CCP harvested their organs while they were still alive for profit,” said Ms. Hu.
For the next three weeks, there will also be a photo exhibition on display at Milwaukee’s City Hall that chronicles the spiritual practice from its public introduction in 1992 through its persecution in China for the last 10 years.