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 Whistleblowers Need Protection


Letter to Mr. Xi Jinping

By Li Zhe, December 14, 2014

Mr. Xi Jinping:

How are you? I am writing to request your help to free my father, Li Xiaobo, who is currently being held in Longquanyi detention centre, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, for his belief of Falun Gong.

My father had earlier been illegally imprisoned from 2004 to 2012 for eight years for practicing Falun Gong. In April this year, my father and I were both abducted by local police as we were distributing information to local residents to inform them of the true facts about Falun Gong and the persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I was sent back to Canada after several days because I am a Canadian citizen, but my father remains detained today. I have not had any contact with my father in the past 8 months, only received the news that he has lost his vision in the left eye. Recently, his lawyer twice went to the court at Longquanyi to appeal but was rejected. Under these circumstances I am writing to you with the hope of receiving your help to request that the local justice system unconditionally release my father and allow him to obtain medical treatment.

My hometown is in Shanxi province. My grandfather, Li Tianmin, was an accomplished veteran during the war period. In addition, he had held a number of responsible positions, including National People’s Congress (NPC) member representing Sichuan Province, Party chief of Sichuan province’s defense industry office, and county Party chief.

Like my grandfather, my father worked as an official in the government. My father was the county Party chief for Renshou and county mayor for Pujiang, and was highly respected by the people. People saw him as having very prosperous future, but my father resolutely resigned from his government post in 1993. My father later told me the reason was that he saw that the CCP was not conducting itself to serve the common good of the citizens, but to serve its own benefit, using violence and lies to maintain power. In the years following my father’s resignation from his government position, he made great effort to cleanse his mind of the CCP's ideology.

My father has a deep appreciation of traditional Chinese culture. He collected a wide range of works from different dynasties, including classic books, poetry, biographies, and notes, as well traditional costumes and food. Traditional Chinese culture is imbued with the Chinese people’s great respect for the divine (Shen) and for heavenly principles. Permeating traditional Chinese culture is also the Chinese people’s principles of virtue and morality. My father is a magnanimous, righteous, and humble person due to this deep foundation of good principles.

In the 1990s, qigong became very popular in mainland China, and my father started to practice qigong and read qigong books. However, deep in his mind, he knew he was searching for something that could explain the deeper meaning of life, the meaning of human existence.

In 1996, by chance my father discovered the book “Zhuan Falun” and he finished the entire book in one night without sleep. He said: “Finally, this is what I have been searching for." Thereafter, my father began guiding himself with the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance," improving himself in every aspect. He quit his 20-yearlong smoking habit that same year, he became a calmer person who no longer loses his temper, and his overall heath also improved. In a book that my father later wrote, he said: "Human life is filled with too many elements that are hollow and negative! Fortunately, in the second half of my life I walked onto the path of cultivating Falun Dafa, and only through this was the true meaning of life restored in my life." A rebound in moral values, resulting in both physical and mental benefits, this is the personal experience of every Falun Gong practitioner, and it is also my father’s experience.

Not long after starting to practice Falun Gong, my father became the general manager of a real estate company. Guided by the teachings in "Zhuan Falun", he always put the benefits of his employees first, never sought personal gain, and treated everyone with generosity while being very disciplined himself. He was highly respected by everyone in the company. He continued to live in the same house where I grew up, living a simple life and following the guidance of “Zhuan Falun” to improve himself. After my father was released from his eight-year imprisonment, someone who had once worked as his assistant told me: "Your father is the most virtuous man I have ever met."

On July 20, 1999, former CCP chairman Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong, and suddenly all newspapers and television stations nationwide began to publish and broadcast hate propaganda against Falun Gong, and many kindhearted people were deceived. My father started writing articles to expose the lies of the Chinese Communist Party and also to let people know about the goodness of Falun Gong. In 2004, when I first learned that my father was abducted and illegally detained, I did not have a single thought that my father had conducted anything unlawful. I knew deeply that my father is an upright person. In 2005, the local authorities at Pixian, Chengdu, held an illegal trial and disallowed any family members or lawyers to be present. The trial lasted less than 30 minutes, and my father was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment.

In those eight years, my father suffered severe mental and physical torture. He was forced to stand naked in ice-cold water in the winter, and to stand for long periods of time while being deprived of food and sleep. Other prisoners were given incentives to play as “body guard” to watch my father 24 hours a day, and random beatings were very common. Under these conditions, my father maintained his determination to write articles to expose the lies and violent rule of the CCP after it took power. For this, he was put in solitary confinement for three months. Under these extremely harsh conditions, my father's health very quickly declined.

In 2012, when my father was released, he compiled all of his own poems, letters, and notes into a book as a record of his path of cultivation. The book is filled with his inner joy and calmness, his deep understanding of the true meaning of life, and his unshakeable faith in the universal truth of “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.”

My father and I would occasionally go to a tea house nearby our home to chat, and he would share with me his cultivation experience over the past more than 10 years. My father once said to me: “I have come to the realization that, as a father, it is my responsibility to let you know what is the most righteous.” Under the influence of my father, I gradually realized that I had forgotten the moral principles and virtues that were taught to me when I was a child. I had forgotten that morality is the foundation of being human, and I had forgotten the heavenly principle that good is rewarded with good and evil will meet with retribution. I started reading “Zhuan Falun” myself and began my own journey of cultivation. “Zhuan Falun” changed me from every aspect, rectifying my inner being and nature. My life became simple, orderly, and focused. Each day I looked forward to spending time with my father to study the book of Falun Gong.

In April this year, my father and I were abducted by local police from the Longquanyi District, and as a Canadian citizen I was expelled back to Canada. My friends and I have since made numerous phone calls and sent letters and text messages to the local authorities as well as the local people to let them know the true story of my father, his experience, and his good character, hoping to help them understand that the persecution of my father is completely illegal. Upon learning that my father was abducted due to his efforts to inform them of the true facts about Falun Gong and the persecution, some local residents went to the police station to demand the release of my father out of their own conscience. This is the Chinese people’s awakening, saying no to the brutal regime. At every level of authority, there are people who listened carefully to information about my father’s case and expressed their sympathy. However, due to the policy set by the higher authorities, they could only follow orders from above and could not take any action to release my father.

During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a request to you to release all Falun Gong practitioners who are Canadians’ family members, including my father. Over the past 15 years, Falun Gong practitioners have persevered in peacefully clarifying the truth to the world’s people about the persecution. More and more people in many nations around the world, including people from mainland China, have become aware that the persecution of Falun Gong is an evil crime launched solely by former CCP chairman Jiang Zemin.

Every year, the Chinese regime suspends the licenses of active human rights lawyers in China; however, this has not stopped more and more lawyers from defending Falun Gong cases. When they defend Falun Gong practitioners, they are in fact defending faith, human rights, and the morality and universal values of society as a whole.

In late 2013, at Xiongshi School in Shenyang City, over 10 teachers and parents who are also Falun Gong practitioners were abducted and jailed. However, in a trial conducted in November 2014, two of the teachers were found not guilty and were released. This is the result of people learning the truth about Falun Gong and making a choice out of their own conscience.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper sends a greetings letter to Falun Gong practitioners on Falun Dafa Day every year, and members of Parliament from every party would publicly speak out to urge the Chinese Communist Party to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. Since 2006, international human rights lawyer David Matas and former Member of Parliament David Kilgour have conducted numerous investigations into the crime of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners committed by the Chinese regime. They have published books and reports and travelled around the world to speak on the persecution of Falun Gong. They point out that this persecution is a “new form of evil on this planet.”

As more and more people learn about the facts of the persecution and make their choice based on their conscience, the evil and lies will ultimately die out. What people will look at will be the leader of the country and what actions he will take, whether he will follow the will of the people and do what is right.

I sincerely wish that you will put an end to the persecution of Falun Gong, and release my father, Li Xiaobo, along with all other Falun Gong practitioners who are imprisoned, including all those with Canadian family members. My family and friends, all Falun Gong practitioners, and all people who have learned the truth about Falun Gong—all will thank you.

I wish you and your family all the best.

Li Zhe

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