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Taiwan/US: John/Jane/Sharon/Yaning

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My friend Wenny

I met Wenny during the last year of my high school in Beijing. She was a gentle and quiet girl, and very gifted in drawing and Chinese calligraphy. Later we went to colleges in different cities. I still have a big pile of letters from her during our college years. In our letters, we often recommended good books we discovered to each other and shared stories about new friends we made. During winter and summer vacations, we spent countless afternoons together and listened to music - both of us were lovers of western classical music. Sometimes we went to parks with a group of (girl)friends.

Wenny loved drawing and chose architecture as her major. After finishing her degree, she worked as an architectural designer at a commercial design institute in Beijing. Wenny got married to a college sweetheart of hers and they later had a lovely daughter. She and her husband both practiced Falun Gong (so did the family of her older sister). Both Wenny and her husband are extremely nice people - I'm sure you would agree with me if you had met with them. (Photo at right: Wenny before the persecution)

In 2002, I heard that Wenny had "disappeared" as a result of Chinese communist government's persecution of Falun Gong. I could not find out what happened to her until late 2004, when -- for safety reason I will refer this person as Ms.A -- Ms.A (in China) contacted me and told me that she heard from Wenny! Wenny was able to make a phone call to Ms.A. Fearing the phone line was bugged (it's not uncommon in China that phone calls are listened, private letters are opened, e-mails are inspected, etc.), Wenny did not say much and did not mention her location. During the past two and half years, Wenny tried to call Ms.A every few months. Once she called on my birthday and asked Ms.A to pass a "happy birthday" message to me... Last time she called was in January. She said she was "doing fine". But with the warnings like "don't record my phone number", "don't call this number back", "I may hang up anytime",..., you know she's far away from "doing fine".

Starting in 2000, like tens of thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners in mainland China, Wenny was forced multiple times to "brainwash classes" and "transforming centers". And she was taken to detention center and beaten by police. They tried to force her to give up Falun Gong practice by threatening and torture. Eventually Wenny had to escape and became homeless.

I do not know where she is now and how she survives. Her husband and her daughter have not seen her for all these years.

Last summer I read a report about her sister's family. It happened in last July. Police broke to her sister's home and arrested her sister's husband, because they did not give up practicing Falun Gong. Her sister, who was at work at that time, was informed by a neighbor that her husband was taken by police and they were waiting at their home to arrest her. She immediately left work and did not return to home. Either she was abducted by police or became homeless as Wenny, I do not know.

posted by Jane @ 10:41 PM   

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