Jennifer’s Speech at the Heritage Foundation on October 4, 2019
In the middle of the night, at 2: 00 am on April 13, 2000, I suddenly heard loud bangs on the door of my house. “Boom! Boom! Boom!” Before I had time to figure out what was happening, a vicious looking policeman was already standing in my room. He grabbed me with force and took me to a police station.
Later I asked: “Why? Why was I arrested during my sleep?” And the police answered, “Because of your ‘thoughts’.”
Without any trial, I was then sent to a forced-labor camp.
I still remember the big sign of Beijing Female Labor Camp: It was like entering right into hell.
From the very first moment, we were forced to squat motionlessly under the baking sun, for more than 15 hours. Whenever someone could endure no more and began to faint, electrical batons were immediately applied, so that they would be shocked into consciousness to continue their squatting.
On the second day, two police guards dragged me from my cell to the courtyard, threw me on the ground and applied electrical batons all over my body, until I lost consciousness.
The torture that I suffered and saw was terrifying: A young woman was tied to a chair. Several male police guards used electric batons to apply shocks to her head and private parts, until she lost control of her bowels. As a result, she couldn’t walk for several months.
Another method they used to torture females was to tie four toothbrushes together, with the sharp ends facing outwards. They then pushed these into their vaginas, twisted and turned until they drew blood.
And the guards would also throw naked females into male prisoners’ cells, to have them sexually violated and raped repeatedly…
But I’ll pause here for a minute, to explain how I ended up in this situation.
In 1987, when I was 21, and a student of Beijing University, I believed that the Chinese Communist Party was the “savior” of China, and the only force that could create a new and better China. The Party was forever glorious, correct and great.
I believed it all, as that was what I, and everyone around me, had been taught ever since I was born.
So, I applied to join the Party, and was accepted, as I had always been very obedient and doing very well in my studies.
In 1992, my daughter was born. I remember holding her in my arms, and marvelling at her beauty and perfection. It was the happiest moment in my life.
Later on, I became pregnant again, and then, for the first time in my life, I saw the other side of the Party. In communist China, no one was allowed to have two children then. I was forced to abort my pregnancy. I didn’t want to, but had no choice living under China’s one child policy.
Because of my forced abortion, and because of the medical accident I encountered during my childbirth, I lost a lot of blood and was twice in critical condition. To make things worse, I caught hepatitis C through a blood transfusion, having been given contaminated blood. As a result, my health was totally ruined. I lied in the hospital for years, without being able to work, or to look after my daughter. I couldn’t even witness her growing up, as I was in the hospital alone, separated from her.
July 2nd, 1997 was a day that I will never forget. On that day, I received a set of Falun Gong books posted to Beijing from my sister living in my hometown. The books answered all my questions toward human life, and inspired me so much, that I decided to practice Falun Gong right away.
Falun Gong involves living by three principles: Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, in one’s daily life, and practicing five sets of gentle exercises including meditation.
After practicing Falun Gong for only one month, I found all my health problems had gone. I was full of full of vitality and happiness. I had finally found the purpose for my life. I felt like a new person having been reborn.
Within seven years since Falun Gong’s first introduction to the public in 1992, it was estimated that 70-100 million people in China were practicing Falun Gong.
Then, one day, things suddenly changed.
The Chinese Communist regime could not accept the fact that people were believing in Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance instead of the Party.
On July 20th, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party started an overwhelming persecution of Falun Gong. People were being arrested, beaten, tortured, and even killed on demand for their organs, and thrown into camps without trial.
I couldn’t believe this was happening; I couldn’t believe the “always great, always glorious, and always correct” Party could do something so evil.
Nor could I believe that I, personally, would also become a target, simply because I went to a park to practice meditation, and because I believed in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.
Then, on April 13, 2000, at 2 am, the police came for me too.
Maybe you’re wondering – how can this be happening in our modern times? How can such a cruel regime be allowed to persecute good and innocent citizens? Why hasn’t anyone done anything about it?
The answer – like in all cases of cruel totalitarian regimes in history that wanted to legitimize the persecution of its ordinary citizens – is systematic propaganda.
Ever since the persecution began, all state media outlets – TV, radio, and newspapers were utilized to demonize Falun Gong and its millions of practitioners. Hundreds of thousands of false reports bombarded the media 24/7.
It was said that we would cut open our own bellies, murder our children in the middle of the night – every lie told in history about a persecuted group became fake news reports on Falun Gong.
The worst moment for me, within this propaganda storm, was when my 7-year-old daughter screamed at me: “I know mum is a good person. But the TV says Falun Gong practitioners are bad! I don’t know who to believe!”
Now let’s go back to the camp. After trying to withstand unimaginable torture, both physical and mental, for more than 6 months, I finally collapsed. I broke down, and signed a statement to guarantee that I would give up my belief in Falun Gong.
It was the worst moment of my life. With my thoughts being violated and then stripped away, I felt like a completely empty shell in human form, a non-human being, without thoughts, soul, a free will, or human dignity.
Worse still, I was forced to help the police to then torture others. I can never forget a teenage girl who was taken to the camp one day before I was to be released. I had to watch over her to make sure she didn’t fall asleep, as sleep deprivation was one of their main forms of torture.
I had so much pity for her, since I knew all too well what she would have to go through. Yet I couldn’t express any of my sympathy to her.
After accomplishing this final task upon another sleepless night, I was finally released the next morning. However, I felt more imprisoned than ever, as I was expected to continue to live as a non-human being, an empty shell, an example of “reform”, and to continue to help the police to “reform” others.
I escaped to the West. Slowly and gradually, I tried to regain my thoughts, my soul, my free will, my integrity and human dignity. It was a long and arduous process. I had to overcome so many mental barriers and emotions, such as a sense of not being worthy, my regrets, remorse, humiliation, shame and disgrace… Ultimately, the determination to expose the brutality and help others, enabled me to stand on my feet again as a human being, capable of rational thoughts and actions.
I also wrote a book, “Witnessing History: One woman’s fight for freedom and Falun Gong”, and became the main character of the award-winning documentary, “Free China: the courage to believe”, to share my personal story.
And today I am here to share my story again. Humankind once vowed “Never Again” after the Holocaust. Yet, unfortunately these unprecedented crimes against humanity are happening today in China, and on a terrifying scale.
And look at Hong Kong! While we were fast asleep last night, the so-called Emergency Law has been invoked, and they are banning facial masks now!
The Hong Kong police are shooting real bullets at the peaceful protesters who ask nothing but what the Chinese Communist Party has promised!
I watched a video the other day. A young person said very calmly that he had a will in his pocket when he went out to protest or to save other protesters, and he was prepared to die at any time.
I also read a story that several moms donated thousands of dollars to buy masks for their own sons and daughters and other youngsters, knowing all too well, that sending their children out onto the streets could result in their children’s deaths. They stated that as their own generation had failed to fight for freedom, the least they could do now was to support their children in their efforts to stand up for freedom and justice.
Could you imagine how those moms would have felt when they said and did this? Can we leave them to fight alone?
Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Exactly because the world leaders and United Nations have virtually done nothing to stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, the CCP also continues to spread their campaign of terror to the Uighurs, Christians, Tibetans and Hongkongers.
The young protesters in Hong Kong are facing real bullets, tear gas, and water cannons every day. They are at the front line between the evil CCP and the free world, resisting the battle not only for the freedom of Hong Kong, but the freedom for all!
If Hong Kong loses, the world will lose!
And, do you think that Hong Kong is the only battlefield? Absolutely not. Before we realized it, the Spector of Communism has infiltrated the free world in sinister, deceptive, and non-violent ways, often manifested as various appealing socialist ideas and trends.
That’s why many politicians are making socialism sound so sweet; that’s why the majority of young Americans are feeling attracted by it.
The battlefields are not only in Hong Kong, but also here in the United States, between America’s founding principles, traditional values and the infiltration of Communism.
As a victim and survivor of a “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, I fully understand the seriousness of these battles. That’s why I feel compelled to continue to share my story to expose the true nature of the CCP.
Let us fight together with the Hong Kong protesters day after day, month after month, until we win.
And together, we will win.
Thank you very much!
Jennifer giving a speech “China Held Me Prisoner: How I Survived” at the Heritage Foundation on October 4, 2019. (Photo credit: Sound of Hope Radio)