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Urgent Appeal Update: Falun Gong Practitioner Abducted from Shanghai Airport Being Held in Anhui, at Risk of Torture

NEW YORK—According to reliable sources inside China, a Falun Gong practitioner who was abducted at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on February 18 en route to the United States is currently in the custody of the Public Security Bureau in Anhui province. The Falun Dafa Information Center is urging the international community to take immediate action to ensure his immediate release and safe passage to the United States.

The Center reported Mr. Jiang Feng’s (江峰) apparent abduction on March 1. (news) Since then, the Center has learned from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) that after Mr. Jiang passed through the security checkpoint at the airport, he was illegally abducted at the border inspection station. (news)

Jiang was then taken back to his hometown of Hefei in Anhui province, where he was transferred into the custody of the Public Security Bureau’s Domestic Security Department in Luyang district. He is currently being held in a facility run by the department where officers are reportedly using coercive means to force Mr. Jiang to renounce his faith in Falun Gong. The details of the location are: #478 Huaihe Rd, Hefei City, Anhui Province, tel: 0551-2831900.

According to China Digital Times, the Domestic Security Department is a branch of the Ministry of Public Security and Public Security Bureau specializing in monitoring and dealing with political dissidents, petitioners, and religious groups (link).

"According to the reports we're seeing, at this very moment, Jiang is being subjected to highly coercive measures, which most certainly involves torture," says Falun Dafa Information Center Executive Director Levi Browde. "'Brainwashing' facilities like the one where Jiang is being held are essentially torture facilities aimed at forcing victims to renounce their faith...he must be rescued immediately."

Among the individuals known to be involved in the handling of Jiang’s case are:
•    Ding Zhongbing, the Head of the Domestic Security Department, Luyang District Public Security Bureau;
•    Wei Min, the policeman of the Domestic Security Department, Luyang District Public Security Bureau;

The Falun Dafa Information Center urges: 

  • Human rights groups and elected representatives to write to the Chinese authorities to demand the immediate release and safe travel of Mr. Jiang to the United States. Suggested targets for letters include the Chinese embassy, the Ministry of Public Security, and the local authorities in Hefei. Sample wording for such letters is available upon request.
  • Concerned citizens around the world to write to their elected officials and/or the local Chinese embassy to encourage action on Mr. Jiang’s case.  

In past cases, such as that of Qin Shizhen in 2008, international pressure has succeeded in gaining the release of Falun Gong practitioners held at similar forced conversion facilities (link).

Note to editors: Mei Xuan is available for interviews upon request.


Background

On February 18, 2010, Mr. Jiang Feng traveled to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport aiming to board Continental Airlines Flight #CO86 to Newark, where his wife was scheduled to meet him. The couple have been married for eleven years, but because of the Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong, have spent only a few months by each other’s side.

Jiang checked in at the ticketing counter at 2:55pm, two hours prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time, but never made it aboard the flight. Jiang had previously been illegally imprisoned for three years for practicing Falun Gong.

Jiang’s wife, who also practices Falun Gong, is known publicly by the stage name "Mei Xuan" (her real name is being kept anonymous for security reasons). After her own release from prison in 2006, Mei Xuan fled to the United States. In 2007, she joined the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts (website) and began touring with the company as an erhu soloist, receiving widespread acclaim for the moving expressiveness of her performances.

Since then, police officers have repeatedly visited Mei Xuan’s brother and sister at their workplaces, urging them to pressure her to leave Shen Yun. In November 2009, her mother, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner, was taken to a “brainwashing” center. It is widely believed that Mr. Jiang’s abduction is similarly aimed at pressuring Mei Xuan to cease performing with Shen Yun.

With its mission to revive Chinese artistic traditions and spiritual heritage, Shen Yun’s shows include classical Chinese dance, vocalists and instrumental soloists like Mei Xuan. Some pieces portray ancient legends as well as events in present-day China, such as the persecution of Falun Gong.

Since their inception, the Chinese regime has consistently attempted to interfere with Shen Yun performances, including by intimidating and harassing its artists’ relatives in mainland China (for a detailed list of incidents and evidence see here). Such attempts originate in the Communist Party's fears of some Shen Yun performances depicting what is happening to Falun Gong in modern day China and its reviving the very cultural traditions that the Party has sought to destroy since assuming power in China in 1949.