Daughter pleads for help to get parents out of Chinese jail

North London Newspapers

Friday, 11 January 2013

Campaigning: Amy Minghui Yu

By Ruth McKee

A WOMAN who claims her parents have been arrested and imprisoned by the Chinese government because of their spiritual views has launched a campaign to get them released.

Amy Minghui Yu, 24, of Chiswick Road, Edmonton, is determined to bring her parents’ plight to the attention of the world.

She says her mother and father were thrown into jail in China for practising the spiritual discipline Falun Gong.

Those who practise Falun Gong meditate, take part in Tai Chi-style exercises and live by a moral code similar to Buddhism.

But China’s communist dictatorship persecutes followers, branding them fanatical religious zealots.

And when Amy’s father, Zonghai Yu, wrote that “Falun Dafa (how the teachings are commonly referred to) is good” on a wall in Mudanjiang City, in Heilongjiang province, 11 years ago, he was immediately arrested.

“He had a trial but there was no lawyer allowed, no family allowed,” Amy told the Gazette.

“He was thrown into Mudanjiang prison and sentenced to 15 years.”

Amy says that, two years later, the family was targeted again when police broke into their home and lay in wait to arrest her mother, Meihong Wong, who had been distributing flyers and CDs in a bid to help the persecuted followers of Falan Gong.

“I came home first and as I opened the door I was dragged into the house and one policeman forced me to keep silent by covering my mouth firmly,” said Amy.

“He whispered: ‘Don’t make any noise, we are waiting for your mother to arrest her’.”

Amy, a magazine journalist, said that over the next half hour she was on the verge of passing out from fear before the police restraining her received a call that her mother had been detained elsewhere.

The police then tore through the home, searching for evidence that would incriminate her mother.

She was sent straight to prison without trial for 11 years.

The then 17-year-old Amy went to stay with relatives and stopped practising Falun Gong until she moved to London in 2010 to study fashion design.

Amy believes that the only way her parents will be released is if the international community puts concerted pressure on the Chinese government.

She admits that her fear for their welfare increases daily.

“I am very worried about my parents. They are in a very dangerous situation – particularly my father,” she added.

“My parents have done nothing wrong. What they have done is just raise awareness of theirs and others’ plight in a very peaceful way.”
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