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University student in Springfield fights to free parents in China

By Linda Russell, KY3 News
August 19, 2008

SPRINGFIELD -- A young Chinese woman studying at Missouri State University says China is using the Olympics in Bejing for its political gain. The young woman wants the world to know about the terrible human rights situation behind the scenes.

Jin Pang is 25 years old. She's been in the U.S. for a year, and her parents are still in China. About a week before the Olympic opening ceremonies, they were both arrested and are being held in a detention center, all because of a spiritual practice.

While the world is watching all the swimming, gymnastics and volleyball in Bejing, Jin is wishing she could see her parents. In late July, they were both arrested, because Jin's mother does Falun Gong, a spiritual practice the Chinese Communist Party has been trying to eradicate since 1999.

"Falun Gong is a peaceful and spiritual practice," says Jin. In fact, Jin practices Falun Gong herself, doing meditations and exercises, and trying to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. She's thankful she can safely do the practice in the U.S., but in China, it's much different. "There's no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press. But the CCP says they have; they write everything in the laws, but they never practice the laws," Jin said.

She says her mother has been arrested multiple times for the practice, the worst in 2001, when she was held and tortured for eleven days, sustaining severe burns, cuts and bruises. Jin says over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China have been beaten to death. Jin fears what may be happening now, and has no way to contact her mother and father. "I'm very concerned about my parents," Jin said.

As the Olympics go on, and Jin safely practices Falun Gong here in the U.S., she wants the world to know what is going on behind closed doors. "Some Chinese people don't believe it," she says. Jin knows about the persecution because of her family's experience, and wants nothing more than to free her parents, and stop the persecution. Jin's plea to her country's government: "Stop killing people in China."

Jin is appealing to government officials, and on Friday, Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Kansas City for a press conference to bring attention to Jin's parents and other Chinese prisoners. Jin hopes enough attention will bring freedom for her parents and change in China.

Jin says forty people in her home town of Weifang City were arrested in just one day, and she has heard that the arrests are ongoing, even during the Olympics. Jin says she was nearly kidnapped by communist police once, and was also kicked out of her first university after they learned she practiced Falun Gong.

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