WARNING: THIS ARTICLE INCLUDES GRAPHIC CONTENT
There is a saying, “Time heals all wounds.” However, the devastating loss of Wang Kefei—a former staff member of the Changchun Agricultural Bank—in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party still weighs heavily on the shoulder of her family, even though almost two decades have passed since her tragic death.
Wang Yifei, a former journalist for the Chinese Communist Party, who lives in exile in San Francisco after escaping persecution in her home country, still struggles to heal the pain from losing her beloved sister—Wang Kefei. She broke down when her sister’s name was mentioned in an interview with Fox 11 Los Angeles.
“I can’t even think about her, because when I do, it always breaks my heart,” said Yifei while sobbing uncontrollably. “I think about when we were young and would play together, she was a brilliant girl.”
Yifei’s sister, Kefei, was allegedly persecuted to death in Heizuizi Female Labor Camp of Jilin Province for practicing an ancient meditation practice known as Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.
“During the painful one-month hunger strike before Wang Kefei left the human world, the guards in the labor camp tortured her both mentally and physically,” said a witness, Minghui.org— a clearinghouse for firsthand information related to the persecution of Falun Gong—reported.
“During two years of detention, I witnessed the guards’ extremely brutal and wicked behavior; they are the real murderers. Wang Kefei is only one of the many Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted.”
On December 20, 2001, Kefei was sent to Tiebei Police Hospital and died on the same day.
“A few days before she passed away, even before they sent Wang Kefei to the hospital, the officials from the labor camp forced each and every person to sign their names on a statement, which said that Wang Kefei’s death had nothing to do with guard Wang Lihua,” the witness continued.
Though nearly 20 years have passed, Yifei and her family are still seeking justice for the murder of Kefei. They are demanding the Chinese government to return her body. During a 2015 trip to China, Yifei’s husband, Gordon, secretly recorded the negotiation with the authority that unfolded at the Jilin women’s labor camp.
In the secretly filmed video, Gordon is seen sitting in the office of the labor camp. He has specifically traveled to China in 2015 for this meeting. He waited an hour and a half with other family members just to see the labor camp director.
“It’s been 15 years and we haven’t seen it, we just want to see the body,” a family member says. “We want to know if it’s still here, we write every year to request to see the body.” The director answers: “It’s still here. We pay the morgue fees every year, I sign for it every year, every six months.”
However, the director says the family still can’t see the body, unless they agree that “she died naturally.” In response to the unreasonable request, the family says: “You don’t have proof it was natural. To put it simply, director, she didn’t die of normal causes!”
Hearing the family’s accusation, the director remains silent. The director’s silence seems an admission of the allegation that Kefei was tortured to death by the authorities in the labor camp. In the end, the family left the labor camp empty-handed.
In spite of slim hope with the passing of time, Gordon will never stop trying to get her body back. He will never stop seeking justice for the murder of his sister-in-law, whom he believes, was persecuted to death at the hands of the Chinese authorities. Speaking to Fox 11, he said: “I wanted to get the truth out about Kefei’s death. And I wanted to get her body released.”
Both Yifei and Kefei are practitioners of Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, an ancient mind-body cultivation practice based upon the principles—Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Falun Gong is practiced by people in over 100 countries today, and it has received more than 2000 awards and recognition for its great virtue.
However, in China, former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin launched a brutal persecution to eradicate the practice on Jul. 20, 1999. With an estimated 70 to 100 million adherents in China, the CCP perceived Falun Gong’s presence as a threat to its authoritarian rule.
Since then, Falun Gong is defamed, slandered, and persecuted. Many people believed the Chinese Communist government’s slanderous media propaganda and hated Falun Gong. To dispel the lies, many practitioners have gone to Tiananmen Square and other places, telling people about the beauty of Falun Dafa and appealing to stop the brutal persecution of Falun Gong.
In 2001, the two sisters, as with millions of Falun Gong adherents, were arrested by the totalitarian Chinese regime for holding up banners saying “Falun Dafa is Good” at Tiananmen square. “Millions of innocent people in China have been fired, expelled, jailed, tortured, or killed simply for practicing Falun Gong,” the Falun Dafa Information Center states.
“Over the past 18 years, numerous Falun Gong practitioners have lost their homes, jobs, even their lives,” said Erping Zhang, a Falun Gong spokesperson. “Worse still, there is the horrific crime of organ harvesting against these prisoners of conscience.”
These Falun Gong practitioners, including Yifei and Kefei, were arrested and imprisoned in labor camps to be “re-educated” so as to force them to give up their belief. The lucky Yifei escaped torture and death as she was eventually released by a sympathetic guard.
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) May 21, 2019
Unfortunately, Kefei never made it out of the labor camp. Her family was told Kefei, just 30 at the time, died of a heart attack after spending four months in the facility. Yifei and her family have never believed that Kefei passed away due to a heart attack.
When the family saw Kefei’s condition at the hospital, they knew she was being tortured to death. “The family doesn’t believe that, they saw her at the hospital—they want an autopsy and want to check for blunt-force trauma on her bones, that sort of thing,” Fox 11 investigative reporter, Bill Melugin, said.
The family believes her body is currently being held by the labor camp. “The family are hoping to have a formal funeral for her [Kefei] and more importantly, they want an autopsy. Again, the camp told the family that she died of a heart attack at around 30-years-old,” Melugin added.
No one could imagine the inhumane tortures Kefei went through in the Chinese labor camp.
As per Status of Chinese People, a website that exposes rights abuses in China, there are as many as 100 types of torture used on Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience, such as savage beatings, sexual abuse, handcuffing in painful positions for long periods, exposure to weather extremes, force-feeding with urine or feces, cigarette burns, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, and impaling of fingernails with sharpened bamboo sticks.
Thanks to Ming Yu, a friend of the family and a successful entrepreneur in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, who lost his clothing factory after the persecution began, the brutal treatment of Falun Gong practitioners inside Chinese labor camps is finally exposed to the world with the undercover footage, which he had secretly captured at a notorious labor camp.
Yu, who has spent 12 years in the CCP’s prisons and labor camps, risked his life to shoot the undercover videos while imprisonment by bribing a guard. He used hidden miniature cameras which were designed as different products like car keys and a watch.
Yu said: “If you’re ever caught doing this kind of thing, videotaping the details of what’s happening in these camps, you would lose your life.” He added the Chinese Communist party has “a quota of people to be killed,” and he is one of them.
When The Epoch Times asked Yu whether the risky attempt was worthwhile, he replied without hesitation: “Yes, it was. We had to do it. More than 10 fellow Falun Gong practitioners around me had already been tortured to death during the persecution.” He continued: “How could you measure the value of lives? I never regret risking my life to prevent more killings.”
Yu fled China on January 27, crossing the border to Thailand and subsequently making his way to San Francisco. He brought these secretly recorded videos overseas and provided them to media outlets with the aim to show the vicious acts of the CCP to the world.
In one footage shot during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it shows rows of prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners, being forced to work excruciating long hours to make diodes and other products to be sold globally. Yu told Fox 11 the workers were denied breaks, and some even fell asleep under their working table due to extreme exhaustion.
In another footage which he filmed, a distraught wife is crying by her husband’s bedside during his final moment. The scrawny husband with marks on his skin, is shackled to his bed, after being allegedly tortured by guards at the Mansanjia Labor Camp for his beliefs in Falun Gong. He later died in a vegetative state.
These never before disclosed undercover clips were shown to the international community on Fox 11 in Los Angeles on May 20. These videos may be hard for some viewers to watch, but to reporter, Melukin, “This is reality.”
“It’s unbelievable, It’s almost too much for television,” Shawn Steel, Republican National Committeeman of California, told the news outlet. “But it’s such an important story, because there’s millions of people involved, but it’s also personal, it’s Los Angeles, it’s California, it’s what people in this state have been living with for years and finally the story is getting out. If we put a spotlight on it, maybe we can actually help save the lives of many people we don’t even know.”
“These are people who are just trying to live,” said Kay Rubacek. “This is not someone who died of a heart attack,” she continued, alluding to Kefei’s mysterious death. “We’re talking about brutal torture, and for what? For standing up for freedom of belief, something we take for granted.”
Kay Rubacek, a producer with Swoop Films, has made a documentary called Finding Courage, which tells the heartbreaking story of the Wang family, as well as the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.
To learn more about documentary Finding Courage, visit its website.
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