The brutal persecution of people who practice Falun Gong in China has been ongoing since 1999. People knowledgeable of China’s human rights situation are aware of this. Regular folk not so much, that’s why this 9-minute long Fox 11 news report above has had such an impact on those who have watched it.
The heart of the report focusses on one Californian family’s attempts to retrieve the body of Kefei Wang, who was 30 years old when she died in a Chinese labor camp nearly 20 years ago.
Kefei was imprisoned for peacefully appealing with her sister Yifei Wang against the persecution. Yifei, a former journalist for a state-run media, ended up being freed by a sympathetic guard and she eventually managed to escape China and now lives in California.
Prison officials said that Kefei died of a heart attack, but her family believes she was tortured to death and they’ve been asking for her body so they can perform an autopsy on it.
Secretly-filmed video shown in the Fox report shows a prison official in 2015 telling the family they can only see the body if they agree she died of natural causes. Today, they’re still struggling to get Kefei’s body so they can also give her a proper funeral.
“I can’t even think about her, because when I do, it always breaks my heart,” Yifei said in the Fox report. “I think about when we were young and would play together; she was a brilliant girl.”
The struggle that Kefei’s family is going through to get her body back is also the focus of Finding Courage, a yet-to-be released documentary by Swoop Films that shares secretly shot footage filmed inside China’s labor camps with Fox.
Watch the teaser for Finding Courage below.
What Kefei’s family is going through has caught the attention of Shawn Steel, who serves as the Republican National Committeeman of California.
“A heart attack on a 30-year-old woman is of course the typical story you get from totalitarian regimes,” said Steel, whose wife’s family fled from North Korea.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s almost too much for television,” Steel said.
“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,” he said.
“If we put a spotlight on it, maybe we can actually help save the lives of many people we don’t even know.”
Among the video footage shown in the Fox report was that taken by Ming Yu, who was a successful businessman before he was imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong. His footage of exhausted prisoners and another badly beaten by guards were taken using a hidden camera in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics.
Another video, that Ming took in 2016, shows Falun Gong practitioner Hu Guojian in a torture-induced coma with his leg shackled to a hospital bed. Hu later died.
“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,” Ming told Fox. “The Chinese Communist Party has a quota of people to be killed, and I am one of them.”
Falun Gong is a meditation practice that includes the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance at its core. Its popularity among the Chinese population led the then-communist leader Jiang Zemin to persecute the spiritual practice beginning on July 20, 1999.
The report estimated that 7-10 million people continue to practice Falun Gong in China, while Falun Gong sources outside of China give a figure of 20-40 million.
However, Falun Gong practitioners in China remain under severe persecution and remain at risk of arbitrary detention, torture, organ harvesting, and extrajudicial execution.
For more video smuggled out of China, watch this report from DECLASSIFIED — The Epoch Times: