‘Save My Mother’: Toronto Student Seeks Help for Mother Persecuted in China

Liu Mingyuan says her mother was detained in September amid Beijing's ongoing persecution of Falun Gong adherents A Toronto college student is speaking out against the Chinese regime’s detention of her mother for her belief in Falun Gong. “Today, I am sharing the story about me and my family. But this is also the story of countless Falun Gong practitioners over the past 20 years,” Liu Mingyuan said on Nov. 18 at a protest outside the Chinese Consulate to draw attention to her mother’s persecution. Liu Mingyuan’s mother, Liu Yan, was arrested by Chinese authorities on Sept. 30 in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in southwest China, and has been detained there ever since. Twenty-four-year-old Liu Mingyuan, who also goes by the name of Lucy, moved to Canada in August to study computer animation at Sheridan College. From a young age, she has witnessed her family being torn apart multiple times by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their practice of Falun Gong. “I only hope that we could raise more awareness and bring help from the international society to end this brutal persecution.” Liu Yan (L) with her husband and their daughter, Liu Mingyuan, in a file photo. Liu Yan was arrested by Chinese authorities on Sept. 30, 2021, for her belief in Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Liu Mingyuan) Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that includes meditation exercises and teachings based on the principles of “truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.” Also called Falun Dafa, the practice emerged in 1992 in China, where it quickly spread due to its reported benefits to mental and physical health. By 1999, it had attracted 70 million to 100 million adherents across the country, according to Chinese government estimates. However, former CCP leader Jiang Zemin perceived that popularity as a threat to the regime’s authoritarian rule. On July 20, 1999, Jiang launched a Cultural Revolution-style hate campaign and violent suppression aimed at eradicating the practice. He also established the “610 Office,” a Gestapo-like extrajudicial body that spearheads the persecution of Falun Gong adherents. Born Into Persecution Before her most recent arrest, Liu Yan had already been detained and imprisoned several times for her belief. In 1999, the Chinese regime detained her along with her daughter, who was then just 2 years old, for refusing to give up her belief in Falun Gong. Liu Yan was eventually released, and she later found a teaching position at Jilin University–Lambton College in China’s northeastern city of Changchun. The job brought her into close contact with Canadian academics, as the institution has a partnership with North American universities, including the Memorial University of Newfoundland. But in 2001, Liu Yan’s career was ended when Jiang intensified his draconian campaign of persecution against Falun Gong adherents. The police once again targeted her, and she was forced into hiding. “In an attempt to lure out my mother, the police tried to take me hostage at my preschool,” Liu Mingyuan said. To escape further persecution, Liu Mingyuan’s father decided to move the family to another city. After relocating to Kunming, however, they were again targeted. Liu Mingyuan’s father and mother were detained, one in 2012 and the other in 2015, and sentenced to imprisonment for several years. Liu Mingyuan said her mother could face another three to four years in prison following her latest arrest. Sun Qian, a Falun Dafa adherent who has been detained in China since February 2017, in an undated photo. (The Epoch Times/Handout) Joel Chipkar, a spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, said Liu Yan is among 12 other prisoners of conscience with Canadian ties who remain in custody in China due to their practice of the Falun Gong spiritual faith. One of them is a Canadian citizen, Sun Qian, who was arrested in Beijing in February 2017. Chinese police forcibly entered her home, dragged her out, and took her to a detention centre. She was then subjected to torture with the aim of forcing her to renounce her faith. In June 2020, more than three years after her arrest, Sun was sentenced to eight years in prison. She also renounced her Canadian citizenship while in detention, a move interpreted as having been made under duress. Chipkar noted that the CCP has a history of “using interference, propaganda, and fake news” in efforts to influence Canadian government officials, such as by demonizing the regime’s victims in order to quell support for human rights in China. “The communist party is not just targeting Falun Gong, it is targeting Canadian values and the morality and conscience of all Canadian government officials and Canadian citizens,” Chipkar said. Follow Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.

‘Save My Mother’: Toronto Student Seeks Help for Mother Persecuted in China

Liu Mingyuan says her mother was detained in September amid Beijing's ongoing persecution of Falun Gong adherents

A Toronto college student is speaking out against the Chinese regime’s detention of her mother for her belief in Falun Gong.

“Today, I am sharing the story about me and my family. But this is also the story of countless Falun Gong practitioners over the past 20 years,” Liu Mingyuan said on Nov. 18 at a protest outside the Chinese Consulate to draw attention to her mother’s persecution.

Liu Mingyuan’s mother, Liu Yan, was arrested by Chinese authorities on Sept. 30 in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in southwest China, and has been detained there ever since.

Twenty-four-year-old Liu Mingyuan, who also goes by the name of Lucy, moved to Canada in August to study computer animation at Sheridan College.

From a young age, she has witnessed her family being torn apart multiple times by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their practice of Falun Gong.

“I only hope that we could raise more awareness and bring help from the international society to end this brutal persecution.”

Epoch Times Photo
Liu Yan (L) with her husband and their daughter, Liu Mingyuan, in a file photo. Liu Yan was arrested by Chinese authorities on Sept. 30, 2021, for her belief in Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Liu Mingyuan)

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that includes meditation exercises and teachings based on the principles of “truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.” Also called Falun Dafa, the practice emerged in 1992 in China, where it quickly spread due to its reported benefits to mental and physical health. By 1999, it had attracted 70 million to 100 million adherents across the country, according to Chinese government estimates.

However, former CCP leader Jiang Zemin perceived that popularity as a threat to the regime’s authoritarian rule. On July 20, 1999, Jiang launched a Cultural Revolution-style hate campaign and violent suppression aimed at eradicating the practice. He also established the “610 Office,” a Gestapo-like extrajudicial body that spearheads the persecution of Falun Gong adherents.

Born Into Persecution

Before her most recent arrest, Liu Yan had already been detained and imprisoned several times for her belief. In 1999, the Chinese regime detained her along with her daughter, who was then just 2 years old, for refusing to give up her belief in Falun Gong.

Liu Yan was eventually released, and she later found a teaching position at Jilin University–Lambton College in China’s northeastern city of Changchun. The job brought her into close contact with Canadian academics, as the institution has a partnership with North American universities, including the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

But in 2001, Liu Yan’s career was ended when Jiang intensified his draconian campaign of persecution against Falun Gong adherents. The police once again targeted her, and she was forced into hiding.

“In an attempt to lure out my mother, the police tried to take me hostage at my preschool,” Liu Mingyuan said.

To escape further persecution, Liu Mingyuan’s father decided to move the family to another city. After relocating to Kunming, however, they were again targeted. Liu Mingyuan’s father and mother were detained, one in 2012 and the other in 2015, and sentenced to imprisonment for several years.

Liu Mingyuan said her mother could face another three to four years in prison following her latest arrest.

Epoch Times Photo
Sun Qian, a Falun Dafa adherent who has been detained in China since February 2017, in an undated photo. (The Epoch Times/Handout)

Joel Chipkar, a spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, said Liu Yan is among 12 other prisoners of conscience with Canadian ties who remain in custody in China due to their practice of the Falun Gong spiritual faith.

One of them is a Canadian citizen, Sun Qian, who was arrested in Beijing in February 2017. Chinese police forcibly entered her home, dragged her out, and took her to a detention centre. She was then subjected to torture with the aim of forcing her to renounce her faith.

In June 2020, more than three years after her arrest, Sun was sentenced to eight years in prison. She also renounced her Canadian citizenship while in detention, a move interpreted as having been made under duress.

Chipkar noted that the CCP has a history of “using interference, propaganda, and fake news” in efforts to influence Canadian government officials, such as by demonizing the regime’s victims in order to quell support for human rights in China.

“The communist party is not just targeting Falun Gong, it is targeting Canadian values and the morality and conscience of all Canadian government officials and Canadian citizens,” Chipkar said.


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Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.