I am an 11th grade student studying music in New York. Before I came here, I lived with my parents in China. My parents Chen Yang (52 years old) and Cao Zhimin (47 years old), who are from Changsha City, Hunan province, were arrested on 27 October 2020, for practicing the Buddhist qigong meditation practice, Falun Gong.
They were arrested for practicing their religion, which is a religion that teaches people to be good, to be a better person to family and to society. According to the website, 9 people were arrested that night.
I don’t know anything about their conditions now. It’s been two years, and I haven’t been able to contact them for more than a year.
I don’t know how they are doing and I’m wondering what happened to them, and where they are. If they are in a detention center,
I want to know what happened to them, how they were treated and why they couldn’t be released home.
Since my mother has been gone, I also don’t know the situation of my grandparents and how their lives will be impacted, how much it will affect them, and whether they will be harassed.
My father is a computer engineer. He was also arrested back in 1999 and sentenced to four years in prison and tortured, including being shocked with electric batons and beaten until one of his teeth was knocked out.
My mother is an English tutor. She was also arrested back in 1999 and given a three-year term and forced to do slave labor for more than 10 hours a day.
My father is a quiet man, he is very kind. My mother is more outgoing, she loves children and has a very beautiful voice.
I remember when I was 5 years old, my mother and I were taken by plain clothed police when she was taking me to kindergarten. At least 5 unidentified men dragged us both into an unmarked sedan and took us to a Brainwashing Center in Changsha City.
My extended family have also been unable to reach my parents at the detention centre since 26 October 2020. Lawyers hired by our family were pressured by their law firms and local Human Justice bureaus to withdraw from the case and were prevented from visiting the Liuyang Police Department and the Liuyang Procuratorate.
My father’s location is currently unknown. My mother is currently supposed to be detained in Changsha City Fourth (Women’s) Detention Center but we can’t verify that she is still there.
I hope people can help me, sign a petition together, or write some letters to China, calling for Chinese government to release my parents.
Here is a video of me speaking about my situation to try and raise awareness and get help. https://www.instagram.com/p/CXUvkhHLOeu/