Address at the Human Rights Torch Relay in Tel Aviv
Address by Jennifer Zeng, Author of Witnessing History(http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/210894/witnessing-history-by-jennifer-zeng/)
Human Rights Torch Relay, PUBLIC LIBRARY, Tel Aviv
February 18, 2008
Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak.
Some 60 years ago, shocked by what had happened to millions of Jews in the Nazi concentration camps, the world vowed "Never Again". Unfortunately, similar anti-humanity crimes have been happening again now for over eight years in China - and are still happening today. Crimes, not only similar, but with a new twist of evil not seen before throughout recorded history, which is killing people en masse for their vital organs.
For any sensible human being, this sounds unbelievable. But I know it is true as, I myself, am a survivor. In order to get out of a “party-state” concentration camp and to tell the world what was happening there, I have experienced something worse than death.
I was sent to the Female Forced-Labour Camp in Beijing in 2001 for practising Falun Gong. The police made it clear that the only purpose to be sent there was to be "reformed", which meant to force us to give up our beliefs. In order to achieve this, the police stopped at nothing. We were not allowed to sleep for as long as 15 days and 15 nights, sometimes even one month. We were shocked with electric batons, beaten up, sexually abused, forced to work under appalling conditions for 16 and even 20 hours a day. We were put under severe and endless mental pressure to betray our own beliefs in "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance".
I saw people driven into insanity one by one; I knew cases of death. This so-called "reform", in reality, deprived people of the very essence of being human: sanity, a free will, dignity and an awareness of who you are. After being "reformed", human beings were reduced to being living corpses.
Having witnessing all sorts of unimaginable crimes for months, I suddenly developed a very strong impulse to write a book to expose it all. When I made the decision to give a statement to give up my beliefs-so that I could gain freedom to write a book- I didn't know that the cost would be so dear. I was forced to write "thought reports" and essays as long as 18 pages slandering my cherished beliefs. I was forced to read out a slanderous article with a calm face in front of cameras and hundreds of inmates in the camp; I was even forced to help the police to torture the newcomers in order to make them "reform". I'm too ashamed to go into more details. There were many times when I wondered why I had not gone mad or died.
Yet, among all these inhuman crimes, would you believe that camp officials pretended to care about our health so much that they gave us very thorough physical periodic check-ups, including X-rays and blood tests! While in the labour camp, I never had the heart or ability to think why they did this, until, with a chilling realization, I learnt that blood tests and a data base of blood and tissue types was necessary to set up a large live organ bank.
For those who don't know what the day-to-day life is like behind the walls of 21st century Nazi-like camps, I invite you to read my book: "Witnessing History-one woman's fight for freedom and Falun Gong". It is a first-hand account of my life, written with a lot of tears. It is about what is happening in a place some 20 kilometres from the Tiananmen Square, or thirty from the main Olympics facility in Beijing. Even before you finish it, you will draw your own conclusion as to whether humankind and the Olympics movement will benefit from an Olympiad hosted by a Hitler-type regime.