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First Person Singular: How did they deprive us of our nationality?
First Person Singular will occasionally feature personal stories submitted to The Epoch Times. Here, a Falun Gong practitioner living in Paris describes being denied having her passport renewed due to her spiritual beliefs.
My name is Huang Ailan and I am living in Paris, France.
On February 2, 2004, I went to the consular office of the Chinese Embassy in France to renew my passport. After a lady took my documents including the application form and photos, she gave me a notice to pick up my passport on February 16.
Two weeks later on Monday, February 16, I returned to the consular office. The lady behind the pick-up window said she couldn’t find my passport. I subsequently asked security at the front gate. A man there made a call to ask others in the office but none of them could find my passport. After over two hours of waiting, I asked for the phone number of whoever was in charge of my passport extension, and he gave me the number of a Mr. Wang. When I returned home, I tried to call this number many times but the phone was never answered.
On Wednesday while I was away from home, my daughter received a call with the message that I could go to the Chinese Embassy the next day. That Thursday afternoon, I went to the embassy again. A security guard at the front gate stopped me and said it was not the right time to pick up a passport. I replied that Mr. Wang asked me to come. They insisted on not letting me in and said I could come on Friday. When I went there on Friday, I was told that, due to his busy schedule, Mr. Wang would see me the next week instead. Although I reported what I had encountered in the past week, he simply didn’t respond.
The following week, Mr. Wang again refused to see me. I became frustrated thinking that I couldn’t keep on doing this. The security guard called Mr. Wang again, mentioning that I had come many times. Several minutes later, I finally had a chance to meet Mr. Wang. He asked if I practice Falun Gong and when I told him “Yes, I do,” he began saying bad things about the meditation practice.
I told him, “After you listen to how the Chinese Communist Party has described Falun Gong, you shall have to hear what practitioners say.”
I stressed the mind and body improvements in my family after we started practicing Falun Gong. “Falun Gong teaches people to be truthful, compassionate, and tolerant. I don’t see any thing wrong,” I told him.
Mr. Wang asked me I write my opinion of Falun Gong. I answered that it was not necessary, as I had already presented my viewpoint. He still insisted. I said, “If I write down what I’ve said, will you extend my passport?” He said he would need more examinations.
One week later, I sent a registered letter to the embassy in which I explained how I have benefited from Falun Gong in both mind and body, and how brutally [former Chinese president Jiang Zemin’s] regime has persecuted Falun Gong. I felt I should tell more people the truth about Falun Gong, that the persecution against benign people should be ceased. I was hoping that once the people in the embassy knew the truth, they wouldn’t get involved with the persecution.
Several days later, I went to the embassy. Mr. Wang said he had received the letter. I asked about my passport. He said he would have to wait until he received a reply from the homeland and didn’t know how long it was going to take. I asked him if he could give a statement saying my passport was being processed. He refused and returned my passport, which would expire on June 1st.
On June 22, both my husband and I went to the embassy to renew our passports. We obtained a pick up form for July 6th. When we returned to the embassy on that day, we were in for a long wait again. When we gave our pick up form to the lady, she said our cases were special and would be processed by the homeland. I asked her which department was responsible for this issue and whether I could get contact information. She said, “How could I tell you that?” I then asked if I could leave my telephone for them for future contact, and she answered, “We have plenty of your documents with all kinds of information.” I then asked her for a written statement about why they refused to renew my passport. She rejected this and returned the passports to us.
After waiting for three months, the embassy still didn’t give us any reply. Without our passports we are unable to travel out of the country. Since we are Falun Gong practitioners, we have been deprived of our rights as Chinese citizens. Now, we lose our nationality.
So far, there are approximately 90 Falun Gong practitioners in 19 countries whose passports have been detained or refused for renewal.
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