by Milene Fernandez, May 30, 2015
Flushing, NY, May 30, 2015 – Zhang Peng, was a college tutor in his hometown of Hanyang City in Hunan Province, China. In his spare time he studied economics, history, and law. After passing the national lawyer’s certification test, he worked as a civil and commercial lawyer in addition to teaching.
Before 1999 he had a stable and successful career and a happy family life. He freely practiced Falun Gong, a spiritual practice for improving the mind and body.
From one day to the next—when the Chinese regime started to crackdown on Falun Gong adherents in 1999—he was detained arbitrarily. He was held for 11 years in makeshift detention centers (known as black jails), in a drug rehabilitation center, and in prison. It was a very dark and long period of suffering for Peng.
“Because I practiced truth, compassion, and forbearance, my credentials were revoked and I was jailed for 11 years. In those 3,000-some days, I can’t even remember how many times I was beaten, deprived of sleep, and tortured,” he said.
While Peng was in prison, many fellow Falun Gong practitioners in China and abroad helped him. They wrote to media and human rights organizations to expose the unjust imprisonment and torture, they wrote to police officers in the prison where he was held to persuade them to release Peng, they also called high-level CCP officials, demanding that Peng be released immediately.
Eventually he was released. In July 2013 he applied for a visa at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou and then flew to the U.S. via Hong Kong in January 2014. The United States granted him asylum.
He lived in Flushing, Queens in New York for about a year, he volunteered at the Tuidang Center providing technical support. He continues to help other Chinese people withdraw from the CCP, which is something he really enjoys doing he said.
He says, “When I explain the truth to Chinese people I always talk about how kindness is returned with goodness and evilness with retribution. I think this is the cultural tie, the profound spirit implanted in the minds of Chinese people. Although it has been covered up by decades of [Chinese Communist] Party culture indoctrination, that spirit of kindness is still there, deep in their hearts.”
Currently Peng resides in upstate New York.