Bath woman condemns Chinese persecution over sister's death
A Bath woman has collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition calling for greater international pressure on China after her sister was killed in the country over her spiritual beliefs.
Amy Liu Palmer was born in Beijing, but moved to Bath in 2001 to live with her husband after her sister Liu Bai Yin died in a Chinese prison where she had been sent for teaching falun gong – a traditional practice to improve mind and body.
Those who did the exercises after 1999 were arrested and asked to denounce the practice, or face torture.
People who refused to recant after torture disappeared, and it is claimed they were killed for organ transplants, although the Chinese authorities have always denied this.
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Mrs Palmer, 42, who lives in Bathwick, and fears she would be killed if she returned to China, said: "These innocent people are killed for their beliefs.
"When my sister was killed I suffered badly from depression, and it was falun gong that helped me. I wanted to do something positive, and to raise awareness, as this is something that the government try to keep secret."
Liu Bai Yin was sent to prison for a year in 2001, leaving her husband and four-year-old son behind.
She was released in 2002, but when she refused to stop believing in falun gong, she was sent back.
During her time in prison she was tortured, declared an enemy of the state, and forced to divorce her husband.
She was then killed, and Mrs Palmer believes the 35-year- old's organs were taken and sold on the black market.
She said: "We were not allowed to see her body when she died, she was cremated and we were just given her ashes.
"There was no chance for us to say goodbye to her.
"Everyone has their beliefs, and my sister was killed because she stood up for hers.
"This is happening to many people in China, it is not right."
The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs is investigating the forced harvesting of organs, amid claims that the organs of up to 60,000 falun gong prisoners had been taken.
Mrs Palmer regularly talks to shoppers in Bath and Bristol, asking them to sign her petition.
So far 10,000 people have, and every year in June she takes the latest signatures to Downing Street.
She said: "I am determined that people will know what is happening, and hope that we can make a difference and put an end to this."
To sign the petition or find out more, visit www.facebook.com/StopOrganTheft.