My 71-year-old mother passed away in China on Sunday 27 April after a long illness. Sadly, I am not able to go to China to pay my respects and say a final goodbye to my mother because the Chinese Embassy has not issued me a visa simply because I practice Falun Gong.
As the eldest son I should be leading the funeral, the week-long mourning and a memorial service on the seventh day according to local traditions. I have now missed all of these without a visa, although my wife and son left Australia for China last Tuesday 29 April.
My case is the latest among many Australian citizens who practice Falun Gong, but who are unable to visit China when their parents are terminally ill or have passed away.
When a parent dies and sons and daughters wish to attend the funeral and memorial services, any government and individuals around the world will give assistance, but not the current government of China to Falun Gong practitioners. My mother’s ashes are now stored temporarily in the crematorium. I wish to spend some time beside her ashes, pay my respects and say a final goodbye to her.
My passport is still in the Chinese Embassy, waiting for a visa to be issued.
I can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org