Gao Zhisheng has been praised as “the conscience of Chinese lawyers” and “a great hero.” China’s Ministry of Justice rated him one of China’s top ten lawyers in 2001. He has earned a reputation for courage in standing up against human rights abuses and is one of only a handful of lawyers in China who will defend those persecuted for their religious or spiritual beliefs. Recently, Mr. Gao published a statement withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an act of great bravery. In that statement, he spoke of the investigation he had taken into the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, of learning of the “indescribable violence done to our kind people” by the CCP, and of how spending a dozen days interviewing Falun Gong practitioners was a “shocking experience” to his soul. In the following open letter to CCP head Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, Mr. Gao gives the details about what he uncovered in that investigation and the conclusions he has drawn regarding China’s current condition and possible future rebirth. This is Mr. Gao’s third open letter to Hu and Wen.
We Must Immediately Stop the Brutality That Suffocates Our Nation’s Conscience and Morality
Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, and all other conscientious fellow Chinese citizens:
I, Gao Zhisheng, send you my greetings from Changchun City. I would first like to convey my deepest mourning for the innocent fellow Chinese citizens killed by the Guangdong government, and my condolences and support for the family members of the victims. At the same time, I would like to express my strongest protest against the brutality of slaughtering our kind countrymen. I strongly urge that the highest authorities follow the basic principles recognized by civil societies, punish the murderers and those responsible for these acts, and comfort and compensate the families of the victims.
Winter in Changchun is extremely cold. Although in “hiding” in a room that doesn’t have water most of the time, my blood is boiling hot. The reason isn’t because I am again writing an open letter to Hu and Wen. Instead, simply being able to work for the future of one of the greatest peoples in the world is enough to make any ordinary citizen’s blood boil.
On October 18, also with red-hot enthusiasm, I wrote an open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, two fellow countrymen of mine, urgently calling on their government to “Stop Persecuting Believers in Freedom and Mend Your Ties with the Chinese People.” The next day, I received blatant threats over the phone at home. Starting the third day, at least 10 cars and 20 plainclothes police officers began circling, monitoring, and following my entire family every day, 24 hours a day. The 15th day after I wrote the letter, the Beijing Judicial Bureau illegally closed the law firm I ran. It is very regrettable how our country treats a citizen who openly makes suggestions.
Another strong reaction prompted by the open letter was that Falun Gong believers from various parts of China who have been persecuted have written me and invited me to their areas to learn more about their true situation. Quite a few of these letters were from the cities of Changchun and Dalian. Beginning on November 29, I spent almost 24 hours a day continuously traveling between Jinan City, Shandong province; Dalian and Fuxin cities, Liaoning province; and Changchun City, Jilin province to conduct another round of investigations. Unlike my usual practice of traveling solo, I was honored to be accompanied by Professor Jiao Guobiao.
Meanwhile, flocks of plainclothes police were still hovering around my home night and day, creating an atmosphere of terror and severely suppressing my entire family. On November 29, I escaped being followed and encircled by more than 20 plainclothes police and spent 15 days investigating the truth in my own way. I especially would like to say here that we try our best to tell the truth of how this nation is being continually and brutally persecuted, especially at this time. This is also to remind our entire nation of the severity and urgency of the problems we are facing. It is time for our nation and each and every one of us to seriously face our problems. Any excuse or delay by any means is committing a crime against our entire nation!
In this letter, I will not avoid any of the real problems I saw, even if this means I may be immediately arrested when this letter is publicized. The 15 days of investigation again showed me the painful truth. The 6-10 Office is–or at least can be called–a gang that exists within the political power of the nation, yet is higher than the political power. It is a gang that can control and regulate all political resources. Although it is an organization that exists outside of the Constitution and the regulations of the country’s power structure, the 6-10 Office is using many powers that are only supposed to be used by agencies of the national government, and even many powers that are beyond those of agencies of the national government. It uses powers that don’t belong and have never belonged to the nation since the beginning of mankind’s political civilization on this earth.
We can see that the power symbolized by the number 6-10 continues to “interface” with the public through ways such as killing a person’s physical body and spirit, shackles, chains, electric shock tortures, and “tiger benches.” The nature of this power has become that of a criminal gang. It continues to torture our mothers, sisters, children, and our entire nation. Mr. Hu and Mr. Wen, as members of our nation in special positions at this time, and especially as individuals who are perceived by the majority of the public as being conscientious, you should face everything together with all of us.
At this moment, with a trembling heart and a trembling pen, I am writing down the tragic experiences of those who have been persecuted in the last six years. Among the true accounts of unbelievable brutality, among the records of the government’s inhuman torture of its own people, the immoral acts that shocked my soul the most were the lewd yet routine practice of attacking women’s genitals by 6-10 Office staff and the police. Almost every woman’s genitals and breasts or every man’s genitals have been sexually assaulted during the persecution in a most vulgar fashion. Almost all who have been persecuted, be they male or female, were first stripped naked before any torture. No language or words could describe or re-create our government’s vulgarity and immorality in this respect. Who with a warm body could afford to stay silent when faced with such truths?
At 4:20 p.m. on October 28, 2005, Ms. Wang Shouhui (mother) and Mr. Liu Boyang (son) from Changchun City were followed by 6-10 Office staff and were illegally arrested. The two were brutally tortured by the police. At about 8 p.m., 28-year-old Liu Boyang died from the torture. About 10 days later, his mother was also tortured to death. The bodies of the unfortunate duo are still in the hands of the 6-10 Office officials. It took the 6-10 officials three days to inform Liu’s father of his death, while Ms. Wang’s time of death remains unclear. Liu’s father looked for a lawyer in his city, but no one dared to accept his case. The elderly man said, “In a society like this, it is harder to live than to die. Living brings more pain. After I take care of their burials, I’ll follow them and leave, too.”
Ms. Wang Shouhui, her husband, and her son (Liu Boyang) began practicing Falun Gong in 1995. Since the persecution of Falun Gong started on July 20, 1999, they were continually harassed by police from the Zhengyang Police Station of Luuyuan District and officials from the Zhengyang Neighborhood Administration Office. Ms. Wang was illegally detained in October 1999 and sent to the Heizuizi Labor Camp in February 2000. At the labor camp, she was tortured with an electric baton eight times. She was also forced to work during the day. For five days and nights, she was prohibited from sleeping and was required to remain standing. She was tortured using a “death bed” several times. The most serious time, she was beaten with two electric batons for over one hour while tied to the “death bed.” She did not have even one part of her body and face intact. She was only released after the torture put her life in danger.
On April 11, 2002, Ms. Wang was walking down the street when she was again abducted by the police from Zhengyang Police Station of Luuyuan District. She was blindfolded by the police from the First Division of the Changchun Public Security Bureau and was taken to a secret torture room in Jingyueshan, Changchun. She was tortured on the tiger bench for two days and one night, during which time she was also beaten with two electric batons on the breasts. Three men used their fists to punch her face, chest, and back. As a result, Ms. Wang’s left cheekbone was fractured and she vomited a great amount of blood. Later, her lungs were infected. While at the police hospital, Ms. Wang’s four limbs were confined when she received infusions. She was prohibited from using the restroom. Instead, the hospital forcefully inserted a tube into her bladder, but did not give her care. She could not move for five days and five nights. Subsequently, her bladder was permanently damaged and she could no longer control her bladder.
On June 27, 2002, Ms. Wang and her family were again abducted to the Zhengyang Police Station by the Political and Security Division of the Luuyuan District Police Department. Ms. Wang was tied into the fetal position for an entire evening. Later, when she was illegally detained at the No. 3 Detention Center in Changchun City, the guards locked her handcuffs to her ankle shackles for 18 days and force-fed her for a month. She was then sent to the provincial police hospital, where her limbs were confined and she was force-fed for over 30 days. She wasn’t released until her life was in danger. At the same time, several police from Zhengyang Police Station brutally tortured, beat, and kicked Liu Boyang. They also slapped his face with leather shoes, tied him with a rope, put a plastic bag over his head, tied his arms behind his back, and hung him from the ceiling using handcuffs. When Liu was hanging in the air, they shook his feet or dragged his feet down. Mr. Yuan Dachuan, a police officer conducting the torture, said shamelessly, “I have killed quite a few Falun Gong practitioners with torture. I don’t have to bear any responsibility if I beat you to death.” Every time they were tortured, the mother and son could hear each other’s screams, which shook heaven and earth, ghosts and spirits!
On October 29, 2002, Liu Boyang was sent to two years of forced labor at Chaoyanggou Labor Camp in Changchun City. In December, the police forced him to sit on cold cement floors all day long and prohibited him from sleeping at night. During the day, he was forced to attend brainwashing classes. In June 2004, when his term was over, the labor camp refused to release him and found some excuse to add 47 days to his term. Liu was a graduate of a medical university. He was a good person, and was kind to children and respectful to the elderly. Every year he was a model worker at the hospital. A woman surnamed Wang told me the above experiences of Ms. Wang and Mr. Liu so rapidly she spoke almost in one breath.
Sun Shuxiang, a 48-year-old Changchun resident, was illegally arrested nine times in six years. Below are some of the experiences she described during her illegal sentence in labor camps:
“One day in the latter part of 2001, the policeman Li Zhenping from the eighth section of Xingye Street Police Station came to my home with another man. They came to persuade my husband to divorce me. I said, “No.” Li kept hitting my face until it was swollen. My eyes started to bleed, and I suddenly could not see anything. He asked again if I agreed to the divorce, and said if not he would send me back (to the labor camp). Under their constant terror, my husband divorced me. My good family was thus broken apart by the government. Now, I am still in exile.
“In July of 2002, I was in my father’s home. A plainclothes policeman suddenly broke into the house and asked if I was Sun Shuxiang. Before I answered him, I was kidnapped. The next day, police from the first section of Changchun Public Security Bureau put me in a car and drove me on a bumpy road for about two hours. Two policemen took me to a dark and terrifying basement, and took off the blindfold. Eight or nine policemen all rushed into the room. On a table there were three electric batons of large, medium, and small sizes and a bundle of rope, and on the other side were three tiger benches. Two policemen forced me on a tiger bench, and placed my hands on the armrests that each had a handcuff attached to it. My hands were locked in place with the handcuffs. The armrests on the tiger bench had a row of different size holes to fit different wrist sizes. The police skillfully fixed an iron rod as thick as the thumb on the two armrests, pressing against my chest and abdomen area and making it impossible for me to move. One policeman pointed at the torture tools and said to me, ‘Do you see that? If you cooperate, we can finish business in over an hour. Otherwise, we will have you taste all kinds of instruments. What happened to Liu Zhe and others [practitioners who were killed] ? Only a few can come out of here alive.’
“A seemingly polite policeman slapped my face twice, and asked me if I knew any fellow practitioners. I said no. He took an electric baton, stuck its two claws between my ribs, and started to shock me. He asked again for my fellow practitioners’ phone numbers, and I said nothing. He then used the electric baton over my fingertips, while asking me which practitioners I knew. He used the electric baton on my arms and then my head, then to the other side of my body. After one round over my body, he slowly traced my body another round with the electric baton. They then changed into a higher voltage, fully charged electric baton, and started from my toes and went over my body. I still remained silent. They started with the toes of the other foot to go over my body from the other side. I was still silent. They then used the electric baton on my eyes. I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of the sockets, and I could not see anything. I still refused to tell anything, and they returned to electrify my ribs. The pain was unbearable. The electric baton moved to my chest, as they asked me with which practitioners I had remained in contact. The pain made it impossible for me to speak, and the familiar faces of practitioners appeared in front of me one by one. I had one thought: No matter what, I would not tell about any practitioners, since as soon as I told about anyone, that person would be arrested and tortured. The police stuck the electric baton inside my mouth. My mouth was all burnt and swollen, and blisters covered the outside. They said to me as they were shocking me, ‘If you do not speak, we will pry open your mouth.’ They again stuck the electric baton inside my mouth. After a day and a night’s torture, I was just about to die…
“In the beginning of 2004, I stayed temporarily at Ms. Xing Guiling’s home. One midnight I heard loud pounding on the door. The double door was quickly broken. In terror, I saw a bunch of police with iron hammers and guns, shouting, ‘Do not move, otherwise you will be killed.’ We were arrested and taken to the Luuyuan branch of the Public Security Bureau, and locked up in a small iron cage. I was tied onto a tiger bench. They started to beat Xing Guiling in front of me, using a leather belt to strangle her neck. She cried heart-wrenchingly. I saw Xing Guiling beaten down; when she was down, they kicked her. When she got up, they beat her down again. They beat and kicked her, asking her to reveal her contacts with other practitioners. They kept torturing her over and over. They took their leather belt and strangled her again, till she could not breathe. The police shouted, ‘I will show you if you don’t tell.’ Xing Guiling was tortured with only one breath left, but she did not reveal a single practitioner’s name. They then started to torture me. After three days and nights of torture, they sent us to the No. 3 Detention Center.
“On August 4, 2003, I was again arrested by the police. They took me to the Nanguan branch of the Public Security Bureau. A pockmarked policeman grabbed my hair and kept hitting my head on the wall. I was getting so dizzy. He then forced me to sit on a tiger bench and cuffed my hands tightly. Another policeman started to hit my arms, and my wrists began to bleed from being tightly caught by the handcuffs. They used iron rings to chain my ankles, and then stepped on the rings, making it tighter and tighter. My ankles were painful beyond endurance. They then used a plastic bag to cover my head, and tied it over my neck, suffocating me. When they saw that I was about to die, they took off the bag. After a while, they covered my head again, and took it off before I died. They did this three times and at the same time kept pressing the rings tighter into my ankles. It was so painful that I started to have a seizure. My ankles were broken and bleeding. I fainted. They used cold water to bring me back, and sent me to the No. 3 Detention Center. There, I refused to eat and drink, and went into a coma. After 27 days, I had just one breath left. They notified my family members to take me home.”
Liu Shuqin, a 60-year-old lady from Changchun, was arrested and sent to labor camps five times in six years. This old lady calmly told us the barbarous torture she suffered:
“I was first arrested in February of 2000. The police violently hit and kicked us to the police car, which took us to the Balipu Detention Center. I was locked up for 15 days without any legal procedures. Altogether more than 10 of us were arrested, and all experienced unspeakable torture. After that, the Neighborhood Administration Office and the police continued to harass me.
“On December 31, 2000, I was arrested for the second time when I went to Beijing to appeal to the government. I held out a banner that said “Falun Dafa is Good,” and the Tiananmen police hit my back violently with electric batons, forcing me onto a police car. Later I was thrown into a dungeon with walls covered with ice and frost. The police forced me to take off all my clothing, and ordered someone to shoot water on me from a big pipe. They left me to sleep on the bare floor naked, with nothing to cover my body. The toilet in the room stank so much and smelled so bad. Everyday, several policemen came to interrogate me. They did not allow me to sleep at night. After 38 days of interrogation, they did not get anything.
“On December 31, 2001, several practitioners and I hung banners outside to expose the lies of the government about Falun Gong. Someone reported us and we were arrested. The police from the 6-10 Office beat me violently without stopping. At midnight that day, I was sent to the No. 3 Detention Center. There, a policeman punched my eyes with his fists. My eyes became blurry and I could not see anything. They hit my head a few more times. Faced with their brutal behavior, I told them good and evil will be repaid. The police asked inmates to bring a heavy chain weighing 28 kg (approximately 61 lbs.) and put it on my ankles. I was detained for 22 days, during which I suffered tortures that were worse than death. Later on, the police took a lot of money from my family before they released me.
“On February 28, 2003, a few days after my release, a bunch of police from the Luuyuan branch of the Public Security Bureau stormed into my home again. A policeman named Yuan Dachuan went through our drawers and took away over 4,000 yuan (about $500) in cash without leaving any receipts. Another policeman pocketed a bottle of foreign perfume my child had brought me from overseas. When Yuan Dachuan was taking my money, I criticized his robbery. He punched me and handcuffed me. They did whatever they liked in my home and the house was all messed up. They abducted me to the torture chamber at the Luuyuan branch and tortured me on the tiger bench for two hours. They then tied me up with a thin rope, with my hands behind my back. The police tightened the rope on me. With my whole body tied up, I was pushed out of the torture chamber. Another group of people threw me into a car. They used my feather-filled coat to cover my head so tightly that I almost suffocated.
“After about 20 minutes, the car stopped, and we arrived at another torture chamber (later on I knew this was at the Chaoyang branch). The room was filled with torture instruments. As soon as we arrived there, they forced me onto the tiger bench, and about six policemen handcuffed me and chained my ankles, fixing a steel rod across my chest (on the tiger bench). A young policeman used a foot-long iron rod to hit my left hand, which was cuffed to the tiger bench. After a dozen strikes, my hand was swollen severely and it turned purple-black. They asked me to tell about other practitioners, and I said I would not say anything. At this time, more than 10 police cuffed my hands behind me. They kept pulling the handcuffs and the ankle chains, and pushing the iron rod against my chest. Stretched under such a strong force, I felt as if my tendons and bones were about to break; I could not breathe. The pain was so unbearable that I fainted a few times. When I fainted, the police poured cold water on me. After I came to, they continued to torture me. I was tortured like this for a day and night, fainting and waking up. As the handcuffs and ankle chains were pulled by the police, they kept piercing into my flesh. Blood was mixed with flesh over my wrists and ankles, making a large pool of blood on the floor. The police treated an old lady like me with such savage tortures. Every nerve and bone hurt beyond endurance in my arms, hands, feet and legs. My whole body was unable to move.
“One March 1, they sent me to the No. 3 Detention Center. They checked my heart and blood pressure–none functioned well; my legs could not walk. Even so, I was still sentenced for two years in the labor camp. In a coma, I was carried to the Heizuizi labor camp. I had to be carried to go to the bathroom. The policewoman Liu Lianying from the second team started to persecute me, saying that I was pretending not to be able to walk. Liu barbarously shocked me with an electric baton on my legs, chest, heart–all over my body. At the time, a criminal convict Yi Liwen (who had a good relationship with Liu) could not bear to see it; she took away the electric baton and said, ‘Don’t shock her anymore, look at what bad shape she is in.’ Liu Lianying then stopped. Since I could not walk, the police often cursed me; they used all their conversion experts to try to “transform” me, and the police took turns brainwashing me.
“After a day’s labor, they did not let me sleep, but conducted brainwashing in order to force me to sign this or that paper. I firmly refused. They tortured me like this for two months, and my blood pressure often reached over 200 and I suffered from serious heart disease. Seeing that I refused to be transformed, Jia Hongyan used prostitution convicts to torture me, monitoring me on a 24-hour basis at my side even during eating and sleeping. They forced me to transform, beating and cursing me almost every moment and every day. They did not allow me to speak; if I did they would curse me. Everyday, my body and heart were suffering in great pain. Over a year of persecution brought great harm to my body and mind. My body was numb, and my arms did not move well. I was diagnosed with brain infarction and atrophy. I was originally very healthy, but the one year’s persecution had turned me into such a state. Just because I want to be a good person, I have endured such inhumane torture for such a long time.”
With a slow and gentle voice, Zhang Zhikui calmly narrated his experience of being persecuted in Changchun City:
“After July 20, 1999 I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. Because I clarified the truth of Falun Gong to residents in Beijing, I was arrested by the police in Beijing and transferred to the police of Changchun City’s liaison office in Beijing. There, they tied my hands and feet together onto a wooden club and hung me between two tables by putting the two ends of the wooden club onto the two tables. I swung back and forth. Whenever the wooden club broke, I fell to the floor. As for other practitioners who were also arrested there, the police beat them with leather belts or hung them up. They beat my thighs with a white wood rod.
“Later on, all of us practitioners were sent back to Erdaohezi District Police Substation in Changchun City. At that time, there were 10 or more practitioners. After we arrived there, the head of the Political Protection Department lifted me up and forced me to take off my pants. At that time, there were males and females present. Then, the head of the Political Protection Department beat my head with a leather belt. My head became numb, there was ringing in my ears, and I almost lost consciousness. He asked for my name and the date I went to Beijing. I was barely conscious following the beating, so I couldn’t remember anything. Nevertheless, he continued beating me. And then, he stamped on my feet with his leather shoes, grinding my toes with the heel of his leather shoes. He just observed the expression in my eyes while he was doing this to me. I endured the severe pain and began to sweat profusely. He left me then and began to beat up other practitioners. After I was sent to Tiebei Detention Center, the guards instigated the criminals there to strip me and beat me. The criminals kicked me hard, ramming me into the wall of the restroom. I could barely get up from the ground. Immediately two pots of cold water were poured onto my body. Again they kicked me hard. My arms and legs bled, and there was a big wound on one leg. One month later, I was released from there without any documents and without any legal procedures having been followed.
“At the end of November 1999, I went to China’s Supreme Court in Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. The officials of China’s Supreme Court informed police and they arrested me there, sending me to the police of Zhaoyuan City’s (in Shandong province) liaison office in Beijing. On my way back, they removed my belt and forced me to walk with my hands holding up my pants. They beat me as we walked. Upon my arrival at the liaison office, they again beat me severely with a strap, and they continued beating me for several hours during the night. The next day, they sent me back to Zhaoyuan City, Shandong province.
“Upon my arrival at Zhaoyuan City Detention Center, the police instigated the criminals there to beat me. The criminals there saw that I did my duties actively and positively. They were all moved by me and didn’t beat me any longer. Eventually, they sent a mute criminal to beat me up. One day, the guard there ordered me to extend my head out through a small hole in the iron gate of my cell, and then he trampled my head with his feet, beating my head as well. The practitioners in other cells all shouted at him together, ‘Do not beat people!’
“Afterwards, they sent my sister and me to Xinzhuang Township Police Station. Following July 20, 1999, my whole family was arrested. They detained my sister and me separately in small dark solitary confinement cells under the staircases. The solitary confinement cells were so short that we couldn’t stand up straight inside them. They only allowed us to go to the restroom once every evening, and they locked us up like this for 10 days for each detainment. After that, they sent us back to the Zhaoyuan Detention Center and kept us there for a month. They tortured my sister and me like this back and forth for a total of six times. All these events made us feel that it is difficult either to live or die.
“On National Day in 2000, I went to the Culture Square in Changchun City to unfurl a banner and I was arrested. All the news media in China lied. They did not speak a truthful word for us. Therefore, we wanted to tell people the truth in this way. Police chief Liang and other policemen stripped my coat off and wrapped my head with it. They cuffed my hands from behind, dragged me down from upstairs, and then escorted me to a car. The car traveled for about two hours and I felt that it was far away from the town. After we arrived at the destination, I was escorted to a house where the cloth on my head was removed. I felt terrible. There was a tiger bench in the room. I knew we were on a mountain and I heard the wind swooshing. Police Chief Liang and other policemen stripped all my clothes off and they forced me onto the tiger bench. My hands were tied behind my back to the crabstick. They inserted an iron stick at my chest, my thighs and my legs respectively. Both ends of these sticks were fixed to the tiger bench so that my whole body was tightly locked onto the tiger bench and I could not move. My feet were put in iron hoops and immobilized. Then Liang took out a sharp knife one third of a meter long and rubbed it on his pants a couple of times. He threw the knife to the table and ferociously said to me: ‘Zhang Zhikui, I want you to die here; today I’ll torture you to death and dig a hole and bury you. Nobody will know or find you.’ After saying that, Liang went outside. At least three policemen started to recharge the electric batons and another two policemen grasped my hands that were tied to the stick behind me, then they stretched my hands around my head from behind to front. I heard my bones cracking ceaselessly. This torture was repeated several times and the oppressive pain distressed me terribly. Later, an iron barrel was buckled onto my head; they hit the barrel violently with steel pipes. The intense tremor and harsh noise made my head feel like it was exploding. After I had suffered for a long period of time, the policemen burned my back with cigarettes and the unbearable pain made me lose consciousness. Then they poured cold water on me to wake me up. Finally they lit candles and used them to burn my back. After they scorched the flesh on my back, they poured the hot wax on it. The pain made my body endlessly shiver and jump. All I could hear was the cracking of the tiger bench that was shaken by me. Because there was not any good skin remaining on my body, the policemen started to shock my private parts with electric batons and pierced them. Afterwards they used an iron stick to smash my private parts. I passed out and I did not know how much time passed before I awakened. After one night’s torture, my face was swollen to several times the original size and my whole body was drenched in blood. I looked badly mangled. I had twisted my body so much due to the pain that the skin and flesh at my ankles were cut through, with the bones and muscles exposed. However, when they saw that I was awake, they again dragged me outside. It was more than 10 degrees centigrade below zero outdoors and they poured cold water on my naked body. They abandoned me where I lay. They returned to the house. Half an hour later they came out to see if I was still alive. I did not know how much time passed before morning arrived. I was already at the brink of death. I was carried to the Changchun City police department. There were many small cells, each with a tiger bench inside. There were female Dafa practitioners on every tiger bench. Most of them had fainted, with their lower bodies naked or with only a cloth covering the body.
“I was sent to the Tiebei Detention Center for further torture. I began a hunger strike for five days and they stopped the torture. After I stayed in the detention center for 40 days, they sent me to the fifth division of the Chaoyang District forced labor camp. There, I went on a continuous hunger strike. Over 10 Dafa practitioners joined me in the strike. There were 500 Dafa practitioners detained in the fifth division. The division head saw that we were on a hunger strike and he led some criminals to brutally beat us. The scene was horrendous. Finally the Dafa practitioners that were on the hunger strike were taken to the first division where the Dafa practitioners were most brutally persecuted. A criminal named Xu Hui often abused Dafa practitioners. One Dafa practitioner over sixty years old used to be a mid-level officer, but because he did not wear the prisoner’s uniform he was beaten by Xu Hui until he was on his last breath. But he still did not stop beating him. I almost lost confidence in life, since I had endured unspeakable agony for a very long time. All the unbearable persecutions and tortures happened in the afternoons, in the evenings, and even in the middle of the night.
“If the Falun Gong practitioners made a little bit of a sound when they were asleep, their fellow inmates would beat them up. All of this made the Falun Gong practitioners even dare not to go to sleep. I sometimes couldn’t stop coughing at night; therefore, the inmates beat me for the whole night. They didn’t allow me to cough at all. I didn’t dare to drink water in the evening, since they didn’t allow us to go to the restrooms at night. Once I couldn’t help myself from going to the restroom, and I went quietly. When I came back, Xu Hui beat me up until I was almost on my last breath. He kicked me very hard in the area of my kidney, causing my kidney to move from its natural position. I couldn’t move for several days.
“Once, there was a Falun Dafa practitioner in his twenties named Sui Futao. The criminals found out that he had hidden our Teacher’s articles in his clothing, so they had hit him with a wrench over 50 times. Not long after that, this practitioner was beaten to death. My younger sister was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, and at the same time, her husband was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. Furthermore, only because they practiced Falun Gong, their nine-year-old child was dismissed forcefully from school under the order given by the 6-10 Office. Among the Falun Gong practitioners who kept in touch with me, eight or nine practitioners had been beaten to death. Their names were Wang Shouhui, Liu Boyang, Liu Haibo, Liu Chengjun, Xu Shuxiang, Wang Kefei, Yu Lixin and Deng Shiying. As for the names of other practitioners who were persecuted to death, I couldn’t even remember their names right now! All these are facts that are extremely cruel!
“Zhang Shuchun is my second younger sister. When the police tried to arrest her, she jumped downstairs. Her broken ribs pierced into some of her organs. Her legs and arms were broken, too. She immediately fainted. Soon many passersby stopped to look at her and asked what happened. The policeman from the 6-10 Office said, ‘She had a fight with her husband about a divorce.’ Since she was a so-called ‘Wanted Criminal,’ the police took her to a hospital. But the doctors at the hospital thought it unnecessary to try to save a Falun Gong practitioner. They said, ‘Just throw her out,’ and surprisingly, the police did throw her out in a suburban area. Later, she was saved by some kind-hearted people. But the police put her back on the ‘Wanted’ list again.”
Wang Yuhuan is a female Falun Gong practitioner that the Changchun police arrested. She was detained at forced labor camps nine times in the past six years. She said: “You won’t believe this. But at the forced labor camp, in order to collect money, police tried to sell sleeping space. The price was 2,000 yuan (around $250) per month. Once you bought it, you would have the right to lie down on your back when sleeping. Otherwise, you would have to lie on your side since the cell was small. Meanwhile, those who bought the space were entitled to beat us up. As Falun Dafa practitioners, we wouldn’t spend so much money to buy sleeping spaces. As more criminals bought sleeping space, the rest of the people had less space for sleep and it became more painful to sleep.
“In August 2000, I was sent to the Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp. Police there tried to force me to ‘transform.’ I had to work 18 hours everyday. The workload was very high. It was to make products for export. Besides working, they forced me to write ‘repentance’ reports. The criminals in my cell would beat me up if I refused to do so. In order to ‘transform’ me, Sun Mingyan, the officer-in-charge of the No. 6 Squad, sat on my head and shocked my head and face with an electric baton for more than one hour. My hair was scorched and my face and neck were severely burned. I was bruised all over my face and body. When I was released in November 2001, I still wasn’t able to pick up a bowl. The 6-10 Office also illegally took 2000 yuan (approximately $250) from me when I was released.
“On March 5, 2002, some Falun Dafa practitioners successfully broadcast a video clip about the truth of Falun Dafa on TV. The Central 6-10 Office ordered a large-scale arrest in Changchun. I was arrested then. Police arrested over 5000 Dafa practitioners at that time. Each cell at the detention center had to hold at least 50 people. They even detained Falun Dafa practitioners in bathrooms because of limited space. The First Department of the Changchun Public Security arrested me on March 11, 2002. They locked me in a 1.3 meter-high iron cage at the police substation near the Nanguan District Caishen Temple. I couldn’t stand up at all. On the night of March 12, Gao Peng, Zhang Heng and some other policemen from the First Division of the Criminal Squad interrogated me. They handcuffed my hands behind my back and put a cloth bag on my head. They used a rope to tighten the bag on my neck so that I couldn’t see anything and I could hardly breathe. Then they tied me up using ropes and put me in the trunk of the police car. They drove to a mountain where they brutally tortured Falun Dafa practitioners at will. Many fellow practitioners were tortured to death in this place. Mr. Liu Haibo was stripped of all his clothes and forced to kneel down. Police pushed the longest electric baton they could find into his bottom and gave his organs electric shocks. Liu died immediately on the site. Liu Haibo was a college graduate.
“Liu Yi, a doctor from the Luuyuan District Hospital, was in his thirties when he was tortured to death in this devil’s hole. Twenty-three practitioners were tortured to death there. I knew many of them. The police simply buried their bodies in a hole. Xiang Min, a pretty Dafa practitioner, was carried back after a round of torture. She told me that the police sexually harassed her by touching her bottom while giving her electric shocks. Close to 30 practitioners were tortured to death in that round of arrests.
“It took them over two hours to drive me to this notorious place on a mountain. I heard them stop the car. Then they dragged me out, beating me up at the same time. The police kept cursing me and said they would torture me to death that day. They bumped me into trees and I stumbled my way to a building after 10 minutes or so. We went upstairs and downstairs, eventually entering a room. They took the cloth bag off of my head. The police said, “Let’s wait and see how you die today. Nobody has walked out of here alive!” I was in a small room of about 50 square feet. There was a small desk with three long electric batons with claws on them. There was also a rope and a bed. Later, I found out that the bed was for the police to lie down and rest while cursing us, when they got tired from beating us up. I saw a tiger bench and many police busy preparing to torture me. I heard wind blowing angrily. Next, a few police forced me onto the tiger bench. They tied me to the bench with my hands cuffed behind my back and behind the bench. They fastened the iron rods at the side of the tiger bench till I couldn’t move and they tied down my ankles with two large iron rings. Every five minutes, they would start a round of torture on me. They moved my arms back and forth, and I could hear my bones cracking. The huge pain made me almost faint. My sweat and tears came immediately from the pain. They pushed my head toward my legs. Because I was tied down on the tiger bench, I felt my neck bones breaking and the iron rods piercing into my breast and stomach. I was about to suffocate every second. They tied ropes on the iron rings and pulled the ropes harshly. My ankles hurt so much. Pains all over my body made me tremble. They repeated the torture like this every five minutes. My sweat and tears and blood soaked my hair and clothing. Later, I fainted because of the unbearable pain. They then poured cold water or boiling water on me to wake me up. The boiling water burned my whole body badly. I couldn’t stand the slow killing and huge sufferings. I wished they would kill me with a gun.
“After inhumanely torturing me over four hours on the tiger bench, which had rendered me rather weak, they put an iron barrel on my head. Each of the seven police smoked three cigarettes at the same time and puffed smoke into the barrel. This was suffocating and I fainted. They poured cold water on me. When I was barely awake, they used the burning cigarettes to scorch my eyeballs. I would struggle a little when I began to gain consciousness. After that, they punched my head, face, nose, and teeth. They knocked out my two incisor teeth. My face swelled up and turned to dark purple. They also pierced my ears using thin sticks. I couldn’t hear anything for the next two weeks. Eventually, they wore themselves out from torturing me and went to sleep at 2 a.m. “In March of 2002, they tortured me three times within 17 days in that devil’s hole. Each time, the torture was more brutal. The last two times happened at midnight. Each time, seven or eight police came and took me from the cell and sent me back barely alive. One time, the police didn’t want the others to see how badly I was tortured. They dressed me up in thick clothing. However, blood still came out. Then the police dressed me with more clothing but the blood soaked the clothing again. Practitioners there couldn’t go to sleep because of the horror and concern over fellow practitioners.
“The police ‘interrogated’ all the practitioners on the 6-10 Office’s blacklist everyday. They tied up each practitioner, put a cloth bag over the heads and cuffed the hands behind the backs. Then they would throw them into the trunk of the police car and drive to the mountain to the devil’s hole where they viciously tortured them.
“The relentless torture destroyed my body and health. They had to lie about my poor condition to get the No. 3 Detention Center to accept me. On the following day, I was sent to the Provincial Hospital and then the No. 3 Military Hospital for physical examination. The results indicated that my body had sustained injury nearly everywhere and was in a critical condition, and thus I did not meet the minimum health standard to be detained. That afternoon, police had taken Ms. Guo Shuaishuai and me back to the prison hospital and launched a new bout of persecution there. We were tied onto a bed. Police injected me with some drug, which has made me unable to feel my legs ever since. My legs became ice-cold and completely numb.
“Practitioner Jiang Yong was persecuted here, too. He passed away after seven months of torture. Police also injected him with an unidentified drug and drew a large tube of blood from him every day. These injections and blood drawing emaciated Yong. He died during a force-feeding.
“It was terrible to witness the entire process of a person being tortured to death. The guards continuously force-fed Ms. Guo for over two months; the hard feeding tube was left in her throat the entire time. Refusing to accept the force-feeding, Ms. Guo swallowed down the 1.5-meter feeding tube. She tossed and turned in bed due to the excruciating pain. The prison hospital refused to release her in fear of her exposing the evil persecution, so it intensified the torture. Guo and I were stripped naked and tied with limbs spread apart on a bed. Police and male inmates lewdly stared at us everyday. One male prison doctor pinched and struck Ms. Guo’s vagina. Unable to bear the extreme torture, Mrs. Guo swallowed the spoon that was inserted into her mouth. She again tossed and turned in bed due to the pain. The prison doctor cut open her stomach to retrieve the spoon. He deliberately made an unnecessarily long incision, stretching from the chest all the way to the vagina. He roughly sutured the extremely long cut and sent Ms. Guo to die at home. Ms. Guo never recovered from the barbarous physical and psychological torture.
“Ms. Zhao Xiaoqin and I were sent to the prison hospital the same day. 6-10 officers knocked her unconscious and pushed her down the stairs. The fall broke her left arm, caused a bump the size of a bowl on her head, and made her insane. To this day she cannot speak. The prison doctor did not change the cast on her arm the entire summer. Consequently, her arm festered, and bugs crawled around it. Seeing Ms. Zhao’s suffering broke my heart. I also witnessed other atrocities in this persecution. We, the female practitioners, were all stripped naked and tied with limbs spread apart on a bed board for over 26 days. We suffered incessant humiliation and sexual assault from male police, doctors, and inmates.
“I was transferred back to the No. 3 Detention Center for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The Detention Center refused to accept me, because it heard that I would die soon, and it feared to take responsibility for my death. Outraged police then hung me on a door for six hours and beat me. I was taken back to the prison hospital for more persecution. I went on a hunger strike to protest. On the 50th day, a prison doctor cut open my vein and placed an IV needle in it. My blood seeped out and stained the bed and floor. Already accustomed to the bloody persecution, the police and prison doctors were not at all disturbed by my excessive bleeding. Each day, they administered 10 bottles of unidentified thick fluid to me. They left me to urinate and defecate on the bed–I lay in a pool of urine and feces for over 50 days. The full extent of the misery is beyond description. My veins collapsed due to the hunger strike, so the thick fluid could not pass through. The head surgeon just shook the bottle and squeezed the fluid into my vein. I passed out many times because of the excruciating pain.”
Mr. Yang Guang, another practitioner, suffered even more frightening persecution. I quote part of the letter a witness wrote to me:
“Yang Guang, who lived in Changchun City, Jilin Province, has been illegally detained since January 2000 and has suffered severe torture under the hands of Director Liang and officers in the Changchun Public Security Bureau. He was tortured with electric batons, tiger bench, straightjacket, hanging from the ceiling, plastic-bag suffocation, and force-feeding of strong alcohol. Persecutors occasionally torture him for 40 hours on end. The torture gave Mr. Yang a deaf left ear, disabled arms, paralysis from the waist down, necrosis in his right hip, a broken right leg, deformed feet, festered toes, kidney failure, and hydrothorax (fluids accumulated in his chest). Despite his life-threatening condition, Mr. Yang was sentenced to 15 years in the Jilin prison.
“Mr. Yang is held in the so-called naked district, which is the prison section for disabled inmates. Here inmates are forbidden to wear pants all year long, so that cleaning is kept minimal. Inmates made the paralyzed Mr. Yang a special wheelchair out of steel pipes, four casters, and boards for the back and sides. The seat has a hole in the center, like a toilet seat. Whenever Mr. Yang needs to go to the restroom, inmates would push his chair to the bathroom. Because of the side boards on the chair and his disabled arms, Mr. Yang cannot clean himself afterwards. Urine, feces, and foul odor enshroud Mr. Yang all year long. This naked district receives no sunlight. The conditions are utterly inhumane. This district is boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. The space for sleeping is less than 60 cm (23 in.) wide. The food is disgusting and extremely lean.
“When Mr. Yang needs cleaning, inmates wheel him to the water room and spray him with a pressure hose, and wipe him with a mop that has nails sticking out. Inmates call this a “cosmetic shower.” The prison authorities subjected Mr. Yang to these intolerable conditions to force him to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Yang, however, remained firm in his belief. He was put into solitary confinement. He was let out only when he was on the brink of death. Mr. Yang was then transferred to a special district in the Tiebei Prison in Changchun. He was given absolutely no medical treatment. Nonetheless, the prison still extorts 1,000 yuan (approximately $125) a month from Mr. Yang’s family.
“Mr. Yang only has an 86-year-old mother in his home who does not know that her son has been tortured to such a horrid extent. Whenever she sees people, she would sadly implore ‘Guang is a good person. Where is he now, I want my son!’ Mr. Yang’s wife divorced him, because there is no income to support the family. Mr. Yang has also suffered extreme psychological pain. Relatives demanded his release, but the Prison, the Ministry of Justice, and the Prison Management Bureau refused.”
Dalian practitioner, Chang Xuexia, is a graceful and quiet girl. She lowered her head in shame while recounting her painful and humiliating experience in a labor camp: “I was arrested for the first time for appealing for Falun Gong. I was illegally detained for 39 days in a rehabilitation center in Dalian. In January 2003, the authorities again tried to force me to renounce Falun Gong. They locked me in a small metal cage and brought in a variety of instruments of torture. Ms. Wang Yalin, the main persecutor of Falun Gong practitioners in the center, goaded several inmates to hang me by the wrists with my feet barely touching the floor. Wang ordered inmates to ‘Fix her well, all of you!’
“The swarm of inmates struck and kicked me from every side. I passed out. They dropped me on the floor and forcefully stepped on my face and arm to see if I was faking. When I woke up, I could not move my left arm, for my elbow was dislocated. Inmates who refused to torture me were transferred and their sentences extended. I was hung up again. This time inmates put Teacher’s picture inside my underwear, and wrote blasphemous words against Falun Dafa and Teacher on my face. They also beat me with a hard wooden plank. The bruises have not yet faded after a whole year.
“I still refused to renounce Falun Dafa. They stripped me naked, and several inmates began pinching my breasts, plucking my pubic hair, and stabbing my vagina. They used a brush that usually cleaned the water tank. They then put a basin under my lower body to see if I was bleeding. Since no blood came out, the inmates switched to a larger brush and repeatedly stabbed my vagina with it. I could not bear the excruciating pain any longer and succumbed to their demand of not doing the Falun Gong exercises in the camp.
“What I had suffered in the camp was not the most brutal. Another practitioner named Ms. Wang Lijun was tortured in the small metal cage three times. Inmates tied many knots on a thick rope and pulled it back and forth in a sawing motion across her vagina. Her entire lower body swelled up. The head police then ordered inmates to jab her swollen vagina with the thorny end of a broken mop stick. This torture caused Ms. Wang’s vagina to bleed profusely. Her abdomen and vagina were so swollen that she could not pull up her pants, or sit, or urinate. Ms. Wang still could not sit upright two months after the sexual torture. Her legs were also disabled. I also witnessed these inmates applying this same torture on a virgin. The head police officer also put venomous bugs on female practitioners’ bodies.”
“My name is Wei Chun (alias). I am 35 years old and live in Dalian. I started to practice Falun Gong in 1998. Because Falun Gong teaches people to live the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance,’ I have improved greatly, both mentally and physically. I can forgive others easily and elevate my moral character at the same time. In July 1999, the government started to oppress Falun Gong. I could not ignore its abuse of our basic human rights, so I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in March 2000. When I got on the train, I was stopped and asked by a policeman to say abusive words about Mr. Li Hongzhi. I refused, and so I was arrested. Afterwards, I knew that whoever traveled to Beijing at that time, whether by train or by bus, had to say some abusive words about Mr. Li or Falun Dafa, otherwise they would not be allowed to travel.
“I was taken to the Dalian Drug Rehabilitation Center, and detained for seven days. When I was sent back to my work place, my supervisors demoted me to cleaning the factory in the morning and reflecting on my mistakes in the afternoon. They wanted me to renounce my belief and write statements slandering Falun Gong. I refused, so I was forced to quit my job. In April 2000, I found other employment. On March 15, 2001, Chen Xin and other policemen from the No. 1 Division of Dalian Public Security Bureau abducted me from my work place. They did not allow me to sleep for five days and nights. My hands were handcuffed behind my back the entire time. They put lit cigarettes into my nostrils and mouth. My mouth was filled with cigarettes. At one time, a policeman hit my head with an iron club. Afterwards, I was sent to the Dalian Detention Center and sentenced to labor for two years. On May 18, I was sent to the Fifth Team at the Dalian Labor Camp for reeducation.
“On June 4, Mr. Liu Yonglai, Mr. Qu Fei, Mr. Huang Wenzhong, and myself were brought to the 4th floor. We were to be forced to defame Mr. Li and Falun Dafa. If we did not do so, they would punish us with electric shocks. If we did so, they would take us downstairs to write the ‘three letters’ defaming Falun Gong and Mr. Li, criticizing ourselves, and pledging not to practice Falun Gong again. They took off all of Liu Yonglai’s and my clothes, and handcuffed us together face to face. They used six electric batons on both of us, and shocked us on our heads, backs, thighs, genitals, both sides of our chests, and necks. We clenched our teeth, and struggled to avoid the electric shocks. As a result of struggling, the handcuffs became progressively tighter. They eventually cut into our flesh and down to our bones. It was extremely painful and we bled a lot.
“The electric shocks continued for about one hour, and then they separated us. They handcuffed Liu’s hands behind his back, and made him crawl on the grass. They put two chairs on his back and asked two criminals to sit on the chairs. Then, another six criminals used six fully charged electric batons and repeatedly shocked his back, buttocks, neck, calves, soles of his feet, and genitals at the same time. They even pulled out his penis to shock it separately. As for me, I was tied to a chair. The legs of the chair, and the back of the chair were both tied with several electric batons. Then, they tightly tied me on the back of the chair with a rope. Another criminal held an electric baton to my head. Six batons were used to simultaneously shock me. My entire body was in convulsions. I felt that I would rather be dead than alive. I cried out in despair. My hopeless cries could be heard throughout the entire building. There were many Falun Gong practitioners on the 2nd and 3rd floors. It is said that they all wept upon hearing my shrill cries.
“The torture continued for about an hour. Then, I exchanged places with Liu. He was forced to sit on the electric shocking chair while I crawled on the grass. Again, I was shocked with six electric batons at the same time for about one hour. I felt that I could no longer bear it, but I’d rather die than betray my belief, my conscience and not defame my Master and Falun Dafa. So I started to hit the ground with my head in hopes of inducing unconsciousness. Every time the six electric batons touched me at the same time, I felt as if ten thousand arrows had simultaneously been shot into my heart.
“I felt that I had died several times. After the electric batons ran out, they would change to new ones with more voltage. I finally started to fear, so at last I submitted. Later, Liu could no longer endure it, either. He also submitted. The policemen who led the criminals to shock us were Qiao Wei, Zhu Fengshan, Jing Dianke and others. I don’t remember all the criminals’ names. Afterwards, I was told that when Huang Wenzhong was shocked, his face was burned and bloody. Qu Fe’s cheeks were beaten with shoes so severely that they swelled up like a bread loaf. After we were taken downstairs, we wrote the Guarantee Statements to renounce Falun Dafa. When we went back to the team, we had to write a full page with the same three sentences every day, defaming Master Li and Falun Gong. Meanwhile, we had to shout the three statements out every day. It was strangling my soul. The pain it brought to me was far greater than the torture to my body. But if we opposed it or refused to do so, we would be taken to the 4th floor to be shocked until we submitted again.
“Afterwards, a Falun Gong practitioner called Li in class 3 could not endure the spiritual torture and chose to commit suicide by hanging himself. He was rescued. At that time, I did not want to live another moment. I was too humiliated. I did not want to endure the electric shocks anymore. I was afraid that I could not bear them. Nevertheless, I did not want to do such immoral things as defame our Master and Falun Dafa. I told Liu that if any practitioner dared to give his life, the guards would not dare not to persecute us like this. He said that he would sacrifice his life for the others. One day, when we were cleaning outdoors, Liu walked to the 3rd floor from the back of the building and jumped down head first. He died instantly. Soon thereafter, many Falun Gong practitioners recanted everything they wrote and said that what they had written violated their conscience, the facts were twisted due to torture and were invalid. They would firmly protect their belief and the truth. Because of this, the police put these practitioners who had recanted the three statements into the same class and put them into forced labor. They got up at 5:00 a.m. and worked until 11:00 p.m. every day. Then, they sent these nine practitioners to Guanshan Labor Camp to start a new cycle of persecution.
“I realized that I could not cooperate with the guards any longer, so I stopped wearing a prison uniform, stopped marching, stopped singing, and started a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The whole class also started a hunger strike to protest with me. We were later separated, and I was sent to the third brigade where I continued the hunger strike. When a chief prosecutor asked me why I started a hunger strike, I said that I had no other means, as no court dares to accept my case. They are all Jiang Zemin’s judges and courts, and no one dares to represent us. I can only use my life to protest the persecution against me, to protest Jiang Zemin and the government’s persecution of Falun Gong. I have a son. When my son asks me in the future, ‘What did you do during that most severe persecution of just people.’ I don’t want to tell him that I submitted. I want to be a person that would ‘rather die with honor than survive in disgrace.’ On the 15th day of my hunger strike, they released me on October 24, using the excuse that I needed outside medical treatment in fear that I might die in the reformatory.”
As we listened to those who had escaped death in this persecution, one by one, we were suffocating. Some of the true stories were told by those who had escaped death from the persecution several times. Their stories would move even a devil to tears. The unprecedented and unrivalled bloody scenes, the vicious, inhuman natures, the most disastrous torture techniques–all were so vividly terrifying. Facing these fellow countrymen, while they peacefully shared their stories of the barbaric persecution one after another, we must ask of those who wear the nation’s emblem and the country’s uniform to maintain the peace: “In the past six of the 60 years of communist rule, how many such inhuman acts have you perpetrated and concealed?”
Where did our system fail? It has bred so many vicious public officials who live among us, have been supported by us, who were raised by parents like ours, and have families like ours! The tragic experience of our fellow countrymen fully illustrates that, in our society, there is a group of public officials who persistently disregard the basic moral values of human society, and have been continuously using methods that are completely distant from basic human morality and human nature. They covertly scheme their dirty deals that are causing the very destruction of our nation’s human nature, basic morals, kindness and conscience. All fellow countrymen, including Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabo must admit that none of us can deny that our system is constantly and progressively creating such a shameful reality. And such a reality reveals the totally immoral character of our system.
Hu, Wen and all fellow Chinese countrymen: it is a time of introspection for our nation! There isn’t a people on this planet or in all of history that have suffered on such a large scale, enduring such a severe and disastrous persecution in peacetime because of their faith. This ongoing disaster has cost thousands of innocent people their valuable lives, and hundreds of thousands of people have been deprived of their freedom. The facts that we have seen showed us that all those who have been deprived of their freedom have also suffered bodily devastation and spiritual torment that is unbelievable to the civilized world. This completely inhuman persecution has caused over 100 million Falun Gong followers and their families to suffer from subpoena and threats, deprivation of employment, work opportunities and income, confiscation of assets to various extents, and a persecution that extends to various other means. How absurd, dangerous, and immoral this is! This is a continuous fight against the entire Chinese people, human civilization, and the moral foundation of all the world’s people!
The situations with my law office and entire family are making clear the ongoing severe situation in China today: one who insists on telling the truth must pay the price. The country continually uses violent means to warn people publicly that the desire to understand and tell the truth is extremely dangerous.
In countries with civilized systems, the truth is in the hands of those who have the political power and resources. The understanding of the value of truth is the scale used for judging a regime’s civilization and morality. But in the current Chinese society, the ability of the government in obtaining the truth is completely different. I have painfully observed that living together and maturing with the political regime has been the regime’s mechanism for concealing the truth. This situation makes the regime completely unable to know the truth. The regime has completely lost the necessary moral condition for knowing the truth. It has destroyed that moral condition completely.
People like Ms. Wang Yuhuan and others who suffered in labor camps personally witnessed time after time the following. When higher authorities came to inspect, all the camps had an ironclad rule: gather those who might tell the truth, like Wang Yuhuan, to a place where the inspectors cannot find them. The common rule is: the visiting leaders leave with the “truth” that they have personally “seen” and “heard.” When the iron gate closes behind the leaders, the crimes against our innocent fellow countrymen will quickly start again. The facts indicate that there is a coordinated collusion between the inspector and the inspected, both of whom know the truth without spelling it out.
Now that the regime has lost the capability of obtaining the real facts, the investigation conducted by citizens themselves becomes completely legitimate and necessary, because the value of real facts is associated with the future of our nation and is closely associated with each individual who lives in this nation. We have the right to know how the power of this regime is linked to our people. We have the right to know how this persecution began six years ago. How could a country make such an immoral decision? Within these six years, how did the authorities carry out this decision? What did the country do? Within these six years, exactly how many of our innocent citizens have been illegally imprisoned behind the high walls? What exactly has happened behind that high walls? What is still going on today? Obtaining the answers to these questions is the fundamental moral obligation for the people of this country. Here we must emphasize that the government’s cover-up of the truth is already worthless and is no longer an issue of only immorality. Those who have witnessed the facts will eventually enter society. In fact, many of them are already walking among people, tirelessly revealing the true facts.
Chinese government, you must realize that you are a government. Only in this way can you deal with the disastrous reality from the standpoint of a government, in the manner of a government, and through the logical actions of a government. Only in this way can we avoid tragedies like the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the bloody persecution of Falun Gong, or the recent shooting of farmers in Guangzhou. Nevertheless, we have to face such a reality often. The reality is that over a long period, similar crimes towards innocent people have been repeatedly committed without any reason. In response to the desperate anguish that disasters have brought to the people, the Chinese government has always been silent and has even suppressed the suffering people through brutality.
Our investigation has shown that, when facing the believers that are almost all “headstrong and refuse to transform,” those responsible for “transforming” these individuals have completely lost their humanity. As a result, they treat those being transformed unscrupulously to the point of committing all manners of crimes. The whole system has exhibited insanity driven by desperation as the suppression has lasted six years without any success. The recent horrifying incident in which the policeman He Xuejian raped two female Falun Gong practitioners in Tunzhong City, Hebei province in front of his colleagues, is a clear example.
From several investigations, I have found that in their need to suppress the innocent, police can resort to any heinous crimes to achieve the goal of transformation. In the inhumane persecution against these believers, the Chinese police have completely become criminalized. They no longer have a conscience nor do they have any consciousness for law or justice; instead, they take for granted that their responsibility is to chop up people like fish or meat. In the prison within their jurisdiction, a cucumber can be sold to inmates for a price of 25 yuan (about $3), a roasted-chicken can sell for up to a few hundred yuan. Even the sleeping space that originally belongs to public property is turned into tradable merchandise in the hands of the people’s police. Every space as wide as a person’s shoulder can be sold at a price up to 2,000 yuan (about $250) per month. Many prisoners in the labor camp without money continue to be treated inhumanely in the night by having to sleep vertically on their sides.
Not only do the Chinese police have no morality, but they have also completely lost the fundamental sense of shame that is characteristic of a human being. In this investigation, another disgusting source of crime in our society is the system of re-education through labor, which has brought numerous disasters to our nation in the last half-century. The system of re-education through labor, a dirty business conducted by the Chinese State Council, has openly insulted and offensively treaded upon our constitutional principles; it has survived regardless. In human history, no government of any other nation can behave like the Chinese State Council, which completely disregards its own constitution. Since the birth of the country’s constitution, the system of re-education through labor has always placed it in an embarrassing position. This demonstrates the Chinese government’s lawlessness and also proves their so-called “ruling the country by law” as nothing but a hoax.
Besides the Constitution of China, a series of fundamental laws that were ratified later, including the Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China, Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty, Administrative License Law Of the People’s Republic of China, etc. all explicitly exclude the possibility of the Chinese State Council gaining the power to deprive people of their freedom. Fundamentally, the system of re-education through labor is the most illegal form of malpractice that prevents China from achieving the rule of law. It is the biggest enemy of the Constitution of China and of the fundamental laws and principles. It opposes the pursuit of the Chinese people for a China ruled by law.
Our investigation has shown that the system of re-education by labor, in its illegal deprivation of freedom, has been abusive beyond imagination. The elderly women Wang Yuhuan and Sun Shuxiang have been illegally arrested and detained nine times in six years. The procedure for re-education through labor is so informal and poorly enforced that it might as well be a joke. The true facts have revealed the shocking abuse of power as well as the complete lack of morality! Today is the time when a confession to our nation must be made. I must especially emphasize that if this evil crime does not stop, then the interrogation of our nation by people like Gao Chengzhi will continue. The day when Chinese society becomes stable and harmonious will not arrive. People have lost their patience with power-abusers who cast aside their conscience day and night. The storm of protests created by these people is constantly shaking the country’s foundation and rocking what people have been used to for decades. How could anyone ignore this phenomenon?
Through my experience of continuously communicating with those citizens who are firm in their beliefs, I have truly seen the existence of something most precious to our nation today. Those who can calmly describe with a smile their experiences of dealing with the dreadful process of being persecuted have shaken my soul. I was often moved to tears. In our nation, I have finally seen the spirit that remains faithful and unyielding, holding onto the intangible quality of principles.
The tribulation in the last six years has created a large group of people who have this unmatchable and noble human dignity. Their firmness towards faith, the way they treat the brutal custody with scorn, as well as their optimism that our nation will have a beautiful future earns one’s deep respect. Another trend we found in our investigation is that every Falun Gong follower who has stepped out of custody, no matter how long he or she was in custody, becomes more faithful. The most typical example is Ms. Han from Fuxin City, Liaoning province, who was arrested and placed in custody several times. After being released from a brutal custody that lasted for a few years, the head of the local police station tried to make her promise not to practice Falun Gong any more. To this, she told the policeman, who represents the people’s government, firmly yet peacefully: “Even if you arrest me one hundred times, I will still continue to practice. The fact that we practice is nothing wrong, let alone a crime. After I returned home from custody, through constantly telling our family members and the people around me the truth about Falun Dafa, over thirty of them have joined the practice.”
This time, during my stay with the Falun Gong group, I also found another delightful fact. In contrast to the current situation where the humanity, conscience, morality, compassion, and responsibility of our society is suffering an overall deterioration, these cultivators, as a group reborn from the old nation, have impacted all of these areas in a positive way. One can feel the powerful way in which faith can change one’s soul. Indeed it has allowed me to see a spark of hope for rescuing our nation from its current depraved state.
Through my acquaintance with these believers, I was deeply moved by their calmness when narrating their unprecedented calamity, their compassion toward those that tortured them, and their optimism towards our nation’s future. These people take fame and profit very lightly. They continue to quietly assist fellow practitioners whose lives are in danger due to the ruthless oppression. Their patience in assisting the vulnerable children or the elderly relatives of Falun Gong practitioners, who were either illegally detained or killed, is beyond a typical human being’s imagination or understanding. How one’s belief has such a strong influence over one’s soul and morality is unbelievable.
For instance, Zhu Xiaoguang, who is 33 years old, told me that when he was first thrown in the prison, malicious interactions among inmates were the only type of communication. People there gained the upper hand by being more ruthless than the others. No one wanted to be tamed or required to exercise any self-restraint. Later on, Falun Gong practitioners miraculously cleansed the prisoners’ souls and guided 100 people to begin practicing Falun Gong. He said, “I calmed myself through a complete transformation of my spirit.” As a result, many new inmates were dumbfounded to find kind and helping hands in place of “tone-down lessons” upon their arrival at the prison.
The experience of Zhang Linyou, a former policeman in Kungchuling Detention Center, was even more astonishing. He told me that practicing Falun Gong led him to become the only policeman in that gigantic prison who stopped torturing prisoners and turned down any bribes. He said that he was under constant agony the first year he decided to quit his bad habits. It was extremely painful for him to see his colleagues accept bribery and to resist the temptation when he himself was short of money! He proudly told me that cultivation completely transformed his soul! Later on the 60 inmates under his charge were very grateful to him and believed that all the Chinese police should practice Falun Gong. If that happened, the prisoners said, the Chinese police would become the most civilized in the world. Nevertheless, Zhang Linyou was later illegally sentenced to forced labor and dismissed from his job for practicing Falun Gong.
Yet we are distressed to see that the transformation of people in China is going in the opposite direction. Public political pressures and temptation have annihilated the last trace of kindness in the police. The evil side of human beings is rapidly dominating their behavior, while a basic conscience is no longer valued. The police are, in fact, victims of this fanatical movement to eliminate human nature.
Belief and morality are the most important elements for securing the longevity and advancement of a nation. What our nation has missed the most over the last few decades is the underlying belief that upholds and enhances our nation’s moral values. This is the cause of China’s continued chaos for the past few decades. Hence, for the long-term well being of our country, one must grant and protect people’s freedom of belief. Only through transforming people’s hearts can we create a world with hope. What our government has been doing in the past six years is utilizing violent and barbaric tactics to impede our nation from striving towards a bright future.
In this open letter, I would also like to bring several requests to the government’s attention. These are to end immediately the violent persecution of people who uphold their beliefs and to free and compensate Yang Guang and other prisoners of conscience! Yet we are not asking for the government to reinstate the good name of Falun Gong people. For in their own hearts, as well as in the hearts of ethical members in our society, no one has ever claimed that this group of people was problematic. A system that has ruthlessly tortured a nation for over half a century no longer has the moral values or qualifications to reinstate anyone’s good name. Moreover, to allow such a statement to be made by this system is an insult to the victims! I hereby warn those who still endorse violence to cease their barbaric acts since this is your last chance!
Lastly, allow me to tell Mr. Hu Jintao and Mr. Wen Jiabao with respect that we must have the courage and morality to admit that the political machine, which has ruthlessly tortured our nation for half a century, is tainted with the blood and tears of innocent people and that the piteous fate of the Chinese people, owing to coercion and oppression by the dictatorship of thousands of years, is still without end. We must acknowledge that our nation, our people, have the right to pursue democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and human rights, and that this yearning has never before been this fervent. Today, any attempt to obstruct people’s pursuit for the abovementioned rights will end in vain. Please pardon my frankness but all the blood debts have been engraved in the people’s eyes, experiences, and tainted memories. Gentlemen, only when the safety of the suffering people is in your hearts can you find true security. Likewise, only when you genuinely care for the future of our nation will you have equally as bright a future!
Wishing Mr. Jintao and Mr. Wen Jiabao safety and health in the New Year.
May the New Year bring a new world for my fellow citizens!
May God bless the Chinese people!
Your fellow citizen,
December 12, 2005 Changchun City, Jilin Province