CHICAGO – Wang Bin, a reporter for the Beijing Epoch Times and a Falun Gong practitioner, successfully escaped the arrest of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through the efforts of supporters outside China and arrived in Chicago at the beginning of 2005 after experiencing three years of purgatory under the regime of the CCP.
His arrival in the U.S. allowed details about the mass arrest of Epoch Times staff in China to be reported for the first time, details that had been covered up by CCP for five years. These arrests were ordered by Jiang Zemin, the CCP's General Secretary at the time, and Li Lanqing and Luo Gan, both heads of the 6-10 Office, a Gestapo-like agency that was set up to persecute Falun Gong. At least a dozen people were illegally sentenced to heavy punishment for the alleged crime of "subverting the political power of the state." This is a typical example how the CCP has trampled on human rights and repressed the freedom of the press. .
Wang Bin was born in 1974, is of Tu ethnicity, and has a doctorate degree in engineering from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was one of the earliest Beijing Epoch Times reporters and organizers. The Beijing office was the first office of The Epoch Times in China. Because The Epoch Times reported truthfully news in China, the Communist authorities saw its Beijing office as a thorn to be removed. Under the CCP's overwhelming surveillance, the reporters in Beijing had no choice but to disperse throughout China in order to continue their news reporting.
On December 16, 2000, the Ministry of Public Security of the CCP formally started investigating the case of The Epoch Times, called Case 12-16 (or Dec. 16). According to incomplete statistics, more than 90 people were investigated, and more than 30 people were arrested. They were from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and other provinces and cities. At least a dozen Epoch Times reporters were sentenced to three to ten years of imprisonment. Some were sent to labor camps. Most of them are young intellectuals who have graduated from top universities. Some of them are Falun Gong practitioners. The Beijing Security Bureau received special honors for Case 12-16 in the national security conference held by the Ministry of Public Security in the first half of the year 2001. One official from the judiciary system of the CCP commented that the " Epoch Times Event" had an enormous and "profound" influence in China's top circle.
These The Epoch Times reporters and volunteers, in their youthful enthusiasm and earnest search for truth established an historical milestone in the struggle to bring freedom of the press to China. Because the CCP has used all means to prevent any news about the fate of the Epoch Times' reporters from getting out, and because most of these reporters in China were arrested and sentenced without written judgments being given to their family members, or have simply disappeared, their cases and situations were largely unknown outside of China. The Epoch Times had tried to obtain news of these individuals during these years, but could only get scraps of information. The successful rescue of Wang Bin has helped reveal the facts.
In fact, the Beijing Epoch Times began operating before the North American Epoch Times. In June 2000, Cheng Dan, representative of North American Epoch Times, visited Beijing and met with Wang Bin and Zhang Yuhui. Cheng Dan proposed the idea of establishing a Beijing reporter station. They agreed and started recruiting volunteers. In the beginning of July, over ten individuals had joined the effort and they purchased news reporting equipment. The reporter station started functioning at the end of July 2000.
The Beijing Epoch Times reported on a wide range of issues, and particularly exposed the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. At that time the persecution of Falun Gong had gone on for one year. The cruelty of the persecution was terrible and unprecedented. Because of the CCP's propaganda campaign, people in other countries had a hard time getting any uncensored news about China and especially about this persecution. The Epoch Times reporters reported thousands of stories in a few months, including a lot of stories about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Soon after this, Wang Bin was illegally sentenced to three years in prison. One of his "crimes" was that the Beijing Epoch Times published "more than 500 reports on Falun Gong" in three months. These first-hand news accounts were continuously sent to North America, and it was the first time that people outside of China had the chance to truly understand the violent and bloody nature of the CCP.
These reports caused extreme panic to the regime of Jiang Zemin, who had personally ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. Soon, the "Epoch Times Event" was elevated to be a case of highest importance by Jiang's gangster-like regime. The Epoch Times reporters were facing the danger of being arrested.
Under the threat of state terror, some of the Beijing reporters went to southern China and continued to work there. In November 2000, the staff of The Epoch Times, including Shi Shaoping of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lin Yang, Ma Yan, Jiang Yuxia, and Li Yanfang, Huang Kui, Li Chunyan, and Tian Jianshui of Qinghua University, as well as Zhang Yuhui, Zhang Qingyun and Liu Mei, were illegally arrested and sent to prison. All of these ten people received heavy sentences for the crime of "subverting the political power the state."
Wang Bin and Shi Shaoping, both in Charge of the Beijing Epoch Times, were the last arrested by the CCP in the case of The Epoch Times. In March 2001, Wang Bin held a meeting with a reporter for America's Time magazine in Beijing. In the morning of March 15, Wang Bin and Shi Shaoping were secretly kidnapped from their homes by the state security department of Beijing City. Their belongings were taken by the state security guards as if they were stolen goods, and their owners were never given any receipts. In November, they were charged by the Haidian District procuratorate. In February, 2002, they were formally sentenced. Shi Shaoping was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, and Wang Bin three years. The North America Epoch Times representative Cheng Dan was also placed under an arrest-order.
Li Lanqing and Luo Gan of 6-10 Office personally supervised the Epoch Times case. Under their command, suspects were tortured to extort confessions, and the process was regularly compiled into brief reports and submitted to Jiang Zemin, Li Lanqing, Luo Gan and other high level party members. Most of the Beijing Epoch Timesreporters were detained in the city's No 1 detention centre, including Wang Bin. Generally, this is a place for heavy offenders who have been sentenced to death, death sentences with a two year reprieve or long term imprisonment.
Wang Bin said there is a saying, "when you enter the 'K" building, you must first protect your head." The letter "K" refers to the shape of the building for this detention center. This is also the place where the CCP detained major political dissidents in the past. During the Cultural Revolution, many senior cadres were detained there and it is known as China's No 1 detention centre. Wang bin recalled that it was extremely dark and terrifying in there and the control of the guards was unusually strict.
After being illegally sentenced to three years in prison, Wang Bin was sent to Hunan Changsha prison in July 2002 and released in 2004, After three dark years prison life, Wang Bin still kept his firm belief, but his ordeal was not over. The CCP still monitored him and continued to harass and blackmail him. Finally with the help of friends, Wang Bin had to flee from the land where he once lived and still loves. He came to the US–a free country. On arrival in the US, Wang Bing said, every particle of the air here is free.
After Wang Bin left China, the police started harassing his parents and family. Our website will publish Wang Bin's memoirs in the near future entitled The Red Purgatory, which will contain nine chapters of nearly 30,000 words. It will expose the truth about prisons in China based on Wang Bin's personal experience; it will also make it clear that the red purgatory will inevitably collapse. At the same time, we will continue to publish reports tracking the events of The Epoch Times case.
Amongst the Epoch Times's China-stationed reporters who were arrested under the same case as Wang bin, some were given heavy sentences of up to ten years or more. Let us salute these heroes who sacrificed themselves for the sake of freedom of the press in China!
Mr. Zhang Yuhui graduated from the University of International Business and Economics, specializing in international trade. He migrated to Macau in the early 1990s, and is a Falun Gong practitioner. After the crackdown on Falun Gong by the CCP in July 1999, Zhang Yuhui published a series of articles on overseas websites introducing Falun Gong to readers and exposing the persecution of Falun Gong using the penname "peacemaker." His articles were reprinted in many websites and newspapers, inlcuding "World Daily." . Zhang Yuhui joined the Beijing reporting station in June 2000 and was subsequently arrested in Zhuhai and illegally sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of "subverting national political power."
Mr. Shi Shaoping was a postgraduate researcher at the Institute of Photographic Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In March 2001, he was secretly arrested by Beijing National Protection team, and later sentenced to a prison term of 10 years because he took part in The Epoch Times and broke through the CCP's media blockade. He is still imprisoned in Tianjin.
Mr. Meng received his master's degree and was an Assistant Professor of Tsinghua University's Electronic Engineering Department. He was detained twice by the police and Beijing Public Security Bureau in Sept. and Oct. 1999, and was later was arrested in June 2000 because of his peaceful appeal for the rights of Falun Gong practitioners on Tiananmen Square. He was arrested again in the middle of the night on the 31st of December 2000, and later sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of "subverting national political power."
Ms. Ma Yan entered Tsinghua University in 1994 to pursue her bachelor's degrees in architecture and in Journalism & Media. She is a Falun Gong practitioner. On April 25, 2000, she was detained for one month because of her appeal on Tiananmen Square. Consequently, Tsinghua University informed her they wanted her to leave school but she refused. The university proceeded to tell her that her name was removed from the university's registrar list. Ma Yan joined the Epoch Times's Beijing office in June 2000, and was later illegally detained in Zhuhai and sentenced on the charge of "subverting national political power.".
Mr. Huang Kui started pursuing his Ph.D. at Tsinghua University's Precision Instrument & Mechanics Department in 1999. He is a Falun Gong practitioner. Huang Kui was honored with the Zheng Geru Fellowship, a first class excellent student award and the "excellent" Tsinghua graduate award. He served as a class monitor and deputy Chairman of the Scientific Association in his department. He was recommended to enter into the PhD program after receiving t his B.S. In October 1999, The university forced him to leave school for 3 months. In June 2000, he was beaten publicly inside the university by the police simply because he practiced Falun Gong exercises on campus. Huang Kui joined the Beijing office in June 2000, and was later arrested in Zhuhai and illegally sentenced on the charge of "subverting national political power."
Mr. Lin Yang became a student of Tsinghua University's Water Resource & Electricity department in 1994, and is a Falun Gong practitioner. He was honored with the university first class scholarship, won the third place at the university "Challenge" Technology exhibition, and received an "Excellent individual" title at university technology activities. He was recommended for postgraduate study without an entrance exam because of his excellent performance. In September 1999, he was denied registration by the school because he refused to write a pledge denouncing Falun Gong (a total of 7 new postgraduate students were denied for this unfair reason). In June 2000, he was detained because he appealed for the unconditional release of all detained Falun Gong practitioners. After his release, Tsinghua University forced him to quit school. Lin Yang joined the Beijing office in June of 2000, and later was arrested in Zhuhai and illegally sentenced on the charge of "subverting national political power.".
Ms. Jiang Yuxia became a student of Tsinghua University's Water Resource & Electricity department in 1995. In October 1999, she visited a CCP appeal office to appeal for the rights of Falun Gong practitioners. Tsinghua University denied her degree with the excuse of "failing to complete graduation project requirements." On October 1, 2000, she was detained for 3 days just for visiting Tiananmen Square. In June 2000, Jiang Yuxia joined the Beijing office, and was later arrested in Zhuhai and illegally sentenced on the charge of "subverting national political power."
Ms. Li Yanfang was a postgraduate at Tsinghua University's Reactor Engineering and Safety department. In September 1999, she was detained by Tsinghua University police because she practiced Falun Gong exercises publicly. She was interrogated until the next morning. In June of 2000, she was detained for 9 days by Beijing Public Security Bureau because she went to Tiananmen Square to appeal for Falun Gong. In June of 2000, Li Yanfang joined the Beijing office, and was later arrested in Zhuhai and illegally sentenced on the charge of "subverting national political power."
He Yi, a Tsinghua University graduate, was sent to a labor camp for involvement with The Epoch Times.
Ms. Qin Yan, a journalist at Sports Publishing House, was sent to a labor camp for helping The Epoch Times.
Wang Ling, former editor of China Weekend and employee of the National Copyright Administration, was sent to a labor camp for helping The Epoch Times.