A man who has been detained unlawfully in a prison in China for years is still being brutally tortured in yet another case of the Communist Party’s worst ongoing human rights violation.
Zheng Huiwang has been imprisoned at Baoding prison in Hebei Province since 2008 for merely practicing a form of traditional Chinese meditation, Falun Gong. Since July 1999, practitioners of Falun Gong have been subjected to a brutal campaign at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, started by then-leader Jiang Zemin.
In a new detailed report from human rights group Freedom House, it described the degree of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners as “very high.” Jiang ordered Chinese security forces to “eradicate” Falun Gong, and practitioners have been harassed, fired from their jobs, sent to slave labor camps, and and often tortured in attempts to get them to renounce their faith. Even the elderly aren’t spared abuse.
According to a recent report from Minghui, a clearinghouse of information related to the persecution, Zheng is still being tortured.
“The guards put handcuffs and shackles on Mr. Zheng, tying them together with a rope so that he could only sit with his back bent,” the report said, describing torture that is consistent with other reports of torture meted out against practitioners and Chinese dissidents. “He could not stretch out his legs at all. Sometimes the guards made the handcuffs so tight that they were deformed.”
Guards also force-fed him feces, it added. Zheng is also often denied sleep by the guards. Previous reports said that Zheng, who was arrested at his home in January 2008, was force-fed unknown drugs that induced vomiting and sickness.
A few years ago, local villagers signed or applied their fingerprints on a petition to release Zheng after they learned of his situation from his family members.
It’s unclear exactly how many Falun Gong practitioners have been killed during the persecution, but a report last year from investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann, human rights lawyer David Matas, and former Canadian MP David Kilgour say the forcible removal of organs from victims in state-run hospitals has been rampant. Practitioners of Falun Gong are the primary target.
Their report estimates that some 60,000 to 100,000 organ transplants are performed each year. Because of the inefficiency of China’s organ transplantation system, the investigators believe that in most instances one organ transplanted means one victim killed.
“Available evidence suggests that forced extraction of organs from Falun Gong detainees for sale in transplant operations has occurred on a large scale and may be continuing,” Freedom House noted in its recent report, released in February.
Falun Gong, meanwhile, is still a taboo topic in mainland China, and many Chinese people still believe the Communist Party’s propaganda that has been used to attack practitioners.