"I don't know if these materials will get into your hands. What I am going to do is to restart the hunger strike... if I don't hear from you by 5pm on 5/21/2003." -- Dr. Charles Li

American on Hunger Strike in Chinese Prison

While handcuffed for 5 consecutive days in a Chinese prison, U.S. citizen, Dr. Charles Li, authored an appeal letter disclosing false accusations, brainwashing and beatings.

SAN FRANCISCO (FDI) -- On June 4, 2003 Dr. Charles Li's fiancée received a document from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai that Dr. Li had written while handcuffed for 5 consecutive days in a Nanjing jail.

At first, prison officials withheld eight pages of the document. Dr. Li then started a hunger strike to insist that the information reach its destination. After over a week on hunger strike and enduring forced feeding, Dr. Li remained determined to communicate with the outside world, and prison officials gave in.

Dr. Li was imprisoned in China after being ushered through a "show trial" in March for "preparing" to tap into Chinese state-run T.V. and broadcast programs exposing the persecution of Falun Gong in China. (news)

The actual charge Chinese authorities brought against Dr. Li, "Preparing to sabotage television and radio broadcast equipment," has allowed Chinese authorities to claim that Dr. Li's case is a criminal case that has nothing to do with his practice of Falun Gong.

Chinese authorities also maintain Dr. Li is being treated humanely, although they no longer permit U.S. consulate officials to visit him at Nanjing prison.

The document Dr. Li wrote, however, (excerpted below) discloses a very different story: he has been resisting unjust and abusive treatment, including attempts to brainwash him and force him to abandon his beliefs.

In his "Letter from a Nanjing Jail," Dr. Li explains in detail how his trial was politically motivated from the very beginning, how his arrest and abuse is intricately linked to his being a Falun Gong practitioner, and how Chinese officials have manipulated the charges and evidence in an effort to convince the U.S. State Dept. that his imprisonment does not touch upon "freedom of belief" issues. Dr. Li also explains that he is not guilty of the charges brought upon him, and reveals disturbing details of physical and mental abuse of an American citizen in a Chinese jail.

Below are excerpts from the documents forwarded by the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai. The "Letter" consists of two different documents that Dr. Li wrote, an "Appeal Letter" and a summary he titled "Supplementary Materials." Dr. Li wrote them on 96 pages of small sheets of paper in Chinese and English (approximately 21 single-spaced, word-processed pages when translated into English). The complete letters go into much greater detail in substantiating Dr. Li's claims than the excerpts below, which simply present his main arguments. Translations of both the "Appeal Letter" and the "Supplementary Materials" are available from the Falun Dafa Information Center upon request.

His jailers at Nanjing Prison keep Dr. Li isolated from the outside world, from the representatives of his government, and from his fiancée and family. Here is Dr. Li's testimony, with which he managed to breakthrough the blockade put around him, by means of his courage and suffering alone.


A Political Trial

Everything the Chinese government has done to me since my illegal arrest on January 22, 2003 is illegal persecution.

As this case has developed, I have clarified the truth of the persecution of Falun Gong to those dealing with my case, and I have developed good relationships with them. They have also intentionally and unintentionally revealed information related to the decision-making in my case.

As soon as I was detained at the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, I had caught their full attention. At one time they thought of charging me with "accusations" related to broadcasting Falun Gong truth materials. But they changed their mind when considering the fact that I have American citizenship and that all "accusations" related to Falun Gong would necessarily involve the issue of freedom of belief. They therefore considered pursuing these charges too difficult and decided to avoid any "accusations" related to Falun Gong. Instead they used the accusation of the "sabotage of radio and television equipment" in their charges against me.

When they decided to use this accusation, they did not have any evidence to prove that I had committed the crime. They did not know the technology involved or how to operate the interception equipment I had bought in October. They only knew that the equipment could possibly have something to do with clarifying the truth of Falun Gong. Nevertheless, on the 5th day of my arrest this year they fabricated a verification of the use of this equipment to justify the charge. [Editor's note: please see Charles Li's "Appeal Letter" where he denies actually broadcasting via cable TV]

One learns from incidents like this, that the law in China is a tool to be used in the persecution against Falun Gong. It has nothing to do with safeguarding justice.

As a matter of fact, I was also told (by some people from the government) that the Central Government is paying a lot of attention to my case. As a consequence, even the provincial public security bureau would not dare to release me. The Central Government's close involvement was confirmed when the state public security bureau directly sent people to participate in the case and to do so-called investigations...

...they tried not to connect my case to the Falun Gong issue and treated this completely as a criminal case related to the "sabotage of Radio and television equipment." The purpose was to cover up their illegal persecution of Falun Gong, deprive Falun Gong practitioners' of their legal rights to clarify the truth, and cover up their persecution of us. ["Supplementary Materials"]

Dr. Li's Innocence

Yangzhou People's Procuratorate charged me, in its indictment numbered (2003)4, with the following: in order to serve the purpose of illegal program insertion, Li attempted to sabotage radio/television facilities and to endanger public safety, and therefore violated the first section of Article 124 in the Criminal Law of PRC, and prepared a so-called crime. ["Appeal Letter"]

I did intend to utilize the cable TV in Yangzhou City last October to broadcast the truth of the persecution of Falun Gong to the public. I have never denied this fact. However, such an act would have the following legal characteristics:

  • The act of clarifying the truth itself is protected by the Chinese Constitution and the Chinese criminal law.

  • The technology design and the operation methods used to clarify the truth using the cable TV does not fit the condition of "sabotage" defined by the Criminal Law Act 124 (i.e. that the equipment's normal function would be damaged. The prosecutor completely agreed with this point in the court debate.).

  • Utilizing the cable TV to clarify the truth cannot possibly cause damage to the public safety. On the contrary, such use safeguards public safety.

That is to say my intention of utilizing the cable TV to do a broadcast is totally different from violating criminal law 124. Only if it is contrary to the above 3 characteristics or criteria can the violation of criminal law item #124 exist. [Editor's note: please see Charles Li's appeal where he denies broadcasting via cable TV]. ["Supplementary Materials"]

A Rigged Trial

During the court trial, the judges repeatedly deprived me of my right to present evidence and defend myself. Examples are listed below:

  • False evidence and false statements were given by Huujun Nin and Cui Yan [editor: witnesses for the prosecution] about many important questions regarding the determination of the nature of the case. Yet, the judge stopped me from raising related questions to clear things up.

  • He also stopped me from questioning the prosecutor

  • He also stopped me from presenting evidence of innocence.

  • He also stopped me from defending myself by using the Chinese Constitution & Laws. ["Appeal"]

Brainwashing and Abuse in Jail

1. Serious violations of my freedom of belief

  • At the earlier stage of my arrest, they used various means in an attempt to force me to give up Falun Gong cultivation. During the three days February 10 to 12, I was forced to watch their propaganda videos slandering Falun Gong and its founder.

  • They used force to confiscate my book Zhuan Falun. I have asked them many times to return the book to me but in vain. In addition, the American Consulate sent a copy, which was also confiscated.

  • They have inhibited and restricted me from practicing Falun Gong, even though I have kept telling them that practicing is extremely important in order for me to maintain my health.

2. Physical punishment and abuse, beatings and torture

  • On January 22, 2003, I was beaten up at the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport

  • After my arrest on January 22, under the condition that I was on hunger strike, they didn't allow me to sleep for 3 days and nights. A group of them took turns attacking me (in interrogation).

  • Since 9:15 pm on January 22, 2003, under the condition that I was on hunger strike, I was tortured with handcuffs for over 72 hours. Most of the time, they handcuffed my hands behind my back and prevented me from moving. Especially from 8 pm to 12 am on January 23, 2003 when they moved me from shanghai Pudong to Yangzhou City, they handcuffed me behind my back and intentionally tightened the handcuffs into my flesh. It was extremely painful. On Jan. 24, they grabbed my handcuffs and pulled them up from my back, which caused devastating pain. The scars are still visible on my wrist.

  • At the Yangzhou Detention Center, from 8 am on March 27 to 2:30 pm on April 2, they handcuffed me consecutively for 130 hours. Those days were extremely hot, my winter clothes were smelly, and I wasn't able to change them. Still I must hurry up to write 3 appeal letters with 96 pages.

  • At the Nanjing jail, I was beaten up in the afternoon on May 12, 2003, and they shaved my hair with force. I was handcuffed on an iron bed for 4 hours. On May 13, 2003, they used force to put a jail uniform on me; and they handcuffed my hands behind my back for 5 hours.

["Supplementary Materials"]

"Those criminals who have been persecuting Falun Gong, they are ones who should be indicted." ["Appeal Letter"]


NEWS - Jun. 16, 2003
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net


Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.

With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report), fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 730 deaths (reports / sources) since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600, while expert sources estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.

Contacts: Gail Rachlin (+1 917-501-4441), Levi Browde (+1 914-720-0963), Erping Zhang (+1 646-533-6147), or Feng Yuan (+1 917-941-1097).
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