Dr. Charles Li, a U.S. citizen and a Falun Gong practitioner from Menlo Park, Calif., is currently jailed in Communist China. He has been forced to attend brainwashing programs against his will and spiritual beliefs, and also has been cut off from the U.S. Consulate by Chinese prison officials.

On at least two occasions, in protest of violations of his human rights, Dr. Li has gone on hunger strikes. He has had to endure very painful and dangerous forced-feedings by prison authorities.

Dr. Li was arrested while getting off the airplane in Guangzhou airport. He was imprisoned in China after being ushered through a "show trial" in March for "preparing" to tap into Chinese state-run T.V. to broadcast programs telling the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. He was sentenced to three years in Nanjing Prison. His intention was a noble one, and he is now subject to the very inhumane treatments that he intended to expose.

According to a phone conversation that Dr. Li's fiancee had with U.S. consular official Joshua Huck, Dr. Li's situation has worsened dramatically over the past month of detention:

"On July 8, he refused to attend a brainwashing session. An inmate, encouraged by prison guards, twisted his arm and knocked him down to the ground. He then was dragged down a flight of stairs to the brainwashing class. The prison also increased the number of inmates in Dr. Li's cell from four to ten. They beat him whenever he tried to do the Falun Gong meditation practice. According to the U.S. Consulate, Dr. Li has told them that he now has 29 bruises on his body, including very large marks.

Dr. Charles Li's friends will hold an urgent Coast-to-Coast gathering, "Rescue Charles, American Citizen and Falun Gong Practitioner," to generate awareness of the abuses and injustices imposed on him and other practitioners in Communist China, and collect signatures from the public on petitions that urge our elected officials to do their best in getting Dr. Li out of China.

Hong Liner is a Corvallis resident.

Editor's note: Local Falun Gong practitioners will meet at 9 a.m. Friday in front of the Corvallis City Hall to collect signatures and gather support.