(Clearwisdom.net) On December 21, 2004, it was reported that the health of Charles Lee, a U.S. citizen and Falun Gong practitioner illegally detained in Nanjing Prison, has recently deteriorated dramatically, and he has developed symptoms of shortness of breath. The prison authorities are currently monitoring his heart. To find out about Charles' situation, the reporter interviewed his fiancée, Yeong-Ching Foo.

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Practitioners in the U.S. demand that China release Charles Lee immediately

Yeong-Ching said that she had just called the U.S. consulate in Shanghai to inquire about Charles' latest situation. According to an official there, to make Charles write a "self-criticism" report, the Nanjing Prison authorities have been forcing him to sit motionless for prolonged periods of time. He is forced to sit for a whole day or 4 to 6 hours a day continuously without being allowed to move his head even a little bit. Charles has been forced to sit this way for 43 to 48 days. He was also forced to watch CCTV programs created to defame Falun Gong. The consulate speculated that such treatments caused Charles' health problems such as shortness of breath and a heart disorder. The U.S. Embassy in China and Consulate in Shanghai have both protested to Chinese authorities over his mistreatment.

Yeong-Ching said that Charles didn't have any health problems when a reporter from Epoch Times interviewed him around Thanksgiving. In less than one month, he has developed heart problems due to mistreatment. One can thus speculate that the prison authorities must have used harsh measures against Charles, trying to force him to denounce Falun Gong and give up his belief in "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."

According to Yeong-Ching, Charles Lee drafted several reports of the abuses that he has suffered in prison; however, the prison authorites always confiscated and destroyed them.

According to a report from Radio Free Asia on November 14, Charles Lee was forced to make Christmas light decorations, which are to be exported overseas. The news was passed to San Francisco practitioners by U.S. Consuls in Shanghai who visited Charles Lee in Nanjing Prison. The U.S. diplomats also passed on the news that Charles was forced to work 7 days a week, 10 to 12 hours per day.

Since being arrested in January, 2003, Charles Lee has gone through all kinds of torture, including handcuffing, beating, being hforced to wear insulated jackets on hot days, force-feeding and brainwashing. Furthermore, he was forced to make shoes in an environment filled with the fumes of toxic glues. The fact that Charles recently developed heart problems at less than 40 years old is very disturbing, and Charles' situation in the prison is of great concern. Unfortunately, Charles Lee will have to spend his second Christmas and New Year in the Nanjing prison.

State Department Consular Affairs Spokeswoman Kelly Shannon said that officials from the Consulate in Shanghai visited U.S. citizen Charles Lee, who is still detained in Nanjing Prison. The December 9 visit is the 47th meeting between U.S. officials and Charles. Kelly Shannon said: "Charles Lee appeared to be very tired. The prison currently allows Charles Lee to do some exercises. However, his condition only allows him to take some walks outside."

Ms. Sherry Zhang, the founder of Friends of Charles Lee, said: "Charles went to China to help the Chinese people learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong so that they won't be misled by lies and propaganda, and to help those innocent practitioners who are being brutally persecuted in China. It was a selfless, great endeavor. SARS has taught us a big lesson: The lies of the Jiang regime and the Chinese communist party do not only harm Chinese people, they also harm people around the world."

Sherry said: "I hope all kind-hearted people in the U.S. can help us rescue Charles. Meanwhile, we strongly demand that the Chinese authorities end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and release Charles Lee immediately."

Yeong-Ching said, "Christmas and New Year are coming, but Charles is still being detained in prison by the Jiang regime and the Chinese communist party. I urge the Chinese authorities to release Charles Lee unconditionally."