Mr. Zhao Xudong, 36, was detained in the No. 2 Detention Center in Lanzhou City. During 53 days of detention, Mr. Zhao's hair turned from a healthy black to totally white. Suffering excruciating torture, Mr. Zhao died in detention.

Mr. Zhao Xudong, an employee of the Lanzhou City Chemical Industry Company in Gansu Province, once appealed for Falun Gong in Beijing according to his civil rights endowed by the Constitution. Nevertheless, he was repeatedly shocked with electric batons until he lost consciousness in the Beijing Qianmen Police Substation. On his second trip to appeal in Beijing, authorities captured him halfway and sent to the Pingantai Forced Labor Camp in Lanzhou City for two years. He was released on bail for medical treatment, which cost his family almost 80,000 yuan. After that, he remained unemployed and lived a meager existence on only 200 yuan per month until September 2003, when the Lanzhou City Chemical Industry Company allowed him to return to work.

Officials Pei Huaiwei and Wang Jun with the Lanzhou City National Security Bureau (NSB) arrested him once again. He was taken to the NSB detention center and then transferred to Lanzhou City and the Hualinshan No. 2 Detention Center, where he was tortured to death in 53 days. When he died, his hair was white and he was as thin as a reed, weighing less than 100 pounds. Although he had blood in his nose, the police claimed that he died suddenly from a seizure disorder and then threatened and pressured his family members to sign a consent form to cremate his body. Before his arrest, Mr. Zhao Xudong had no white hair at all and weighed over 160 pounds. The medical examination conducted before he resumed work showed that he was absolutely healthy.

Similarly, all of Mr. Zhao's family members who practice Falun Gong have been persecuted for years. His mother, Mrs. Bai Jinyu, is a retired employee of the Lanzhou City Chemical Industry Company in her sixties. She benefited from Falun Gong since 1998, and her rheumatic heart disease, arthritis and gastric ulcer were cured by just practicing Falun Gong. She was arrested and sent to a forced labor camp for one year for appealing for Falun Gong in Beijing. In July 2004, she was sentenced to three years in prison. She is presently detained in the NSB detention center and is not allowed to see her family. She was reportedly persecuted until she was disabled just one week after being arrested. During her sentencing in Qilihe Court in July 2004, she couldn't stand up on her own and had to have several people help her walk. Additionally, her head was covered with a black bag during the sentencing process. An insider disclosed that she had sustained a smashed anklebone and a lower back fracture and had been tortured almost to a mental collapse, but that she was still imprisoned.

Zhao Xudong's father, Mr. Zhao Baoting, was also an employee retired from the Supply and Marketing Branch of the Lanzhou City Chemical Industry Company. For appealing in Beijing, he was forced to stand outdoors in cold weather without clothes or shoes and hold ice in the Haidian District Detention Center. Ms. Li Hongping, Zhao Xudong's wife, was sent for two years of forced labor in October 2001. At the time of the most severe persecution, their daughter, who was not yet 10 years old, was left by herself in their home and was almost taken to an orphanage by the Lanzhou City Chemical Industry Company police. Moreover, to prevent the Zhao family from speaking out about their family tragedy, the Lanzhou City Chemical Industry Company even arranged for other employees to monitor Mr. Zhao Xudong's surviving family members.

Mr. Zhao Xudong's family members have been persecuted so severely simply because they practice Falun Gong, which they benefited from, and appealed for Falun Gong, which is a privilege granted by the Chinese Constitution. Their tragedy may be the best example of why this is certainly not the "best period of human rights in China," as claimed by Jiang and the CCP.