(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhao Qingshan from Harbin has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and is currently being held in the Daqing Prison. Due to the persecution he has suffered, he is now on the verge of death. He cannot hold down any food and has pain all over his body. He is no longer able to look after himself, and is in critical condition. The prison authorities had previously notified his family to bail him out for medical treatment, but lately, the prison authorities are refusing to go through the procedure, using various excuses.

Nearly one hundred Falun Gong practitioners, including Bu Fanwei, Cheng Feiming, Bi Yunfei and Wang Yudong are currently being held at the Daqing Prison. Their lives are in danger. We urgently call on the world human rights organizations, the world organizations that investigate the persecution of Falun Gong, and justice-loving people from all walks of life to lend a helping hand to stop the persecution and to return the freedom of belief back to the people in China.

Mr. Zhao Qingshan, born in 1951, was an employee of the Harbin Vegetable Company. Before practicing Falun Gong, he suffered from various physical problems including insufficient blood supply to the brain and numbness of the right hand. After he started practicing Falun Gong in 1997, he became very healthy both physically and mentally. However, since the suppression of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party began, Mr. Zhao was forced to become homeless in order to avoid being arrested and persecuted. Later, he was detained in the No. 7 Division of the Harbin City Police Department. He was brutally tortured during the interrogation. He became extremely weak and frail due to the torture, and he was released on bail for medical treatment. Mr. Zhao was arrested again in May, 2003 by the police from Harbin City Police Department. Zhao Guang, Fan Jiayuan and other officers tried to extort a confession from Mr. Zhao by cruel torture. Afterwards, Mr. Zhao's face was misshapen and his health was severely damaged, and he was sent to Harbin's Dongli District Detention Centre for recovery. When his health was getting better, Mr. Zhao was sentenced by the Dongli District Court in a secret trial to 11 years of imprisonment. After the Chinese Lunar New Year of 2003, Zhao Qingshan was transferred to Harbin Prison. On July 1, 2004 Mr. Zhao was transferred to Daqing Prison to be further persecuted.

In July 2004, when his family members went to Daqing Prison to visit him, they found that Mr. Zhao was extremely weak. In October 2004, his family members came to visit him again and brought him warm cotton-padded clothes, but they were not allowed to see him and even the cotton-padded clothes were returned.

In 2005, during the Chinese Lunar New Year, his family members traveled a long way to visit him. Prison guard Pan Shaolin tried every means to stop them. They persevered and finally saw Mr. Zhao. By that time, Mr. Zhao was extremely frail and his voice was very weak. One could hardly hear him, even talking to him in close proximity.

On July 14, 2005, Pan Shaolin informed Mr. Zhao's family that the prison authorities had sent him to Daqing No. 4 Hospital for treatment. Not long after, the prison authorities had to send Mr. Zhao to Daqing Oil Field Hospital for a checkup. The hospital diagnosed him with a blood clot in the brain, high blood pressure, and other diseases (his family has not been allowed to see the medical reports).

On July 26, Pan Shaolin notified Mr. Zhao's family to go through the procedure of bailing him out for medical treatment. On August 1, Mr. Zhao's family finished the necessary paperwork. On August 9, the Provincial Justice Department approved the bail and at the same time the department's verification center notified Daqing Prison to go and pick up the forms for the bail. However, Daqing Prison suddenly refused the bail. It argued that an official surnamed Zhou from the Procuratorate, stationed in the prison, objected because Mr. Zhao Qingshan had served less than one third of his sentence.

Mr. Zhao's family asked to see the prison leaders. The prison officials refused their request. When the family members argued with them, one prison guard even threatened to report them to police for "obstructing official business." The prison authorities claimed that Mr. Zhao Qingshan's life was not in danger and said that the verification report from the Provincial Justice Department did not contain the words of "life threatening."

On the evening of August 12, when Mr. Zhao's family phoned Pan Shaolin about the bail, Pan said, "Zhao Qingshan has not served one third of his sentence, therefore he cannot be released on bail for medical treatment." The family members said, "When the prison authorities notified us to post bail for Mr. Zhao for medical treatment, he had not served one third of his sentence. Why do you raise this issue now?" Pan Shaolin said, "Zhao Qingshan's life is not in danger." Pan claimed, "The verification report did not contain the words 'life threatening.' Only when an authorized hospital certifies that his life is in danger can we release him on bail." Mr. Zhao's family said, "Now we formally request to take Zhao Qingshan to the hospital for a checkup." Pan Shaolin turned down the request and said "We have already given him a medical checkup."

Mr. Zhao's family asked, "From Zhao Qingshan's present status, his life is really in danger. We want to take him to the hospital for another checkup but you disagree. If Zhao Qingshan dies, who will shoulder the responsibility for his death?" Pan said with a bit of excitement, "The prison would not shoulder this responsibility. It is Zhao Qingshan who does not admit his guilt and refuses to submit himself to the law." Mr. Zhao's family said, "As a matter of fact, you all know that all Falun Gong practitioners are good people. We must look at the issue from the angle of cherishing his life. We must not ignore people's lives." Pan claimed, "People die in prison. Birth, old age, sickness, and death are only natural. Some time ago, several inmates in their 40s old died in Daqing Prison. Wasn't that very normal?"

From the above conversation, it's not hard to see the hooligan nature of the guards and prison authorities, deliberately creating difficulties and ignoring people's lives. The officials even described deaths from abuse in detention as "dying of natural causes."

The following is an open letter that Mr. Zhao Qingshan's family wrote to the leaders of Daqing Prison.

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An Open letter to the leaders of Daqing Prison,

The authorities and the prison guards,

We are the family members of Mr. Zhao Qingshan and we want to talk to you about bailing Mr. Zhao out for medical treatment.

Zhao Qingshan had suffered from various illnesses before practicing Falun Gong. He had fully regained his health after practicing the wonderful exercises. He was transformed from a person who had severely suffered from lingering illnesses to a person who was disease-free. During the process he also regained his hope for life. Falun Gong also helped him to shed all his bad habits and understand how to conduct himself well in society.

Since 1999 when Falun Gong was suppressed, Mr. Zhao, who had benefited so much from practicing Falun Dafa, naturally continued to practice the exercises. He also clarified the truth to the government officials and the people. As a result, he was illegally detained and was physically and emotionally abused. When we said illegal detention you might not accept this, however, the suppression of Falun Gong was illegal from day one. The Chinese Constitution stipulates, "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of belief," "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy the freedom of speech" and "The personal dignity of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable." Besides, you all said that all Falun Gong practitioners are good people. Since they are good people, then why do you want to "transform" them? What kind of people do you really want them to become? Since they are all good people how come the word "evil" is associated with Falun Gong? As Falun Gong practitioners, we can understand your prison guards' difficulties in dealing with the orders from above. However, you must be very clear that objectively you are doing a wrong deed. The issue of Falun Gong will be resolved sooner or later, and history will reveal the truth.

Now, Zhao Qingshan's life is in danger. You asked us to go through the procedures to bail him out for medical treatment not long ago. We don't understand why all of a sudden you refuse to follow through. Your only reason is that Zhao Qingshan has not served one third of his sentence and his life is not in danger.

As we all know that at the time when you first notified the family about releasing Mr. Zhao on bail for medical treatment, he had served less than one third of his sentence. Why has this become an issue today? If Mr. Zhao Qingshan's life is not in danger, why did you repeatedly send him to the hospital for checkups and ask the family to bail him out for medical treatment? All this clearly shows that Mr. Zhao Qingshan's life is in danger and he is in critical condition. Even if his life is not in danger, we also request that you release him right away. This is because Falun Gong practitioners held in the Daqing Prison have no safety guarantee and they could be in a life-threatening situation at any time. Xu Jishan was a very healthy person and was tortured to death in only four hours. We hope, from the consideration of humanitarianism and for being responsible for Mr. Zhao's life, the leadership at Daqing Prison will release him for medical treatment at an early date.

At the same time, our whole family has the following requests:

We ask Daqing Prison to allow us to go through the necessary procedures so that Mr. Zhao Qingshan can be released unconditionally for medical treatment.

If Daqing Prison does not allow us to bail Mr. Zhao out for medical treatment, then we need a clear statement from the prison authorities -- who will take the responsibility if Mr. Zhao dies.

As long as Mr. Zhao is not released, we will continue our efforts to rescue him. If he dies in the prison, we will definitely claim his body, conduct investigations and affix responsibility for his death. We will carry this out to the end.

The Zhao family