(Clearwisdom.net) A champion handicapped athlete, a world record holder, has been tortured and otherwise persecuted for many years in China--persecuted for his belief in Falun Gong.

Mr. Zhang Qingyuan, 40 years old, is from Wuhan City, Hubei Province. His left forearm suffered a handicap when he was young. In 1980, he started to participate in sports events for disabled people. He achieved great results in numerous national competitions. In 1994, he won the triple jump championship in the 4th Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled while breaking the world record. At the end of 1995, he became a member of the national team, in preparation for the 1996 Special Olympics in Atlanta, although in the end, he did not attend the games. But unlike so many other former Chinese athletes, Mr. Zhang was not invited to attend the Beijing Olympics as a guest of honor. Instead, he was persecuted for his practice of Falun Gong, for his firm belief in Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance.

Mr. Zhang Qingyuan had been taken into custody numerous times since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. He was brutally tortured and in the end, forced to leave town. More about the history of his plight follows.

On November 5, 2001, officers of the No. 1 Division of the Wuhan City Police Department took Mr. Zhang against his will to the No. 2 Agency of the No. 7 Division in Wuhan City (a.k.a Wuhan City No. 2 Detention Center). On December 3, he was taken to the Erdaopeng brainwashing center in Jianghan District, Wuhan City. At the end of June 2002, Mr. Zhang was deprived of sleep and forced to stand for extended hours facing a wall. The brainwashing center officials also prevented him from washing his face or brushing his teeth. Mr. Zhang was taken to the Jianghan District Detention Center, which is located in the Huangjiadawan area, in Jianghan District. Officials were secretly planning to send him to a labor camp. Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike in protest. He was released on the eighteenth day of the hunger strike.

On July 19, 2005, officers from the No.1 Division of the Wuhan City Police Department arrested him again. The officers confiscated various Falun Gong materials, a personal computer, a printer and some personal items. Mr. Zhang was taken to the Wuhan City No. 2 Detention Center. He was held in a cell with inmates who had been arrested on charges of homicide and other serious misconduct. Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike and was brutally force-fed. Officials gave orders to insert a tube through his nostril into his stomach. The tube was about the size of a finger, and when it was pulled out, it was filled with blood. After several force-feeding sessions, Zhang Qingyuan still refused to give in. The detention guards then tied him onto a wooden bed. They stretched out his four limbs, and shackled his hands and feet to the board. They left the feeding tube in his stomach. During each force feeding session, they injected liquid through the tube. This cruelty continued until his release on August 9th.

After he returned home, Mr. Zhang recovered within a month of resuming his study and practice of Falun Gong. At the end of September 2005, he took part in the 7th Wuhan City Sports Games and the 1st Sports Games for the Disabled. He won two gold and one silver medals.

However, the persecution did not stop. Officers of the No. 1 Division of the Wuhan City Police Department transferred so-called "case materials" on Mr. Zhang to the Wuhan City Procuratorate. In December 2005, officers from the Wuhan City Procuratorate came to search his home. Mr. Zhang did not cooperate, and instead began to clarify the facts about the persecution to them. In March 2006, the Wuhan City Intermediate Court sent people to his home. Mr. Zhang was not at home when they came to take him into custody. On April 5, 2006, during the Qingming Festival, a day to tend the graves, Mr. Zhang was on his way to his hometown in the countryside to visit his ancestors' tomb. Officers from the No. 1 Division of the Wuhan City Police Department took him to the Wuhan City No. 2 Detention Center. On April 7, Mr. Zhang was unlawfully placed on trial at the Wuhan City Intermediate Court.

On June 1, 2006, officials from the Wuhan City Intermediate Court delivered a court document to Mr. Zhang's home. It was a notice sentencing him to 4 years in prison on charges with no legal basis. Officials asked whether Mr. Zhang would file an appeal, saying that he had to sign the court document if he was going to do so. Mr. Zhang refused to sign. He was told that he had ten days to launch an appeal. Mr. Zhang knows that the Communist regime does not follow the law when it comes to the persecution of Falun Gong. He was forced to leave town. For over two years, Mr. Zhang, a disabled person, had no place to live, while facing arrest wherever he went.

At the end of May 2008, just before the Olympic torch relay took place in Wuhan City, officials were looking for Mr. Zhang Qingyuan. They threatened his family, trying to find out where he was. They even searched the homes of his relatives, and certain family members were followed and placed under surveillance.

On August 2, 2008, less than a week before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Mr. Zhang's younger sister, Ms. Zhang Zhen, a practitioner, was arrested in front of Zhongshan Park. Her mother and father are in their 60's and 70's. Both were left at home. Her father suffers from mental illness and cannot care for himself. After a relentless search, Ms. Zhang's mother found that she was being held at the Wuhan City No. 1 Women's Administrative Detention Center. Her detention was to end on August 17, 2008. Her elderly mother left Ms. Zhang's ill father at home. She was full of hope and went to the detention center to take her daughter home. However, she watched in pain while her daughter was taken away. Party officials from the Jianghan District Police Department took Ms. Zhang Zhen to the Erdaopeng brainwashing center.