Practitioner Zhang Hongwei Is Critically Ill after Eight Years in Jilin Prison
(Clearwisdom.net) On January 20, 2001, Mr. Zhang Hongwei was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment by the Fangshan District Court in Beijing after he was found preparing truth-clarifying materials about the persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. Zhang has been subjected to brutal torture for eight years, and is now critically ill, but Jilin Prison authorities won't allow him to be released on bail for medical treatment, and his family has not been not allowed to visit him.
On November 9, 2001, when Mr. Zhang was detained in Tiebei Prison, he was savagely beaten by the guards in the enforcing section because he tried to stop guard Li Jun from beating Falun Gong practitioner Liu Ziwei. In order to resist the persecution, Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike. His life was in danger on the 31st day of his hunger strike.
In September 2002, when his family members went to visit him, he was locked up in a small cell. When he came out with two criminal inmates supporting him, he had two scars on his forehead. In October 2003, when his family members again visited him, he was still locked up in a small cell. He could only walk with the help of others and had a limp. He had to lean against a wall for support when he was not walking. Because Mr. Zhang refused to sign the repentance statement and give up his belief in Falun Gong, he had been kept in a small cell under strict supervision. The prison guards forced him to sit on a tiger bench from 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The guards asked a criminal inmate to keep a close watch of Mr. Zhang. He was only allowed to use the toilet at certain times, and was not given enough food to eat. A criminal inmate flicked his finger on Mr. Zhang's eyeballs and nose, and also pulled his eyebrows and hair. Because he refused to give up his belief, he was forcibly dragged to the strict discipline team to be put on a "stretching bed" -- this is where the guards fix a practitioner's limbs to a specially made bed on which there are four rings and the practitioner's hands and feet are fixed in the rings. The guards then apply force to the rings so that the practitioner's body is pulled up, away from the bed as their limbs are stretched. Other torture methods that Mr. Zhang had to endure were the "dead person's bed," where a practitioner's four limbs are stretched out and tied to the four corners of an icy-cold metal bed and the practitioner cannot move at all; the "big hang up" -- there are two forms in this torture: (1) With both hands cuffed behind one's back and only the toes touching the ground, one is hung by a rope that is tied to the metal window frame; (2) One hand of a practitioner is cuffed to a bunk bed and the other hand to another bed, and the two beds are pulled in opposite directions. This is extremely painful as the body is pulled apart; being savagely beaten, and more. He had been brutally tortured in a small cell for two years and five months.
At the beginning of 2006, Mr. Zhang started to cough badly and was diagnosed with TB and pleurisy. In March, his condition worsened and he started to have ascites in his chest, high blood pressure, heart disease, and his body became extremely weak. Still, they continued to torment him.
On March 25, 2009, Mr. Zhang started another hunger strike in order to resist the persecution. As a result, he was forcibly detained in a small cell and had to endure more severe torture. On April 9, Mr. Zhang was admitted to Jilin Railway Hospital. The medical examination indicated that he had polyps and ulcers in his stomach, and also a duodenal ulcer. His actual condition, however, was much more serious. After Mr. Zhang stayed at the hospital for only six days, he was taken back to Jilin Prison. Now he is not able to eat food any more. He is only skin and bones and his life is in great danger. When his family went to visit him, he came out with two criminal inmates supporting his body.
Even though Mr. Zhang's life is in great danger, and he is eligible to be released on bail for medical treatment, the Jilin Management Bureau still won't grant him bail. They said that he would not be allowed to go home unless he had a pulmonary cavity or if he started to spit blood. Mr. Zhang's father-in-law died from the persecution in Chaoyanggou Labor Camp and just like what is happening to Zhang Hongwei now, the authorities wouldn't allow him to be released on bail for medical treatment. He passed away because it was too late to treat him in the end.
The head of the penalty department, Wang Dehui, staff member Bai Xuejie, the director of the Jilin Prison, Liu Wei, and another leader, paid no attention to Mr. Zhang's condition. They did nothing to treat his illnesses, nor did they allow him to leave the prison for medical treatment. Liu Wei wouldn't allow Mr. Zhang's family to see the result of his medical examination and X-Ray so the family was deceived. For the past three months, Jilin Prison authorities have not allowed Mr. Zhang's family to visit him and the Head of the visiting office, Wang Yanling, stopped Mr. Zhang's family from visiting him on several occasions.
In the last few years, Mr. Zhang's family has had no place to file their complaint. Zhang Hongwei is still detained in a small cell even though he is critically ill.