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Different But Same Tragedy

August 29, 2005 |  


Mr. He Hengyue, a farmer from She County, Anhui Province, was jailed for seven years because he spoke out in favor of Liu Shaoqi, the former president of China, who was ousted by Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution. He was later sentenced to 20 years for writing a letter to Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China after Mao Zedong. Many people were sympathetic to He Hengyue's story. A similar tragedy happened to Ms. Su Juzhen, a farmer in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province. She was sentenced to a forced labor camp and driven to a mental collapse because she refused to renounce her belief in Falun Gong, which has been persecuted by the CCP since 1999.

He Hengyue and Su Juzhen, both simple, honest farmers, came from two different generations but they suffered similar, tragic fates. After reading their stories, I have a deeper understanding of the brutal nature of the CCP and the political persecution in China.

The story of He Hengyue

As early as May 1968, He Hengyue had spoken out on behalf of Liu Shaoqi, who had fallen out of favor. He Hengyue posted the "Eight Slogans" at home, on streets and on buildings, adding "Liu Shaoqi is innocent." For this, he was sentenced to seven years and released in June 1975. He was treated as an "counter-revolutionary," who needed to be watched and "transformed."

On April 12, 1976, He Hengyue wrote to Deng Xiaoping, and on April 15, 1976, the She County Police Department arrested and interrogated him.

On the night of May 21, he was officially arrested. Beginning on May 22, the She County police conducted rallies in 14 different locations, inviting the public to criticize Mr. He.

At every rally, Mr. He was forced to kneel down either on the ground or on a stool, which often injured his knees and made them bleed. He was not allowed to sleep at night and had to kneel until dawn. He passed out several times.

On May 24, 1976, the Huizhou District Court sentenced him to 20 years.

In 1977, after the Cultural Revolution ended, the Huizhou District Court withdrew the original sentence and Mr. He was released on October 8. In 1980, the She County Court sent a legal document to He Hengyue, which stated, "On reviewing the case, we found that the No. 20 sentencing statement, which sentenced He Hengyue to seven years for 'a counter-revolutionary crime,' was incorrect. It was legal for He Hengyue to say, 'Liu Shaoqi is innocent' in 1968. Therefore, it was an error that he was sentenced for saying that."

The story of Su Juzhen

Before July 1999, Ms. Su Juzhen had a beauty shop in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province. For a long time, she had had several serious diseases, such as heart and stomach problems, gall bladder problems, pancreatitis, and swelling of the legs. After starting to practice Falun Gong in 1996, all of her diseases disappeared. Even her skin became more smooth and soft.

Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Su Juzhen became well-known locally as a kind person. She always considered others first. She rendered free services and gave money to her poor customers. She even helped those who were mentally ill wash their faces, comb their hair and change into clean clothes. For this, she was recognized as a "Model Excellent Small Business" by the local government.

Ms. Su Juzhen also gave financial support to poor students. She often bought groceries, rice and flour for the elderly in retirement homes. She sponsored the repair of the Xihe Bridge in town. For her selfless contributions, her family was honored as one of the "10 model families" by the Huludao City government. The local TV station asked her for an interview but she declined. She told others that she did all these things because she was a Falun Gong practitioner.

Such a kind person was persecuted to mental collapse because of her belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."

According to people with inside information, Ms. Su Juzhen was tortured several times by government officials because she insisted on appealing for justice for Falun Gong. When illegally jailed in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp and other labor camps, she was tortured brutally for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. Once, she was taken to a solitary cell by the prison police officer Wang Yanping. Wang Yanping forced Ms. Su to take off all her clothes and then shocked her with an electric baton. Wang kept shocking her the entire night. Ms. Su's face was disfigured by the electric shocks and covered with blisters. Her mouth was also covered with blisters. Her cheeks and eyes were black and blue and swollen. Another time, prison police officer Qiu Ping and others took Ms. Su to a mental clinic in a hospital in Shenyang City. They bought several bottles of drugs for mental sickness and forced her to take them everyday.

Ms. Su Juzhen was tortured in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp until she went into a vegetative state. When she was taken home, the once capable and pretty woman was now mentally disabled, unable to talk, had no memory, and her body and face were covered with scars. She needed help to eat, to walk and to use the bathroom. Her father was able to see his daughter released but found that she was no longer able to recognize him. Later, her family found that there were still unhealed wounds in her urinary tract and needle marks on her body. Ms. Su still cannot talk or think like a normal person. Her father went blind due from crying with grief, and her mother is depressed all the time.

What do these two stories tell us?

These two stories happened in different eras: one during the Cultural Revolution and the other after the start of the so-called "Opening up and Reform." The Cultural Revolution is now considered the "Dark Ages" in which human rights were trampled upon, while the current era is described by the CCP as "the period in which the Chinese people have the best human rights." The detailed reasons for the suffering of Mr. He and Ms. Su are different, but the fundamental reason is the same: both were persecuted because they told the truth.

From these two stories we can see that, although the times are different, the nature of the CCP-- not allowing people to tell the truth and violating human rights--has not changed at all. If fact, it has become even worse. Today in China, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, underground Christian church members, and those who have political opinions different from the CCP are still being brutally persecuted.