Name: Zhao Xudong (赵旭东)
Occupation: Security officer
Date of Death: February 5, 2004
Most Recent Place of Detention: Lanzhou City No. 2 Detention Center (兰州市第二看守所)
Persecution Suffered: Shocked with electric batons, sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, beatings, shoved under a bed, imprisonment, torture, force-feeding, physical restraint, interrogation, detention
(Clearwisdom.net) Mr. Zhao Xudong's entire family has been persecuted over the past 12 years by local 610 Office agents and other officials for practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Zhao died during a brutal forced-feeding session on February 5, 2004 at the Lanzhou City Detention Center. He was 36. The following is information about the persecution that Mr. Zhao suffered over a period of five years.
Falun Dafa brought Mr. Zhao back from the brink
Mr. Zhao Xudong was a security officer at the Lanzhou Petrochemical Company. He suffered from a sudden onset of schizophrenia in November 1997 and was taken to the most reputable hospitals in the country, but his condition did not improve. Some family members who practiced Falun Gong read Zhuan Falun to him, and over time Mr. Zhao was able to read the book and do the Falun Gong exercises consistently; he gradually became well. Having witnessed a miracle, his parents and wife also began practicing Falun Gong.
Weathering the storm
The Chinese Communist Party began persecuting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Mr. Zhao went to Beijing to appeal to the government for the first time on April 25, 2000. He was taken back to Lanzhou by officers from his company and was held at the Siergou Detention Center in the Xigu District. Mr. Zhao went on a hunger strike to protest. He was very weak by the ninth day, so the officials released him.
Mr. Zhao went to Tiananmen Square again in October 2000 and unfurled a banner that read, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance is good.” He was illegally arrested by police, who beat him with wooden sticks and shocked him with electric batons until his face and body were black and blue and he lost consciousness. When he came to, there was no one in the room, and he broke free.
His parents and wife were arrested right before the 2001 Chinese New Year. He took his four-year-old daughter to Beijing, looking for them, but was intercepted by the police at the train station. They detained him, interrogated him, and spread his arms and handcuffed them to a heating pipe before savagely beating him. Later on, 610 Office agents from his workplace took him back to Lanzhou, and he was again held at the Siergou Detention Center.
Yuan Jinming, head of the Supply Division Security Section, locked Mr. Zhao’s young daughter in the division office for a few days. She slept on two wooden stools at night and cried, “I want Mom and Dad.” The officers threatened, “If you cry again, we’ll send you to an orphanage.”
Siergou Detention Center officials punched Zhao Xudong’s sides, dislocated his jaw, and shoved him under a bed, nearly suffocating him. In response, he went on a huger strike. Seven days later officials from his workplace's security division, 610 Office agent Li Mingxiao, and others told him that he was going home on parole, pending further investigation. In fact, they were secretly planning to send him to a forced labor camp for two years.
About seven days after he left the detention center, Mr. Zhao's wife, Li Hongping, was also released from the Xiguoyuan Detention Center. Yuan Jinming and other officials tried to trick Mr. Zhao into going to his workplace several times so that they could arrest him, but he saw through it and tried to leave town. However, officers were already waiting in the bike shed in front of his apartment building, and they jumped on him as soon as he went downstairs. They took him to the Pingantai Labor Camp in Gansu Province.
In the labor camp, Mr. Zhao was forced to do the filthiest and most physically demanding labor during the day and remain standing all night. Guards beat him when he refused to memorize the policy manual for prisoners, and they broke his leg. His face became swollen and his body was covered in wounds. Ten-and-a-half months later, he suffered a relapse of hypertension and schizophrenia, and was subsequently released on medical parole.
The day Mr. Zhao died
Mr. Zhao was talking to his mother and several Falun Gong practitioners at his home on December 7, 2003 when more than 20 officials and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agents, including Pei Huaiwei and Wang Jun from the Lanzhou National Security Bureau, broke in and arrested him. He was taken to a hotel affiliated with the Security Bureau and handcuffed to a heating pipe before they proceeded to torture him. Others in the hotel heard his heart-wrenching screams.
Mr. Zhao was transferred to Division 4 of the Lanzhou No. 2 Detention Center on December 10, 2003. Division head Li Kui ordered criminal inmates Qiao Bing and Ma Qingyun to beat and kick him. They put his head in a sack, straddled him, and hit him with bricks wrapped in a sweater. He refused to cooperate with them, and the torture became more severe.
Torture re-enactment: Handcuffed with the arms behind the back and feet shackled (This torture renders the victim unable to take care of himself. Other inmates have to assist him with eating, drinking, and relieving himself. Having the hands handcuffed behind the back makes the victim's shoulders feel extremely painful as if they are being torn apart. When sleeping, the victim is unable to lie on his side and cannot lie on his back, either. He has to turn over every one or two minutes. Heavy metal shackles weighing well over 50 pounds are fastened on the victim's ankles with thick iron cuffs. Heavy chains link the two iron cuffs to each other, between the practitioner's ankles. The extreme weight and awkwardness of the shackles makes it very difficult for the victim to move even one step. The iron shackles hitting the floor makes a loud clanging noise. The victim's ankles are often raw and bleeding from the rubbing of the shackles.)
An inmate who was held in Cell 6 with Mr. Zhao said, “Li Kui and some others shackled and handcuffed him. The cuffs and shackles were tied together with thick metal wire, so he could not move at all.”
Mr. Zhao went on another hunger strike, and so the detention center officials force-fed him. Each time, several inmates would insert a rubber tube or plastic tube through the nose into his stomach. Some pinned down his head; others opened his mouth by prying his teeth apart. Blood was everywhere, and many inmates were frightened by the horrific scene. The last forced-feeding took place the afternoon of February 5, 2004 and was administered by guard Hu Xiaoxia, inmate Mi Tao, and some others. The tube was inserted into one of his lungs. Mr. Zhao gave a loud, painful scream. They removed the tube, and he kept producing a gurgling sound and appeared to be in extreme distress, but his hands and feet were tied together, so he could not move. When the inmates checked on him again at dusk, he was already dead.
Hu Xiaoxia and others took Mr. Zhao’s dead body to the forced labor administration hospital for “emergency treatment;” his EKG flatlined. Doctor Cheng Zhongyang and nurse Shan Ruifang wrote on his death certificate: “Loss of consciousness for 40 minutes, no external head injury, no blood or abnormal excretion in external ear canal, nose, or mouth; limbs intact, skin intact, no bruises or marks. Cause of death: acute respiratory failure.”
However, someone who viewed Zhao Xudong's body at the morgue on February 8 described that there was blood in his nose, ears, and eyes; chunks of congealed blood in his mouth, a large wound on his temple, and two-thirds of his black hair had turned completely white; and there were deep scars on his wrists and ankles, probably from handcuffs and shackles. The skin on his back was black and blue, and he was skeletal, compared to a healthy weight of 80 kg [176 lbs] prior to the persecution.
His body was cremated under pressure from the Lanzhou Police Department.
Persecution of Ms. Li Hongping
Mr. Zhao Xudong’s wife Li Hongping is a 43-year-old employee of the Lanzhou Petrochemical Company and was a factory worker. She was arrested by Li Yong and some other officers from the Xianfeng Road Police Station in late December 2000 when handing out Falun Gong materials. She was first held at the police station and then transferred to Division 14 at the Xiguoyuan Detention Center on the fourth day. The division head slapped her face and put her in a pair of 15 kg [33 lbs.] shackles and bound her hands with two metal rings. During forced-feeding the guards could not get the plastic tube into her nose, so they shoved it into her mouth and purposely stirred it around in her throat and stomach, causing her to scream and writhe in agony. By the ninth day Ms. Li was skin and bones and was given an unconditional release.
Li Hongping was arrested again later by officials from the Chengguan Domestic Security Division and held in a labor camp for two-and-a-half years.
Ms. Li was sent to Division 7 of the Pingantai Forced Labor Camp on October 15, 2001. Division 3 head Li Xiaojing ordered criminal inmates Shen Yanju, Chen Xiaohong, and others to barbarically beat her. They tied her up with a rope and hung her from a door frame for more than four hours, nearly causing permanent disability. Her face was bruised from the beating and severely swollen. Her wrists later festered and her fingers were bent. She could not move her arms for a long time, yet they forced her to do heavy manual labor on a daily basis. At her family’s insistence, the officials finally allowed Ms. Li to see her husband’s body on February 26, 2004 (the couple had not seen each other since 2000). She returned home that same day.
Ms. Li was arrested again from her workplace at around noon on May 14, 2007 and taken to the Lanzhou Police Department, where she was tortured and interrogated. The police also went to her home and ransacked it. She was later taken to the Gongjiawan Brainwashing Center and returned home after nine months. Qi Ruijun extorted 8,000 yuan from Ms. Li before she was released.
Persecution of Zhao Baoting
Zhao Xudong’s father Zhao Baoting is 69 years old and worked in the Lanzhou Petrochemical Company's sales division. He was treated several times in 1996 for a stroke, hypertension, and other ailments at the hospital affiliated with the company, but was cured only after he started practicing Falun Gong.
He went to Beijing to appeal to the government in early 2001, and was arrested and detained by officials from the Haidian District Detention Center. They beat him and poured cold water on him in sub-zero temperatures, almost killing him. Officials from his employer's security division took him back to Lanzhou and locked him up at the Siergou Detention Center for three months.
Zhao Xudong’s death devastated his father. The police constantly pressured him to sign an “agreement” (not to practice Falun Gong), pushing him to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Moreover, the local police, 610 Office agents and street party committee members harassed and closely monitored him.
Persecution of Ms. Bai Jinyu
Mr. Zhao Xudong’s mother Bai Jinyu is in her 60s and a retired employee of the Lanzhou Petrochemical Company. She recovered from years of heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, spondylosis, and other illnesses within a short period of time after starting to practice Falun Gong.
She went to Beijing to appeal to the government in November 1999 and was taken to the Lanzhou Petrochemical Company’s Liaison Office in Beijing. Later, 610 Office agents from the company took her back to Lanzhou and put her in a solitary confinement cell for 15 days before sending her to one year of forced labor. Since she did not pass the physical exam at the Pingantai Labor Camp, officials refused to accept her, so she was released.
Ms. Bai was arrested again on December 24, 2000 while on a trip to visit two friends, and was taken to the Yongjing County Police Department. An officer handcuffed her to a window frame with no glass in the window, located at the top of the stairs. She was left braving the bone-chilling winter wind and could hardly move the next day. Upon being taken to a detention center, center head Wu slapped her in the face, and the county Party Secretary kicked her. Ms. Bai slept on a bare wooden plank for over 40 days. Nan Jihong and other officials tortured her for 70 days, rendering her unable to walk. Li Xiaoming and several other people sent her to the Pingantai Labor Camp, where she was made to do heavy labor for more than 10 hours a day, eventually triggering a relapse of heart disease. She was released at the end of 2001.
Pei Huaiwei, Wang Jun, and others from the Lanzhou National Security Bureau arrested Ms. Bai and her son on December 7, 2003. They interrogated her in one room, and tortured her son in another room by brutally beating him and shocking him with electric batons. She could not stand the helpless feeling evoked by hearing her son’s cries and not being able to do anything about it.
Later, Qilihe Court officials sentenced her to three years in prison. She was made to perform forced labor 12 hours a day while dragging a broken leg and walking with a crutch. In her own words, "They were some of the longest days of my life."
The officials continued to harass and follow Ms. Bai after she left prison.