Persecution Suffered by Military Officer Wei Danquan from Qinhuangdao City (Photo)
Name: Wei Danquan (韦丹权)
Age: Approximately 42
Address: Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province
Occupation: Military officer
Date of Most Recent Arrest: May 26, 2008
Most recent place of detention: Jidong Prison in Tangshan City (唐山冀东监狱)
Persecution Suffered: Detention, beatings, handcuffing behind the back, forced long-term standing, forced labor, torture, sleep deprivation, home ransacking, surveillance, extortion, interrogation, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, imprisonment, discharge from the military
(Clearwisdom.net) Mr. Wei Danquan was a military officer serving at Shanhaiguan Airport. He was discharged from the military for his belief in Falun Gong when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in 1999.
Mr. Wei has been persecuted by numerous CCP departments, including the military, Shanhaiguan Public Security Bureau, Shanhaiguan Police Station, Shanhaiguan Public Security No. 1 Subdivision, Qinhuangdao Public Security Bureau 610 Office, Shanhaiguan 610 Office, Shanhaiguan Procuratorate and Court, Hehuakeng Forced Labor Camp of Tangshan, Baoding Forced Labor Camp, and Jidong Prison of Tangshan. He was illegally arrested and brutally beaten numerous times, sometimes to the point of ending up in critical condition. The CCP agents also ransacked his house nearly every year.
In June 2008, Shanhaiguan Court sentenced Mr. Wei to four years in prison. He was transferred to Jidong Prison on July 24, 2008. During his confinement for the past three years, he has been suffering from tuberculosis, heart disease, and pleurisy. His family has requested his release in order to seek medical treatment, but prison authorities have ignored their pleas.
1. Unwavering Belief in Falun Gong Despite Brutal Persecution
Officers from Nanguan Police Station of Shanhaiguan arrested Mr. Wei on May 26, 2001. The chief police officer, Wang Lijun, handcuffed his hands behind his back with one arm raised over his shoulder and the other bent backward. Deputy Director Zhu Ying slapped him in the face and then used a club to hit him in the face and ear. The scar in front of his left ear is still visible today. Officers also hit him in the back and legs, which caused him to collapse to the ground. Wang Lijun clubbed him in the left arm very hard. Mr. Wei lost consciousness from the beatings.
Mr. Wei was transferred to Shanhaiguan Detention Center, where guards used many torture methods in their attempts to make him renounce Falun Gong. The tortures included sleep deprivation, forcing him to stand for long periods of time, beatings, and other methods. A guard named Fu Yong used a broken chair leg to hit his left arm. He was detained in the detention center for over four months and contracted tuberculosis while in detention. The authorities did not release him until November 23, 2001, and he was put under 24-hour surveillance by the Nanguan Police Station when he returned home.
2. Sentenced to Forced Labor Camp Twice
At around 2:00 a.m. on June 6, 2003, officers from Nanguan Police Station of Shanhaiguan surrounded Mr. Wei's home. They screamed and attempted to break down his door, waking up all the neighbors. His house was under siege for three days. On the morning of June 9, 2003, officers broke into his house after his child went to school, and they confiscated many personal belongings.
Mr. Wei was arrested and held in the police station for eight days, and then transferred to the Shanhaiguan Detention Center on June 17, 2003. On June 25, without any legal documentation, guard Fu Yong and other agents took him to the Hehuakeng Forced Labor Camp. Officials violated their own regulations, which state that detainees with tuberculosis or heart disease should not be sent to a forced labor camp.
In the forced labor camp, 58 people were held in two small rooms. The labor camp used all sorts of torture to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, including the “sitting bench,” where practitioners were forced to sit on a small bench measuring 20x30x10 inches for a long period of time in a fixed posture, with legs and body vertical to the ground and feet shoulder-width apart. If practitioners changed posture or moved, they were beaten and verbally abused. Practitioners, including Mr. Wei, often had injured and sore buttocks as a result of this torture. When they were finally allowed to move, they were unable to stand, and in the process of standing up, the bench would stick to them in the area of the injury. Other torture methods included “nailing the wall,” where practitioners were forced to kneel against the wall with legs 10-30 inches above ground and heels up, and many other methods.
Practitioners were also subjected to brainwashing on a daily basis, and they were forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong. When Mr. Wei refused to watch and denounced the persecution, he was severely tortured. After five months in the labor camp, his tuberculosis became worse. Qinhuangdao 610 Office refused to release him, but the labor camp was afraid that he was contagious and released him in December 2003.
On April 30, 2004, Mr. Wei was arrested again at Jiaoshan. After he was held in detention for one month, his tuberculosis relapsed. He also had abnormal spots on his lung. He was released to seek medical treatment. The physician diagnosed his condition as critical, but Qinhuangdao 610 Office and Shanhaiguan Court still sent out police to arrest him and bring him to court. His family wanted the police officers to sign a paper to take responsibility for his deteriorating condition, but no one would sign the paper. Instead, officials also arrested his wife.
When Mr. Wei Danquan was out on business on April 14, 2007, he was arrested again by Qinhuangdao National Public Security staff. He was interrogated and tortured. Later he was sent to the National Security Team, where officers from the Xidajie Police Station tortured and beat him. After 15 days, he was sentenced to one and a half years of forced labor and transferred to the Baoding Forced Labor Camp. Because of his severe tuberculosis, he was released 35 days later.
3. Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
Mr. Wei was sentenced to four years in prison by the Shanhaiguan Court in June 2008. He was transferred to Jidong Prison on July 24, 2008. As a result of long-term persecution, he has suffered from recurrent tuberculosis, heart disease, and pleurisy for the past three years, and is currently in very poor condition. His family requested his release so that he could seek medical treatment, but their request was denied.
Mr. Wei's family members have visited him several times since his 2008 imprisonment, and they are very concerned about his condition. They recently visited him on March 25, 2011. Their visit was monitored by director Li, director Wu, and Li Delin. When family members inquired about his health, Li Delin, who was in charge, stated that Mr. Wei's tuberculosis had been confirmed on May 29, 2010, as a result of which he was hospitalized in the No. 4 Division of the prison. His illness relapsed on March 13, 2011, and he was hospitalized again after an X-ray confirmed his condition.
His family explained to the prison officials that Mr. Wei had contracted tuberculosis while in detention in 2001, and that his illness relapsed many times, leading to early release from detention and labor camp in prior years. According to official regulations, due to having persistent tuberculosis with constant coughing up of blood, he qualifies to be released for medical treatment. Li Delin agreed that Mr. Wei's illness is recurrent and resistant to medicine, and agreed to write a report to have Mr. Wei released due to his medical condition. However, his application for release for medical reasons has still not been approved.
Mr. Wei, trembling and severely underweight, said during the visit, “I went to get an X-ray on May 29, 2010, at the Nanyan Hospital, and the doctor stated that the X-ray looked the same as the one he had taken when I first came to prison [in 2008]. When I first arrived at prison, I already had tuberculosis, but prison authorities denied it in order to accept me. I passed out five to six times in No. 5 Division, but they continually denied that I had the illness. I did not get an examination until I began coughing up blood. They now say that I have tuberculosis. I have trouble breathing, my arms are numb, my chest hurts, my legs get numb when I cough, I can hardly walk, and my legs shake all the time. I also have arthritis in both legs.”
As he talked, Mr. Wei developed even more difficulty breathing, and his face was flushed. Director Li ended the family visit, and Mr. Wei stood up he walked several steps, but could not go on. Officials wheeled him away. The entire visit was videotaped by a guard.
CCP authorities have clear regulations and criteria in place regarding the release of prisoners to seek medical treatment for tuberculosis. However, while medical evidence indicates that Mr. Wei's condition meets these criteria, authorities still refuse to release him and continue to deny that he qualifies for medical release.
We hope human rights organizations and people with a sense of justice will help to rescue Mr. Wei and stop the CCP's brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.