Name: Cao Hongqi (曹洪奇)
Gender: Male
Age: 76
Address: Urumqi City, Xinjiang Province
Occupation: Senior Engineer

Date of Death: November, 2012
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 6, 2008
Most Recent Place of Detention: Xinjiang Fifth Prison(新疆第五监狱)
City: Urumqi
Province: Xinjiang
Persecution Suffered: Detention, illegal sentencing, imprisonment, forced slave labor, sleep deprivation, forced labor reform, solitary confinement, beatings, torture, back cuff, home ransacked, denied visitation, living under surveillance.

( Mr. Cao Hongqi was a retired senior engineer from the Nonferrous Metallurgy Design and Research Institute of Urumqi. He used to be a volunteer assistant for the Falun Dafa Association in Xinjiang, and he was sentenced and taken to labor re-education for his belief in Falun Dafa. In September 2008, he was arrested again and sentenced to ten years in prison. In November 2012, he died at age 76 as a result of the persecution he endured in the Fifth Prison in Xinjiang.

First Time Persecuted in the Fifth Prison in Xinjiang

After the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999, Cao Hongqi's home was ransacked. The police took away lots of Falun Dafa books and materials. Later, Mr. Cao was sentenced to four years in prison.

At the end of 2001, Cao Hongqi was detained in the second ward of the Fifth Prison. At that time this prison ward planted 800 mu (Chinese acre) of grapes. The slave labor was intensive and there was not a single day off. Because they continuously dug in the desert land with shovels and pickaxes, most of the prisoners wore out their shoes within one week. Most people could not stand this kind of slave labor. Even under this kind of workload, Guo Junhong and Dong Feng, who were the director and the CCP secretary of the prison ward, still did not loosen up the persecution of Cao Hongqi. During the daytime, Mr. Cao had to perform slave labor. At night, he was deprived of sleep or forced to sleep less. They singled him out and directed other inmates to fight him.

All the members of the group who monitored Cao Hongqi were selected by the guards. These people were very close to the guards. They let two prisoners monitor Mr. Cao all the time, including recording everything Cao did or said, the time he went to the bathroom and when he went to sleep. At night, nearly twenty people in the group took turns monitoring Mr. Cao and they never turned the lights off. All the prisoners who participated in the shift got priority in the “One Hundred Points” program, which was a reward system in the prison. Those who ranked high in the program would get rewards including reduced prison terms. But in reality, as long as Mr. Cao did not change his attitude towards Falun Gong, none of these prisoners' rewards would be redeemed.

Since life was very difficult in the prison, none of the prisoners wanted to stay longer and all of them tried to show off and wanted to get points. Thus almost every prisoner who monitored Cao Hongqi gave him a hard time. They thought that Mr. Cao's not giving up his belief would block their path of getting out of the prison sooner. This was how the policemen Guo Junhong and Dong Feng motivated or forced prisoners to torture Mr. Cao 24-7.

There are prisoners on duty 24-7. For a period of time, Mr. Cao did not get any sleep. When he really could not take it any more, the prisoners allowed him to sleep for a little while. After he woke up, if he still did not give up his belief, the torture would be repeated.

The Inhumane Mental and Physical Torture Suffered in the Changji Labor Camp

On December 3rd, 2004, Cao Hongqi was arrested when he clarified the truth and distributed DVDs outdoors. He was taken to a forced labor re-education camp for one year and suffered inhumane mental and physical torture in the Changji Labor Camp. At that time, Falun Gong practitioners detained there refused to admit that they were guilty of anything. The police detained them in confinement rooms and their hands were cuffed together behind their back and they could not stand or sit. Each time they were detained in confinement rooms for at least seven days. During this period of time, they were only allowed to eat one steamed bun, drink one cup of water, and go to the bathroom once per day. The practitioners were not allowed to sleep, nor could they sleep. Their legs were swollen because they stood for too long and some practitioners' hands were cuffed behind their backs for 15 or 20 days. Mr. Cao was already nearly 70 years old and his physical condition was very poor because of the torture. When the prison supervisors came to check the cells, the guards did not let practitioners who did not “convert” stay in the cells. Guard Wang Lan (ID: 6538131) forced Mr. Cao to leave the cell in spite of the fact that he was too weak to move. When they dragged Mr. Cao out of the cell, Wang Lan even spread rumors that he was attacked by Falun Gong practitioners. Later, he found someone to get Mr. Cao out of the building and made him lay down in a place far away.

Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison, Died from Torture

At around 10am, September 6, 2008 (Xinjiang's time is about two hours behind Beijing), when Cao Hongqi went with practitioner Mr. Zou Kewen (in his 50s) from his home in Nonferrous Metallurgy Design and Research Institute of Urumqi, to a rental place near the Beiyuanchun Market, they were arrested by the police who had monitored and followed them. At that time, the police took away truth clarification materials and a printer from the rental place. Then the police ransacked the homes of Cao Hongqi and Zou Kewen and took away Dafa books, a Dell laptop, a desktop (with two DVD writers), a big paper cutter and a Canon multi-function printer from Mr. Cao's home.

This arrest had been planned. Several practitioners were arrested and their homes were ransacked. Each practitioner's home was visited by 2–3 police cars and more than ten policemen. It was organized by Yu Shoubin, who was the deputy director of the 610 Office in the Urumqi Police Department, and participated in by policemen Ren Yi, Cheng Xueli, Guo Shecheng, Li Gangquan, Chen Gang, the Domestic Security Division and the police stations in Shayibake District.

Before the arrest, the CCP had been monitoring Mr. Cao for a long time. They hired retired people from his workplace to monitor his daily activities. In July 2008, they added two more people from the community to monitor and follow him everywhere. In mid July, Cao Hongqi's brother-in-law in Shihezi City, passed away, so Mr. Cao went to the funeral. The police panicked after finding him gone. They interrogated his daughter for the whereabouts of her father but the daughter did not know the address of the relative. The police went through a lot of effort to get the address from Shihezi City, but they dared not verify it directly except by calling the relatives of his brother-in-law.

In Dec. 2008, when the police in the detention center interrogated him, Cao Hongqi shouted “Falun Dafa is Good! Heaven Will Eliminate the CCP!” The old man in his 70s was beaten for his actions.

Cao Hongqi was sentenced to ten years in prison. Because he refused to follow the arrangements inside the prison, police led by Zhang Yongjun, the head of the 610 Office, persecuted him even more severely. They did not allow him to have family visits and did not allow him to sleep. He was forced to sit on a small stool for long time. In the winter, he was not allowed to wear heavy clothes and they tortured him with all kinds of methods until he died in Nov. 2012.