(Minghui.org) Mr. Xu Hao was a teacher in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, before he was incarcerated for practicing Falun Dafa. To escape further persecution, he had to leave town from 2002 to 2012.

Mr. Xu was arrested three days after he came home for the Chinese New Year in January 2001. Officers from the Xinfu Police Department immediately sent him to serve two years of forced labor. The following is Mr. Xu's statement:

Falun Dafa Gave Me a Peaceful Life

My name is Xu Hao. I was born in July 1972, and I was formerly a teacher at the Fushun Eighth Middle School.

China has a rich history and culture, including a tradition of cultivation. Since I was a boy, I loved to read and was curious about nature and the world. Science seemed not able to answer many of the questions of the world, and some of the answers given were far-fetched. I was also curious about the qigong phenomenon and tried some practices, but I never had a sustained interest in any of them.

I came across the book Zhuan Falun in March 1998. This book seemed to be full of truth, and it answered many of my questions about the cosmos, life, and nature. Through my own practice, I learned that cultivating Falun Dafa was a true path for living your life, and that is when I started my own path of cultivation. I also introduced Zhuan Falun to my family and friends.

The Falun Gong principles are easy to understand and the exercises are easy to learn. Through cultivating the heart, following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and doing the five exercises, a practitioner can reach a high level.

Practitioners in my area used to gather together at exercise sites early in the morning to do the exercises. Veteran practitioners provided support to others. We also gathered to study Zhuan Falun and other books, and shared our experiences in cultivation.

I got married in 1997, and my wife and I practiced together. We used one of our rooms for Fa study, and had a peaceful life, until April 25, 1999.

Arrested and Illegally Detained for Appealing

The media all over China defamed Falun Gong after the persecution began on July 20, 1999. Practitioners were dispersed while doing the exercises, their homes were searched, and assistants were arrested. Mr. Wu Zhanrui at our exercise site was the director of the Fushun Real Estate Bureau. He was arrested on July 20 and was dead within a week. He was the first victim of the persecution in China.

I wanted to stand up for justice, and since my wife was pregnant, I didn't tell anyone and boarded a train alone to Beijing. I visited the Appeals Bureau. The agents were playing badminton, so police officers received me. Once they heard the word Falun Gong, they tied me up and set me aside without another word.

The officers contacted the Beijing Liaison Office for Fushun, who sent officers to take me away in a police car. There were many practitioners at the liaison office when I arrived. We all sat on the ground, and two people shared one pair of handcuffs. The handcuffs ran out quickly, and the officers brought in another fifty pairs. The building was crowded and full of practitioners, who had come to Beijing to legally appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong.

The officers searched us and took away all of our money. Some practitioners were beaten because they did not give their phone numbers to the police. We were given two buns for a meal, two meals a day. We had to get approval from officers before we got water or used the restroom. We had to go to the restroom in pairs since we were handcuffed together. I saw my wife later and learned that she had come to appeal after she heard about my doing so. The police then cuffed us together.

Several days later, the Fushun police rented a train car going from Beijing to Fushun. The scene in the car was tense. Every two practitioners shared a pair of handcuffs, and every four to six practitioners were monitored by an officer.

When the train arrived in Fushun, practitioners were handed over to officers from the residential area police stations, and they took us to the Qianjin Police Station. The officers asked us to pay room and board fees. We told them that our money had been taken away, and we later learned that our bank accounts had been tampered with.

We were detained for 15 days with the charge of “disturbing social order.” I was taken to the Xintun Detention Center. My wife was taken back and was under the supervision of her work unit because she was pregnant. She was guarded wherever she went and was not allowed to leave the premises of her work unit.

As a heavy metal gate was locked behind me, I learned that I was facing vicious criminal detainees. This was a situation that I never thought I'd find myself in. We launched a hunger strike to protest our detention, and were separated and taken to different cells.

It had become cold, and we were doused with cold water to have a “shower.” The cold water numbed our heads and made our bodies turn blue. We were shaking violently, and the criminals called it “dancing.” After that there were group beatings, which was called “dishes.” Different beatings were named after their favorite foods. It was the only pleasure the inmates had. They did many vicious things just to curry favor with the guards. One practitioner from the Jiangjun area was beaten about the throat so badly that he could not speak.

I was ordered to sleep between two death row inmates, and the cell was crowded. Many had to sleep on their sides and could not turn over. If you went to the restroom in the middle of the night, you would lose your spot. In the daytime, inmates repeatedly tried to “transform” us, and make us write a repentance statement, so that they could get credit from the guards. I was incarcerated at the detention center for 33 days before being released to my local police station. However, it did not end there.

I later learned that the police station had asked my parents for 5,000 yuan as a “guarantee deposit,” with which they would let my wife and I go home. Since our salaries had been suspended, my parents did all they could to borrow money, and finally gave the police 3,400 yuan.

The police did not keep their promise, and my wife was still confined to her work unit. I was taken back by my work unit and placed under surveillance. They made me live in a boiler room and wouldn't let me go home. The unit formed a team made up of young teachers, and they took turns watching me.

In order to eliminate my influence in the unit, they had a meeting for young workers similar to a “denouncement assembly.” My wife and I were not allowed to go home until we both wrote a guarantee statement before the Chinese New Year in January 2000. Living at home was like living in a big cage. Unit managers harassed us from time to time, as did officers from the police station and cadres from the community. They either came to our home or called us.

I was not allowed to teach after I came back. The unit did not pay me, and had me report on site daily. I wasn't allowed to work, but they did not allow me to leave. They frequently threatened to detain me or send me to a forced labor camp. I was forced to leave home to avoid further persecution. I went to work in Anhui Province in October 2000 at the office of a Heilongjiang company.

Illegally Subjected to Two Years of Forced Labor, Away from Home for Ten Years

I came home for the Chinese New Year in January 2001. I was home for only two days when cadres from my neighborhood committee came to my home. They questioned me about what I had been doing, and were not satisfied with my answer, that I was working out of town.

Officers from the Politics and Security Office of the Xinfu Police Department came after that. They handcuffed me, and took me from home. They questioned me, generated a “statement of record,” ransacked my home, and gave me 15 days of detention for “disturbing social order.”

Officers from the police department arraigned me twice in my first two days at the detention center. They quickly sentenced me to two years of forced labor, and took me to the Fushun Forced Labor Camp, also called the Wujiabao Forced Labor Camp.

The labor camp had more than 600 practitioners when I arrived. The male team had over two hundred practitioners. The captain of the guards was Jiang Yongfeng. The female team had over four hundred practitioners. The captain of the guards had the surname of Chen.

The female team had just been created. Before that, it did not have many female prisoners. At the head of both teams was captain general Wu Wei. Over him was the warden, and above the labor camp was the Fushun Politics and Legal Affairs Committee (610 Office).

The general procedure was that the police department arrested people, and the court and Procuratorate sent practitioners to a labor camp or prison. The 610 Office was the organization in charge, and the domestic security division assisted in the investigations.

This was the powerful state machinery that we had been facing. The public security and judiciary system created a vicious mechanism of persecution and used it against ordinary kindhearted people. No matter what got them into the labor camp, an inmate generally ended up as slave labor and did out-sourced jobs for the camp, such as digging trenches.

Practitioners were subjected to brainwashing, and were forced to listen to propaganda from newspapers and TV stations again and again, as well as distorted statements from “transformed” former practitioners.

I was first imprisoned in the first class of the male team. The guard was Li Jun. At the beginning, he had the “transformed” ones in the class talk, and then those from other classes, having them talk in turn. When they did not get the results they wanted, they changed tactics. They exchanged people between the male and female teams. They cursed loudly, pulled on your ears, pushed your head, shouted directly into your ear, and deprived you of sleep. They kept up a constant stream of abuse, wanting to break your will and force you into giving up your belief.

When none of that worked, the real violence started. The guards were given incentives for “transforming” us, and were well motivated to subject us to physical violence.

The “flying” technique involved pushing the victim to a wall, making him bend forward with his head down, and his arms up and hands touching the wall. Two people stood on each side, and one held the victim's hands. The other kicked the victim's heels from behind, and held his legs to make them straight. Another two people hit him in the ribs, while others cheered them on. Li Jun stood aside, watching and supervising.

Some victims were persecuted to death, others developed mental disorders, and some became paralyzed. They claimed that they were like “life-giving spring breeze and rain.” Overwhelmed by injuries, pain, shame, and frustration, I became lost and was “transformed.” I felt that I was unworthy of Teacher's teachings. Although I was released and set free, the freedom was obtained at such a high cost. I lived a life against my conscience.

It was hard to find the faith and belief that I treasured and was devoted to. I couldn't go back to the life that I had before. When you clearly know what is right or wrong, you won't do what's wrong. But what I did was against the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

People kept telling me to practice at home privately, but why can't we do so publicly? Why should we be slandered just because we learned the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and wanted to be better people? Why do we have to live without dignity? Why can't we tell others the truth?

We don't ask for anything or seek power, as those are attachments that a practitioner should abandon. We just want to tell people the truth. What kind of government would fabricate the Tiananmen self-immolation and use it to escalate the persecution? What kind of government would harvest the organs of kindhearted citizens for money? We will tell the truth. We will keep telling the truth until justice prevails.

As of 2012 I have been away from home for ten years. Looking back, I am overwhelmed by a mix of emotions. No matter what kind of hardship I endured, I have done my best to follow the standards of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I very much miss my family and friends. I hope they have the chance to read this, be blessed, learn the facts about Falun Gong, and withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.