Relentless Persecution Endangers Mr. Zuo Zhigang's Life, Family Seeking Medical Parole
Summary of Key Persecution Facts
Name: Zuo Shougang(左守刚)
Address: Fengyingzi Village, Chengde City, Hebei Province (河北承德市冯营子村) Occupation: Unknown
Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 13, 2007
Most recent place of detention: Jidong Prison in Tangshan (唐山冀东监狱)
Persecution Suffered: Detention, illegal trial, sentencing, and imprisonment.
Mr. Zuo Shougang, a Falun Gong practitioner in Chengde City, has been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver for a year as a result of the abuse he has endured in Jidong Prison in Tangshan. His family applied for medical parole, but the different departments involved have shirked responsibility for all sorts of invalid reasons. Now, Mr. Zuo's parents are fearful of all the medical “procedures” their son is being forced to undergo.
In May 2013, the family received Mr. Zuo's request to come to the prison. In the afternoon on May 16 when he met with his family, he had severe edema, and he hoped the family would request medical parole for him. The next day, his wife found Jia Yanqiu, the head of the 1 st Division in Jidong Prison, and asked him to grant her husband medical parole. Jia did not directly respond but just talked about how little money the government had allocated to treat sick prisoners. Jia mentioned many times that the guards had to pay the prisoners' medical bills, implying that Mr. Zou's family would be responsible for paying the guards.
Mr. Zuo's wife said, “My husband has not broken any law by practicing Falun Gong and living by Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, so he should not have even been admitted to the prison in the first place. If you had not kept him in prison he would never have gotten ill in the first place. If you won't process his medical parole, then we have to hire a lawyer to present the facts and ask for justice.”
On May 20, 2013, the family visited the prison again. That day, Mr. Zuo was taken to Jidong Police Hospital for an exam. They asked a chief in the prison about Mr. Zuo's health and were told “It's still cirrhosis.” The family requested an official examination report, but the prison refused to given them one. They were allowed to write down the details themselves. When the family asked whether Mr. Zuo's condition met the requirement for medical parole, the prison chief still did not directly respond. He said, “We cannot determine if his condition meets the requirements or not. The hospital decides. You should ask somebody else about this. For example, you should ask a lawyer.” The family then found out that according to the law, Mr. Zuo did meet the conditions for a medical parole.
On the morning of May 23, Mr. Zuo's family went to the Shuangqiao Police Department in Chengde City. They waited for two hours but did not see Liu Mingcheng, who had originally arrested Mr. Zuo. They met Yang Jiukui, who was the head of Domestic Security Division when Mr. Zuo was unlawfully taken and is now the head of Shuangqiao Police Department. Mr. Zuo's family asked Yang Jiukui for Liu Mingcheng's phone number. Yang shouted at them. “Why should I tell you? You are nobody to me.” Mr. Zuo's wife calmly said, “You are a police officer and should act like one.” Yang was embarrassed and did not say anything more. Mr. Zuo's wife then asked Yang to call Liu Mingcheng. Liu Mingcheng responded, “I am outside on duty. I don't go to the office these days.” Mr. Zuo's family had to go home with nothing resolved.
The next morning, Mr. Zuo's family went to the Shuangqiao Police Department to look for Liu Mingcheng again. They asked the guard whether Liu was in. The guard called Liu. On the phone, Mr. Zuo's wife asked to see Liu in person. Liu asked, “Can we talk about this on the phone?” She replied, “It's hard to clarify on the phone. We can come to your office.” Liu replied, “No, I will meet you downstairs.” After they met, Mr. Zuo's wife showed Liu Mingcheng the hand-copied medical report. “He is really in critical condition. Only after he was put into prison did he become so ill. Zuo Shougang did not break any laws. If he passes away, every one of you who participated in his persecution will be charged.”
Liu Mincheng said to Mr. Zuo's son, “We were acting on orders from our leaders. We just carried them out. You are still young. I am so old that if you targeted me, it wouldn't be worth your while.” Mr. Zuo's family didn't want to talk with Liu Mingcheng any more and were about to leave. In order to shirk his responsibility, Liu Mingcheng said, “We are not in charge of this case. Your district (the Kaifa District) is in charge. You should fill out a medical parole application form and write a declaration guaranteeing that Zuo no longer practices Falun Gong. Then you should get the district officer to sign it. If they need my signature, you can come back to me again.” He then whispered to Mr. Zuo's son, “If you had not hired a lawyer, the judge would not have handed down such a heavy sentence.” The legal hiring of a lawyer can incur additional punishment!
On June 5, Liu Mingcheng contacted Mr. Zuo's son and said, “Our leader said the family should file a medical parole application, and have it signed by the village committee first.” The family visited Liu the next day to clarify the procedure. Liu said the application should be first signed by the village committee and then by (municipal) justice bureau. The family visited the municipal justice bureau and was told they should first have the town justice bureau sign it. The family visited the justice bureau three times but could not find anyone to sign the application. Later the family found out from different sources that nobody was working at the Town Justice Bureau.
Appendix: Mr. Zuo Shougang's trial
On July 13, 2008, Mr. Zuo Shougang was arrested by Yang Jiukui and Liu Mingchneg from the Domestic Security Division in Chengde City and Yang Zhe and Wang Zhijun from Fengyinfzi Village Police Station.
On December 15, 2008, the Shuangqiao District Court of Chengde City tried him. The lawyer pointed out, “The case lacks many necessary testimonies. Zuo Shougang was formally arrested on August 12. According to the law, the detention period should not exceed three months, but Mr. Zuo was held in Shuangfengshi Detention Center for more than five months before the trial started. The police station and procuratorate committed a crime.”
The court could not argue the lawyer's points but sentenced Mr. Zuo Shougang anyway. However the family did not receive the verdict until five months later.
Individual responsible for persecution: Liu Mingcheng, a police officer in the Domestic Security Division: +86-13603140072(Cell)