Four Practitioners, Including One in Critical Condition, Appeal Their Illegal Sentences and Request Immediate Release
(Minghui.org) Following an illegal trial of four local Falun Gong practitioners on December 20, 2013, the Jianghan District Court in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, handed prison sentences to all of them on January 6, 2014.
Mr. Shen Xuewu and Mr. Zhao Hu were each given four years, Mr. Chen Gang three years, and Ms. Cui Hai five years. These practitioners, accomplished professionals in their respective fields, have been repeatedly arrested and sentenced simply for refusing to give up their belief in Falun Gong.
They have now filed appeals against their most recent sentences. We call for human rights organizations and legal experts in the international community to pay attention to their cases and seek justice for these law-abiding citizens.
In particular, we urge the immediate release of 65-year-old Ms. Cui, who is now fighting for her life and not being given proper medical care.
Ms. Cui in Critical Condition
Following her arrest on October 16, 2012, Ms. Cui was mentally and physically abused at a local brainwashing center. After more than two months of brutal torture, she became emaciated and developed gallstones and high blood pressure. Worse yet, there is a mass in her duodenum (the first section of the small intestine), which the doctor believes could be cancerous.
The verdict was delivered to her on January 8, 2014 at Ankang Hospital, where she is hospitalized under heavy guard. When Ms. Cui's lawyer visited her the next day, he learned that Ms. Cui is not allowed to receive proper treatment and the liquid diet she is able to handle is not enough to sustain her life. The doctor warned that she is dying.
Ms. Cui's attorney filed an appeal challenging her sentence with Wuhan City Intermediate Court on January 10, 2014. He also filed complaints with the local Procuratorate against 47 individuals in the judicial system for abuse of power, dereliction of duty, and illegal detention.
Among the accused are: judges Luo Hongfei and Xie Chun; prosecutor Xu Kebo; police officers Wang Yan, Cai Heng, Liu Hua, and Wu Zhiguo; and court employees Jiang Lili, Deng Qun, Hu Gaowei, He Wei, Wang Jun, and Qu Sheng.
Ms. Cui's Most Recent Arrest and Detention
Ms. Cui is a former general manager of the Guangzhou Office of the Wuhan Chemicals Import and Export Company. Her company fired her after she refused to give up her belief in Falun Gong.
While traveling by bus from Guangzhou City to Kunming City on October 16, 2012, Ms. Cui was captured near her destination by three agents from Wuhan City Police Department Domestic Security Office.
She was driven straight to Erdaopeng Brainwashing Center in the Jianghan District of Wuhan City, where she was interrogated by Cai Heng and six other officers until 3 in the morning. Afterwards, director Qu Shen of the brainwashing center made her sleep on a broken wooden plank supported by several chairs in a small cell.
When director Wang Yan of the Domestic Security Office took over the following day, she threatened Ms. Cui with a heavy sentence, claiming that they had retrieved evidence against her from her computer.
Ms. Cui was not fazed by the intimidation, and she firmly refused to cooperate with the police.
On October 23, she went on a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention and was taken to Hubei Province Brainwashing Center the same day. The doctor on duty at the brainwashing center initially declined to admit her, citing her unusually high blood pressure. However, he gave in an hour later, after the police made numerous phone calls to the provincial and city level 610 Office.
The guards began to force feed Ms. Cui on the seventh day of her hunger strike. During each force-feeding session, they tied her hands and feet up to prevent her from struggling. To make her suffer, they pulled the feeding tube back and forth in her throat and didn't stop until she was bleeding. The pain was excruciating.
In addition, four guards took turns watching her at night to keep her from dozing off.
When Ms. Cui refused to answer questions from the Domestic Security Office, guard Hu Gaowei barked, “We have many torture methods and one will eventually make you talk. We can even drive you insane. Do you want us to try?” He also shouted obscenities at Ms. Cui.
When Ms. Cui took down drawings slandering Falun Gong that were put up on the walls in her cell, the guards stuck burning cigarettes near her nose and poured cold water over her. They also kicked her and almost suffocated her with a winter jacket.
The guards also secretly administered unknown drugs. She began to experience memory loss, drowsiness, and weakness. Later she realized that they had put drugs in her food after noticing one of the persons monitoring her avoided tasting her food at all costs.
In Ms. Cui's own words, “During the first two months at the Hubei Province Brainwashing Center, I was reduced to skin and bones. My lower jawbone nearly dislocated on several occasions. My blood pressure was dangerously high. My hair turned gray. I experienced memory loss and episodes of uncontrollable shaking. The pinky finger on my right hand is so swollen that I still have trouble holding anything.”
In an attempt to shirk responsibility, the brainwashing center transferred Ms. Cui to Ankang Hospital, where she remains today.
When Ms. Cui's lawyer visited her in the hospital on January 9, 2014, she told him that she began to experience severe stomach pain and continuous vomiting shortly before the December trial. Her condition worsened after the trial, and she was only able to tolerate liquid food.
Ms. Cui was taken for more examinations at Wuhan City No. 11 Hospital and Xiehe Hospital. After that, officer Wu of the Domestic Security Office, who accompanied her, refused to disclose the results to her family or lawyer. Her lawyer later managed to find out her condition from Director Wu of Ankang Hospital.
Background Information on the Other Three Practitioners
Mr. Shen Xuewu, in his 40s, is a former instructor at Wuchang Military Finance Institute. After his arrest in November 2012, he was moved from one place to another, first Hubei Province Brainwashing Center, then Wuhan City No. 2 Detention Center, and lastly Jianghan District Detention Center. Prior to this most recent arrest, he once served three years in prison and was brutally tortured.
Mr. Zhao Hu, 40, once taught at the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan City. He was one of the main editors of Business Administration , a textbook for college students. He was arrested at his home in Guangzhou, where he taught at a university for two years, on October 26, 2012. After his arrest, he was transferred to Wuhan. In the past 14 years since 1999, he has been repeatedly arrested, detained, sentenced to forced labor, and fired from his job.
Mr. Chen Gang, 40, an instructor at the Wuhan Technological University, was arrested at work by the Wuhan Police Department on September 4, 2012.