(Clearwisdom.net) Dr. Li Zhigang got his Ph.D. in computer science at the National University of Defense Technology located at Changsha City of Hunan Province. Because he is a Falun Gong practitioner, he was arrested and sent to prison twice. First he was sentenced to forced labor camp for one and half years, and then he was sentenced to prison for five years. He is now being held at the Military Prison under the Political Department of Guangzhou Army District.

On April 1, 2000 Dr. Li Zhigang participated in a Falun Dafa experience sharing conference organized by practitioners in Changsha City. The policemen broke into the conference and captured all of the practitioners. Dr. Li was put in prison for 41 days after he was brought back to the university. His Chinese Communist Party membership was revoked, and he was sentenced to forced labor camp for 18 months. Then he was sent to the Forced Labor Brigade of Guangzhou Army District. He was beaten and verbally abused frequently by the supervisor and other prisoners. He was forced to stay under the burning sun and to be drenched in heavy rain, but he didn't compromise to the perpetrators. He was released in July 2001.

On August 21, 2002, the university called Dr. Li Zhigang back. After he returned he was detained against his will once again. That night local policemen searched his home and confiscated his personal belongs, including his computer. The local policemen and the University tried to extract a confession from Dr. Li. They forbade him from sleeping. When he closed his eyes, they would beat and kick him. To protest against the persecution, Dr. Li started a hunger strike. The policemen grabbed hold of his hair and beat his head with plastic bottles filled with water. After a few days of the hunger strike, his life was in danger. Even so, the officials said, "This is nothing serious."

In early January 2003, Tian Hong from the Beijing General Military Procuratorate and Xu Zhenyu, an official of the Security Department of the National University of Defense Technology broke into Dr. Li's home. They told his mother that Tian Hong was his supervisor at first, and later their story was that Tian Hong was the director of the Reception Department of the University. They also said that the project Dr. Li had worked on for his Ph.D. involved national secrets, and they needed to bring some documents back. They proceeded to turn Dr. Li's home upside down, but did not find anything. Then they forced Dr. Li's family members to give them his notebooks. They stole two bags of his materials.

Dr. Li was detained at the National University of Defense Technology for 5 months. In January 19, 2003 he was officially arrested for "being under suspicion of breaking the law." Dr. Li was transferred to the General Military Procuratorate in Beijing. Three months later the Procuratorate prosecuted him in the General Military Court. The Military Procuratorate informed him that he could hire a lawyer for himself, but he had to hire a lawyer from the National University of Defense Technology because his trial involved national secrets.

Upon arriving in Beijing, Dr. Li was detained at the Military Detention Center of the General Political Department of the Chinese Army. Later he was transferred to the Detention Center of the Beijing Army District. This detention period lasted for 80 days. That was in the middle of the summer. He was not allowed to take any baths or to wash his face. He was forced to sit for 16 hours every day. They tried to wear him down physically. Meanwhile, they set up layers of barriers for his family members and his lawyer, who couldn't get the prosecuting statement until 2 days before the trial was to begin. On July 7, the trial started. The policemen wouldn't remove Dr. Li's handcuffs and did not allow him to make a statement. They also restricted his lawyer's actions. Because of the lack of evidence, the judge had to adjourn the session without conclusion.

On August 21, Jiang Zemin went to the National University of Defense Technology to celebrate the university's 50th anniversary. During that period of time, a few university officials received truth-clarification telephone calls from overseas Falun Gong practitioners. Some officials of the university considered this to be related to Dr. Li's case and reported this to Jiang. Jiang told his followers to make Dr. Li give up his belief and offered a 1 million yuan reward [500 Yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China.] for this. Afterwards the Beijing Army District started torturing and interrogating Dr. Li day and night. They forced him to watch videos slandering Falun Gong. If he refused, he would be beaten severely. Dr. Li suffered injuries all over his body. They also locked him inside an iron cage. It was impossible for him to stand up or squat down in the cage with a 1.86 meters (6'1") tall body. When Dr. Li's lawyer saw him again, he was as thin as a board.

On September 11, the court started the second session of the trial and illegally sentenced Dr. Li for 5 years in prison.

Li Zhigang was sentenced to the Military Prison of Chenzhou City in Hunan Province. He was forced to do extremely heavy work that was beyond his physical capacity. At night he was locked inside the iron cage. The prison refused to allow his family to visit him, because he refused to give up his belief. Recently someone informed his family that Dr. Li could be dead if his family couldn't find a way to save him. Dr. Li's mother and two sisters live in Changsha city, which is 300 kilometers (186 miles) away from where Dr. Li was captured. It is very difficult for Dr. Li's elderly mother to go back and forth, and his family has already spent all its saving. With grief Dr. Li's mother said, "My son was practicing Falun Gong to be a good person. How could this become a crime?"

List of those responsible for the persecution:

Tian Hong: Official from Beijing General Military Procuratorate.

Li Jinsheng: The director of the Diagnosis and Treatment Department of The National University of Defense Technology.

Li: Director of the Security Department of the National University of Defense Technology. Tel: 86-731-4572251.

Yi Qiping: A department director. Tel. 86-731-4572253; 86-13308491285(Cell)

Liu: The Commissar of the Computer College of the National University of Defense Technology. Tel: 86-731-4573603 (Office); 86-731-4573604 (Home).

Liu Peijiang: The head of the Student Brigade of the 6th College of the National University of Defense Technology. Tel: 86-13907316274(Cell); 86-731-4574630(Home)

Li Benchi: The director of the Political Office of the 6th College of the National University of Defense Technology. Tel: 86-731-4573617; 86-731-4573629; 86-13873153639(Cell).

Xiao: The header of the Military Prison of Guangzhou Army District in Chenzhou City.

Li Jingyi: The Commissar of the Military Prison of Guangzhou Army District in Chenzhou City. Tel: 86-735-2812183