Adverse Encounters over the Past Ten Years for Mr. Li Zhigang, an Assistant Research Fellow at the Computer Science Institute, National Defense University
Name: Li Zhigang (李志刚)
Occupation: A soldier and an assistant research fellow at the National Defense University Computer Science Institute (原国防科技大学计算机学院计算机研究所助理研究员,军人)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 17, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Changsha City Legal, Education, and Training Center (长沙市法制教育培训 中心)
Persecution Suffered: Forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, beatings, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, extortion, fired from workplace, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention
(Clearwisdom.net) This Mother's Day, Ms. Kang Jianlan, approaching 70, was particularly saddened knowing that her son, Li Zhigang, had been arrested in April for his belief in Truthfulness- Compassion-Forbearance by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operatives. What further concerned her was that she did not know his whereabouts. Though police from the National Security Brigade of the Wangcheng County Public Security Bureau in Hunan Province claimed that Mr. Li was sent to the Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camps, the family has gotten only denials when asking for him at the camps.
Li Zhigang, a Falun Gong practitioner
This is actually not the first time Mr. Li has been in prison. Since July 1999, when the CCP began the illegal persecution of Falun Gong, he has been held in Guangzhou Military Forced Labor Brigade, the Political Department of the Guangzhou Military Region, and the Hunan Chenzhou Military Prison, all over a span of six years, because of his unwillingness to renounce his faith. In September 2007, he was reunited with his family. After experiencing freedom for just about two and one-half years, he finds himself, once again, subject to the whims of the CCP.
As a child, Li Zhigang demonstrated a bright and studious disposition. In 1986, he was admitted to the Department of Computer Science at the National Defense University, based on the second place grade he received on the Changsha Eastern Section's entrance examination. In July 1990, he was admitted to the graduate school of the university, based on his academic excellence in undergraduate school. In September that year, he was enlisted as a soldier. Upon obtaining a master degree in 1994, he was admitted with distinction to the Department of Computer Science, National Defense University, as a doctoral candidate. During his PhD studies, he researched artificial intelligence and expert systems analysis , focusing on two key technologies for military R & D projects. Though he ended his PhD study short of graduation, hr did so in good standing with the university and was assigned to the Computer Science Research Institute of the National Defense University.
Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Led Him to the Path of Cultivation
In the second half of 1998, Li Zhigang was given a copy of Zhuan Falun by a friend. After finished reading it, he was deeply moved by the principle of Truthfulness- Compassion-Forbearance. He told his family, "I had no idea there was such a good book!" He would read the book until late in the evening, never tiring of the book's inexhaustible inner meanings.
In April 1999, he found a practice site and started practicing the Falun Gong exercises. His health wasn't very good. He often had indigestion and suffered from severe shoulder inflammation that limited the use of his arm during flare-ups. He often went to a nearby masseuse for treatment. After practicing the exercises for less than a month, all his illnesses disappeared. He had no more pain in his arm, and his gastrointestinal discomfort also disappeared. He became energetic and vibrant.
Mr. Li Zhigang was once a person who couldn't live without alcohol and cigarettes. He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and drank eight liangs of alcohol with his meal. He used various means to try to quit smoking with no avail. The result, in fact, was that he smoked even more. After started practicing Falun Gong, he gave up these bad habits to the absolute astonishment of his friends.
Since childhood, Li Zhigang was kind and courteous, treating others with generosity. After practicing Dafa, he was even more kind, whether at work or in his daily life. Once, his sister received a hundred yuan in counterfeit currency. His sister was very angry and was looking to pass them off on someone else. When he learned of it, he told her to tear up the counterfeit bills and told her that she should not let counterfeit money circulate any further and hurt others. He then gave her 100 yuan. While working at the Computer Science Research Institute, he always came early and left late. He worked carefully and conscientiously. His supervisors and colleagues all recognized his ability and integrity and considered him a rare young man.
Sentenced by a Military Court and Tortured
July 1999, when the Chinese Communist regime started to persecute Falun Gong, Falun Gong practitioners in the military also suffered severe persecution. In May 2000 he was sent to serve forced labor for one and one half years and then sent to the Guangzhou Military Forced Labor Brigade. In August 2002, the Political Department of the National Defense University once again arrested him. In January 2003, he was transferred to the Military Prosecutor's Office in Beijing and was imprisoned in the Beijing Military Region Prison for eight months. He was held in a cage, beaten, and handcuffed for six days straight.
In September that year, the military courts sentenced him to five years in prison for "participating in an illegal religion to undermine law enforcement." He was then sent to the Chenzhou Military Prison in the Guangzhou Military Region, where he endured solitary confinement for long periods of time. He was also forced to do hard labor with little or no food. The wardens ordered him stripped and exposed to freezing winter temperatures. In April 2004, he lost 15 pounds in just two weeks due to the mental and physical torture. He had difficulty standing or walking but was still forced to do hard labor to the point of collapse.
In May 2004, he was transferred to Jinshi Prison in Hunan Province. Although the prison was a local jail, it was under military control. Soldiers often came to to try to make him "transform." The Political Department repeatedly sent people to try to force him to give up his belief. Seeing that he would not relent, the National Defense University stripped him of his military status in June 2005.
Even in these brutal circumstances, Li Zhigang faced the persecution calmly and told the prison guards and prisoners about the benefits of Falun Gong. When a retired cadre saw how peacefully Mr. Li faced the guards to expose such inhuman torture, he was deeply shocked. Later, the retired cadre borrowed a copy of Zhuan Falun. After reading it, he proclaimed, "This is really a good book. No wonder there are such good disciples!"
Deprived of Permanent Residence Status
In September 2007, after five years of imprisonment, Li Zhigang was finally released. When he went to the police station at the National Defense University to register for his permanent residency, he was told, "Your file has been transferred to your local residence." But when he went to the Chaoyang Street Police Station in the Furong Section in Changsha City (his original residence), he was told he needed to get the residency at his work unit. The two police stations shirked accountability, refusing to give him his residency status. Later, Mr. Li and his mother went to the Chaoyang Street Police Station to talk to the police officer in charge of residency registration. Officer Huang Heping told them that Mr. Li need be photographed and fingerprinted for the file, with his signed acknowledgment, before his residency status could be obtained. The deputy director in charge of residency registration backed up this claim. This was in spite of the fact that residency registration is a citizen's right that must not to be infringed upon or be subject to conditional privileges. Li Zhigang would not accept such discrimination of Falun Gong practitioners, so he is now without residency status.
Mr. Li had been involved in the Galaxy-II research and had published several articles in scientific journals, foreign and domestic. He was a computer research talent, by all accounts making a positive contribution to the society and his country. Now, due to the CCP arbitrary denying him his residency status, he has no job prospects to better serve society. He has also suffered the many hardships that accompany such loss of status.
On top of this, Chaoyang Street Police Station continued its illegal surveillance of Mr. Li. On sensitive days, police would come by to harass him and interfere with his personal life and liberty. On the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chaoyang Street Police Station officers and staff from the Erlipai Community Center went to his home to harass him numerous times.
Tortured over Seven Hours after Illegal Arrest
Because of his lack of residency status, his income was very unstable. He saved as much as he could to get by, managing to give four to five hundred yuan to his mother each month for her living expenses. It comforted her a great deal. However, Li Zhigang was once again arrested by the CCP police on April 17, 2010, in Qiaoyi Township, Wangcheng County in Hunan Province.
At 9 o'clock that evening, when the Qiaoyi Police Station received a report that Mr. Li and another practitioner were distributing Shen Yun DVDs, the police arrested them. They told the police that they were good people and hadn't committed any crime. Without any explanation, the three police officers proceeded to choke and beat them for more than 20 minutes. Mr. Li's leg bled so profusely that his cotton trousers were soaked with blood. They were then taken to the Qiaoyi Police Station.
The officers took them to the police station and continued to ruthlessly kick and beat them, even employing a one meter long, 3 cm thick wooden stick. Later, Brigade captain Hu Xin and vice captain Tang Wei from the Wangcheng County Public Security Bureau came to obtain "confessions." The police increased the intensity of the beatings and verbal abuse from ten o'clock that evening until the following morning, for seven to eight hours, until the assailants stopped from exhaustion.
On April 18, Li Zhigang was taken to the Wangcheng County Detention Center.
On the morning of April 21, his mother rushed to the Wangcheng County National Security Brigade and asked to visit her son. They refused. When she asked why not, Hu Xin said, "You just cannot see him." He then repeatedly interrogated the friend who accompanied his mother and threatened his mother, waying, "You shouldn't go around at your age or your retirement pension might disappear!"
That afternoon, Tang Wei and Xin Hu and officers from the Zhaoyangjie Police Station in Changsha City broke into Mr. Li Zhigang's home. They ransacked it, ripping a calendar from the wall. Police even took a toy typewriter that belonged to his niece and left no record of the items seized. His family was deeply disturbed by the police recklessness and worried even more about his safety.
Wangcheng County National Security Brigade and the detention center refused to allow any family visits. On April 28, after soliciting help, his family was finally allowed to see him. After being locked up for ten day, scars from the injuries in his eyes, ears, and left hand were visible. There was a palm-size bloodstain on his pants. His thigh was full of bruises. He coughed and had chest and back pain. He could hardly sleep from coughing. His family was very worried that he might have suffered internal injuries from the brutal beating.
Transferred from the Detention Center to the Forced Labor Camp to the Detention Center to the Brainwashing Unit
After Mr. Li's arrest, his family repeatedly asked the Wangcheng County Brigade for his release. Hu Xin said, "You must wait until May 3." Wei Tang added, "It all depends on him, how he understands the problem and how he explains the problem, to settle the case leniently." Actually, however, while his family was running around between the Wangcheng County Brigade and the detention center in effort to rescue him, Tang and Hu had already trumped up the charges and sent the "evidence" to the Changsha City Forced Labor Committee. Tang Wei made a special trip to Mr. Li's original work unit, the National Defense University, to "investigate" his situation there.
On the morning of May 1, Tang Wei and Hu Xin took Mr. Li to the Shizhang Forced Labor Camp with the approval notice of "two years of forced labor." But Shizhang Forced Labor Camp refused to accept him because he was a Falun Gong practitioner. They then took him to the Hunan Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camp. The camp officials refused to accept him when the camp hospital found out he had a heart problem. He was then taken to the Changsha Central Hospital and the Changsha First Hospital for a physical. Both hospitals indicated that Mr. Li suffered from heart disease and didn't meet the conditions for detainment. Instead of sending a frail Mr. Li Zhigang home, Tang Wei and Hu Xin took him to the Wangcheng County Detention Center, but the detention center also refused to accept him. The two still had no intention of releasing him, so they repeatedly pressed the detention center to accept him, until the center agreed. When Mr. Li pointed out that it was illegal to do what they were doing and asked to be taken home, Hu Xin threatened him, saying, "If you do not get in here, I will make it very difficult for you or find a way to send you to a forced labor camp."
His original term expired on May 3, after 15 days. Mr. Li's mother asked Tang Wei to release him, but Tang Wei refused. She asked Tang Wei to follow the law, at which point Tang Wei became furious and said, "I will takeh him to the 610 Office this afternoon!" That afternoon, Li's mother went to see Wei Shuheng, director of the Wangcheng County Public Security Bureau, and Xiao Xiangdong, the Political Commissar, to apprise the situation and ask for the release of her son. Wei Shuheng completely ignored her. Xiao Xiangdong told her that there were three possibilities: One was to "observe him for a few days" to determine whether Li's health qualified him for labor camp or not; another was to send him to the "legal base" (brainwashing center); and the third possibility was to serve a forced labor term outside the labor camp. He said he would handle the case on May 4 and would give an answer by May 5.
On the morning of May 4, as the family was awaiting a decision, the National Security Brigade had already taken Li Zhigang to a brainwashing unit in Laodaohe Township, Kaifu District, Changsha City. That day, Tang Wei and Hu Xin had lied to Mr. Li, telling him that his family was coming to pick him up. When he didn't want to go with them, they forced him into a waiting car, causing further injury to his hand.
Learning his whereabouts, his family went to the center that evening. They saw his sallow complexion, and he didn't look like he had eaten. He told his family that he had chest pain and his coughing had not tapered off. Seeing how emaciated he was, his family was heartbroken. The 610 Office staff wanted to take him for a physical. When the family asked to accompany him, they were not allowed.
His Family Forced to Write a Receipt of having Receiving 3000 Yuan Taken from Li Zhigang
On May 5, Tang Wei told the family on the phone that Mr. Li had already been sent to a forced labor camp. Tang also said that there was a 60 percent chance that he might be allowed to serve his term outside the forced labor center and that the family needed to apply for it. He also stressed to Mr. Li's mother that she didn't need to go to his office anymore.
When Mr. Li Zhigang's sister went to the National Security Brigade the following morning, Tang Wei gave her an application form to "serve forced labor outside the re-labor center" but did not provide the necessary medical records for the application. She repeatedly demanded the medical records, but Tang Wei refused to provide them. Tang Wei then told her to give him a receipt saying that she had received 3000 yuan in cash. (When Li Zhigang was arrested, he had more than 3,000 yuan in cash with him.) Actually, Tang Wei had only given the family 38 of the 3000 yuan. He said that the rest of the bills had "Falun Dafa is good" written on them and thus had to be confiscated.
On the afternoon of May 6, Mr. Li's sister took the blank application form to the 610 Office in the Futong District in Changsha City and was turned down. During the conversation, his family realized that Mr. Li Zhigang wasn't in a forced camp. Instead, he had been sent to the "Legal Education and Training Center" in Changsha City.
Present Whereabouts Unknown
On the afternoon of May 7, Mr. Li's mother went to the Changsha City Legal Education and Training Center and discovered that Li had been taken to a hospital for a physical examination. 610 Office staff told her that the examination results hadn't been issued. Since then, the Changsha City Legal Education and Training Center has refused any visit from family members. On May 12, Mr. Li's mother went to the center again hoping to see her son, but was told that he had been transferred elsewhere a day earlier. They said that they did not know his whereabouts and that it was the responsibility of the public security. When Li's mother contacted Tang Wei, Tang Wei insisted that Mr. Li had been transferred to the Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camp on May 3. When she inquired at the labor camp, she was told that they didn't have record of Mr. Li being transferred there. His family had no idea of his whereabouts.
On May 18, Mr. Li's family went to the Wangcheng County Brigade to ask Tang Wei for the forced labor camp notice and his whereabouts. Tang Wei still didn't tell the truth and said the labor camp wouldn't tell them whether Li was there or not even though he was, indeed, in the camp and that there was no need to inquire further.
Since Mr. Li's arrest, his family has never received any legal document from the Wangcheng County Public Security as to whether he was detained, was serving forced labor, or was in the Legal Education and Training Center (brainwashing center). In accordance with regulations, the public security office was supposed to send a detention notice or other legal documents to the immediate family. For the state security police to confiscate 3,000 yuan was completely illegal. Even if it was confiscated "according to law," why didn't they give the family a receipt instead of asking them for a receipt? Wangcheng County Public Security police beat an innocent citizen and insisted that he be imprisoned even after several hospitals issued reports that indicated Mr. Li wasn't in a condition to be detained. Meanwhile, his whereabouts, though alleged, have not been confirmed by the family.
Since her son's illegal arrest on April 17, his elderly mother has had great difficulty managing her daily life. In just one month's time, she has aged a great deal. Where is her son? She is anxious yet hopeful righteous people will help.
Wangcheng County National Security Brigade
Hu Xin: 86-13574168088 (Cell)
Tang Wei: 86-13787291388 (Cell)
Wangcheng County Qiaoyi Police Station: 86-731-88431003
Lai Yongzhi head