Zhang Jinku's Life in Danger, Family Calls for Urgent Help
(Minghui.org) The family of Zhang Jinku was finally able to see him again in the Hulan Prison on January 9, 2014, after many setbacks. His tuberculosis has become more severe since it was originally observed in July 2013.
Mr. Zhang's face was terribly swollen and he had difficulty speaking. He could only talk very slowly, and his speech was difficult to understand. He responded slowly to questions. He also had difficulty walking; he could only move a little bit at a time, and had to be helped.
Mr. Zhang said that he was beaten in the prison, and other prisoners were assigned to monitor him. He often felt very uncomfortable and tired, wanted to sleep, but had frequent nightmares.
Prior to this, the family last saw Mr. Zhang on October 21, 2013 in the same prison. On that day, two guards carried him by the arms to the family visitation room. He said feebly as his body trembled: “A man in a white gown beat me...” The family inferred that he was referring to one of the prison doctors, who typically wear white gowns.
Before he could even finish the sentence, the two guards immediately carried him away under the direction of Wang Xiaochen, the chief of the education and transformation department, a branch of the 610 Office in the prison. The family was very concerned about what else Mr. Zhang might want to tell them but couldn't.
Since Mr. Zhang didn't have access to medical treatment, the family consulted a well-known doctor regarding his symptoms after seeing him in January. The doctor said that Zhang Jinku's central nervous system was likely damaged, with forced drug administration being a possible cause. The swollen face was indicative of lung and cardiac problems. The doctor warned the family that Mr. Zhang's life was in imminent danger based on their description.
Prior to October, Mr. Zhang was seen at an illegal court trial on July 18, 2013. He showed symptoms of tuberculosis due to torture suffered at the Yilan County First Detention Center, after being arrested on March 29, 2013. There, officer Yang Xinhua and others beat him, knocking out several teeth and injuring ribs on the left side. He was forced to sit on a “torture chair” for 48 hours and tortured with “Handcuffing Behind the Back with One Hand Crossed Over a Shoulder”.
The worried family continued to travel between the Hulan Prison, the presiding Procuratorate, and other related agencies to try to rescue Mr. Zhang.
Family Repeatedly Turned Down for a Visit
Seeing Mr. Zhang was not easy for the family. It took them a lot of effort to be able to do so in October 2013 and January 2014.
Mr. Zhang was transferred to the Hulan Prison on September 19, 2013, after being detained at the Jiamusi Prison since July 21, the state of his five-year sentence as a result of the illegal trial on July 18.
His family went to the Hulan Prison three times to visit him. Each time they were refused visitation and were told that it would not be possible until Mr. Zhang renounced Falun Gong. Mr. Zhang refused to give up his belief.
After meeting Mr. Zhang on October 21, the worried family continued to go to the Hulan Prison to see Mr. Zhang, a total of six times. However, Wang Xiaochen, chief guard from the 610 Office of the prison, would not allow them a visit. He told the family that he would only speak to attorneys.
Attorneys Blocked from Seeing Their Client
The family then hired attorneys, who went to the Hulan Prison to see Mr. Zhang on the morning of January 3, 2014. The chief of the political department tried to direct them to the education and transformation department. When the attorneys insisted on seeing their client directly, he then said that he would have to consult with the 610 Office of Heilongjiang Province before allowing that.
In the afternoon, the attorneys requested to see Mr. Zhang again. They were again refused by the prison. The attorneys visited multiple offices of the prison, but did not get an answer. The chief of the political department even cursed at and threatened to beat them. A policewoman dragged them apart. The attorneys declared: “You are breaking the law by not allowing us to see our client.”
The attorneys complained to the Prison Management Department at the Bureau of Prisons. An officer of the department called the Hulan Prison and suggested that the prison allow the attorneys to see Mr. Zhang. The prison said that they could only process the visit request after the education and transformation department submitted a report to the prison.
Several days later, Mr. Zhang's family tried again on January 6, 2014. Wang Xiaochen, chief of the education and transformation department, refused to let them see Mr. Zhang. He even threatened to arrest the family and videotaped them.
Joint Efforts of Family and Attorneys Finally Resulted in a Visit
The family paid the attorneys to write a letter of complaint. On January 7, 2014, the family brought the letter to the Binjiang Procuratorate, the Heilongjiang Province People's Congress, the Heilongjiang Province Department of Justice and the Prison Management Department of the Bureau of Prisons.
The procuratorate accepted the letter. The family made three requests:
- Mr. Zhang Jinku should be released immediately due to his poor physical condition
- The torture Mr. Zhang endured in the prison should be investigated.
- Mr. Zhang's family should be allowed to see him.
Seeing that this case involved a Falun Gong practitioner, the appeals office of the provincial Department of Justice refused to accept the complaint letter and instructed the family to leave. They claimed that Zhang Jinku's refusal to give up his belief was the reason he could not see his family.
The family explained that according to the attorneys, practicing Falun Gong was legal according to the Constitution. The appeals office told them their attorneys did not understand the law, adding that “they should come here”. The family explained that their attorneys were from Beijing, and it was not easy for them to visit Heilongjiang Province very often. The appeals office provided their phone number and told the family to ask the attorneys to call.
When the family finally saw Mr. Zhang on January 9, 2014, his condition worried them even more. They hope that people from around the world will do what they can to help Mr. Zhang Jinku return home as soon as possible.
Personnel responsible for Mr. Zhang's case:
Tian Yueqiang (田月强), director of the Hulan Prison: +86-451-57307301
Chen Xingjiang (陈兴江), prison doctor for the Hulan Prison: +86-13258675020 (Cell)
Please refer to the original Chinese text for more names and telephone numbers.
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