(Minghui.org) A 77-year-old engineer who has experienced 19 years of severe persecution for upholding his belief in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline under attack by the Chinese Communist regime, is facing yet another trial and possible imprisonment. Repeated arrests, detention, and torture have left this septuagenarian in severely compromised health.
Mr. Cao Hongru lives in the Changning District of Shanghai. The latest illegal arrest took place on December 4, 2017 as he handed out desk calendars with Falun Gong information to his neighbors.
He went on a hunger strike at the Changning District Detention Centre and suffered brutal force-feeding at the hands of the police. He was released on medical parole on December 25, 2017.
His files were handed to the Changning District Procuratorate Office on March 5, 2018, and were subsequently forwarded to the Fengxian District Court in Shanghai on April 20.
Since the end of May, Mr. Cao's health has deteriorated.
Cao Hongru was a rising star, handpicked to work in Shanghai Textile Bearing Factory upon graduation. He was hardworking and achieved great success in various technical and innovative projects. He was given the Model Worker award in the textile industry five years in a row, and was among the first group of engineers to be recognized by the textile industry’s State Council after the Cultural Revolution.
Mr. Cao and two other colleagues were sent to South America in 1989 to establish a garment factory to make clothes with Chinese materials for export to the United States. After market research, they decided to set up a manufacturing operation in Costa Rica.
He worked day and night and the heavy workload took a toll on his health. He developed many illnesses and had to return to China for treatment.
Medical treatment didn't help, so in November 1995, Mr. Cao took up the practice of Falun Gong. Within a few weeks of practicing, all his illnesses—a gastric ulcer, spinal hyperplasia, a recurrent ulcer in his mouth, chronic insomnia, and rheumatism—disappeared without a trace.
He followed Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in his daily life. Mr. Cao was highly respected at work and in his local community. Changning TV even did an interview with him to promote his exemplary deeds and fine qualities.
‘I cannot betray my faith in Falun Dafa’
The Chinese Communist regime, headed by then leader Jiang Zemin, launched a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Mr. Cao's peaceful life was turned completely upside down.
The day after the persecution began, Mr. Cao and several other Falun Gong practitioners went to the Shanghai Municipal Appeal Office to peacefully petition for Falun Gong, but they were attacked and dispersed by the police. Mr. Cao was taken home in a police van. The police tried to force him to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong with threats of detention.
In fear of his safety, his supervisors and son-in-law knelt down before him to beg him to sign the statement. He helped them up in tears. “I cannot betray my faith and I cannot betray my Master who has given me a second life.” That day the police harassed Mr. Cao and his family until 1:00 a.m. before finally leaving.
Mr. Cao went to Beijing on his own in August 1999. He met two other young practitioners on the train. The three of them unfolded a banner with the words “Falun Dafa is good” on Tiananmen Square. They were soon illegally arrested and beaten up by police.
The men were detained in a detention center for a number of days before Mr. Cao was taken back to Shanghai by the local police. He was brought to a police station, where the head of the station tried to force him to write a guarantee statement to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Cao refused.
He was transferred to the Changning District Detention Center at midnight, where he was tortured – first suspended in the dark, then chained to the wall spread-eagled from 1:00 a.m. until 3:00 or 4:00 p.m.
He was detained for 30 days without charge before he was finally released.
Mr. Cao was unlawfully arrested again on October 17, 2000 while he was handing out truth-clarification materials to people. He was sent to the Minxing District Detention Center; there he was deprived of sleep and forced to stand for long hours during interrogations. If he moved even slightly during the interrogation, the police punched and kicked him.
A month later, the police took Mr. Cao to Shanghai General Psychiatric Hospital for further maltreatment. In the hospital, he was forced to take medications that damage the central nervous system. When he refused, the perpetrators instructed tough mental patients to tie him up, then injected him with the unknown medication. He became extremely weak and had to lie in bed for a whole day.
His wife asked the head of the hospital to discharge him but was told, “Your husband will never be allowed to go home without permission from the police department.”
A female head doctor wrote in her medical chart: “This patient will never give up practicing Falun Gong.” Even though she knew clearly that Mr. Cao was physically and mentally healthy, she continued to administer medications that would cause nerve damage.
When Mr. Cao's elder sister heard about his situation, she went to the office of the head of the hospital. “My brother is a healthy person,” she said. “I will never forgive you if you make him mentally disordered. All my three sons are working in foreign companies, and if anything happens to my brother, I will have them expose your dirty conduct to the whole world.”
After that meeting, the hospital reduced Mr. Cao's medications.
His sister also exposed the persecution of her brother within the local neighborhood and at a joint conference of the 610 Office. She encouraged her brother's wife to speak up about how personnel from the 610 Office threatened her and forced her to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong.
The 610 Office was furious and tried to frame Mr. Cao’s sister and fabricate charges against her. They came up empty as Mr. Cao's sister was highly respected both at work and in the local community.
Mr. Cao continued to be persecuted at the hospital. One day, they forced him to swallow a sticky white liquid. Soon after, he felt uncomfortable all over his body and could not get out of bed. When his sister came to visit him in the afternoon, she found him in a lethargic sleep and running a very high temperature.
She woke her brother up and he told her what happened to him. She rushed to the office of the head of the hospital and said sternly, “I will never let you off the hook should my brother die on your watch. You must give him emergency treatment immediately!”
Fearing being held accountable, the hospital sent doctors to save Mr. Cao's life. It took a long time before Mr. Cao was out of danger.
With the help of his sister's determined efforts, Mr. Cao was discharged and allowed to return home in April 2001.
Later in the same year, Mr. Cao was twice unlawfully detained in a brainwashing center, where he was forced to watch TV programs that slandered Falun Gong, then ordered to write down his feelings afterwards. When Mr. Cao refused to do so, they forced him to stand motionless until midnight. They often called him to the office to harass him, hitting him on the head and the chest.
Mr. Cao was unlawfully arrested again in 2004 for distributing truth-clarification materials. Later, he was sentenced to three years at Tilanqiao Prison.
After suffering severe corporal punishment there, he went on a protest hunger strike. The guards force-fed him violently with a tube, often causing him to vomit blood. The ordeal went on for three months.
He stopped the hunger strike eventually when the division head (Ma Da) agreed to his requests that they would no longer force him to write any “confessions” and would not persecute Dafa practitioners under his jurisdiction. Mr. Cao was released in 2007.
However, the persecution continued. Mr. Cao was arrested again on March 27, 2010 while he was distributing truth-clarification CDs. Wang Jue from the local 610 Office and his men ransacked his home and tortured him, causing severe injuries to his leg. He was sentenced to four years in prison this time and sent to Tilanqiao Prison again.
He continued to suffer severe persecution and was locked up in a cell with a mentally disordered criminal in what was called a “Strictly Controlled Zone.”
He was deprived of meager allowances available to other inmates, such as purchasing limited daily necessities or food, washing up and washing clothes outside their cells.
He was forced to sit on a small object with an uneven surface all day long. When he could no longer bear the pain and stood up, inmates assigned to keep an eye on him punched and kicked him violently. He was forced to sit this way for more than ten hours every day. His buttocks developed sores, became infected and festered with pus and blood, causing him unbearable pain and suffering.
At night, he was forced to sleep near the iron door of the cell so that he could be monitored by a surveillance camera. Inmates were ordered to take turns kicking his head every 15 minutes so that he could not sleep.
Mr. Cao was not allowed to take a shower or have a haircut. His body smelled badly and his hair and beard were long and ungroomed.
After three months of such persecution, Mr. Cao became very weak. He could not stand steadily and his arms trembled involuntarily. He was diagnosed with lacunar infarction, grade 3 hypertension, and paralysis agitans in his upper right arm.
Afraid that Mr. Cao might die in prison, the prison authorities called his family to take him home on medical parole. He returned home on March 26, 2014.
The police from Changning Subdivision kidnapped Mr. Cao again on December 4, 2017, as he distributed desk calendars with Falun Gong information to his neighbors. He was released on medical parole on December 25 after a hunger strike and brutal forced-feedings. His file has now been handed to the Shanghai Fengxian District Court, and the 77-year-old man is again facing unlawful trial.
Mr. Cao has developed severe health problems since May 31, 2018. He vomited and had diarrhea and could not eat or drink for four days. He has also become incontinent. His weight dropped from 73 kg (161 lbs) to 66 kg (145 lbs). He was diagnosed with bilateral basal ganglia lacunar lesions associated with brain atrophy, falx calcification, as well as renal insufficiency.
At the moment, Mr. Cao has difficulty walking and cannot remember where his home is if he goes out. He has constant headaches and has to lie in bed every day.
We call on the world community to pay attention to Mr. Cao's situation and help stop the ongoing persecution of innocent Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime.
Partial list of participants in the persecution of Mr. Cao:
Xinhualu Police Station: +86-23030008, +86-23020013Head of the station: +86-15601991082Zhuo Yun, case officer: +86-13061996462
Changning Police Subdivision: +86-20-162906290, +86-02-123039000
Shanghai Changning District Procuratorate: +86 02-162081100, +86-02-162521100
Shanghai Fengxian District Court
Chen Shilong (陈士龙), presiding judge: +86-02-37190666, ext 26051ShengChen(盛晨), clerk: +86-02-37190666, ext 26013，+86-18001682371(cell)