(Minghui.org) After enduring six and a half years of imprisonment and torture, a former orthopedic surgeon was arrested again on April 8, 2020, for spreading information about his persecuted faith, Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Dr. Li Lizhuang of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was targeted in a group arrest of 11 between April 7 and 8 by officers in Daqing, a city about 100 miles from Harbin. Two practitioners were released due to their advanced ages, the other nine practitioners, including Dr. Li, were transferred to Daqing. He is now in the Zhaozhou Detention Center in Daqing.
Dr. Li, 47, graduated from Harbin Medical University in 1995 and took up Falun Gong that same year. Because of his excellent professional skills, he soon became an orthopedic surgeon at Harbin Medical University’s First Affiliated Hospital. He was known for always going the extra mile to help his patients. One of his patients didn't have any money but desperately needed surgery. Dr. Li paid for the pre-surgery blood test and operation, about 1,000 yuan in total, when his monthly salary at the time was 300 yuan.
After the communist regime started the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Dr. Li was repeatedly arrested and had his home ransacked for upholding his faith. He served two labor camp terms and one prison term, for a total of six and a half years.
Dr. Li was arrested in May 2001 and deprived of sleep for a week in the local detention center. The guards ordered the other detainees to slam his head against the wall and slap him in the face. His face became so swollen that he could barely open his eyes. His legs were also severely swollen after he was forced to sit in the interrogation chair for days.
The police later gave him two years at Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp, where he was handcuffed, shocked with electric batons, beaten, tied to an iron chair, and held in a solitary cell for two months.
Before his labor camp term expired, Dr. Li was sentenced to four years in prison by the Taiping District Court on September 28, 2002.
The inmates there tortured him relentlessly. They whipped his head and body with a one-inch-wide PVC pipe. When it was minus 20 degrees Celsius, they stripped him, put him in a bucket of cold water, and poured cold water over his head or held his head under the water. At the same time, they yanked his penis and squeezed his testicles, leaving him with pain in his testicles for the next ten years. They also stuffed a dirty rag in his mouth.
Only when he almost passed out did the inmates pull him out of the water. Then they carried him, naked, to walk around the lobby, before immersing him in the cold water again. One inmate even stuck a one-inch-wide rubber hose with running water and later a toothbrush into his anus.
When Dr. Li reported the torture to the guards, one of them replied, “We can’t protect you all the time” and “The inmates won’t listen to us.”
As a result of the torture, one of his ribs was fractured, his back was injured, and his right eye was bruised. His hair turned gray.
After his release, Dr. Li was devastated to learn that the hospital had fired him. Unable to find a job at another hospital, he was reduced to selling clothes on the street.
On March 1, 2008, he was arrested again and given one more year in Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp on March 24. He was shocked with electric batons and made to do hard labor until 9:00 p.m. with no breaks.
The guards once confined him a small dark room with no windows. Then they tied him up in an excruciating position in a chair for the next eight days. The guards took turns torturing him. As soon as he closed his eyes at night, they began to beat him. They taped his mouth, covered his head with a plastic bag, and suffocated him with cigarette smoke.
During the years Dr. Li was incarcerated, his parents were under tremendous stress. They traveled to the labor camp or prison to visit him every month. Worried that their son was being tortured, his father developed depression and his mother lost about 45 pounds in just a few months. She often had to take sleeping pills in order to fall asleep. Her hair quickly turned gray and she developed high blood pressure. She fainted many times.
Even after Dr. Li was released, the shadow of the persecution still hung over the family. Now he has been arrested again.