(Minghui.org) Mr. Gao Feng was hired as a salesperson for Zhongxing Electronic Instrument Factory in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province in 1995. That same year, he began to practice Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, a mind-body cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Not long into his practice, Mr. Gao’s long-term ailments, including tracheitis and stomach pain, disappeared completely. Also gone were his crusty temperament and bad habits such as drinking and gambling. Mr. Gao required himself to follow Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He worked hard without complaint and was no longer concerned with fame and gain.
Mr. Gao worked in a branch office in Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province. His integrity garnered praise from many of his customers.
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), under former leader Jiang Zemin, launched the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Mr. Gao has been repeatedly targeted for upholding his faith. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2001 for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. His employer fired him soon afterwards.
Mr. Gao was set to be released from prison on November 19, 2004, but he was taken straight to a brainwashing center and held there until April 4, 2005.
As the prison never gave Mr. Gao a formal release document, he was unable to get his household registration, which is required in China to secure full-time employment. Because of this, Mr. Gao struggled to make ends meet doing odd jobs.
He was arrested again on May 26, 2006 while staying with a fellow practitioner in Beijing. He was brought back to Lanzhou days later on June 1 and put under house arrest.
In the years that followed, the police constantly harassed Mr. Gao, his parents, and his siblings. His father’s health declined with each episode of police harassment and threats. The elderly man fell on September 6, 2013 and died hours later.
The most recent episode of police harassment took place on May 28, 2021 when five people knocked on the door of Mr. Gao’s mother, who is in her 80s. They asked where Mr. Gao was and whether he had come back to visit her.
Arrested for Appealing in Beijing
On July 20, 1999, the day the persecution of Falun Gong was launched, Mr. Gao took a leave from work and went to Beijing to speak out for the practice and its founder, Master Li. The next day, on July 21, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were arrested for appealing in Beijing. They were taken by bus to Fengtai Stadium in Beijing. Mr. Gao refused to get on the bus and was viciously beaten by several police officers. The beating caused his face to swell and he sustained injuries to various parts of his body. His glasses fell off and were crushed by the police.
Mr. Gao continued to appeal for Falun Gong the following day. He was arrested and detained at a company auditorium in Haidian District, Beijing, for one day.
At the end of February 2000, Mr. Gao boarded a train to Beijing for a business trip. He was arrested on the train when he was found reading Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Gong. The book was confiscated and he was taken off the train and sent to the Jining City Police Department, in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. He was then transferred to the Jining City Drug Rehabilitation Center. Illegally detained at the same time was another practitioner named Mr. Cao Dong, who had gone to Lanzhou for a personal matter and was on a train back to Beijing.
Abused in Jining Drug Rehabilitation Center
In the drug rehabilitation center, Mr. Gao and Mr. Cao were violently beaten and kicked by prison guards and drug addicts a total of 11 times. Mr. Cao threw up and had trouble catching his breath as a result of the beatings. Mr. Gao lost hearing in his right ear for several days after being beaten. They were also forced to do heavy labor, clean pit toilets, and trim trees. They were given poor-quality steamed buns every day, but were charged 8 yuan per day for their meals. Both men had bought 300 yuan worth of extra food and supplies, but these were stolen by the drug addicts.
Mr. Gao and Mr. Cao were detained for 22 days and charged a total of 352 yuan for “living expenses” during their detention. Their Dafa books were confiscated and some of their personal belongings were stolen.
Brutal Torture in Haidian District Detention Center in Beijing
On November 19, 2000, Mr. Gao and about a dozen other practitioners were studying the teachings of Falun Gong at a private residence when dozens of agents from various units including the Beijing Police Department and the National Security Brigade broke in and arrested them.
During the illegal interrogation, the officers beat and kicked the practitioners. They grabbed Mr. Gao by his hair and slammed his head against the wall. They also confiscated his Dafa books, cell phone, phone card, pager, and cash.
Mr. Gao was sent to the Haidian District Detention Center that evening. As soon as he arrived, three plainclothes guards brutally beat him and grabbed his hair to slam his head against the wall. Several guards in uniform watched the abuse without saying a word. Mr. Gao’s head was swollen as a result of the beatings.
A prison guard named Li Jun and two young persons illegally interrogated Mr. Gao for three consecutive days. They tied him up on a bed and shocked his sensitive areas including his genitals and the soles of feet with electric batons. They also did not allow him to sleep.
In order to locate the home of another Falun Gong practitioner, the guards cuffed Mr. Gao’s hands behind his back and shackled him for one night, before stuffing him into a patrol car for a night. Two other police cars were also dispatched. On the way to Miyun District in Beijing, the police beat Mr. Gao and verbally abused him. They also threatened to bury him alive in the mountains or drown him in the Miyun Reservoir.
When they passed by a bridge in Shunyi District in Beijing, they stopped the car and pulled Mr. Gao out of the car by the shackles. They threatened, “If you do not tell us the address, we will push you off the bridge and claim that you committed suicide by jumping out of the car.”
On one occasion, Mr. Gao sat in the lotus position while in detention and was punished by being forced to sit on a wooden plank and subjected to sleep deprivation. If he closed his eyes, the guards woke him up, saying that he was doing a Falun Gong meditation exercise. He was also doused with cold water several times.
Because of the stress associated with the detention, Mr. Gao did not have a bowel movement the first four days in the detention center. On the evening of the fifth day, he had an urgency to defecate. But he was pulled off the toilet with the excuse that bowel movements were not allowed at night. Since that incident, Mr. Gao never had a bowel movement during his detention in the Haidian Detention Center.
Mr. Gao was transferred to Qichu Detention Center in Beijing after 22 days at Haidian Detention Center. On the third day, Mr. Gao finally had a bowel movement. Even so, he still remained constipated and often went more than ten days without a bowel movement, even when he was eating meals normally.
Mr. Gao was interrogated, fingerprinted, and forced to have his photo taken. He was harassed for doing the Falun Gong exercises. On one occasion, two inmates saw him doing the exercises at night and severely beat him.
Brutal Persecution in Daxing County Repatriation Prison
After the Chinese New Year (January 24) in 2001, Mr. Gao and several practitioners were transferred to the Fengtai District Detention Center. On March 1 that year, Mr. Gao was illegally sentenced to four years by the Fengtai District Court. During the trial, the CCP-controlled court broke the law by limiting the time for defense to three minutes. The presiding judge often interrupted the lawyer’s defense.
In May 2001, Mr. Gao was sent to the Daxing County Repatriation Prison in Beijing. He was forced to get a physical examination and have his blood drawn. He was subjected to forced labor, making goods such as handbags and chopsticks for export.
Mr. Gao got up one night to do the Falun Gong exercises. He was reported to the head guard by an inmate on duty. They tied his hands and legs tied to three adjacent beds in a spread eagle position for the whole night. The following morning, Mr. Gao was handcuffed on the cement floor. In the afternoon and at night, he was tied to the same three beds in a “cross” position, with both arms spread out and his legs wrapped together with tape.
Dozen of guards took turns watching Mr. Gao. They threatened him, verbally abused him, and defamed him. They beat Mr. Gao multiple times, citing that he did not fold his blanket, do labor, or answer roll call. To protest the persecution, he went on a hunger strike.
In order to “transform” all Falun Gong practitioners within three months, the inmates employed several torture means on the practitioners every night. Mr. Gao said that the torture would never work. He was forced to sleep under three layers of blankets on hot summer nights, while other inmates just slept in their underwear. The inmates also coated his face and eyes with cooling oil. They slapped him hard and hit his joints with a rod. They forcibly administered IV drips at the hospital even though he was not sick.
Persecution in Lanzhou Prison
On May 22, 2001, Mr. Gao and Mr. Cao were extradited together from Beijing to Lanzhou Prison in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, where they were subjected to brainwashing and forced labor.
The prison put on a play to slander Falun Gong and Master Li, and forced all prisoners to copy political materials that slandered the practice. The prison guards and inmates held ideological meetings to harshly criticize Mr. Gao. He was forced to participate in brainwashing sessions and military training. Inmate He Congshan once threatened to tie him to a tree “like a dog” if he did not attend the brainwashing sessions.
Mr. Gao was often forced to sit on a small stool for long hours. He was also forced to dump and clean the portable toilet every morning, sweep the yards, fetch water, dig dirt, and sort melon seeds. At times, he was not allowed to sleep or talk to other people. The guards also ordered him to take various psychological tests and to write “thought reports.”
Mr. Gao was forced to wash the windows and clean up the workshop on weekends. He would be vituperated with dirty words when the guards were not happy with the cleaning. His daily work also included stamping hundreds of melon seed bags for export, recording inmates entering and leaving the workshop, and writing name tags for new inmates.
Tortured for His Belief
Yang Dong, chief of the Education Section, was the most brutal guard and He Congshan the most cruel inmate in persecuting practitioners in this prison. Yang said to inmate He, “Do not allow the practitioners to do Falun Gong exercises. If they do, you punish them.”
On one occasion, Yang forced Mr. Gao to squat and admit guilt for breaking the law. He severely hit Mr. Gao when Mr. Gao told him the truth about Falun Gong. Mr. Gao said, “I do not hate you, but it does you no good to beat me.”
A few days later, Yang told inmate He to bring Mr. Gao to his office. He first hypocritically apologized to Mr. Gao for his brutal beating the other day. He then announced the CCP’s persecution policies.
Yang said, “The prison has three rules for you, no exercises, no propaganda, and no belief in Falun Gong. You are considered a cult and were sentenced by the court. We are just the enforcement agency and it is our job to look over you. You must abide by the rules here in order to get reduced sentence and go home sooner.”
Mr. Gao replied, “Practicing Falun Gong to become a good person is my belief. I will continue practicing.”
Because Mr. Gao openly did the Falun Gong exercises many times, guards Su Donghai, Zhao Yanzhong, Liu Bingcheng, Wang Changlin and Yue Jianzhong cuffed his hands behind his back and hung him up by the handcuffs to a horizontal bar multiple times, with his toes barely touching the ground. The unbearably painful torture lasted one hour each time. He almost passed out and became incontinent during the first session. He was also repeatedly tied to electric poles, forced to stand for extended periods, or remain handcuffed for a long time.
Yang Dong once threatened Mr. Gao and Mr. Cao, saying that the prison had all the torture instruments available to torture the practitioners. Guard captain Liu Bingcheng verbally abused the two practitioners, saying that the country spent a large amount of money for their education, while they, in turn, have done things against the government.
Mr. Gao and Mr. Cao started a hunger strike to protest the torture. On the fifth day, Mr. Cao was sent to Pingliang Prison in Gansu Province, while Mr. Gao remained in the same prison to face continued torture, both physically and mentally. He was force-fed by several guards and inmates and was subjected to a blood test.
The brutal forced-feeding caused Mr. Gao severe injury to his internal organs. He developed various symptoms including vomiting, nausea, swollen nose, bleeding scabs, a sore throat, chest tightness, a swollen back, and painful stomach cramps. He always had a foul taste in his mouth and felt a burning sensation in his trachea and esophagus. His abdomen often exhibited radial tingling. He felt depressed, fearful, and disoriented. His head was also often swollen and painful.
Because of the physical and mental toll on Mr. Gao, the guards stopped the forced-feeding and used IV drips instead. He was also injected with many unknown drugs.
Later, they resumed the forced-feeding, but with less frequency and longer sessions. Mr. Gao was force-fed once every three or four days in the beginning, and later, once a week.
During the hunger strike, leaders from the Labor Reform Bureau, the Justice Bureau, and other prisons often came to talk to Mr. Gao. He took the opportunity to tell them the facts about Falun Gong.
Criticized in Cultural Revolution-Style Meetings
On December 24, 2001, Mr. Gao was tied to a metal bed by two inmates, He Congshan and Ma Ling, instructed by guards Wang Changlin, Liu Bingcheng, Zhao Yanzhong, and He Liqing. Liu said to Mr. Gao, “You disobeyed the order and continued doing the Falun Gong exercises. We were thus reprimanded by our supervisor today.”
Guard Wang shocked Mr. Gao with an electric baton. In response, Mr. Gao clarified the truth to him and other guards. This angered guard Liu. He grabbed the baton and shocked Mr. Gao on the lips, face, head, and neck for more than one hour. He also cursed Mr. Gao.
The guards took away the Falun Gong teachings that Mr. Gao had writted down on paper from memory. They then ordered inmates to hang Mr. Gao up for almost 17 hours.
They body-searched Mr. Gao and searched his bed more than 40 times in the first two months of 2002. He was persecuted in various ways afterwards. Several inmates, including Cao Feng, He Congshan, and Ma Ling, took turns beating him. They held cultural revolution-style meetings against him for more than ten days in a row. Mr. Gao still refused to renounce his belief.
Family Members Suffered
The guards often used Mr. Gao’s family to try to coerce him to renounce his belief. Guard Yang Dong threatened Mr. Gao’s family members and relatives, who do not practice Falun Gong, and coerced them to either do so-called “ideological work” with Mr. Gao face-to-face or write letters to persuade him to renounce his faith. Officers from the National Security Brigade also went to harass Mr. Gao’s sister and two cousins at work, intimidating them to persuade Mr. Gao to stop practicing Falun Gong. His parents and other family members lived in fear all those years. Even his uncles and aunts were harassed by the police.
(To be continued)
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