(Minghui.org) When Mr. Huang Zhufeng’s lawyer met with him on April 6, 2021, she learned that Mr. Huang’s left shoulder had been dislocated as a result of torture in 2003 in Sanshui Forced Labor Camp, where he was incarcerated for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Having suffered repeated arrests and incarceration over the past 22 years for upholding his faith, Mr. Huang of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, is facing trial again following his latest arrest in December 2020. While his lawyer Wang Yu is defending him in the latest round of prosecution, she also filed for state compensation for Mr. Huang’s shoulder injury on April 14 after learning that the government had certified his injury as a “level-9.” In China, injuries certified as levels 1-10 qualify for state compensation, but Mr. Huang had never been compensated before for his injuries sustained in the labor camp.
Mr. Huang, 51, was an award-winning electronic automation engineer. Because he refused to renounce his faith, he was given two labor camp terms. While he was detained in Sanshui Forced Labor Camp, a guard ordered two prisoners to pull his arms apart as hard as they could on January 2, 2003. Both of his shoulders were dislocated and his arms were disabled. He was unable to continue in his profession and had to do odd jobs to make a living.
Fast forward to 2020. Mr. Huang was arrested outside of his apartment on December 12, 2020, when he returned home from work. The police ransacked his place and confiscated his Falun Gong books and informational materials. His wife Ms. Xie Yuezhen and their 15-year-old son were also arrested.
At the Zhanqianlu Police Station, the police ordered Ms. Xie to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong. When she refused to comply, they threatened to take her to a detention center. Ms. Xie and her son were released the next day at noon, after both were forced to sign the renouncing statements. Mr. Huang remained in custody and was transferred to the Maoming City No. 1 Detention Center.
The police and residential committee staff members found Ms. Xie at her place of work on December 21 and asked where she’d gotten the money to hire a lawyer for her husband. Ms. Xie suspected that her phone was tapped, as she had just talked about this with her family over the phone three days prior.
The next day, Mr. Huang's arrest was approved. His case was submitted to the Maonan District Procuratorate on February 18, 2021, and he was indicted in April.
Mr. Huang's lawyer went to the Maonan District Court several times to submit a power of attorney on April 6. The judge in charge of the case, Zhou Jinfeng, repeatedly refused to meet with her. At the lawyer's insistence, judge Zhou did make an appointment to see her, but he never showed up.
In the detention center, Mr. Huang wrote the open letter below detailing the persecution he has suffered. [Subtitles added by the editor.]
Your excellency, esteemed prosecutors, and judges,
My name is Huang Zhufeng, male, 51 years old. I live on Renminnan Road in Maoming City, Guangdong Province.
I began to practice Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) in 1997. At that time, I was skinny. I caught colds often and I had rhinitis. I easily got exhausted and always had to avoid certain foods. I knew that I was one of those born with poor health.
Therefore I always sought ways to get fit, such as doing exercises and running every morning. In the 1990s, I also tried several types of qigong, but none of them were effective.
I also loved to read and believed that knowledge was power. I kept on learning technical things and general knowledge to become successful and have a happy life.
I had a lot of questions, such as, “What is the purpose of life? Where do we come from and where do we go? What are the meridians, acupuncture points, and bagua (eight trigrams)? Are there gods? Is there reincarnation?” and so on. I read extensively to find the answers. I found satisfactory answers to all my questions after I read Falun Gong books.
My health improved significantly after practicing Falun Gong for just a few days. I had more strength, ate more, and slept better. I could walk straight up to my dorm on the 11th floor (there was no elevator in the building) without stopping, which was impossible before.
My worldview also changed dramatically after reading Falun Gong books. I understood the truth about the universe and life. I also learned about the relationship between good and evil and about retribution for one’s own actions. It’s connected to a person’s living for more than one lifetime. Such understandings helped me remove many of my bad thoughts and correct my bad habits. I began to live by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
I tried my best to be a genuine practitioner. I returned any extra change when I bought something. I also returned any extra commission my company gave me. I am confident that I am a good person who benefits society. And I believe every true practitioner is a good person. Therefore, before 1999, after investigating Falun Gong, Qiao Shi, then chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, concluded that Falun Gong was beneficial to the country and the people and did no harm.
However, Jiang Zemin, then head of the CCP regime, launched the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999. Ever since then, my family and I have been severely harmed. Our basic human rights have been violated. Without committing any crime, simply for upholding my faith, I have been detained once and sent to labor camps twice (not including my current term).
By the time my second labor camp term had almost ended, my whole body was swollen and I couldn't even walk. I was diagnosed with uremia. When I was near death, I was sent home. I quickly recovered only because I was able to read Falun Gong books and do the five exercises. I was almost tortured to death twice, and Falun Gong saved me every time.
It was worse when I was held in a forced labor camp the second time beginning on August 1, 2001. When I was released two years later, I was disabled and never got any compensation. I was taken to Maoming Detention Center right after I was released and held for two years. I developed severe uremia again. My health was damaged and my wife divorced me.
Over the years, my relatives and I have repeatedly demanded compensation for damages and prosecution, but I have received no response.
I'd like to elaborate on the three times I was detained.
Trusting in the government, I planned to go the National Appeals Office in Beijing to tell the officials why I thought Jiang Zemin's policy to persecute Falun Gong was wrong. Because I didn't know where the Appeals Office was, I called and asked for directions. They asked me many questions, such as where I was from, my name, and what my concern was. I answered every one.
In the hotel that same night I was arrested and taken back to Maoming City. I was held at the Maoming City Detention Center for 15 days. After that I was fired. I believe that my petition was completely legal. I didn't even get a chance to go to the National Appeals Office. It was completely wrong to detain me on charges of disturbing society.
At the end of 2000, several practitioners in Maoming City signed a petition to express their opinion, but the police arrested all of them. I was arrested on February 7, 2001. The police searched my residence and confiscated all my Falun Gong books. I was detained in the Maoming No.2 Detention Center where I had to work from 6 a.m. to 9 and sometimes 11 p.m.
In only six months, I was in really bad health. I was swollen from my feet to my head. I could hardly stand and had to crawl on the ground to get anywhere. I was near death. My family carried me out of the detention center after I had a physical exam.
After I returned home, I resumed reading Falun Gong books and doing the five exercises. Gradually, I recovered. I later learned that the police had given me a one-year labor camp term based on the charge of “disturbing social order.” Neither I nor my family ever received any notification to that effect. I don't understand how I disturbed social order by signing a petition.
Six months later, on August 1, 2001, I was arrested again. All my belongings were confiscated, and I was taken to a labor camp for two years on the same charge of “disturbing social order.” I didn't receive any notice of my labor camp detention this time either.
I was taken to Sanshui Labor Camp in late September and assigned to division 3, which specialized in “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners. Because I refused to be “transformed,” I was tortured.
I was isolated and forced to sit still on a 20 cm-tall stool for more than 10 hours a day except to go to the bathroom and sleep. My buttocks really hurt.
A few months later, I was forced to do intense physical exercise, such as standing and running out in the sun for long periods of time. Any infraction would lead to solitary confinement in a dark room with my hands and feet cuffed. The guards also shocked me with several electric batons at the same time. I heard that one practitioner was once shocked with 12 electric batons at the same time. The confinement usually lasted about a week. Those who had renounced their faith were given more freedom and could play ball or chess, read books, or watch TV.
Before the 2003 New Year, practitioners who refused to be “transformed” were taken to a separate building and subjected to intense torture.
Because I was in solitary confinement close to that building, I often heard the painful screams of the practitioners being shocked with electric batons. It was horrible. Some practitioners were forced to squat on photos of Master Li (Falun Gong’s founder) and were not allowed to go to the toilet. Some were handcuffed and hung up by their wrists. Some were scalded with boiling water. And some were punched and kicked. All were deprived of sleep.
Even after some practitioners couldn’t bear the torture and agreed to give up Falun Gong, the guards still forced them to curse Master and Falun Gong before allowing them to use the toilet. This was not only physical torture but mental abuse and humiliation as well.
I was also taken to that building, blindfolded and handcuffed. Just outside of the building, several people surrounded me and pinched me all over as hard as they could. I struggled desperately and was exhausted. They dragged me upstairs. My eyes were covered, so I couldn't tell which floor I was dragged to. Before I was pushed into a room, guard Lu Jinhu asked me one more time, “’Transform’ or not?” I didn't reply but raised my head. He then used the side of his hand to “chop” into the back of my neck like a knife a dozen times. Due to the pain, I had to lower my head.
I was forced to squat between two large packages, with my arms stretched flat and each hand cuffed to a package. The packages, which were actually about 20 quilts tightly wrapped together, were big and heavy. A prisoner and several guards in the room warned me that I had to renounce my faith or I would suffer more. I told them what they were doing was illegal, but they didn't care and started to shock me all over with electric batons. They even tried to insert the electric baton into my mouth. I clenched my teeth, so they shocked me on my teeth and lips.
I was forced to squat with one foot on the ground and the other on my toes. To increase the pain, guard Lu Jinhu stepped on and injured my feet. I squatted there day and night, while the guards changed shifts to monitor me. Time passed so slowly that one day felt like a year.
The next day, I was taken to an open space next to the confinement cell. They took off all my clothes except my shorts, then started to shock me with electric batons. Lu tried very hard to make me scream. I knew that he enjoyed listening to practitioners’ hoarse screams of pain. He wanted to destroy my willpower. I held back with all my strength. But I could not control my body and I struggled desperately. When the batons ran out of battery, they gave me cold water and continued after changing the batteries. They tortured me like this for about an hour, before taking me back to the room and forcing me to squat again.
Guard Zhang Junwu came in and tried to “transform” me by shocking me with electric baton. About 10 minutes later he called the prisoners on duty to pull the two packages apart while I was still handcuffed to them. After two minutes, my wrists were bleeding (the scars are still visible) and I felt as if my shoulders had been torn apart.
In only a few days, I lost a lot of weight. My lips were swollen, my wrists were severely injured, and I couldn't lift my head up Lu brutally beat me. I was then taken to the labor camp hospital.
The doctor said that my left shoulder was dislocated and reset it. The doctor also made a sleeve to support my head and disinfected my wrist and lips. Due to the severity of my injuries, I was hospitalized at the Sanshui Labor Camp Hospital where I saw other practitioners who were also injured after being tortured for not renouncing their faith.
Practitioner Lin Fenchi was scalded with boiling water on his back and chest by Lu Jinhu. A practitioner from Zhanjian City had his foot stepped on by a guard. His foot had festered and had a big hole in it.
Besides the dislocation, my left shoulder joint itself was damaged. Even worse, the muscles and tendons connecting my shoulder to my ribs had been pulled out. (If they hadn’t stopped pulling when they did, my left arm would have been pulled out completely.) Although the doctor did the reset surgery and wrapped my shoulder to fix it in place, many days later, right after he took off the wrapping, it dislocated again.
I had a few more treatments, but they couldn’t fix my left shoulder because the muscles had atrophied and detached.
A month before my two-year labor camp term expired on August 1, 2003, Sanshui Labor Camp officials said they could compensate me for the injury but on the condition that I renounced my faith. I didn’t agree.
After my term expired, I didn't get any compensation. Not only that, I was taken to a brainwashing center by the Maoming City 610 Office for further detention. In a rented house near Guanshan Market, other practitioners who had been arrested without legal procedures were being held, one practitioner per room. We were tortured repeatedly.
My health got worse by the day. I couldn't eat and I swelled up. Eventually, I couldn't even walk. In July 2005 I was taken to the hospital again. In order to avoid responsibility, the 610 Office called my family to take me home. I was near death and the swelling was getting worse. I read Falun Gong books and did the five exercises every day. Gradually I recovered.
Due to my disability (the provincial procuratorate later certified me as having a level-9 injury eligible for state compensation), I couldn't take on the technical, well-paid work I’d done in the past. (I am a trained electrical automation technician with multiple certificates.) Life was more difficult and I was relatively poor.
The persecution continues. The Zhanqian Police Station and the residential committee tried to force me to renounce my faith again but I refused to comply. On December 12, 2020, when I was on my way home, I was arrested again. My residence was ransacked and my personal belonging were confiscated. They took my Falun Gong books away and used them as prosecution evidence.
My human dignity and personal rights have been seriously violated. This persecution is a complete violation of the law. I have not yet been able to redress my grievances but I’m again facing a wrongful prison term. The cruel persecution I have suffered is a stark testimony to the darkness of the legal system in China.