Prominent Falun Gong Practitioner Dead from Torture


An
emaciated and dying Mr. Zhang Zhong after being tortured in the Daqing City Prison
(July 2004)

Use
of technology to expose persecution infuriated regime

NEW YORK,
November 3— The Falun Dafa Infocenter is deeply troubled by the recent death of
Mr. Zhang Zhong, who had been subjected to prolonged torture and ill-treatment
in police custody.

Zhang was a 35-year old man from Heilongjiang
province. He reportedly took part in the bold and courageous effort to tap into
Chinese state-controlled television on March 5, 2002 to expose the persecution
of Falun Gong.

Since 1999, Chinese television across the country
has attempted to incite hatred and violence against Falun Gong practitioners.
The 2002 broadcast in northeastern China’s Changchun city reportedly shocked top
Chinese Communist Party officials and led to former CCP leader Jiang Zemin ordering
police to “kill [those responsible for the broadcast] without pardon.” According
to reports from Changchun, police raided houses and arrested some 5,000 Falun
Gong practitioners within three days that March (see: http://www.faluninfo.net/Compassion5/civil.htm).
On April 19, 2002 Zhang was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

With
his death, Zhang joins Mr. Liu Chengjun, whose case had been highlighted by Amnesty
International, and Mr. Lei Ming, as Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death
after being sentenced to long prison terms for participating in the broadcast.
Others, such as Mr. Liang Zhenxing, remain in critical condition. (see: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2006/6/27/74853.html)

Zhang
was tortured severely at the Daqing City Prison where he was held. On January
15, 2004 he was discovered doing Falun Gong exercises in his cell. Prison guard
Li Fangjie then sent him to a disciplinary room where guards bashed his head until
Zhang lost consciousness. Guards then stabbed Zhang’s head and hands with needles;
he did not respond, so they kicked him in the stomach. After that, he began to
spit blood and vomit whatever he ate for a period of six months.

Zhang
was also whipped in the face with belts, nearly suffocated to death by plastic
bags forced over his head, and stripped and doused with cold water in freezing
temperatures, among other things.

After nearly two years of
torture at Daqing, which left Zhang unconscious and paralyzed, he was released
on July 23, 2004. The Infocenter believes he was released because he was on the
brink of death and, since his case was being monitored overseas, Chinese authorities
did not want him to die in custody.

But when he was strong
enough to do so, Zhang exposed via the Internet details of the torture he had
suffered and included electronic images of his broken and emaciated body (see:
http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2006/10/29/79434.html).
This led Daqing Prison authorities to dispatch a pursuit team to arrest him again.
Zhang managed to evade them for quite some time by living away from home, but
was finally rearrested on August 10, 2006, along with eighteen other Falun Gong
practitioners.

Among the group, Zhang and one other man were
reportedly tortured the most severely. After ten days of detention, Zhang was
transferred to Harbin City Police Hospital. He eventually died there on October
16, 2006. His parents went to the prison hospital that day but were not allowed
see his body, and authorities refused to issue a death certificate.

“Those
responsible for Zhang Zhong’s death must be held accountable,” said Infocenter
spokesperson Levi Browde. “The Falun Dafa Infocenter calls for an investigation
by outside organizations of the circumstances leading to Zhang’s death.”

“The
continued, flagrant state-sanctioned murder of Falun Gong practitioners in China
simply cannot continue,” Browde said. “Unfortunately, we have yet to see any sign
of remorse on the part of senior Chinese Communist Party officials for all the
suffering they have caused. Accounts of cruelty against Falun Gong practitioners
in China continue to pour in daily.”

Background and Further
Details about Zhang’s Torture

Mr. Zhang’s case was watched
closely over the years. Several reports detailing the torture he endured were
provided to Falun Gong organizations outside of China and posted online. Falun
Gong practitioners in the area of the prison where he was being held posted cloth
banners on walls near the prison demanding his release. And those named in his
abuse were often telephoned by concerned Falun Gong adherents abroad.

Zhang
was well-respected and known for his kindness. People both inside and outside
the prison risked their lives to make the facts of his story known.

The
Daqing City Prison where Zhang was originally held is notorious for its brutality.
A number of Falun Gong practitioners are known to have been tortured to death
there. Among them are Wang Hongde (died in April 2005), Xu Jishan (died June 7,
2005), and Yuan Qingjiang (died July 23, 2005). As of January 2005, over 60 Falun
Gong practitioners were being held there, with some in solitary confinement.

The
following are details of several of the incidents of torture Zhang suffered during
his period of detention in the Daqing City Prison.

On one
occasion, Zhang said to those who tortured him: “We are good people, please don’t
torture us so brutally, please leave a way out for yourselves!” His tormentors
put a plastic bag over his head until he nearly suffocated. After torturing him
like this repeatedly, they stuffed hot peppers and garlic into his nose, smeared
pepper and garlic juice inside the plastic bag, and then put the plastic bag on
his head. They stripped Zhang of his clothes and poured cold water over him. Even
though it was a cold winter day in northern China, they then opened all the windows
and doors and pointed a fan toward him. The persecutors then alternated pouring
hot and cold water on him.

In one room to which Zhang was
taken, spots of blood from torture could be seen on the walls. Four policemen
stood in front of Zhang holding instruments of torture in their hands. One pointed
to a puddle of blood on the floor and said: “See! This is the blood spit out by
Zhang Xingye. You look like somebody with common sense, I don’t care whether Falun
Dafa is great. I am one of Jiang Zemin’s attack dogs. I do whatever I am asked
to do, and you must confess.”

Seeing that Zhang remained silent,
each police officer applied his torture instrument. They first slapped Zhang with
wooden planks until his cheeks were swollen and bleeding and he was spitting blood.
Then they whipped him with a leather whip, slapped his palms and the soles of
his feet with wooden planks, and scratched the bottoms of his feet with metal
brushes.

Zhang is one of nearly 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners
whose deaths due to torture and abuse by police in China have been documented.

Posting
date: 5/Nov/2006
Original article date: 3/Nov/2006
Category: News from China

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