Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Zhang Wei
Address: 103 Jiqing Street, Zhongshan District, Dalian City, Liaoning Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: December 13th, 2005
Most recent place of detention: Tieling Prison
Persecution Suffered: Detention, imprisonment, solitary confinement in a tiny cell, beatings, electric shock, tiger bench, extortion.
Mr. Zhang Wei, a Falun Gong practitioner from Dalian City, was arrested in October 2005 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison for tapping into a local cable TV network to explain the facts about Falun Gong to the public and expose the persecution [ Ed. Note: Due to the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong, including a relentless campaign of defamation, and because all normal avenues of communication are closed to them, Falun Gong practitioners in China have had to resort to creative means to expose the persecution and get the truth out to the public ]. During the time that he was detained in the Yingkuo Prison, Panjin Prison, and Dongling Prison of Shenyang Province and the Tieling Prison, Mr. Zhang was brutally tortured by the guards. Currently, he is suffering from severe tuberculosis and has difficulty breathing. His health has deteriorated, and he is extremely weak.
Ten Years of Unjust Imprisonment for Exposing the Persecution
Before the persecution of Falun Gong, Mr. Zhang Wei was a self-employed vendor in Dalian City. After the persecution started, he was arrested, detained and sent to a forced labour camp multiple times for persisting in his belief and clarifying the truth about Falun Gong.
On October 13th, 2005, Mr. Zhang Wei and other Falun Gong practitioners were arrested by police officers from the National Security Brigade of Dalian City, led by Chen Xin. During the arrest, several practitioners were beaten so severely that their arms were broken, and some were beaten until they lost consciousness.
On October 22nd, 2005, Mr. Zhang Wei and other Falun Gong practitioners were secretly transferred to the Liaoyang City Detention Centre. Mr. Zhang staged a hunger strike to protest the inhuman persecution and consequently passed out. Although he was given emergency care, his life was seriously endangered. His family came to the Public Security Bureau to request his immediate and unconditional release, but were refused. The police said that the National Security Bureau and the Public Security Bureau of Liaoning Province had ordered that Mr. Zhang not be released, adding that he was to die in prison.
In April 2006, Mr. Zhang Wei was sentenced to 10 years by the Liaoyang County Court. On May 20th, 2006, he was transferred to Yingkuo Prison, where he was subjected to continuous persecution.
Brutal Torture in Prison
For fear that the brutal torture of Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) prisons be exposed, the prison authorities have tightly covered up any information. As a result, we could only learn some of the facts about the brutal torture Mr. Zhang has suffered over the past 8 years from a few meetings with his family, as well as from information passed on to us from other Falun Gong practitioners. Below is an account of what we know about Zhang Wei's situation.
In the Yingkuo Prison, Mr. Zhang Wei was so severely persecuted that he had difficulty walking.
In December 2007, Mr. Zhang was secretly transferred to the No. 4 Monitoring Section of Panjin Prison, which is dubbed the “living hell” for its brutal and vicious means for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. According to information gathered through private channels, Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted to death in this prison included Mr. Huang Cheng, Mr. Wu Liantie, Mr. Huang Lizhong, Mr. Lu Guanglin, Mr. Fang Zhenguo, Mr. Wang Kaiming and Mr. Qu Chengye.
In Panjin Prison, Mr. Zhang Wei was locked up in a solitary cell because he refused to renounce his belief. Practitioners under solitary confinement would usually be subjected to various tortures including being shocked with electric batons, beatings by the prison guards and the devastating tiger bench1.
Mr. Zhang Wei's family did not know he had contracted tuberculosis in prison until 2011. When they saw Mr. Zhang, he was extremely weak and could not raise his arms. He was transferred from the No. 4 Monitoring Section to the prison hospital. The hospital wanted to inject Mr. Zhang with an unknown drug, ostensibly for the tuberculosis, but Mr. Zhang refused (in the CCP's prisons, the authorities often employ forced administration of nerve-damaging drugs as a means of persecution). The police threatened that if Mr. Zhang refused to take the drug, he himself would be responsible for any consequences to his health. Mr. Zhang's family requested that the prison release him, but the police said that there are so many people in the prison with tuberculosis like Mr. Zhang, that it was impossible to release him for medical parole.
In April 2012, Mr. Zhang's brother and sister-in-law noted, during their half-hour meeting with him, that he was just skin and bones. He could not raise his arms. His fingernails were white and the first knuckle was purple. The guards did not allow them to give him the package they had brought for him. They were told to give the package to the owner of the prison commissary, who would then pass it on to Mr. Zhang. The prison charged a “handling fee” of 20 yuan2.
In July 2012, Mr. Zhang Wei was secretly transferred to Dongling Prison in Shenyang City and kept in the infectious diseases quarantine unit of the prison hospital. By then, severe pulmonary cavities had formed in his lungs, causing him to have difficulty breathing. He had to wear a face mask every day. Although was was extremely weak, Mr. Zhang was still pressured by the prison authorities to be “reformed” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong]. His family again requested medical parole, but the prison authorities ordered his family members to pay for the physical examination fees first. His family paid the 1,000-yuan examination fee, but the prison authorities only did an x-ray that cost 40-50 yuan. The rest of the examination fees disappeared.
Some time in September or October 2012, Mr. Zhang Wei was once again secretly transferred to the Tieling Prison Hospital. His family are all extremely worried about his situation.
Tieling Prison Hospital of Liaoning Province
Tieling Prison: +86-24-78754692
1. "Tiger Bench": Prisoners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead without movement for long periods of time.
2. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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