My name is Zhang Decai. I'm a Falun Dafa practitioner from Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province and I work for the hot-water section of the Xinjian Coal Mine. In early 1996, my father Zhang Shouxin was fortunate enough to learn Falun Dafa. We witnessed the amazing effect of Falun Gong as his many illnesses vanished. After that, our entire family started to practise together. More than ten of us benefited a lot from our practice of Falun Dafa. However, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its former chairman Jiang Zemin started to brutally persecute believers of Falun Dafa, all of us were subjected to persecution.
On July 22nd, 1999, fellow practitioners and I went to the provincial government to appeal for Falun Dafa, but we were beaten by armed police and public security officers and forcibly sent to a stadium. On July 25th, Xu Shenli, Yu Shijun, and Qu from the security section of the coal mine questioned me about the situation of other Falun Gong practitioners and closely questioned me as to why I did not go to work on July 22nd. They asked me to hand in my Dafa books and threatened to fire me from my job. Under intense pressure, I did as they asked and said some things that I did not mean.
On November 2nd, 1999, my wife Liu Shuhua went to Beijing to appeal with fellow practitioners. At night, when practitioners Zhang Min and Zhu Junhe (later tortured to death) came to my home to share their understandings, over ten policemen including Chief Cao and Chief Qu from the Political Security Section of the Xinxing Sub-bureau, Chief Li Qiubo of Xinfeng Police Station, and local policeman Pan Ren broke into my home. They searched my home and videotaped everything. They confiscated Dafa books, some Dafa materials, a video player, a music player and mats for doing the exercises, among other things. They turned my home upside down and left behind a wreck. Our two young children watched in horror as Zhang Min, Zhu Junhe and other policemen took me away.
Policemen from Xinfeng Police Station then interrogated me. Police officer Pan Ren beat and verbally abused me. When I explained the benefits of practising Falun Gong to him, he punched my chest even harder. Then he handcuffed us and forced us to squat in an icy-cold corridor. We were so cold that our entire bodies trembled. On the following day, they put us into detention for fifteen days with the charge of "disturbing social order." Practitioners who had gone to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong returned one after the other. Because the administrative section of the detention centre was small, we were transferred from there to the No. 2 Detention Centre. Over 100 Falun Dafa practitioners were locked up together. My father, my second eldest sister and her husband, my nephew, my younger sister and my wife were detained at the same time. When I was transferred to the detention centre, they confiscated all my property. After I returned home, they forced me to pay an extra 240 yuan1 for meal expenses.
The police forced my nearly 70-year-old father to squat next to the window and interrogated him. Fellow practitioners took every opportunity to tell the guards about their experience of practising. Some police did not listen at all. One police officer that was surnamed Kou brutally attacked practitioners Pan Shixing and Zheng Shuzhong. Because all of my family members had been arrested, nobody could assure the police that we would not go to Beijing to appeal again. Therefore, I was detained for an extra day, until Xu Shengli from the security section of the mine gave the assurance in the name of workplace cadres. Then I was allowed to go home.
My wife Liu Shuhua and fellow practitioners arrived at the Office of Appeals in Beijing, but nobody took them in to hear their appeal, so they went to Tiananmen Square. At that time, policemen from every province and city in China were in Beijing to arrest appealing Falun Dafa practitioners. My wife was arrested and taken to the Tiananmen Police Station. Many practitioners were detained there and then handed over to police from their areas. Most police in the office were from Qitaihe City. The police took away the only 116 yuan cash that my wife had. She was sent to Xinfeng Police Station in Qitaihe on November 18th. Deputy Chief Ma Jianhua interrogated her and handcuffed her to a heater pipe. On the following day, policeman Pan Ren sent my wife to the No. 2 Detention Centre. At the end of the 15 days, Chief Li Qiubo refused to allow her to go home. He created obstacles in every possible way. Her elder sister-in-law knelt down and begged Li Qiubo, who was about the same age as her son. Only then did he sign for her release.
Before and after December 15th, 1999, some Falun Dafa practitioners sent letters explaining their experiences in practising Falun Dafa to the 610 Office2 to explain the facts about Falun Dafa. But, this only incited the Qitaihe 610 Office and public security bureau to begin a new round of persecution against practitioners who had been to Beijing. They forced the practitioners to answer whether they still practised. If they answered yes, they would be taken away. If they answered no, and wrote a "guarantee statement" to renounce Falun Dafa, they were released. On the night of December 16th, police officers Liu Yi, Pan Yinggui, Li and others colluded with neighbourhood party secretary Sui. Using the excuse of wanting to chat, they deceived my wife and practitioners Zhou Chunmian and Han Yuxia to go to the police station, where they were sentenced to three months for "disturbing social order."
Because my parents refused to denounce Falun Dafa, they were detained by policeman Wang Dawei of the Hongqi Police Station. Hongqi Township ordered the city committee to dismiss my father from the communist party and to announce it on TV. My second eldest sister Zhang Yujie and younger sister Zhang Dehua were detained for three months by Xinhua Police Station and Dongfeng Police Station. This time, over 200 Falun Dafa practitioners were arrested in the entire city. Around the 2000 New Year, some practitioners were released.
After the New Year, workplace secretary Zhang Wenjiang talked to me. He advised me not to do anything against the CCP and to stop practising Dafa. I introduced Falun Dafa to him and told him the benefits of practising. I also told him that to appeal is a citizen's right. As a result, he told Xu Shengli from the security section to detain me for one night. On the following day, the secretary and the section chief asked me to sign a guarantee that I would not go to appeal, otherwise they would send me to detention. I thought about my wife being in detention and our two school-age kids having no one to care for them and provide a living for them. So, I wrote the guarantee. Afterwards, I saw even more practitioners suffering from persecution. I wanted to go to Tiananmen to appeal several times, but my wish did not come true due to the high pressure.
Prior to the Two Congress Meeting in March 2000, some local practitioners wrote a joint letter to our representative to expose the persecution of Falun Gong and they were discovered. Xinfeng Police Station Chief Li Qiubo and policeman Liu Yi forcibly arrested me from my workplace. They detained me for 15 days and forced me to pay 300 yuan for meal and book expenses.
In May 2000, the No. 2 Detention Centre detained my wife and more than ten other practitioners beyond their term. They forced them to till the land and do odd jobs for the detention centre. Frequently they were faced with curses from guards and torture if they were found doing the Falun Gong exercises. Chief Ren Zhongliang directed policeman Wang Shandong to kick female practitioners. In order to protest the extended detention, the practitioners began a hunger strike. On May 13th, the director in charge, Zhang Heping, decided to collect meal expenses before releasing the practitioners, but Li Qiubo from Xinfeng Police Station refused to release them. In addition to charging them 1,850 yuan in meal expenses, Li Qiubo also forced me to pay 1,000 yuan in bail for the release of my wife. I said, "I have no money. I even had to borrow to pay for the meal expenses." Li said, "Sell your TV if you have no money, otherwise do not even think about bringing her home." After 7:00 p.m., I went to see the chief again. I asked him to let my wife go home to change clothes and that I would send her back the next day. Li reluctantly agreed. After we returned home, my wife said, "Director Zhang had agreed to release them because they conducted a hunger strike. If Li Qiubo refused to budge, then you go to see director Zhang." On the next day, my wife and I went together to the police station and met with Li Qiubo. He was very angry and said, "From now on, report to Liu Yi every day. Do not go out and do not get together with others. Watch how I will fix you."
In June 2000, some practitioners from Qitaihe City went to Tiananmen Square to appeal. Several of us shared experiences together on June 2nd, and we were reported. Xu Shengli from the security section of the mine rushed to the practitioner's home and put Xu Zhenhua and me under arrest at the security section. Several policemen monitored us all the time. On July 3rd, they sent the two of us to the detention centre of the public security bureau. Several more practitioners from the mining bureau who had gone to Beijing were brought in. The police madly tortured us and cursed at us. They interrogated us about who had spread Teacher's articles, who had coordinated the Beijing trip, etc. Practitioners who did not cooperate with the interrogation suffered cruel beatings, tortures like "flying the airplane" and being force-fed with salt. Big and small police cars and policemen were busy persecuting Falun Gong. Because Xu Zhenhua and I had not gone to Beijing, on July 7th, my family signed a statement and the workplace cadre bailed the two of us out of the detention centre.
My father Zhang Shouxin, my mother Tang Shaorong, and my eldest sister-in-law Zhao Hong were brought back from Beijing and put in the Qitaihe City No. 1 Detention Centre. My eldest brother Zheng Deming and my third younger brother Zhang Dehui went to Beijing and were detained at the public security bureau. My elder brother-in-law Li Changshan and my elder sister Zhang Yujie were taken from their home and sent to the No. 2 Detention Centre.
My father unfurled a banner at Tiananmen Square and suffered a brutal beating by the police on the square. Though he was injured and in pain, the guards still ordered prisoners to watch him and not let him practise the exercises. They forced him to sit on a wooden board all day and memorise prison rules, and they beat him if he did not remember them correctly. While there, my father was only given steamed buns dipped in salt to eat. Father endured both physical and mental torture. After three months of detention, his healthy body reverted to the illnesses he had before practising Dafa. He had difficulty urinating and had to have a catheter. His body was covered with extremely itchy and painful scabies. It wasn't until my father was at his last gasp that the police allowed him to go home with my mother. My elder brother and sister-in-law were still in prison. After my parents returned home, the neighbourhood chief, secretary and area police often came to harass them, so they did not dare to practise the exercises. Our close friends were also poisoned by the CCP culture. They blamed my father for the children being in prison. Facing such great pressure, my father's health situation deteriorated, and he passed away on May 8th, 2001.
At noon one day in early August 2000, I received a call from a person pretending to be a fellow practitioner's relative. He wanted to deliver a letter to me and asked to meet me at the workplace. Actually, it was an agent from the Qitaihe Security Bureau. He attempted to use deception to make me say something against my will. He threatened me and said that if I said what he wanted, I would be dealt with leniently, otherwise I would be put in forced labour camp. With a friend's mediation, it did not come to pass.
Prior to the 2002 New Year, practitioner Xu Zhenhua and I visited a practitioner who had just come back from forced labour camp, and former practitioners that had turned against Dafa happened to visit her at the same time. They reported us to the 610 Office. Xinjian Police Station Chief Liu Qiudong, Yin Xiuquan and policeman Zhang received orders to take us to the police station, and they ransacked my home without a search warrant. They confiscated some Dafa materials and sent us to the No. 2 Detention Centre.
Facing repeated persecution, we held firm to our righteous thoughts and did not cooperate with them. Policemen led by Ren Zhongliang pulled off Xu Zhenhua's cotton-padded jacket and covered him with snow in the freezing temperature of minus 20 degrees Centigrade. Xu's whole body trembled and his lips turned purple. Only then was he let inside. The head of the cell pulled off all my clothes under orders of the guards and poured 30 buckets of cold water on me. We were frequently beaten and verbally abused. We kept clarifying the truth to prisoners around us about the beauty of Dafa, talked to them with kindness, and strived to create a good environment. We were released two months later.
After the 2003 New Year, the Qitaihe 610 Office and public security bureau began a new round of persecution against local practitioners. The workplace cadres protected us on the surface, but actually monitored us in secret. Policeman Liu Yi and Chief Liu Shuhong monitored us at home and watched our visitors.
In early March 2003, a site producing leaflets exposing the persecution in Qitaihe was destroyed, causing a financial loss of more than 100,000 yuan. More than thirty people were arrested and more than ten others became homeless to avoid persecution. Falun Dafa practitioner Zheng Libo was beaten to death within two days of his arrest. All in all, 21 people were sentenced and six were sent to forced labour camp. My elder brother Zhang Deming, my elder sister-in-law Zhao Hong, and my wife and I were all forced to become homeless. My younger brother Zhang Dehui was sentenced to two years; my younger sister-in-law Li Xiaojie (a non-practitioner) was beaten and injured by police when she tried to prevent them from arresting my brother. My 71-year-old mother kept practising and relying on her faith in Dafa and Teacher. She told others that all these problems were caused by the persecution. No one helped care for my mother. She had to cook and do all the housework for herself and the two kids. Meanwhile she was suffering from the pain of being separated from her sons and daughters. On top of that, she faced scornful looks from her relatives and neighbours, who had been poisoned against Falun Dafa by the CCP. However, my mother did not break down, because of her faith in Dafa.
My eldest son Zhang Liang suffered tremendously. The arrest of his parents, the ransacking of our home, being forced into homelessness for several years in order to avoid being persecuted, and being harassed by the police placed ever-increasing pressure on him, until he finally had to quit school. When he lost the peaceful environment for practising Falun Gong and encountered the unreasonable persecution, he became afraid of practising Falun Dafa. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005, and left the world at the age of 12.
Everything that has happened to us is only a very small amount of what has happened to over 100 million innocent Falun Gong practitioners suffering from the persecution. We want to send our appreciation to the just organisations abroad and kind people around the world for their care and assistance during the persecution.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
2. "The 610 office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2006/12/4/143826.html
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