Mr. Zang Kuidong, an outstanding teacher from Laizhou City, Shandong Province, was arrested on May 28th, 2013, for distributing materials explaining the facts about Falun Gong and was detained for 15 days. Upon returning home he was no longer allowed to teach his classes and was taken to a brainwashing centre by the local 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) and police on July 2nd.
Mr. Zang's Personal Account
My name is Zang Kuidong and I was fortunate to have begun practising Falun Gong in 1998 when I was a student in high school. Fifteen years passed, and I was a teacher at the Huiquan Junior High School in Laizhou City. I taught four classes and served as the head teacher. In my daily work I followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and was responsible to the students, parents and the school. The subjects I taught and the classes I supervised were among the top tier of that grade level, and I was highly regarded by students and parents, receiving multiple awards.
When I taught, I put an emphasis on teaching morality and the importance of students cultivating the principles of truthfulness, kindness, and tolerance. These good virtues are very beneficial to youth in their stage of development, enabling them to correctly handle the puzzles and frustrations in their daily studies and life. I would always put the gift cards the parents gave me in an envelope and wrote the reason why I could not take it on the envelope before returning it to them. Many parents were touched by this.
Detained and Forbidden to Teach
To give the police and their families an opportunity to understand the truth, I went to the Gong'an Community in Laizhou City to distribute leaflets exposing the persecution of Falun Gong on May 28th, 2013. The deputy director of the Yong'an Police Station in Laizhou City (likely with the last name Wu), who lived in the community, spotted me and reported me. I was taken to the Yong'an Police Station and interrogated by Liu Jingbin, the chief of Domestic Security Division in Laizhou City. I was detained for 15 days.
After my release from the detention centre, the students I was teaching were preparing to take the mid-term exam. The school administrators didn't allow me to interact with or see the students due to pressure from higher ranks. I was told that they had decided that I could not teach anymore, but I was allowed to do some backstage logistic work.
The administrators assigned me to be in charge of library work. I had no resentment and followed Falun Gong's requirements to do the assigned task well. I got rid of many books that were not suitable for students in exchange for books that were more suitable and beneficial to their mental health and morality, such as the biography of famous people, and a series of books promoting Chinese traditional values. I spent four days reorganizing the library and my work was acknowledged the school leaders.
Sent to a Brainwashing Centre
Four people from the discipline committees of the city government and the education bureau came to my school on June 27th to notify me that, due to my being detained, they had decided to discipline me with a record of a misdemeanor in my file.
The 610 Office notified my school to take me to the Dianzhi Brainwashing Centre in Laizhou City and told me to bring 5,000 yuan1 in cash. I felt that I did not do anything wrong all those years by persevering in my belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and being a good person, so why should I be brainwashed? I resolutely resisted the order and did not cooperate.
During this period the 610 Office pressured my school and family nonstop. Since I turned off my mobile phone, the school personnel could not contact me, so they pressured my wife by telling her that if I didn't return to school I would be dismissed. Since my wife and I were both teachers, she couldn't continue her teaching and looked everywhere for me.
The 610 Office dispatched plainclothes personnel to wait at the entrance to my dorm building. My wife was so frightened that she cried and urged me to go to the brainwashing centre. I insisted that I would not go.
She was angry and left home in the middle of the night and returned to her parents' home. My parents-in-law also tried to persuade me and pressured me to give in. My whole family was in chaos. The 610 Office caused great harm to my school and my family.
Arrested, Pressured to “Reform"
Since I didn't give in, at about 5:30 a.m. on July 2nd, Cheng Haitao and a person with the last name Huang from the 610 Office came to my home with police officer Wang. They arrested me and took me to a brainwashing centre.
At first Cheng Haitao tried to "reform" [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] me, and then several police officers showed up. Among them a policeman with the last name of Yang (possibly with a higher rank) started to interrogate me. Seeing that I wouldn't give in, he said, “Looks like just doing mind work is not a cure-all.” I replied, “Looks like you indeed persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in the past.” That made him very angry and he stood up suddenly and asked, “Who persecuted you?” I replied, “Didn't you just say that doing mind work is not a cure-all? You're hinting that you still need to depend on brutal force to do your job.” At that time he denied it vehemently.
The other officer also stood up in an attempt to intimidate me. One of them frequently pointed his finger at me, demanding that I tell them everything I knew. I was not scared a bit--I just felt pity for their inability to distinguish right from wrong and because they were being used by the Chinese regime to persecute good people. They threatened me, “If you don't 'reform' today you will tomorrow, because once you come here, you must 'reform.'” Having said this, they all left.
The 610 Office agents then took me to a classroom to watch a brainwashing video. For those several days a female (likely a section chief) with the last name Li from the 610 Office played DVDs slandering Falun Gong as well as the "confessions" of several who had betrayed Falun Gong.
During the process, Cheng Haitao and Liu Jingbin took turns threatening and trying to brainwash me and three other practitioners. Seeing that I didn't bend, Cheng Haitao warned me, “If I make one call, I can stop your salary and force your wife to stop teaching and come here to help 'reform' you.” It had been raining those few days. Even in that kind of weather, he planned to order my wife and my nine-year-old son to come to the brainwashing centre at night to force me to "reform."
He threatened fellow practitioner Ms. Wang that he would call her daughter who was attending college in Yantai City to come back to "reform" her. Liu Jingbin thought the reason we didn't "reform" was because of fellow practitioner Ms. Lu, so he locked her up alone in a small room soaked with rainwater.
Cheng Haitao claimed that he would put all of us in a forced labour camp and Jinan Prison if we didn't "reform." In addition, they brought in a person from the Cultural Bureau in his 40s, who claimed to be a researcher of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, to try to "reform" us. We were not influenced by his false theories at all.
Seeing that trying to "reform" us as a group didn't succeed, they singled us out and worked on "reforming" us individually. The four of us practitioners were mentally together, and no matter which one was called out, the other three would strengthen him or her with their righteous thoughts. We believed in Falun Gong, resisted the "transformation" resolutely, and refused to write repentance statements to renounce practising Falun Gong.
Cheng Haitao started shouting at us at noon on July 24th, “You didn't let me save face, didn't 'reform,' and didn't write letters, so I will not allow you to eat!” He did not allow us to eat for three meals. At the fourth meal, the three of us, except Ms. Lu, were allowed to eat, but we all refused. In the end they reluctantly allowed us all to eat together.
School and Local Governments Fined
After I was released from the brainwashing centre, I found out the 610 Office had extorted 5,000 yuan from my school and the other three practitioners' local town governments were "fined" 5,000 yuan each. For the 15 days of brainwashing, the 610 Office collected 20,000 yuan in fines. With this extorted money, they hired three people as well as guards and 610 Office personnel to constantly watch over us four practitioners. They also hired a level II chef to cook seafood and meat for them while we four practitioners sometimes had to share a single dish among ourselves.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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