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Why One of China's Top Attorneys Broke with the Communist Party (Part I)
Gao Zhisheng's third open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao
Gao Zhisheng, Special to The Epoch Times

Editor's Note: Gao Zhisheng has been praised as "the conscience of Chinese lawyers" and "a great hero." China's Ministry of Justice rated him one of China's top ten lawyers in 2001. He has earned a reputation for courage in standing up against human rights abuses and is one of only a handful of lawyers in China who will defend those persecuted for their religious or spiritual beliefs. Recently, Mr. Gao published a statement (Celebrated Chinese Lawyer Quits Chinese Communist Party) withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an act of great bravery. In that statement, he spoke of the investigation he had taken into the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong, of learning of the "indescribable violence done to our kind people" by the CCP, and of how spending a dozen days interviewing Falun Gong practitioners was a "shocking experience" to his soul. In the following open letter to CCP head Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, Mr. Gao gives the details about what he uncovered in that investigation and the conclusions he has drawn regarding China's current condition and possible future rebirth. This is Mr. Gao's third open letter to Hu and Wen. WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF TORTURE.

We Must Immediately Stop the Brutality That Suffocates Our Nation's Conscience and Morality

Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, and all other conscientious fellow Chinese citizens:

I, Gao Zhisheng, send you my greetings from Changchun City. I would first like to convey my deepest mourning for the innocent fellow Chinese citizens killed by the Guangdong government, and my condolences and support for the family members of the victims. [1] At the same time, I would like to express my strongest protest against the brutality of slaughtering our kind countrymen. I strongly urge that the highest authorities follow the basic principles recognized by civil societies, punish the murderers and those responsible for these acts, and comfort and compensate the families of the victims.

Winter in Changchun is extremely cold. Although in "hiding" in a room that doesn't have water most of the time, my blood is boiling hot. The reason isn't because I am again writing an open letter to Hu and Wen. Instead, simply being able to work for the future of one of the greatest peoples in the world is enough to make any ordinary citizen's blood boil.

On October 18, also with red-hot enthusiasm, I wrote an open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, two fellow countrymen of mine, urgently calling on their government to "Stop Persecuting Believers in Freedom and Mend Your Ties with the Chinese People." The next day, I received blatant threats over the phone at home. Starting the third day, at least 10 cars and 20 plainclothes police officers began circling, monitoring, and following my entire family every day, 24 hours a day. The 15th day after I wrote the letter, the Beijing Judicial Bureau illegally closed the law firm I ran. It is very regrettable how our country treats a citizen who openly makes suggestions.

Another strong reaction prompted by the open letter was that Falun Gong believers from various parts of China who have been persecuted have written me and invited me to their areas to learn more about their true situation. Quite a few of these letters were from the cities of Changchun and Dalian. Beginning on November 29, I spent almost 24 hours a day continuously traveling between Jinan City, Shandong province; Dalian and Fuxin cities, Liaoning province; and Changchun City, Jilin province to conduct another round of investigations. Unlike my usual practice of traveling solo, I was honored to be accompanied by Professor Jiao Guobiao. [2]

Meanwhile, flocks of plainclothes police were still hovering around my home night and day, creating an atmosphere of terror and severely suppressing my entire family. On November 29, I escaped being followed and encircled by more than 20 plainclothes police and spent 15 days investigating the truth in my own way. I especially would like to say here that we try our best to tell the truth of how this nation is being continually and brutally persecuted, especially at this time. This is also to remind our entire nation of the severity and urgency of the problems we are facing. It is time for our nation and each and every one of us to seriously face our problems. Any excuse or delay by any means is committing a crime against our entire nation!

In this letter, I will not avoid any of the real problems I saw, even if this means I may be immediately arrested when this letter is publicized. The 15 days of investigation again showed me the painful truth. The 6-10 Office is—or at least can be called—a gang that exists within the political power of the nation, yet is higher than the political power. It is a gang that can control and regulate all political resources. Although it is an organization that exists outside of the Constitution and the regulations of the country's power structure, the 6-10 Office is using many powers that are only supposed to be used by agencies of the national government, and even many powers that are beyond those of agencies of the national government. It uses powers that don't belong and have never belonged to the nation since the beginning of mankind's political civilization on this earth.

We can see that the power symbolized by the number 6-10 continues to "interface" with the public through ways such as killing a person's physical body and spirit, shackles, chains, electric shock tortures, and "tiger benches." " [3] The nature of this power has become that of a criminal gang. It continues to torture our mothers, sisters, children, and our entire nation. Mr. Hu and Mr. Wen, as members of our nation in special positions at this time, and especially as individuals who are perceived by the majority of the public as being conscientious, you should face everything together with all of us.

At this moment, with a trembling heart and a trembling pen, I am writing down the tragic experiences of those who have been persecuted in the last six years. Among the true accounts of unbelievable brutality, among the records of the government's inhuman torture of its own people, the immoral acts that shocked my soul the most were the lewd yet routine practice of attacking women's genitals by 6-10 Office staff and the police. Almost every woman's genitals and breasts or every man's genitals have been sexually assaulted during the persecution in a most vulgar fashion. Almost all who have been persecuted, be they male or female, were first stripped naked before any torture. No language or words could describe or re-create our government's vulgarity and immorality in this respect. Who with a warm body could afford to stay silent when faced with such truths?

At 4:20 p.m. on October 28, 2005, Ms. Wang Shouhui (mother) and Mr. Liu Boyang (son) from Changchun City were followed by 6-10 Office staff and were illegally arrested. The two were brutally tortured by the police. At about 8 p.m., 28-year-old Liu Boyang died from the torture. About 10 days later, his mother was also tortured to death. The bodies of the unfortunate duo are still in the hands of the 6-10 Office officials. It took the 6-10 officials three days to inform Liu's father of his death, while Ms. Wang's time of death remains unclear. Liu's father looked for a lawyer in his city, but no one dared to accept his case. The elderly man said, "In a society like this, it is harder to live than to die. Living brings more pain. After I take care of their burials, I'll follow them and leave, too."

Ms. Wang Shouhui, her husband, and her son (Liu Boyang) began practicing Falun Gong in 1995. Since the persecution of Falun Gong started on July 20, 1999, they were continually harassed by police from the Zhengyang Police Station of Luuyuan District and officials from the Zhengyang Neighborhood Administration Office. Ms. Wang was illegally detained in October 1999 and sent to the Heizuizi Labor Camp in February 2000. At the labor camp, she was tortured with an electric baton eight times. She was also forced to work during the day. For five days and nights, she was prohibited from sleeping and was required to remain standing. She was tortured using a "death bed" [4] several times. The most serious time, she was beaten with two electric batons for over one hour while tied to the "death bed." She did not have even one part of her body and face intact. She was only released after the torture put her life in danger.

On April 11, 2002, Ms. Wang was walking down the street when she was again abducted by the police from Zhengyang Police Station of Luuyuan District. She was blindfolded by the police from the First Division of the Changchun Public Security Bureau and was taken to a secret torture room in Jingyueshan, Changchun. She was tortured on the tiger bench for two days and one night, during which time she was also beaten with two electric batons on the breasts. Three men used their fists to punch her face, chest, and back. As a result, Ms. Wang's left cheekbone was fractured and she vomited a great amount of blood. Later, her lungs were infected. While at the police hospital, Ms. Wang's four limbs were confined when she received infusions. She was prohibited from using the restroom. Instead, the hospital forcefully inserted a tube into her bladder, but did not give her care. She could not move for five days and five nights. Subsequently, her bladder was permanently damaged and she could no longer control her bladder.

On June 27, 2002, Ms. Wang and her family were again abducted to the Zhengyang Police Station by the Political and Security Division of the Luuyuan District Police Department. Ms. Wang was tied into the fetal position for an entire evening. Later, when she was illegally detained at the No. 3 Detention Center in Changchun City, the guards locked her handcuffs to her ankle shackles for 18 days and force-fed her for a month. She was then sent to the provincial police hospital, where her limbs were confined and she was force-fed for over 30 days. She wasn't released until her life was in danger. At the same time, several police from Zhengyang Police Station brutally tortured, beat, and kicked Liu Boyang. They also slapped his face with leather shoes, tied him with a rope, put a plastic bag over his head, tied his arms behind his back, and hung him from the ceiling using handcuffs. When Liu was hanging in the air, they shook his feet or dragged his feet down. Mr. Yuan Dachuan, a police officer conducting the torture, said shamelessly, "I have killed quite a few Falun Gong practitioners with torture. I don't have to bear any responsibility if I beat you to death." Every time they were tortured, the mother and son could hear each other's screams, which shook heaven and earth, ghosts and spirits!

On October 29, 2002, Liu Boyang was sent to two years of forced labor at Chaoyanggou Labor Camp in Changchun City. In December, the police forced him to sit on cold cement floors all day long and prohibited him from sleeping at night. During the day, he was forced to attend brainwashing classes. In June 2004, when his term was over, the labor camp refused to release him and found some excuse to add 47 days to his term. Liu was a graduate of a medical university. He was a good person, and was kind to children and respectful to the elderly. Every year he was a model worker at the hospital. A woman surnamed Wang told me the above experiences of Ms. Wang and Mr. Liu so rapidly she spoke almost in one breath.

Sun Shuxiang, a 48-year-old Changchun resident, was illegally arrested nine times in six years. Below are some of the experiences she described during her illegal sentence in labor camps:

"One day in the latter part of 2001, the policeman Li Zhenping from the eighth section of Xingye Street Police Station came to my home with another man. They came to persuade my husband to divorce me. I said, "No." Li kept hitting my face until it was swollen. My eyes started to bleed, and I suddenly could not see anything. He asked again if I agreed to the divorce, and said if not he would send me back (to the labor camp). Under their constant terror, my husband divorced me. My good family was thus broken apart by the government. Now, I am still in exile.

"In July of 2002, I was in my father's home. A plainclothes policeman suddenly broke into the house and asked if I was Sun Shuxiang. Before I answered him, I was kidnapped. The next day, police from the first section of Changchun Public Security Bureau put me in a car and drove me on a bumpy road for about two hours. Two policemen took me to a dark and terrifying basement, and took off the blindfold. Eight or nine policemen all rushed into the room. On a table there were three electric batons of large, medium, and small sizes and a bundle of rope, and on the other side were three tiger benches. Two policemen forced me on a tiger bench, and placed my hands on the armrests that each had a handcuff attached to it. My hands were locked in place with the handcuffs. The armrests on the tiger bench had a row of different size holes to fit different wrist sizes. The police skillfully fixed an iron rod as thick as the thumb on the two armrests, pressing against my chest and abdomen area and making it impossible for me to move. One policeman pointed at the torture tools and said to me, 'Do you see that? If you cooperate, we can finish business in over an hour. Otherwise, we will have you taste all kinds of instruments. What happened to Liu Zhe and others [practitioners who were killed] ? Only a few can come out of here alive.'

"A seemingly polite policeman slapped my face twice, and asked me if I knew any fellow practitioners. I said no. He took an electric baton, stuck its two claws between my ribs, and started to shock me. He asked again for my fellow practitioners' phone numbers, and I said nothing. He then used the electric baton over my fingertips, while asking me which practitioners I knew. He used the electric baton on my arms and then my head, then to the other side of my body. After one round over my body, he slowly traced my body another round with the electric baton. They then changed into a higher voltage, fully charged electric baton, and started from my toes and went over my body. I still remained silent. They started with the toes of the other foot to go over my body from the other side. I was still silent. They then used the electric baton on my eyes. I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of the sockets, and I could not see anything. I still refused to tell anything, and they returned to electrify my ribs. The pain was unbearable. The electric baton moved to my chest, as they asked me with which practitioners I had remained in contact. The pain made it impossible for me to speak, and the familiar faces of practitioners appeared in front of me one by one. I had one thought: No matter what, I would not tell about any practitioners, since as soon as I told about anyone, that person would be arrested and tortured. The police stuck the electric baton inside my mouth. My mouth was all burnt and swollen, and blisters covered the outside. They said to me as they were shocking me, 'If you do not speak, we will pry open your mouth.' They again stuck the electric baton inside my mouth. After a day and a night's torture, I was just about to die…

"In the beginning of 2004, I stayed temporarily at Ms. Xing Guiling's home. One midnight I heard loud pounding on the door. The double door was quickly broken. In terror, I saw a bunch of police with iron hammers and guns, shouting, 'Do not move, otherwise you will be killed.' We were arrested and taken to the Luuyuan branch of the Public Security Bureau, and locked up in a small iron cage. I was tied onto a tiger bench. They started to beat Xing Guiling in front of me, using a leather belt to strangle her neck. She cried heart-wrenchingly. I saw Xing Guiling beaten down; when she was down, they kicked her. When she got up, they beat her down again. They beat and kicked her, asking her to reveal her contacts with other practitioners. They kept torturing her over and over. They took their leather belt and strangled her again, till she could not breathe. The police shouted, 'I will show you if you don't tell.' Xing Guiling was tortured with only one breath left, but she did not reveal a single practitioner's name. They then started to torture me. After three days and nights of torture, they sent us to the No. 3 Detention Center.

"On August 4, 2003, I was again arrested by the police. They took me to the Nanguan branch of the Public Security Bureau. A pockmarked policeman grabbed my hair and kept hitting my head on the wall. I was getting so dizzy. He then forced me to sit on a tiger bench and cuffed my hands tightly. Another policeman started to hit my arms, and my wrists began to bleed from being tightly caught by the handcuffs. They used iron rings to chain my ankles, and then stepped on the rings, making it tighter and tighter. My ankles were painful beyond endurance. They then used a plastic bag to cover my head, and tied it over my neck, suffocating me. When they saw that I was about to die, they took off the bag. After a while, they covered my head again, and took it off before I died. They did this three times and at the same time kept pressing the rings tighter into my ankles. It was so painful that I started to have a seizure. My ankles were broken and bleeding. I fainted. They used cold water to bring me back, and sent me to the No. 3 Detention Center. There, I refused to eat and drink, and went into a coma. After 27 days, I had just one breath left. They notified my family members to take me home."

Liu Shuqin, a 60-year-old lady from Changchun, was arrested and sent to labor camps five times in six years. This old lady calmly told us the barbarous torture she suffered:

"I was first arrested in February of 2000. The police violently hit and kicked us to the police car, which took us to the Balipu Detention Center. I was locked up for 15 days without any legal procedures. Altogether more than 10 of us were arrested, and all experienced unspeakable torture. After that, the Neighborhood Administration Office and the police continued to harass me.

"On December 31, 2000, I was arrested for the second time when I went to Beijing to appeal to the government. I held out a banner that said "Falun Dafa is Good," and the Tiananmen police hit my back violently with electric batons, forcing me onto a police car. Later I was thrown into a dungeon with walls covered with ice and frost. The police forced me to take off all my clothing, and ordered someone to shoot water on me from a big pipe. They left me to sleep on the bare floor naked, with nothing to cover my body. The toilet in the room stank so much and smelled so bad. Everyday, several policemen came to interrogate me. They did not allow me to sleep at night. After 38 days of interrogation, they did not get anything.

"On December 31, 2001, several practitioners and I hung banners outside to expose the lies of the government about Falun Gong. Someone reported us and we were arrested. The police from the 6-10 Office beat me violently without stopping. At midnight that day, I was sent to the No. 3 Detention Center. There, a policeman punched my eyes with his fists. My eyes became blurry and I could not see anything. They hit my head a few more times. Faced with their brutal behavior, I told them good and evil will be repaid. The police asked inmates to bring a heavy chain weighing 28 kg (approximately 61 lbs.) and put it on my ankles. I was detained for 22 days, during which I suffered tortures that were worse than death. Later on, the police took a lot of money from my family before they released me.

"On February 28, 2003, a few days after my release, a bunch of police from the Luuyuan branch of the Public Security Bureau stormed into my home again. A policeman named Yuan Dachuan went through our drawers and took away over 4,000 yuan (about $500) in cash without leaving any receipts. Another policeman pocketed a bottle of foreign perfume my child had brought me from overseas. When Yuan Dachuan was taking my money, I criticized his robbery. He punched me and handcuffed me. They did whatever they liked in my home and the house was all messed up. They abducted me to the torture chamber at the Luuyuan branch and tortured me on the tiger bench for two hours. They then tied me up with a thin rope, with my hands behind my back. The police tightened the rope on me. With my whole body tied up, I was pushed out of the torture chamber. Another group of people threw me into a car. They used my feather-filled coat to cover my head so tightly that I almost suffocated.

"After about 20 minutes, the car stopped, and we arrived at another torture chamber (later on I knew this was at the Chaoyang branch). The room was filled with torture instruments. As soon as we arrived there, they forced me onto the tiger bench, and about six policemen handcuffed me and chained my ankles, fixing a steel rod across my chest (on the tiger bench). A young policeman used a foot-long iron rod to hit my left hand, which was cuffed to the tiger bench. After a dozen strikes, my hand was swollen severely and it turned purple-black. They asked me to tell about other practitioners, and I said I would not say anything. At this time, more than 10 police cuffed my hands behind me. They kept pulling the handcuffs and the ankle chains, and pushing the iron rod against my chest. Stretched under such a strong force, I felt as if my tendons and bones were about to break; I could not breathe. The pain was so unbearable that I fainted a few times. When I fainted, the police poured cold water on me. After I came to, they continued to torture me. I was tortured like this for a day and night, fainting and waking up. As the handcuffs and ankle chains were pulled by the police, they kept piercing into my flesh. Blood was mixed with flesh over my wrists and ankles, making a large pool of blood on the floor. The police treated an old lady like me with such savage tortures. Every nerve and bone hurt beyond endurance in my arms, hands, feet and legs. My whole body was unable to move.

"One March 1, they sent me to the No. 3 Detention Center. They checked my heart and blood pressure—none functioned well; my legs could not walk. Even so, I was still sentenced for two years in the labor camp. In a coma, I was carried to the Heizuizi labor camp. I had to be carried to go to the bathroom. The policewoman Liu Lianying from the second team started to persecute me, saying that I was pretending not to be able to walk. Liu barbarously shocked me with an electric baton on my legs, chest, heart—all over my body. At the time, a criminal convict Yi Liwen (who had a good relationship with Liu) could not bear to see it; she took away the electric baton and said, 'Don't shock her anymore, look at what bad shape she is in.' Liu Lianying then stopped. Since I could not walk, the police often cursed me; they used all their conversion experts to try to "transform" me, and the police took turns brainwashing me.

"After a day's labor, they did not let me sleep, but conducted brainwashing in order to force me to sign this or that paper. I firmly refused. They tortured me like this for two months, and my blood pressure often reached over 200 and I suffered from serious heart disease. Seeing that I refused to be transformed, Jia Hongyan used prostitution convicts to torture me, monitoring me on a 24-hour basis at my side even during eating and sleeping. They forced me to transform, beating and cursing me almost every moment and every day. They did not allow me to speak; if I did they would curse me. Everyday, my body and heart were suffering in great pain. Over a year of persecution brought great harm to my body and mind. My body was numb, and my arms did not move well. I was diagnosed with brain infarction and atrophy. I was originally very healthy, but the one year's persecution had turned me into such a state. Just because I want to be a good person, I have endured such inhumane torture for such a long time."

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