Arts & Culture 
 Human Rights 
 U.S. Asian Policy 

Home > East Asia > 

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

 Related Articles
Why One of China's Top Attorneys Broke with the Communist Party (Part III)
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.

With a slow and gentle voice, Zhang Zhikui calmly narrated his experience of being persecuted in Changchun City:

"After July 20, 1999 I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. Because I clarified the truth of Falun Gong to residents in Beijing, I was arrested by the police in Beijing and transferred to the police of Changchun City's liaison office in Beijing. There, they tied my hands and feet together onto a wooden club and hung me between two tables by putting the two ends of the wooden club onto the two tables. I swung back and forth. Whenever the wooden club broke, I fell to the floor. As for other practitioners who were also arrested there, the police beat them with leather belts or hung them up. They beat my thighs with a white wood rod.

"Later on, all of us practitioners were sent back to Erdaohezi District Police Substation in Changchun City. At that time, there were 10 or more practitioners. After we arrived there, the head of the Political Protection Department lifted me up and forced me to take off my pants. At that time, there were males and females present. Then, the head of the Political Protection Department beat my head with a leather belt. My head became numb, there was ringing in my ears, and I almost lost consciousness. He asked for my name and the date I went to Beijing. I was barely conscious following the beating, so I couldn't remember anything. Nevertheless, he continued beating me. And then, he stamped on my feet with his leather shoes, grinding my toes with the heel of his leather shoes. He just observed the expression in my eyes while he was doing this to me. I endured the severe pain and began to sweat profusely. He left me then and began to beat up other practitioners. After I was sent to Tiebei Detention Center, the guards instigated the criminals there to strip me and beat me. The criminals kicked me hard, ramming me into the wall of the restroom. I could barely get up from the ground. Immediately two pots of cold water were poured onto my body. Again they kicked me hard. My arms and legs bled, and there was a big wound on one leg. One month later, I was released from there without any documents and without any legal procedures having been followed.

"At the end of November 1999, I went to China's Supreme Court in Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. The officials of China's Supreme Court informed police and they arrested me there, sending me to the police of Zhaoyuan City's (in Shandong province) liaison office in Beijing. On my way back, they removed my belt and forced me to walk with my hands holding up my pants. They beat me as we walked. Upon my arrival at the liaison office, they again beat me severely with a strap, and they continued beating me for several hours during the night. The next day, they sent me back to Zhaoyuan City, Shandong province.

"Upon my arrival at Zhaoyuan City Detention Center, the police instigated the criminals there to beat me. The criminals there saw that I did my duties actively and positively. They were all moved by me and didn't beat me any longer. Eventually, they sent a mute criminal to beat me up. One day, the guard there ordered me to extend my head out through a small hole in the iron gate of my cell, and then he trampled my head with his feet, beating my head as well. The practitioners in other cells all shouted at him together, 'Do not beat people!'

"Afterwards, they sent my sister and me to Xinzhuang Township Police Station. Following July 20, 1999, my whole family was arrested. They detained my sister and me separately in small dark solitary confinement cells under the staircases. The solitary confinement cells were so short that we couldn't stand up straight inside them. They only allowed us to go to the restroom once every evening, and they locked us up like this for 10 days for each detainment. After that, they sent us back to the Zhaoyuan Detention Center and kept us there for a month. They tortured my sister and me like this back and forth for a total of six times. All these events made us feel that it is difficult either to live or die.

"On National Day in 2000, I went to the Culture Square in Changchun City to unfurl a banner and I was arrested. All the news media in China lied. They did not speak a truthful word for us. Therefore, we wanted to tell people the truth in this way. Police chief Liang and other policemen stripped my coat off and wrapped my head with it. They cuffed my hands from behind, dragged me down from upstairs, and then escorted me to a car. The car traveled for about two hours and I felt that it was far away from the town. After we arrived at the destination, I was escorted to a house where the cloth on my head was removed. I felt terrible. There was a tiger bench in the room. I knew we were on a mountain and I heard the wind swooshing. Police Chief Liang and other policemen stripped all my clothes off and they forced me onto the tiger bench. My hands were tied behind my back to the crabstick. They inserted an iron stick at my chest, my thighs and my legs respectively. Both ends of these sticks were fixed to the tiger bench so that my whole body was tightly locked onto the tiger bench and I could not move. My feet were put in iron hoops and immobilized. Then Liang took out a sharp knife one third of a meter long and rubbed it on his pants a couple of times. He threw the knife to the table and ferociously said to me: 'Zhang Zhikui, I want you to die here; today I'll torture you to death and dig a hole and bury you. Nobody will know or find you.' After saying that, Liang went outside. At least three policemen started to recharge the electric batons and another two policemen grasped my hands that were tied to the stick behind me, then they stretched my hands around my head from behind to front. I heard my bones cracking ceaselessly. This torture was repeated several times and the oppressive pain distressed me terribly. Later, an iron barrel was buckled onto my head; they hit the barrel violently with steel pipes. The intense tremor and harsh noise made my head feel like it was exploding. After I had suffered for a long period of time, the policemen burned my back with cigarettes and the unbearable pain made me lose consciousness. Then they poured cold water on me to wake me up. Finally they lit candles and used them to burn my back. After they scorched the flesh on my back, they poured the hot wax on it. The pain made my body endlessly shiver and jump. All I could hear was the cracking of the tiger bench that was shaken by me. Because there was not any good skin remaining on my body, the policemen started to shock my private parts with electric batons and pierced them. Afterwards they used an iron stick to smash my private parts. I passed out and I did not know how much time passed before I awakened. After one night's torture, my face was swollen to several times the original size and my whole body was drenched in blood. I looked badly mangled. I had twisted my body so much due to the pain that the skin and flesh at my ankles were cut through, with the bones and muscles exposed. However, when they saw that I was awake, they again dragged me outside. It was more than 10 degrees centigrade below zero outdoors and they poured cold water on my naked body. They abandoned me where I lay. They returned to the house. Half an hour later they came out to see if I was still alive. I did not know how much time passed before morning arrived. I was already at the brink of death. I was carried to the Changchun City police department. There were many small cells, each with a tiger bench inside. There were female Dafa practitioners on every tiger bench. Most of them had fainted, with their lower bodies naked or with only a cloth covering the body.

"I was sent to the Tiebei Detention Center for further torture. I began a hunger strike for five days and they stopped the torture. After I stayed in the detention center for 40 days, they sent me to the fifth division of the Chaoyang District forced labor camp. There, I went on a continuous hunger strike. Over 10 Dafa practitioners joined me in the strike. There were 500 Dafa practitioners detained in the fifth division. The division head saw that we were on a hunger strike and he led some criminals to brutally beat us. The scene was horrendous. Finally the Dafa practitioners that were on the hunger strike were taken to the first division where the Dafa practitioners were most brutally persecuted. A criminal named Xu Hui often abused Dafa practitioners. One Dafa practitioner over sixty years old used to be a mid-level officer, but because he did not wear the prisoner's uniform he was beaten by Xu Hui until he was on his last breath. But he still did not stop beating him. I almost lost confidence in life, since I had endured unspeakable agony for a very long time. All the unbearable persecutions and tortures happened in the afternoons, in the evenings, and even in the middle of the night.

"If the Falun Gong practitioners made a little bit of a sound when they were asleep, their fellow inmates would beat them up. All of this made the Falun Gong practitioners even dare not to go to sleep. I sometimes couldn't stop coughing at night; therefore, the inmates beat me for the whole night. They didn't allow me to cough at all. I didn't dare to drink water in the evening, since they didn't allow us to go to the restrooms at night. Once I couldn't help myself from going to the restroom, and I went quietly. When I came back, Xu Hui beat me up until I was almost on my last breath. He kicked me very hard in the area of my kidney, causing my kidney to move from its natural position. I couldn't move for several days.

"Once, there was a Falun Dafa practitioner in his twenties named Sui Futao. The criminals found out that he had hidden our Teacher's articles in his clothing, so they had hit him with a wrench over 50 times. Not long after that, this practitioner was beaten to death. My younger sister was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, and at the same time, her husband was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. Furthermore, only because they practiced Falun Gong, their nine-year-old child was dismissed forcefully from school under the order given by the 6-10 Office. Among the Falun Gong practitioners who kept in touch with me, eight or nine practitioners had been beaten to death. Their names were Wang Shouhui, Liu Boyang, Liu Haibo, Liu Chengjun, Xu Shuxiang, Wang Kefei, Yu Lixin and Deng Shiying. As for the names of other practitioners who were persecuted to death, I couldn't even remember their names right now! All these are facts that are extremely cruel!

"Zhang Shuchun is my second younger sister. When the police tried to arrest her, she jumped downstairs. Her broken ribs pierced into some of her organs. Her legs and arms were broken, too. She immediately fainted. Soon many passersby stopped to look at her and asked what happened. The policeman from the 6-10 Office said, 'She had a fight with her husband about a divorce.' Since she was a so-called 'Wanted Criminal,' the police took her to a hospital. But the doctors at the hospital thought it unnecessary to try to save a Falun Gong practitioner. They said, 'Just throw her out,' and surprisingly, the police did throw her out in a suburban area. Later, she was saved by some kind-hearted people. But the police put her back on the 'Wanted' list again."

Wang Yuhuan is a female Falun Gong practitioner that the Changchun police arrested. She was detained at forced labor camps nine times in the past six years. She said: "You won't believe this. But at the forced labor camp, in order to collect money, police tried to sell sleeping space. The price was 2,000 yuan (around $250) per month. Once you bought it, you would have the right to lie down on your back when sleeping. Otherwise, you would have to lie on your side since the cell was small. Meanwhile, those who bought the space were entitled to beat us up. As Falun Dafa practitioners, we wouldn't spend so much money to buy sleeping spaces. As more criminals bought sleeping space, the rest of the people had less space for sleep and it became more painful to sleep.

"In August 2000, I was sent to the Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp. Police there tried to force me to 'transform.' I had to work 18 hours everyday. The workload was very high. It was to make products for export. Besides working, they forced me to write 'repentance' reports. The criminals in my cell would beat me up if I refused to do so. In order to 'transform' me, Sun Mingyan, the officer-in-charge of the No. 6 Squad, sat on my head and shocked my head and face with an electric baton for more than one hour. My hair was scorched and my face and neck were severely burned. I was bruised all over my face and body. When I was released in November 2001, I still wasn't able to pick up a bowl. The 6-10 Office also illegally took 2000 yuan (approximately $250) from me when I was released.

"On March 5, 2002, some Falun Dafa practitioners successfully broadcast a video clip about the truth of Falun Dafa on TV. The Central 6-10 Office ordered a large-scale arrest in Changchun. I was arrested then. Police arrested over 5000 Dafa practitioners at that time. Each cell at the detention center had to hold at least 50 people. They even detained Falun Dafa practitioners in bathrooms because of limited space. The First Department of the Changchun Public Security arrested me on March 11, 2002. They locked me in a 1.3 meter-high iron cage at the police substation near the Nanguan District Caishen Temple. I couldn't stand up at all. On the night of March 12, Gao Peng, Zhang Heng and some other policemen from the First Division of the Criminal Squad interrogated me. They handcuffed my hands behind my back and put a cloth bag on my head. They used a rope to tighten the bag on my neck so that I couldn't see anything and I could hardly breathe. Then they tied me up using ropes and put me in the trunk of the police car. They drove to a mountain where they brutally tortured Falun Dafa practitioners at will. Many fellow practitioners were tortured to death in this place. Mr. Liu Haibo was stripped of all his clothes and forced to kneel down. Police pushed the longest electric baton they could find into his bottom and gave his organs electric shocks. Liu died immediately on the site. Liu Haibo was a college graduate.

"Liu Yi, a doctor from the Luuyuan District Hospital, was in his thirties when he was tortured to death in this devil's hole. Twenty-three practitioners were tortured to death there. I knew many of them. The police simply buried their bodies in a hole. Xiang Min, a pretty Dafa practitioner, was carried back after a round of torture. She told me that the police sexually harassed her by touching her bottom while giving her electric shocks. Close to 30 practitioners were tortured to death in that round of arrests.

"It took them over two hours to drive me to this notorious place on a mountain. I heard them stop the car. Then they dragged me out, beating me up at the same time. The police kept cursing me and said they would torture me to death that day. They bumped me into trees and I stumbled my way to a building after 10 minutes or so. We went upstairs and downstairs, eventually entering a room. They took the cloth bag off of my head. The police said, "Let's wait and see how you die today. Nobody has walked out of here alive!" I was in a small room of about 50 square feet. There was a small desk with three long electric batons with claws on them. There was also a rope and a bed. Later, I found out that the bed was for the police to lie down and rest while cursing us, when they got tired from beating us up. I saw a tiger bench and many police busy preparing to torture me. I heard wind blowing angrily. Next, a few police forced me onto the tiger bench. They tied me to the bench with my hands cuffed behind my back and behind the bench. They fastened the iron rods at the side of the tiger bench till I couldn't move and they tied down my ankles with two large iron rings. Every five minutes, they would start a round of torture on me. They moved my arms back and forth, and I could hear my bones cracking. The huge pain made me almost faint. My sweat and tears came immediately from the pain. They pushed my head toward my legs. Because I was tied down on the tiger bench, I felt my neck bones breaking and the iron rods piercing into my breast and stomach. I was about to suffocate every second. They tied ropes on the iron rings and pulled the ropes harshly. My ankles hurt so much. Pains all over my body made me tremble. They repeated the torture like this every five minutes. My sweat and tears and blood soaked my hair and clothing. Later, I fainted because of the unbearable pain. They then poured cold water or boiling water on me to wake me up. The boiling water burned my whole body badly. I couldn't stand the slow killing and huge sufferings. I wished they would kill me with a gun.

"After inhumanely torturing me over four hours on the tiger bench, which had rendered me rather weak, they put an iron barrel on my head. Each of the seven police smoked three cigarettes at the same time and puffed smoke into the barrel. This was suffocating and I fainted. They poured cold water on me. When I was barely awake, they used the burning cigarettes to scorch my eyeballs. I would struggle a little when I began to gain consciousness. After that, they punched my head, face, nose, and teeth. They knocked out my two incisor teeth. My face swelled up and turned to dark purple. They also pierced my ears using thin sticks. I couldn't hear anything for the next two weeks. Eventually, they wore themselves out from torturing me and went to sleep at 2 a.m. "In March of 2002, they tortured me three times within 17 days in that devil's hole. Each time, the torture was more brutal. The last two times happened at midnight. Each time, seven or eight police came and took me from the cell and sent me back barely alive. One time, the police didn't want the others to see how badly I was tortured. They dressed me up in thick clothing. However, blood still came out. Then the police dressed me with more clothing but the blood soaked the clothing again. Practitioners there couldn't go to sleep because of the horror and concern over fellow practitioners.

"The police 'interrogated' all the practitioners on the 6-10 Office's blacklist everyday. They tied up each practitioner, put a cloth bag over the heads and cuffed the hands behind the backs. Then they would throw them into the trunk of the police car and drive to the mountain to the devil's hole where they viciously tortured them.

"The relentless torture destroyed my body and health. They had to lie about my poor condition to get the No. 3 Detention Center to accept me. On the following day, I was sent to the Provincial Hospital and then the No. 3 Military Hospital for physical examination. The results indicated that my body had sustained injury nearly everywhere and was in a critical condition, and thus I did not meet the minimum health standard to be detained. That afternoon, police had taken Ms. Guo Shuaishuai and me back to the prison hospital and launched a new bout of persecution there. We were tied onto a bed. Police injected me with some drug, which has made me unable to feel my legs ever since. My legs became ice-cold and completely numb.

"Practitioner Jiang Yong was persecuted here, too. He passed away after seven months of torture. Police also injected him with an unidentified drug and drew a large tube of blood from him every day. These injections and blood drawing emaciated Yong. He died during a force-feeding.

"It was terrible to witness the entire process of a person being tortured to death. The guards continuously force-fed Ms. Guo for over two months; the hard feeding tube was left in her throat the entire time. Refusing to accept the force-feeding, Ms. Guo swallowed down the 1.5-meter feeding tube. She tossed and turned in bed due to the excruciating pain. The prison hospital refused to release her in fear of her exposing the evil persecution, so it intensified the torture. Guo and I were stripped naked and tied with limbs spread apart on a bed. Police and male inmates lewdly stared at us everyday. One male prison doctor pinched and struck Ms. Guo's vagina. Unable to bear the extreme torture, Mrs. Guo swallowed the spoon that was inserted into her mouth. She again tossed and turned in bed due to the pain. The prison doctor cut open her stomach to retrieve the spoon. He deliberately made an unnecessarily long incision, stretching from the chest all the way to the vagina. He roughly sutured the extremely long cut and sent Ms. Guo to die at home. Ms. Guo never recovered from the barbarous physical and psychological torture.

"Ms. Zhao Xiaoqin and I were sent to the prison hospital the same day. 6-10 officers knocked her unconscious and pushed her down the stairs. The fall broke her left arm, caused a bump the size of a bowl on her head, and made her insane. To this day she cannot speak. The prison doctor did not change the cast on her arm the entire summer. Consequently, her arm festered, and bugs crawled around it. Seeing Ms. Zhao's suffering broke my heart. I also witnessed other atrocities in this persecution. We, the female practitioners, were all stripped naked and tied with limbs spread apart on a bed board for over 26 days. We suffered incessant humiliation and sexual assault from male police, doctors, and inmates.

"I was transferred back to the No. 3 Detention Center for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The Detention Center refused to accept me, because it heard that I would die soon, and it feared to take responsibility for my death. Outraged police then hung me on a door for six hours and beat me. I was taken back to the prison hospital for more persecution. I went on a hunger strike to protest. On the 50th day, a prison doctor cut open my vein and placed an IV needle in it. My blood seeped out and stained the bed and floor. Already accustomed to the bloody persecution, the police and prison doctors were not at all disturbed by my excessive bleeding. Each day, they administered 10 bottles of unidentified thick fluid to me. They left me to urinate and defecate on the bed—I lay in a pool of urine and feces for over 50 days. The full extent of the misery is beyond description. My veins collapsed due to the hunger strike, so the thick fluid could not pass through. The head surgeon just shook the bottle and squeezed the fluid into my vein. I passed out many times because of the excruciating pain."

© Copyright 2002-2007 AFAR