Mr. Zhang Dongxing, a Falun Gong practitioner from the town of Dulangkou in Chiping County, Shandong Province, was arrested at his home on December 16th, 2007. He is being held at the Seventh Branch of the Shandong Province Second Forced Labour Camp. Mr. Zhang and his wife, Ms. Zhao Linqing, have been arrested and harassed many times since July 20th, 1999, when the Chinese Communist regime began its persecution of Falun Gong.
Mr. Zhang is 56. Before he became a practitioner, he suffered from heart disease for many years. His wife had also been in poor health and constantly took medication. But after they began practising Falun Gong, Mr. Zhang's heart disease disappeared, and Ms. Zhao's health improved tremendously.
Mr. Zhang and his wife have been threatened by local police many times since the persecution began. In May 2003, Chiping County Domestic Security Officer Ma Ruijing (male) led a group of officers from the Dulangkou Police Station to Mr. Zhang's home in the middle of the night. They scaled the walls, dragged Mr. Zhang and his wife from their bed, and handcuffed them without letting them get dressed. The police searched the home and seized the couple's Falun Gong books as well as their new DVD player. They then took Mr. Zhang and his wife to the Chiping County Detention Centre and held them for over a month. They were not released until they had paid several thousand yuan1.
As part of their constant harassment, the police forced Mr. Zhang and his wife to report to the local police station on dates that the Communist regime considered politically sensitive. At about 1:00 p.m. on December 16th, 2007, the Dulangkou police arrested Mr. Zhang once again. They also seized computer equipment stored in his home.
Although Mr. Zhang had no computer knowledge, he was charged with making illegal overseas contacts on the Internet and sentenced to one year in the Shandong Province Second Forced Labour Camp. He began his sentence in January 2008.
Mr. Zhang's 84-year-old father passed away several days after Mr. Zhang was taken to the labour camp. He had asked about his son's whereabouts after his arrest, but the family was worried that he could not handle the fact that his son was in a forced labour camp, so they did not tell him. In the father's final moments, he was unable to see his son.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2008/2/21/172839.html
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