Mr. Tian Haitao from Fujin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested by awaiting policemen while visiting fellow practitioner Huang Weizhong's home on February 12th, 2009, and taken to the Jiamusi Detention Centre. To date, he has already been on a hunger strike to protest the arrest for more than a month. He is currently in poor health. Although his family members have asked to see him many times, visits have not been permitted.
Mr. Tian Haitao, 46 years old, is a former computer systems manager at the Agricultural Bank of China, Fujin Branch. He's well known at work for being a good person. Whether personally or at work, he is well liked by everyone. After the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, he travelled to Beijing in May 2000 to appeal for justice for the practice. As a result, he was sentenced to a year of forced labour and fired from his job. At the Jiamusi Labour Camp, he was subjected to forced labour, electric shocks, and tiger benches 1. for seven days. Throughout his imprisonment, he was only given two plain meals every day. Moreover, when his term was up, the labour camp refused to release him and held him for another two months. Even after he returned home, the Fujin Public Security continued to harass him and his wife. The lives of his entire family were disrupted. His children had no one to take care of them. Not only that, the Agricultural Bank hired guards and neighbours to monitor their family, giving them between 200 and 300 yuan2 each month.
In order to make a living, Mr. Tian went to Harbin to work in 2002. However, merely because he made a call to a Falun Gong practitioner, he was arrested by the Harbin Nangang Division Bureau and taken to the Seventh Detention Centre, where he was interrogated with torture. Thereafter, he began a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was transferred to the notorious Wanjia Forced Labour Camp Hospital. Due to the extraordinarily poor conditions there, he became infested with scabies, which the police used knives to lance, thereby causing greater pain. Later, he was on the verge of death, and the authorities, for fear that he would die at the camp, sent him back to Fujin Public Security Bureau. National Protection Team member Sun Weiyang used the opportunity to extort 2,500 yuan from Tian's family before releasing him. Throughout the period of time of Mr. Tian's hunger strike, he was severely tortured with brutal force-feeding methods, including having concentrated salt solution poured into his stomach.
Mr. Tian and his wife opened a snack shop in 2003 with the assistance of some family and friends. Just when business was starting to pick up, five or six Fujin police officers went to the shop, arrested Mr. Tian, and took him to the detention centre without any cause or legal warrant. While they intended to sentence him to imprisonment again, Tian's wife, who had grown extremely terrified of what could happen to her husband, again borrowed another 5,000 yuan for ransom and brought him home.
Mr. Tian opened another shop beside the post office in 2006. The Fujin Public Security Bureau showed up again. When they went to the store to look for him in September 2007, he was not around, so they took his wife instead. They also confiscated a printer and a computer. They seized his wife's house key and used it to break into their house, stealing their property, including an MP3 player, before releasing her that night. Mr. Tian was again forced to live away from home.
Right before the 2008 Olympics, the Public Security Bureau went to Tian's home many times, using "Olympics' security" to conduct searches. He thought things would improve after the Olympics were over, but the police nevertheless showed up again in November 2008. Mr. Tian was again arrested by the Jiamusi authorities in February 2009.
Tian Haitao's wife, children, and many family members have suffered a decade of physical and psychological torture. With Mr. Tian's re-arrest and the possibility of another forced labour term, he and his family are once again in an extremely difficult situation. We call on all kind voices around the world to stop this persecution, acknowledging that freedom of belief is a fundamental human right.
Jiamusi Public Security Bureau personnel phone numbers (area code 0454)
Municipal Bureau Members:
Jiang Zhifang 86-454-8298333, 86-454-8628188, 86-13846193333
Li Shuqing 86-454-8298003, 84-454-8224863, 86-13803653311
1. "Tiger Bench": Prisoners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead without movement for long periods of time.
2. "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/2009/3/23/197620.html
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