While Mr. Li Jiankui still struggles with the sequela from a brain hemorrhage due to savage beatings by the police nine years ago, he was arrested again on November 25, 2020, for his faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Li is a 71-year-old resident of Linxia County, Gansu Province. His latest arrest was part of the “Zero-out” harassment campaign, which is a coordinated effort aimed at forcing every Falun Gong practitioner on the government’s blacklist to renounce their faith. Mr. Li is now held at the Linxia County Detention Center. He is facing prosecution after the police submitted his case to the Linxia County Procuratorate.
Mr. Li, a retired geologist from the Gansu Province Nuclear Department, developed silicosis and many other diseases over the years. A friend introduced Falun Gong to him. Drawn to Falun Gong’s profound teachings, Mr. Li began his diligent practice and soon his health recovered. After seeing his changes, many around him also took up the practice.
After the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, however, Mr. Li has been repeatedly arrested and subjected to torture while serving a one-year forced labor camp term and a five-year prison term. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and fell into a coma following an arrest in 2012, and was allowed to serve his second six-year prison term at home.
Arrested for Appealing for Falun Gong
Mr. Li went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong in January 2000. He was arrested at Tiananmen Square and taken back to Linxia. The police restrained him in an interrogation chair for two days at the police department and then took him to the Linxia County Detention Center.
At the detention center, guard Xu Haigang punched Mr. Li in the face and whipped his face with rolled-up newspapers and a leather belt.
In one torture session, Xu pulled Mr. Li’s left hand up behind his back to be cuffed with his right hand pulled over his shoulder (see illustration below). Xu inserted a large wooden club beneath the handcuffs, until it couldn’t go any further. Then he stepped on Mr. Li’s legs, pulled his hair, and lifted the handcuffs. The pain was excruciating.
|Torture illustration: Handcuffed behind one’s back|
On another occasion, a group of guards surrounded Mr. Li, slapped him in the face, and beat him. When he fell to the ground, they kicked and stomped on him. Sometimes the guards ordered the inmates to beat Mr. Li.
One Year of Forced Labor
After over six months of detention, Mr. Li was given a year of forced labor and transferred to the Gansu Province No. 1 Forced Labor Camp, also known as Ping’antai Forced Labor Camp, in July 2000.
Because Mr. Li refused to renounce Falun Gong, a guard surnamed Ma slapped him in the face and forced him to run in the yard for over 30 laps. Mr. Li was also forced to do intensive, unpaid labor, often working overtime without a break.
In October 2000, the guards ordered inmates to bring several Falun Gong practitioners to a small hill. Guard Wang Shengming punched Mr. Li in the head and then ordered him to carry a heavy stone back and forth. If he was too tired to continue, Wang beat him. Another practitioner, Mr. Zhang Luchan, was beaten as he refused to verbally attack Falun Gong. His teeth were broken and he fell into a coma from the beating.
Shortly before Mr. Li was released, the inmates beat him again and threw away Mr. Zhang’s lunch box after they found that Mr. Li had given Mr. Zhang a piece of paper with Falun Gong’s teachings written on it.
Five-year Prison Term
Mr. Li was arrested again in March 2003 together with his wife Ms. Zhang Wanlan. The police pushed both of them to the ground. Then they tied up Mr. Li’s hands behind his back and dragged him on the ground for about 100 meters.
After taking Mr. Li to the Linxia County Detention Center, an officer surnamed Kang took off Mr. Li’s pants and struck his legs, mouth, and eyes with a wooden club. Then he applied the same torture of handcuffing him behind his back.
Mr. Li was sentenced to five years after six months of detention. He was held at the Lanzhou Prison for three months, before being transferred to the Linxia Prison.
The prison guards ordered inmates to monitor and torture Mr. Li. The guards often shocked his head, face, and arms with electric batons until they ran out of charge. Sometimes they deprived Mr. Li of sleep, with the longest period being three months.
Severe Injuries from Savage Beatings and Second Prison Term of Six Years
Mr. Li was arrested one more time on June 9, 2012. He was tied up on a tiger bench overnight. The police stuffed his mouth with paper to prevent him from shouting “Falun Dafa is good.”
As soon as Mr. Li was transferred to the Linxia County Detention Center the next day, guard Shan Yulong hit him in the face. Shan then brought him to an empty room, and savagely beat him about the head, face, and body. He was covered with bruises.
On the second morning, Lin Jinxia, the head of the detention center, and guard Shan again beat Mr. Li.
On the third day, guard Hu Peixing whipped Mr. Li’s legs with a soaked hemp rope. They kicked Mr. Li's legs and chest, which were covered with black and blue bruises. His head was also injured.
On August 10, two months following Mr. Li’s arrest, he fell into a coma and was taken to the hospital. The doctor found that he had suffered a brain hemorrhage from the beatings. He was operated on and stayed in the hospital for 44 days before being released on bail.
The Linxia County Court held a hearing at his home on November 12, 2012, and sentenced him to six years. He was allowed to serve time outside of prison.
Due to the sequela of the brain hemorrhage, Mr. Li often suffers from headaches, dizziness, and weakness in his limbs.
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