Charles Li, an American citizen, was illegally imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for three years for practising Falun Gong and exposing the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. He returned to San Francisco on January 21st, 2006 and was warmly welcomed by his fellow practitioners and friends. His return drew attention from many media. On the morning of January 24th, he went to the front of the Chinese Consulate to expose the persecution he had been subjected to, which included beating, brainwashing, torturous force-feeding, slave labour and more. He called on the international community to continue to pay attention to and help stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
|Charles Li's exposure of the CCP's persecution in front of the Chinese Consulate draws attention from media|
After Charles was illegally detained, Falun Gong practitioners all over the world and his friends were busy calling for help. The CCP's persecution of Charles had drawn attention from all segments of society, including the media. Charles said, "I appreciate the support from the American government, my friends and the media. I couldn't have made it through the past three years without your support."
Charles went to visit his family in China on January 22nd, 2003. As soon as he arrived at the Guangzhou Airport, the CCP police whisked him away to Yangzhou, a town far from Guangzhou, without any warrant. He was later thrown into Nanjing Prison without any explanation. Three months later, he was sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly "Preparing to sabotage television and radio broadcast equipment."
Charles said he was unlawfully incarcerated together with financial criminals and murderers in Nanjing Prison for three years and was subjected to physical and mental torture. The CCP deprived him of all basic rights, confiscated his Falun Gong books and his letters, and prohibited him from talking to his fiancee and friends in the United States. The goal of all their measures and means was to force him to give up practising Falun Gong. But he never did.
Charles said he had written an appeal letter after he was sentenced. But the CCP rejected his appeal, attempted to cut off his communication with the outside world, and confiscated his ninety-five-page-long petition that he intended to give to the American Consulate and his fiancee. His petition included his appeal letter and a description of the physical and mental torture he had been subjected to. He decided to launch a hunger strike to protest his treatment.
On the fourth day of his hunger strike, the CCP passed part of his petition to the American Consulate out of fear of causing the death of an American citizen. But his thirteen-page-long description of tortures was seized. The following is part of the petition that was seized.
1. Brutal infringing my personal freedom of belief:
During the beginning period of unlawful imprisonment, prison guards attempted to force me to renounce my belief with various means, including video slandering Falun Gong and its founder between February 10th and 12th, 2003.
Confiscating my book Zhuan Falun. I asked for its return but the guards never gave it back. Books from US consulate were also intercepted.
2. Harming my health:
Stopping or restricting my practising Falun Gong exercises, though I explained to them again and again that the exercises are essential for my health.
3. Physical abuse, beating and torture:
(1) Police beat me at the Baiyun Airport, Guangzhou on January 22nd, 2003.
(2) After being arrested, I was deprived of sleep for three days and nights when I held a hunger strike. Several police attacked me.
(3) Since January 22, 2003, I was cuffed for more than 72 hours when I held a hunger strike. Many times, I was cuffed from behind and could not move, especially from 8 p.m. to midnight on January 27th, 2003. The handcuffs cut into my flesh and hurt me very much while being taken from Shanghai to Yangzhou. In the evening on January 24th, the police forcefully pulled up my handcuffs from behind, which also hurt me very much. The scars on my wrist are still visible.
(4) In the Yangzhou Detention Centre, I was cuffed for 130 hours continuously from 8:20 p.m. on March 27th to 2:30 p.m. on April 21. It was very hot then. My winter clothes began to smell bad but I could not change. I had to write a petition document of 69 pages.
(5) In Nanjing Prison, I was beaten on the afternoon of May 12th, 2003 and my hair was cut. I was cuffed single-handed to a bed for four hours. On the morning of May 13th, 2003, I was forced to put on inmate clothing and cuffed from behind for 5 hours."
Charles showed reporters how he was handcuffed and the injury he hadn't recovered from.
It was not until the ninth day of his hunger strike that the CCP gave all of his manuscript to the American Consulate. During his hunger strike, guards torturously force-fed him by inserting a plastic tube into his stomach from his nose. "It was an extremely miserable process! They left the plastic tube in my nose for 32 hours after force-feeding."
The CCP prison guards didn't allow Charles to do the exercises in prison and directed criminal inmates to beat him. To force him to write a repentance report, the prison guards tortured him by forcing him to stand or sit for 4 to 6 hours a day for a period of as long as 43 days to 48 days. His head wasn't allowed to move. While sitting, he was forced to watch TV programmes slandering Falun Gong by CCTV. Cruel torture caused problems to his heart and breathing. The American Embassy in Beijing and American Consulate in Shanghai protested the torturing of Charles.
Charles said the Chinese Communist regime had been claiming a good humane treatment of him after he was imprisoned, until he risked his life to deliver his ninety-five-page-long petition that exposed the facts and contradicted the CCP's claims.
Charles said he didn't know the CCP would torture an American citizen to the edge of his life. Because of the torture, the American Consulate contacted him by visit or by phone twice a month to prevent his situation from getting worse.
Charles said he had finally regained freedom, but thousands and thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in China were still under severe persecution. He would tell more people about the persecution and call on the international community to continue to pay attention to and help stop it.
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