NEW YORK -- A 55-year-old man is near death after suffering years of torture at the hands of Chinese police, according to multiple reports from China.
A resident of Wuhan, Mr. Liu Yunchao (刘运潮) is being held at the Fanjiatai Prison in Shayang, Hubei Province. In July 2009, Liu was "sentenced" in a sham trial to three years in prison for practicing Falun Gong. After over a year of torture, twice in August 2010 -- on August 8 and August 30 -- Liu's family was notified that he was near death. Each time, they rushed to the prison to secure his access to a hospital and medical treatment. On both occasions, Liu was not allowed to go to the hospital.
According to family members, Liu was emaciated and unconscious.
The Falun Dafa Information Center is calling for urgent and direct pressure on officials in Wuhan, Shayang, and specifically, authorities at the Fanjiatai Prison in Shayang to release Liu immediately and allow him access to medical care.
"Liu's life could very well depend on how quickly we act," says Falun Dafa Information Center executive director Levi Browde. "There have been many cases where the abuse of detainees stopped after their stories received international attention. We must act now to save this man."
Liu's family confronted Hu Shaobin, the head of the local district's 6-10 office (an extralegal agency leading the campaign against Falun Gong). Hu told them he'd rather let Liu die in prison than send him to a hospital because Liu was "so stubborn," referring to Liu's resistance to prison efforts to "transform" him.
"Transformation" refers to the process of coercing practitioners to abandon their Falun Gong-based beliefs and adopt the Communist Party's perspective on the practice. Authorities in locales across China have reported quotas issued by central Party authorities on the number of Falun Gong practitioners that must be "transformed" in their respective areas. Failure to meet these quotas often results in punishment, while police who meet or exceed quotas frequently receive promotions or other benefits.
Efforts to "transform" practitioners routinely involve torture, brainwashing techniques and other forms of abuse inflicted in custody. Detention facilities commonly refuse to release detained practitioners until they "transform." Each year, several practitioners die after being tortured to the verge of death and then denied release unless they submit to "transformation."
According to friends of the family, Liu had been a bully with a bad temper before taking up the practice of Falun Gong in the 1990's, at which time he underwent a significant change as he incorporated Falun Gong's teachings into his life, and became an "upstanding" member of the community.
When Chinese Communist Party leaders launched a campaign to "eradicate" Falun Gong in 1999, Liu went to Beijing to appeal for the freedom to practice. Over the next decade, Liu was abducted by police on at least six occasions. In October 2000, Liu was sent to a forced labor camp for two years. His latest detention came in September 2008. Liu's subsequent imprisonment was one of 1,352 cases that the Information Center publicized in April 2010 (report)—Liu was case no. 1212 (list).