Mr. Guoliang Zhang

Once a pilot for China’s Southern Airlines, Zhang is now a captain for Continental Airlines passenger flights in the United States.

Once a pilot for China’s Southern Airlines, Zhang is now a captain for Continental Airlines passenger flights in the United States.

Mr. Zhang Guoliang never imagined he would leave China. He had immense gratitude for his loved ones, appreciation for the culture, and loyalty to his hometown of Hubei Province. But the Chinese regime betrayed that loyalty. He was monitored by the police, his workplace, and the government 24/7 and repeatedly incarcerated.

After the persecution began in 1999, China Southern reassigned Zhang to laundry duty, cut his pay by two-thirds and pressured him to sign documents promising he would never practice Falun Gong again. Yet like thousands of other Falun Gong practitioners, Zhang stood up against the Chinese state-controlled propaganda machine. For his efforts to “clarify the truth” about his faith, he was arrested multiple times.

Mr. Zhang was taken to Qiquankou Prison in July 2001. Shortly after he arrived, guards ordered inmates to hang a bucket filled with water on a thin nylon rope around his neck. When any water was spilled, Mr. Zhang was beaten. After two hours, he was forced to stand at attention for an extended duration. The next morning, he was forced to do labor. He could barely lift his head due to the neck pain. Since he refused to renounce Falun Gong, he was tortured the same way the next evening.

Afterward, Mr. Zhang was unable to lift his head for an entire month.


Persecuted at Work

Although Zhang experienced how Falun Gong benefited his mental and physical health, the government order to eradicate the practice on July 20, 1999 changed everything. His flying license, pilot badge and passport were confiscated by the airline. Since then, none of the pilots who practiced Falun Gong were allowed to fly for Chinese airlines.

Six Years of Torture

Zhang survived six years of torture under the Chinese regime, most notably psychological torture. Authorities regularly held brainwashing sessions with thirty or forty people, where they were forced to watch hours of state propaganda that demonized Falun Gong and then write essays denouncing their spiritual beliefs.

The consequence if they refused? Forced sleep deprivation, waterboarding, and physical abuse.

Escape to the U.S.

It was impossible for him to lead a normal life with his spiritual beliefs intact, so he instead followed the precarious route out to freedom. In 2013, he arrived in the US and now lives here with his wife and children.

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