Knees Permanently Injured During Torture for Refusing to Give up Faith
When Mr. Wang Zhen takes his daughter to the park, his daughter often asks, “Dad, run with me. Why can’t you run and play with me?” For most parents, running and playing with their children is natural. However, it is impossible for Wang. He has artificial knees, so it is challenging for him to bend his legs.
Originally from Shanghai, Wang, now a 45-year-old resident in Germany, is an engineering graduate of one of China’s most prestigious universities, the Tongji University in Shanghai. Handsome and popular, he had a passion for sports. At 27 years old though, his knees were permanently disabled. What happened to him that his knees were so badly injured?
April 25, 2003 is a day which is hauntingly etched into Wang’s memory. That day he was brutally tortured in a forced labor camp. His knees were injured permanently—all because he would not give up his belief in Falun Dafa.
Discovering Falun Dafa
Wang was a model child. However, he always felt something was missing in his life, yearning for spirituality. When he became an adult he learned a qigong practice. However, he did not find the practice fulfilling and continued to search for greater spiritual guidance.
When Wang was 21 years old, he saw a poster about Falun Dafa on his university campus. It was 1997, a time when Falun Dafa was very popular and supported by the government. He went to the practice site and thus began his cultivation journey.
Through following the principles of the practice —Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance— Wang improved his moral standard and discovered a more meaningful life.
After he graduated, Wang Zhen found a good job in Shanghai and soon became a company asset. However, on July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party would begin a nationwide persecution of his belief.
Wang believed there was nothing wrong with practicing Falun Dafa, so he went to Beijing to appeal. On his way there the police searched every passenger and found his copy of Zhuan Falun, the main text of the practice. Wang was subsequently arrested and sent back to Shanghai.
After this incident, Wang’s life would change drastically. His workplace wanted to fire him. They made his mother accompany him to and from work, fearing that he would continue to appeal for Falun Dafa. A few months later, they fired Wang.
Wang also received great pressure at home. His grandparents had been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution. They were terrified of the Party, so they pressured their grandson to stop speaking out for Dafa.
Wang ’s mother was not a practitioner, but she knew Falun Dafa was good, so she defended the practice. When she said good things about the practice, Wang ’s grandparents became very angry. Consequently, both Wang and his mother lived under high pressure.
In September 2001, police arrested Wang at his workplace. He was then sent to a forced labor camp. He was only 25 years old at the time.
In the labor camp, Wang was brutally tortured. He was forced to sit on a tiny stool, which had dimensions less than a cubic foot, for several hours every day. His legs were also forced together, and he had to keep both hands on his knees. He was not allowed to move his head or his body as if he moved at all, the inmates on guard would savagely beat him.
Wang was also made to perform a type of military posture for long periods of time, including lifting one foot in the air for ten to twenty minutes, or longer. People’s toenails would become black after being subjected to this type of torture.
Additionally, he was forced to run in place from 8 am to 5 pm, with only a one-hour break. In winters he was forced to run with wet shoes. After a few days, his feet became frostbitten, and his entire body was extremely sore.
Wang was also forced to carry manure to farmland. He carried two buckets, weighing more than 50 kilograms (112 lbs), which he had to load and unload manure for three or four hours every day. His chest and back were badly hurt due to this high-intensity labor.
The police also subject Wang to mental torture. They forced him to watch videos that slandered Falun Dafa and ordered inmates to brainwash him.
Tortured to Disability
April 25, 2003 is a day that Wang will never forget. On that day, the police and some inmates made Wang repeatedly fold and unfold a quilt until he could not stand up straight. Then they pushed him to the ground.
One prisoner stepped on his ankles, while another stomped on his legs. Several prisoners dragged him to the wall and tortured him using a method called “splitting the legs”, where they forcibly pulled his legs apart in a straight line. This tore his ligaments, causing permanent disability.
Wang ‘s feet then became swollen and 80% to 90% of his legs turned purple and black. Despite his injuries though, the inmates continued torturing him. They only allowed him to sleep for four hours and they would burn his fingers with cigarettes as well as forcing him to squat down.
Wang recalled, “I was on the verge of collapse. During the hardest time in the labor camp, I kept reminding myself that Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance are the universe’s principles. There is no point in being humans if we give up these principles. This thought supported me during the hardest times.”
At the end of September 2003, Wang was finally released from the labor camp.
Even after Wang was released from the labor camp, the persecution continued. He was constantly harassed by local police. Fortunately, a year later he was able to leave China and move to Germany. There where he married his wife Anke and found a good job in one of the world’s top 500 companies. Wang also has a daughter who is now 7 years old.
Today, Wang notes he could further his career if it were not for his disability stopping him, but Wang does not regret his choice in upholding his faith, “I have never regretted choosing this path [in upholding Falun Dafa]. My life became meaningful when I began following Falun Dafa’s principles—Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.”
Referring to the brutal persecution and the intense pressure from the entire society in China he said, “People should seek the truth. No matter what, I will persist in upholding Falun Dafa. Everyone in my family was frightened after the CCP began persecuting Falun Dafa. Even my grandparents were insulted by the neighbors because I practiced. [It pains me that] When my family members became ill and were hospitalized I could not go back to China to visit them because of the persecution. The CCP has caused so many tragedies.”
He hopes that the Chinese people will be able to think for themselves, see through the CCP’s propaganda, and know that Falun Dafa is good.