Mr. Zhang Weijie Recounts the Persecution He and His Family Members Have Suffered

My name is Zhang Weijie and I live in the Jiangan District of Wuhan City. I want to share my experiences in hopes of finding help. I wrote a statement of appeal to the Chinese regime in May 2007 but did not receive any response. My wife Zhang Man was illegally arrested around that time for delivering my written statement to various levels of government.

Below is my account of the persecution we have suffered.

I was on my way to work early in the morning on March 21, 2007, when several cars pulled up. Eight people jumped out, pinned me to the ground and punched and kicked me. Finally, they handcuffed me and put me in a car. The license plate read, Hubei A87900. I asked them, “Who are you?” One of them said, “I’ll tell you when we get there.” He never did. They tried to wrap my head in some clothes but failed because of my struggling.

After several secretive transfers, the car arrived outside a large complex. The guard at the gate asked some questions, and the driver asked one man to talk to the guard. They shut all the car windows to prevent anyone from peeking inside. After a while the guard opened a wide metal gate and the car drove inside. When they stopped, I saw a brawny man and several people wearing camouflage fatigues standing around the car. They pulled me out of the car, carried me into a building that had several metal gates and locked me in a room. The brawny man gave an order. The others held me down and took my wallet, ID cards, keys, mobile phone, and other electronic devices. I said, “This is robbery.” “Not for us,” said a woman. They acted in a mysterious manner, and I do not know their identities.

Several days later they took me to another room to “study,” or to coerce me to renounce Falun Gong. I refused. A short, pudgy man slammed his body against mine. He grabbed me, took me to another room and kept poking me with his fingers. I told him not to touch me. He said, “I’m only playing with you.” I asked, “Who are you? Would you dare to reveal your true identity? You can only act like a villain in here.” He said, “The government banned Falun Gong, I’m striking you down according to law.” I said, “You guys abducted me and brought me here Mafia-style, and you dare to mention the law! You’ve already violated the law and infringed upon my rights as a Chinese citizen.”

In the following month they tried to coerce me to “reform.” Some read Falun Gong books to me out loud and deliberately twisted the teachings in an attempt to confuse me; some talked about various religions, some showed me official documents in an effort to prove the persecution of Falun Gong is based on the law, and some threatened to sentence me to a prison term from between five years and 20 years if I did not give up my belief. They claimed that the police had already started fabricating incriminating materials against me, a tactic they have always employed to convict innocent people–determining the charges before coming up with the evidence.

I started to write letters to all levels of the government, the National People’s Congress and the Procuratorate, in which I recounted my arrest and detention. The short man suddenly barged into my room, tore up my letters and shouted, “You are a counter-revolutionary; you have no right to write a statement of appeal. You can only write letters to divorce your wife and disown your father and daughter.” I said, “The charge of ‘counter-revolutionary behavior’ has been abolished in China. It’s used merely to persecute people. It’s my right to appeal, and you have no right to tell me to get a divorce.” They accused me later on with false charges of “overthrowing the government,” and “stealing classified information,” all of which are unfounded. Eventually they told me they had arrested me to prevent me from committing a crime.

Nearly one month passed before they realized I had correctly guessed where I was being held, so they told me. I was held at the Hubei Province Legal Education Base [actually a brainwashing center].

I suffered both physically and mentally during the detention. I suffered from angina pectoris twice, and my blood pressure was highly abnormal. Sometimes my diastolic blood pressure was higher than a healthy person’s systolic blood pressure. They repeatedly pressured me to write a “guarantee statement”, and I repeatedly refused. The short man, Liu, shouted, “Our boss is trying to help you by letting you reform; now you are asking for it!” He shoved me toward a wall.

They secretly transferred me to the Jiangan District Legal Education Class located in Chenjiaji, Wuhan City, after 37 days of detention at the Hubei Province Legal Education Base. I asked a police officer, “Why are you guys illegally arresting people and taking them around?” He said it was out of his control. They brought a form and told me to fill it out. I refused. They threatened, “If you don’t fill it in, we won’t let you step out of this door. You’ll have to eat, drink, sleep and relieve yourself in here.”

They brought a television set in on April 29. Collaborator Gong Lianghan screamed, “The Party secretary said we have to play [tapes] 24 hours a day.” First, they played a video of a Taiwanese monk talking about Buddhism. All of the videotapes were pirated products. They played videos from 6:00 a.m. and past 10:00 p.m. in an effort to break my will. They claimed to be government officials, but in fact they were all unemployed bums temporarily hired by the Communist regime to persecute Falun Gong. They claimed that the National People’s Congress passed a resolution that proclaimed Falun Gong as a [slanderous term omitted], while the NPC has in fact never issued any document to label Falun Gong as such. When I confronted them about the arrest and detention, they simply replied, “The Communist Party wants to do it this way.”

My family looked for me everywhere after my disappearance. It was not until mid-May that my family learned I was being held at the Jiangan District Legal Education Class. My wife came to the class, but they would not let her see me. They locked me in a room around the clock. I went on a hunger strike to protest, and they changed the locking up time to around noon time and in the evening. But they still locked the door whenever my family came. All of my letters of appeal were confiscated. At least two people monitored me around the clock.

Each time my wife came to see me, someone was always listening and interfering with our meeting. Once, they called the 110 Emergency Response team to interfere with our conversation. Since my wife had mailed my letters of appeal to certain government agencies, they arrested her in the afternoon of June 8 when she came to see me. People at the brainwashing center called 110, and the police arrested my wife on her way home. They also brought her to Jiangan District Legal Education Class in Wuhan City. I asked a 110 police officer why he arrested my wife. He said they were trying to verify certain information. I asked, “What information are you trying to get? Why do you have to take her to a brainwashing center to do it?” I told him that he must handle my case as I was illegally arrested, but he walked away.

They gave ludicrous reasons for arresting my wife, saying her frequent visits would have a negative impact, that she had mailed my letters of appeal and distributed them inside the government building and she took pictures outside of the brainwashing center. Even if what they said was true, none of that constituted a crime.

My wife and I are still being held. This is abuse of power in retaliation against appellants. Right now, my 75-year-old father and my middle-school-aged daughter are the only ones home. My mother-in-law is in poor health and has difficulty getting about. I do not know their current condition.

I hope that certain agencies within the Chinese regime will pay attention to this persecution that my family has suffered. I hope that kind and justice-loving people will extend a helping hand to investigate this incident and help my wife and me regain our freedom.