After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) staged the Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation Incident to defame Falun Gong 20 years ago on January 23, 2001, Falun Gong practitioners started a long, arduous effort to debunk the CCP's lies and to expose its brutality against innocent citizens for upholding their faith in Falun Gong.
With the entire state apparatus mobilized to slander Falun Gong, it was a daunting task to do so, not only because essentially all communication channels were blocked, but also any efforts to voice an opinion different from the CCP official propaganda would be viewed as taboo and met with harsh retaliation. Practitioners had to resort to creative means to get the message to the public.
One example was the television interception in Changchun City, Jilin Province on March 5, 2002, where Falun Gong practitioners successfully broadcast several programs exposing the loopholes in the CCP's official videos of the self-immolation incident. This TV interception enabled up to one million residents to learn what had really happened. However, the retaliation from the CCP was immediate and fierce.
Under the secret order of “killing without mercy” from Jiang Zemin, former CCP leader who launched the persecution in 1999, over 5,000 practitioners were arrested within several days. At least 6 practitioners died of torture between March 11 and 15, 2002. By September 2002, 15 practitioners had been sentenced to terms ranging from 4 to 20 years. Among them, Liu Chengjun died in December 2003 after suffering tremendously. Hou Mingkai, another practitioner involved in the interception, was tortured to death two days after being arrested on August 21, 2002.
Practitioners in other provinces had also intercepted TV signals to broadcast programs exposing the CCP's lies. They too were retaliated against. Mr. He Wanji, a police officer and Falun Gong practitioner in Xining City, Qinghai Province, participated in the TV interception in Qinghai Province and Gansu Province in July 2002. He was sentenced to 17 years on December 30, 2002. He died of torture in Haomen Prison on May 28, 2003. He was 53.
In this article, we focus on the story of Liu Haibo, a physician who worked in Changchun, who was arrested and tortured to death for providing shelter to other practitioners involved in the TV interception. Huo Jiefu, who worked as a police officer at the time, witnessed how Dr. Liu was tortured and provided the information to Minghui.
Dr. Liu Died in Custody
Dr. Liu Haibo, 34, was a physician who worked in the Department of Radiology in Chuncheng Hospital affiliated with the Luyuan District Hospital. He and his wife Ms. Hou Yanjie were arrested by the Kuncheng District police on March 12, 2002.
After brutally torturing Dr. Liu for several hours, the police noticed at 1 a.m. the next day that his heart had stopped beating. Only then did they stop the unspeakable abuse.
The police secretly cremated his body and blocked the information. His family spent one year looking for his whereabouts, to no avail. To this day, the Kuncheng District police department still denies their crime against Dr. Liu, leaving the family no place to redress the injustice.
Dr. Liu's killing was not known to the outside until a testimony was made available by Huo Jiefu. Huo, who was the same age as Dr. Liu, became a police officer in 1993 and had worked at the Nanguangchang Police Station, the Kuancheng Police Department, and the Changchun Police Department over the years. After witnessing how Dr. Liu was tortured to death at the Kuancheng Police Department, he refused to stay silent against his conscience. Because of that, he was detained and later fired.
In late June 2002, Huo successfully fled China and provided the following written testimony. [Note: subheadings were added by editors. All dates were in 2002.]
Jiang Gave Direct Orders to “Crack the Case”
On March 5, 2002, the television interception incident happened in Changchun and shocked the world. Falun Gong programs were broadcast on Changchun Cable TV that day. The police arrested two practitioners and the other two escaped safely. It was during the time of the National People’s Congress [an annual event that usually takes place in March]. Jiang Zemin was furious and he criticized Jilin Province Party Secretary Wang Yukun, ordering him to crack the case as soon as possible. Therefore, this case came under the direct control of the Ministry of Public Security.
At 7 p.m. on March 6, Kuancheng police chief Zhou Chunming held a special meeting to pass the message from the municipal police department. He discussed the "grim" situation and urgency of fighting Falun Gong. According to the municipal police department, “the top priority is to weaken Falun Gong” and “to crack this vicious case.” Everyone must be mobilized to “remain loyal to Jiang and the CCP” and to accomplish this difficult task with “heightened sense of political responsibility.” The municipal police department also vowed to give Falun Gong practitioners severe punishments and to defeat Falun Gong without having to follow legal procedures. More than 6,000 police officers were dispatched to investigate the case and to prevent a similar TV interception from happening again.
Liu Haibo and His Wife Arrested and Beaten for Providing Shelter to Others
On March 12, agents from the Second Criminal Investigation Brigade of the Kuancheng Police Department arrested Liu Haibo and his wife Hou Yanjie for providing shelter to others involved in the TV interception. Liu is a physician at Chuncheng Hospital.
Several agents from the Criminal Investigation Brigade beat Liu Haobao and Hou Yanjie for a long time.
At around 7 p.m. on March 13, while passing the second floor to my office on the sixth floor, I heard beating and yelling from one of the rooms. I opened the door and found several officers torturing Liu Haibo. He was stripped naked and was shackled in a kneeling position on a tiger bench. His head was also clamped. Two officers were shocking him while forcibly pushing an electrical baton into his anus. On the side there were several pieces of broken square wood. A large area of Liu's body was already swollen and reddish.
Wei Guoning from the Economic Investigation Division was also in the room. He and I asked captain Ai Limin why he and his people tortured Liu so badly. Ai said they had to force Liu to turn in other practitioners since this was an order from higher-ups. Ai said things would be fine and asked us to leave.
I was thinking of reaching out to another captain, Sun Lidoing, to stop it, but Wei said it was not our business. I tried but did not find Sun, so I went back to my office. Looking back, I should have stopped them.
Witnessing Liu’s Death and Officials’ Cover-up
After staying in my office for about 10 minutes, I went to the third floor to look for Sun again. On the stairs, I heard Sun yelling downstairs, “Stop beating!” Another person came out to ask what was going on, and Sun said, “A person has died here!”
After entering the room, I saw that Liu had already been removed from the tiger bench and placed on the floor, dead. Several officers hurried to put on this clothes, but it was not easy. Wei also came in and saw this. While asking us to leave and Ai to keep quiet on this, Sun went to report the incident to Chief Zhou.
Chang Xiaoping, the first deputy Party secretary of Changchun, arrived in the evening and gave Chief Zhou several instructions on how to handle this; “First, combating Falun Gong is a long, political battle and we should not fear deaths of Falun Gong practitioners. Second, keep it confidential and do not leak the news outside, especially to the international community. Third, discipline inspection and supervision departments at all levels have been instructed to stay away from Falun Gong cases.”
That night, Liu’s body was sent to the morgue of Kuancheng Hospital.
Punished for Refusing to Cover up
At 1:30 p.m. on March 16, our police department held a meeting attended by the Criminal Investigation Brigade and several other divisions, including the Internal Protection Office, of which I was a deputy supervisor.
Zhou Chunming said that Liu Haibo had died of a heart attack and each office would send someone to guard the morgue [so as to prevent Liu's family and friends from finding his body]. Female officers were also dispatched to guard Liu’s wife Hou, who was hospitalized at the time.
I don't know where I got the courage, but I said to Zhou, “My office cannot help with this. Liu died because of torture. I have seen it.” I was then told to leave the meeting.
Zhou and other top officers talked to me after the meeting and I shared my thoughts. I said that Falun Gong intercepted the television signal because there were no channels for them to defend themselves after being wronged. Also, since Liu died in police custody, we should compensate his family according to China’s State Compensation Law instead of hiding the facts. What's there for us to be afraid of? Banning Falun Gong in itself lacked legal basis, and it's even more ridiculous to label it a cult. Furthermore, Falun Gong practitioners are good people and they are much needed in a society experiencing moral degeneration.
I talked a lot and they just listened. “Your work is suspended,” one official said, “and you will be investigated.”
On March 19, I learned from a coworker that police in Luyuan District had also beaten a Falun Gong practitioner to death. I asked about the victim’s name, and the coworker wouldn't tell. “I do not want to lose my job or die,” he replied. “I have to follow whatever higher officials want us to do.”
Big Lies from the CCP
During the follow-up investigation, I told the discipline inspection team that I had been a Catholic since 2001 and that my conscience does not allow me to agree with something so cruel and inhuman.
Because of that, I was detained, followed by another 15-day detention for “supporting Falun Gong.” Between March 29 and April 12, I was rehired but demoted to work in the Xingye Police Station.
After that, I was assigned to a night shift between 10:30 p.m. and 3:50 a.m. My job was patrolling the shopping area along Guangfu Road to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from putting up posters. I did this job from late April to mid-May that year.
My experience has told me that the CCP government has been lying all along and it is a political entity based on deceit. The so-called “news” was fabricated by the CCP government.
Nonetheless, the bloody scenes [from the staged self-immolation and other hate propaganda] have blinded many people and fooled them. Hitler once said, ‘If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.’ That is what happened with the CCP.
As time goes by and the CCP's information blockade is broken through, more and more information is emerging from various sources, which will eventually present a complete and accurate picture of how the CCP has been persecuting Falun Gong. The facts will come to light. As the Chinese saying goes, “There are deities three feet above one's head,” meaning that heaven is watching what people do. All those who have participated in the persecution of Falun Gong, if they fail to make up for what they have done, will eventually be held accountable for their crimes.
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