Armed Police Confront a Small, Helpless Lady in Her 60s

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The iron gate of Gangbei Prison in Tianjin suddenly opened and more than twenty armed police ran out, each holding a shield in one hand and either a police baton or an electric baton in the other. They quickly lined up on both sides of the gate. Then came the deputy head of the prison accompanied by five or six division leaders. All this to deal with a diminutive lady in her 60s, who simply wished to see her son. She was wearing a vest with her grievances written on it. The police shouted at her in a ferocious manner, “Don’t you dare cross the line!”

This lady's son, Mr. Zhou Xiangyang, worked as an engineer at the Tianjin Railway Design Institute. He was detained for one and a half years for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. While detained he was subjected to numerous beatings and was shocked with electric batons by police as well as inmates. Each time he passed out from the pain, they would bring him back to consciousness and continue the abuse. The walls of the torture chamber were covered with his blood.

In May 2003, Mr. Zhou was followed and reported, and was then sentenced to nine years of imprisonment. He was taken to Gangbei Prison on August 9th, 2004. While incarcerated he was subjected to brainwashing and solitary confinement, and was tortured with a “Ground Anchor" (a form of torture: the victim's hands are cuffed to rings, which are attached to the ground). Mr. Zhou started a year-long hunger strike to protest the persecution. He was allowed to go home in May 2009 on bail on medical grounds due to his extremely fragile health.

After just over a month of reading the Falun Gong book, Zhuan Falun, and doing his Falun Gong exercises, Mr. Zhou’s weight increased from 35 kg (77 lbs) to over 50 kg (110 lbs). He finally married his fiancé who had been waiting for him for seven years, and they started to live a peaceful life.

However, on March 5th, 2011 police from the Tangshan Domestic Security Division came to search his home and took him away, together with 13,000 yuan1 and other personal belongs worth over 10,000 yuan. On the same day, brigade leader Gao Huixiang instructed policeman Bian Li and others to interrogate him with torture and beatings, and later he was sent back to Gangbei Prison.

Each time his mother and other family members tried to visit him, prison personnel would make all sorts of difficulties for them. On June 17th, when his mom again went to visit him, the prison would not let her see him. She waited outside the gate for a long time, but nobody took any notice of her. Around 11:00 a.m., the prison gate suddenly opened and more than twenty fully armed police ran out, holding shields and batons. After they had lined up, deputy prison head Li Guoyu came out with five or six others, including Song Xuesen and Zu Liming. Li Guoyu said ferociously, “If you don’t leave, stand somewhere else. You must not cross the police cordon.” Zhou’s mother asked him why they would not allow her to see her son. Li said, “We have orders from our superiors. Your family are all Falun Gong practitioners, and that’s why you are not allowed to see him.” The two lines of police and two prison guards stood guard outside the prison, and at lunch time, they took turns having lunch. All this excessive show of force to deal with a tiny, old lady. They even drove nearby street peddlers away and told people to park their cars somewhere else so that nobody could talk to Zhou’s mum. The elderly woman had gotten up very early that day and travelled a long distance just to see her son. She was kept waiting on the street all by herself the entire morning.

In the afternoon, out of frustration, Zhou’s mom once again put on a vest with her grievances on it and went to the prison to try to see her son. But prison authorities again denied her, and one of the team leaders yelled, “Go talk to Hu Jintao!” (leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP))

Zhou’s mum is very worried about her son and now wonders why the prison authorities are suddenly refusing to let her see him. Why did the police send out a show of force to deal with a tiny, old lady and keep it up for an entire day? When she saw her son on May 12th, he looked very weak. She heard that three people had died in that prison as a result of force-feeding. How could she not be worried about her son?

The day before the family went to visit, officials from Tangshan twice went to harass Zhou’s wife, and police from Matuodian Township in Changli County, Qinhuangdao also went to Mr. Zhou’ mum’s home to tell her that she must not go visit her son, and threatened her that she might also be detained if she did.

It has now been more than one hundred days since Mr. Zhou Xiangyang's most recent hunger strike; his health is becoming weaker and weaker and it is feared that his life is in danger. We call on all people with a sense of justice to pay attention to Zhou Xiangyang’s situation and help rescue him.

Note: On May 18th, Gangbei Prison in Tianjin changed its name to Binhai Prison.

Relevant workplaces and individuals:

Tangshan domestic security division head Gao Huixiang: 86-315-2503208
Gangbei Prison in Tianjin: 86-22-62071156, 86-22-63251056
Gangbei Prison: 86-22-62071052
Prison head Guo Wei: 86-22-66271155 (Office), 87-22-23946522 (Home)
Deputy prison head Li Guoyu (in charge of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners): 86-13920446469
Division Five: 86-22-62071151, 86-22-62071057
Division head Zhang Shilin: 86-22-28175796
Policeman: 86-13920790090
Deputy head Song Xuesen: 86-22-65230452
Head Zu Liming: 86-22-23367343

Related reports:


1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

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