Zhang Hongbao in Blast Furnace
A Documentary on How the Outstanding Spiritual Leader
Transformed to a Political Leader
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Talking about the situation of Mr.
Zhang Hong Bao in prison on "Human Rights Day"
-------- An open letter to United Nations Human Rights Committee
IZGH International Zhong
17 Elizabeth ST.,#404 New York, NY10013 Tel (212) 9255579 Fax (212) 9255580
(202) 5548879 (202) 5548919
On "Human Rights Day"
Dear United Nations Human Rights Committee:
Mr. Zhang Hong Bao has once been acclaimed by international media as "the greatest non-governmental spiritual leader in China". Because his political opinions conflict to the theoretic base on which the Chinese Communist Party founded the state, the organization Zhong Gong under his leading is regarded by the CCP as a threat to its totalitarian rule due to its large scale and huge population, Mr. Zhang Hong Bao has been suffering political persecution as long as 10 years, including living in exile for 6 years. He has read Mr. Clinton's Administration Speech in newspaper which declared that "the United States can give effective protection to people in such need all over the world." As his safety had been in serious danger at the place where he was living in exile, Mr. Zhang Hong Bao has no other choice but to apply political asylum to the United States. However, upon his arrival on January the 29th of this year, it has been more than 10 months that Mr. Zhang Hong Bao has been accorded inhumane treatment instead of the deserved courteous reception.
In March 1993, according to "the Anti-maltreatment Treaty" of the United Nations, US officially adopted the clause "Protection of Anti-maltreatment" as one of its most important laws. Anyone who has been granted "Protection of Anti-maltreatment" will not be deported to his (or her) original residence and also will be permitted to work and live in US.
On September 21st of this year, the Hawaii Immigration Court has pronounced to give Mr. Zhang Hong Bao the legal status of "Protection of Anti-maltreatment". But, up to now, it has been more than 2 months that the INS of United States is still keeping Mr. Zhang Hong Bao in prison in the name of "Safety Protection". And Mr. Zhang is continuing suffering inhumane treatment.
I. Living conditions under human standard:
Living conditions of the prison where Mr. Zhang is kept in are way below human standard.
From the very beginning, INS officials confiscated almost all the personal stuff from Mr. Zhang including his changing clothes, watch, wallet, etc. The only thing left with him was the underclothes that he was wearing then. They kept Mr. Zhang handcuffed in the building 6 where felony criminals stay for more than 10 days.
Later, Mr. Zhang was transferred to live with about 200 illegal Chinese immigrants outdoors. Firstly he was taken to a small camp, and then to a big camp. In the first 10 odd days, he could only sleep on a mattress on the grass because no bed could be found. After a few days, an inmate helped him find a damaged camp bed. They had to make it do by wrapping it up with a lot of cloth strips.
Mr. Zhang could only put his bed on the edge of the camp because he was a latter comer and the camp was already full. The air inside is stuffy. There were too many beds for the camp to cover all well. Beds on the edge would always get wet in rainy days. When sunlight comes out after the rain, they must dry the beds as soon as possible. If rain comes at night, Mr. Zhang has to just sleep in wetness for a whole night. Between June and August, it would rain almost every day. It was really hard to prevent. Thus, Mr. Zhang has always been exposed to the sun and rain, suffering from the intense heat and dampness in turn.
When he was living in the big camp, under his bed it was a manure pit and later filled with earth. Soon after rain stops each time, dampness evaporated would bring offensive smell. Mr. Zhang's bed was the closest to the toilet. Surrounding his bed were dirty trash, mosquitoes and lizards, some even freely climbing over his bed. Once a time he killed 16 flies with just one hit of his shoe's sole on a piece of watermelon skin. His arms are full of scars of mosquito's bites.
It was very cold at night sleeping outdoors in a camp. Mr. Zhang had only been given one sheet, not to mention pillow, quilts.
Now Mr. Zhang has been rearranged to live in a small ward of about seven or eight square meters. Totally four (sometimes five) prisoners live in the ward, breathing the stuffy air mixed with smoke and the smell of manure bucket.
Even when he was sick, Mr. Zhang was not able to see doctor. He has filled application forms for 3 times, all resulting in disapproval. It was not until one time he got acute enteritis that he was carried to hospital.
In the prison of the United States, Mr. Zhang is being treated just like an illegal immigrant!
II. Physical maltreatment
Some prison officers get used to abusing or attacking prisoners with brutal attitude. Prisoners are not allowed to see doctor after being attacked. One prisoner has once been attacked to beg for mercy on his knees.
One prison officer has hit Mr. Zhang on the rib from his side when he was sitting in meditation. INS officials also hit his rib at some excuse when he was getting on or off a bus.
On July 28, Mr. Zhang was taken back to prison after Chinese Communist Party succeeded in preventing US Immigration Judge from granting him political asylum. Prison officer ferociously warned him: "You used to lead ten millions followers in China. However I am leading you here. You got to do whatever I tell you to do."
Mr. Zhang asked to see their head to lodge protest against such deliberate provocation. He was refused. Instead, he was handcuffed by force and placed in confinement for half a month. When Mr. Zhang's lawyer asked about the reason, the answer was Mr. Zhang disobeyed the administration and broke the discipline.
On the preceding day of September 20 when Mr. Zhang was supposed to appear in court, Mr. Zhang was sitting in meditation and practicing with his eyes closed. One prison officer unexpectedly pointed his eyes with a mop. The area under his left eye was hurt to bleeding, and it did not recover until about 20 days later.
Mr. Zhang has been suffering persecution from Chinese Communist Party's totalitarian rule for as long as 10 years. It was almost coming to the end when his case of seeking political asylum had been approved by the US Immigration Court. All at a sudden, the case failed due to the powerful obstruction from the Chinese Communist Party. He has already been extremely depressed. It was incredible that the prison officer would take pleasure in his misfortune.
Shall we ask who is the person giving them instruction to accord Mr. Zhang with such inhuman treatment?
III. Spiritual Insult
Since his first step into the prison on Jan.30, there had been half a year when Mr. Zhang was handcuffed to come in and go out every time. Up to now, he has always been searched by prison officers when going out and coming in. In his current ward, the video camera lens is exactly pointing to him, recording any of his movement. Isn't this the kind of treatment to a felony criminal?
The INS and the prison even detain Mr. Zhang's personal mails. Mr. Wei Jing Sheng, the famous democracy activist as well as the chairman of the Chinese Democracy Movement Overseas Associated Conference, has sent a letter to Mr. Zhang in October inviting him to be present at the annual meeting. Up to now, with two months passing by and the meeting over already, the letter has not reached Mr. Zhang yet.
Besides, some US judicial departments even made Mr. Zhang be humiliated in some critical moments.
One day before going to appear in court on July 28, prison officer suddenly informed Mr. Zhang to take blood test without letting him know what it was for. Actually, he was not sure if it was blood test for it was a shot.
On the preceding day of September 1st when he was supposed to appear in court again, some policemen brought some pictures of bodies and clothes of the dead to show him and asked Mr. Zhang whether he knew them. Mr. Zhang did not understand what they meant. The policemen said they would like him to help distinguish, as he is experienced and knowledgeable.
September 21st was another day that Mr. Zhang was to appear in court. Just before that day, prison officer wrapped his upper part in rope and told him to go to test urine. Finally he was taken back without having his urine tested.
Oct.20 is the deadline of lodging an appeal. Some people who claimed to be officials from INS and FBI came to the prison, and asked to search Mr. Zhang 's body. He certainly would not accept such unreasonable arrangement. And then the INS lodged an appeal exactly on the same day.
Since June 13 when Judge only consented orally to grant him political asylum, each time before he was supposed to appear in court, US judicial departments could play some little tricks on Mr. Zhang. They were trying to make psychological detecting on him and to burden him with psychological pressure with inhumane treatment alike. Facing these, Mr. Zhang appeared completely at ease and endured humiliation so caused. But I can't understand why United States should take such not at all clever measures? Can't its Information Department tell for sure that Mr. Zhang is a victim of totalitarian regime? Can't its Judicial Department understand that Chinese Communist Party is trying to persecute political dissidents by exchanging criminals? ! We can't help doubting that some dirty business is undergoing beneath the table between someone of United States and the Chinese authority.
IV. Communicating difficulties.
Mr. Zhang has no other alternative but to seek political asylum. The first reason is to rescue those colleagues who are being heavily persecuted.
In the prison, the only way to communicate with his staff is through telephone. During these 10 months, everyday Mr. Zhang would wait in line outdoors with tens of inmates for making calls, in spite of the burning sun or the chilly wind. Usually he needed to wait one or two hours for talking just about 10 minutes. And then he had to wait in another line. Some days he could wait up to 7 or 8 hours. From time to time, we could hear over the phone the yells "stop" from prison officers and urging from inmates waiting behind. In order to have more chances to talk to staffs, Mr. Zhang often missed his meals. He has been losing weight rapidly.
Upon his arrival in US, the persecution from Chinese Communist Party has been upgrading and quite a few key members in Mainland China disappeared without reason. To fight against the suppress of CCP, Mr. Zhang has tried 3 times through his lawyers to apply for awaiting trial on bail and all been refused. Some departments told him his case would be put aside for future discuss. I really can't understand ------ Clinton's government do not show any sympathy to our being persecuted colleagues, do they? It is to our surprise that they would watch those innocent common people become victims one by one without attempting to help? Who on earth is the one behind the screen?
An illegal immigrant who had been in prison for years in China concluded that prison in US is even worse than the prison under CCP. He called the prison "Hell in the world under the administration of Clinton!"
Our Zhong Gong member could not straighten-out our thinking either: CCP are persecuting our colleagues in China; Clinton's government is according our spitual leader with inhuman treatment. As we understand, such action by CCP is stemmed from their reactionary nature. However, what is the basis on which Clinton's government is acting? Is it also a kind of partnership regarding the case of Mr. Zhang?
Mr. Zhang Hong Bao came to United States to seek political asylum with heart-filled trust and anticipation. It is out of our expectation that he has been accorded in US the kind of maltreatment that CCP would have tried to accord him but failed. Even after the approval of "Anti-maltreatment Protection" by Judge, he would still be treated with inhuman reception and also racial discrimination. CCP have extended their political persecution on Mr. Zhang to the territory of United States. Someone is helping CCP with the thing they would like to do but have not succeeded. This can't be regarded as an unimportant issue.
Because he values the friendship between Zhong Gong and American people, and takes the interests of the whole into account, Mr. Zhong would like to allow Clinton's government some period of time to know, to study and to solve this issue. He has never talked to public media nor disclosed to his lawyer his real situation in the prison.
Nevertheless, the situation can't keep going on like this, because it would not only severely hurt feelings of all the people being persecuted, but also damage the image of United States in the mind of the people all over the world. We don't want to see this happen.
We are looking forward to a further step heading to human rights taken by Clinton's government in the last minute of their term regarding this issue which is now the focus of world attention, avoiding to leave a historical regret. We are looking forward to some attention to be paid on the situation of Mr. Zhang from some Clinton's governmental departments. And we are looking forward to the immediate carrying out of the Judge's sentence by the INS-----returning Mr. Zhang his deserved freedom.
International media, human rights organization, friends all over the world, and the 38 millions disciples of Mr. Zhang are paying close attention to the every action taken by United States. People are watching to see if the United States will do as Clinton said in his administration speech: "the United States can give effective protection to people in such need all over the world."
We are calling UN Human Rights Organization's close attention to this case and your human assistance to Mr. Zhang Hong Bao.
International Zhong Gong Headquarters
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