NEW YORK – After serving 15 years in prison, Mr Zhiwen Wang, a coordinator for the Falun Dafa Research Association in Beijing, was released on Saturday. However, local police immediately sent Mr Wang to a brainwashing centre in the Changping District of Beijing.
“We are gravely concerned about this illegal abduction of Mr Wang,” says Falun Dafa Information Centre spokesman Erping Zhang. “As horrible as a Chinese prison can be, a brainwashing centre is often worse. Why would they release him from prison ahead of schedule, only to immediately send him to a brainwashing centre?”
In late 2013, Chinese authorities launched a renewed campaign to send Falun Gong practitioners to brainwashing centres for psychological and physical torture.
Mr Zhiwen Wang was an engineer for China Railway Materials Commercial Corp and an active volunteer within the Falun Gong community in Beijing. Targeted as a “main coordinator” by the Chinese authorities, Mr Wang was dragged from his bed in the early hours of July 20th, 1999, and taken away by police – part of hundreds of nationwide abductions of Falun Gong volunteers that occurred that night.
His family never saw him again until the evening of December 26th, 1999, when a show trial of Mr Wang and three other Falun Gong coordinators was broadcast all over China, during which Mr Wang was sentenced to 16 years in prison. The one-day trial occurred behind closed doors, with no outside legal representation allowed, and at Christmas, when Western media were least likely to cover it.
The Falun Dafa Information Centre is calling on the international community as well as Western media stationed in Beijing to investigate Mr Wang’s case. His daughter, Danielle Wang, currently lives in the US and is available for interviews.