by Milene Fernandez
Flushing, NY, May 30, 2015 – Once a respected and relatively privileged member of Chinese society, Hu Zhiming found himself escaping his homeland on foot, crossing the border into Thailand and eventually immigrating to the United States. He had been tortured severely for many years in various prisons to the brink of death. Living under a regime that oppresses anyone who does no comply with the party line, Hu Zhiming suffered tremendously simply for upholding his spiritual beliefs in truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. It is not surprising that he decided to renounce the Chinese Communist Party.
Hu Zhiming is from Dandong City in Liaoning Province, China. He worked at the Air Force Training Equipment Research Institute in Beijing starting in 1997. Rising quickly through the ranks, he became a computer laboratory director, a squadron leader, and won many awards. In 1997 he also started practicing Falun Gong, a meditation discipline that the Chinese regime started persecuting in 1999. In 2000, the political affairs committee at the Research Institute reported Zhiming to the authorities. He was then arbitrarily arrested and put in different detention centers and prisons until 2009. In prison Hu Zhiming was forced to watch endless hours of programs that slandered the Falun Gong. He was injected with unknown drugs and tortured.
Hu Zhiming never gave up in his beliefs in being truthful, compassionate and tolerant—the tenets of Falun Gong. He protested his imprisonment by going on long-term hunger strike, becoming so emaciated he could join his two hands forming a circle around his waist. The guards at Tilan Qiao Prison in Shanghai eventually released him because they were afraid he would die and did not want to take responsibility for his death.
Hu Zhiming says, “In prison we face torture directly. Out of prison, we face the danger of being detected and arrested again by plain-clothes police on the street at any time.”
Determined to survive, in 2010 Hu Zhiming escaped from China by walking on foot to Thailand where he applied for asylum with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2012 he was relocated by the UNHCR to the United States and has been living in New York City since then.
Despite the horrendous years of persecution that he suffered, Hu Zhiming feels positive about life. Facing such cruelty directly and even at the cost of possibly losing his life, he maintained his integrity and conscience.
He says, “If you support the Tuidang movement, you are also standing on the side of justice in a battle between good and evil.”