Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Living Was Worse Than Death, So I Confessed - 生不如死就招了

Following my previous blog on the killing of school children in China, I was sick to stomach to read more killings of such kind.

One of the reasons of such irrationality is that there is no channel to redress any wrongs done to Chinese citizens. Violence calls for violence.

Below is a deeply disturbing story. A certain Mr. ZHAO Zuohai in rural China was accused of killing another villager, who had quarreled and fought with him. The person thought to be killed actually fled, believing that he had killed Zhao. After a deeply decomposed body was found, Zhao was tortured and forced to confess being the killer. He was sentenced to die then commuted to long term. His wife divorced him and his children dispersed. Below is an interview published by People's Daily (the "Tongue and Throat" of Chinese Communist Party).

I have read many more similar stories but only choose to report this, because the bias of other sources. Since People's Daily is pro-Chinese government, I feel that I can believe all the accusations here.



下面是一個非常令人不安的故事。在中國農村, 一個趙作海先生被指控殺害與他爭吵和打鬥的一名村民。其實他以為他殺害了趙作海, 逃離家鄉,卻被認為是遭趙作海殺害。一個深度腐爛的屍體被發現,趙作海被拷打並被迫承認為殺手。他被判處死刑然後改判為長期徒刑。他的妻子離婚,他的孩子們驅散。下面是人民日報刊登的(中國共產黨的“喉舌”)採訪報導






Below is my translation and the original transcript follows.

下面是我的翻譯, 中文原文隨後。

May 11, Henan Province, Shangqiu City, Laowangji Xiang [a xingzheng term], Yumian Village, Zhao Zuohai resting in his sister-in-law's home. Pictures taken by reporter LI Qiang

"I was acquitted." Zhao Zuohai put the Release Certificate in front of his chest several times, pointing to it and said: "Look, look, the Supreme Court, acquitted."

After reading it again, he carefully folded the certificate. A man took it to photograph the certificate, and he cranked his neck, keeping unblinking eyes on the certificate, not letting it out of his sight for a moment.

Zhao Zuohai's back was slightly bent, and when he looked at people he betrayed a constant nervousness.

His cry was always sudden, coughing out from the throat. Less than a day, he cried seven or eight times. The most severe one, was when he talked about when his son visited him in prison without calling out Dad.

He was eager to mentioned his being beaten. When worked up, he stood up, hunched up his body and hands, to demonstrate how he was handcuffed to the bench, how he was beaten.

He did not want to mention seeking responsibility. He always said, "I do not understand it, since it belongs to the domain of the government, whatever the government says, whatever happens."

When the people from government came to console him, he would stand up in respect, hands on seams, and bowed to 90 degrees.

Beaten, Living Was Worse Than Death

New Capital Journal: Now does your body feel now?

Zhao Zuohai: At the beginning of my jail time, my head was always buzzing, so I couldn't sleep, all these were the problems I got from interrogate, being beaten.

New Capital Journal: You were at the police station two days, a month at the County Public Security Bureau. Where were you beaten up?

Zhao Zuohai: Both places. Interpol was the worst.

New Capital Journal: Do you remember how you were beaten?

Zhao Zuohai: Punched and kicked, from the day I was carried off. Look at the scar on my head, which was hit by the gun barrel, leaving this scar. They used a rolling pin like stick hit my head, knocking and knocking till I was dizzy. They also set off firecrackers over my head. I was handcuffed to the bench legs, fuzzy headed, and they put one after another firecracker on my head, lit, and set the explosion on my head.

New Capital Journal: Did it hurt?

Zhao Zuohai: Directly put on my head, why wouldn't it hurt? One explosion after another, so you couldn't sleep. They also mixed some drug with boiled water to let me drink, then I knew nothing. They stomped me and I couldn't move, even couldn't not stand up.

New Capital Journal: Could you sleep?

Zhao Zuohai: Handcuffed to the bench, more than 30 days they would not let you sleep.

New Capital Journal: Could you stand it?

Zhao Zuohai: What could you do if you couldn't stand it? He wanted you to die, you are damned. A person from Interpol team told me, that if you did not confess, we would put you on a van, and kick you out of the open door, then we are going to shoot you, claiming you tried to escape. I was beaten so much that to live was worse than to die. Whatever they told me to say, I said.

Beaten ruthlessly, really I couldn't stand it any more. Let me tell you, when you were beaten like that, you would confess too. Qin Xiang Lian [a legendary figure] was a good woman, why did she confess? Because of the ruthless beating. One or two days, three days, five days, she could not endure a long time. However tough she would have to confess.

Later on I said, do not beat me anymore, I would say whatever you want me to say.

New Capital Journal: Your statement was what they wanted you to say?

Zhao Zuohai: They taught me. He told me to say so and so, I then began to repeat, as soon as I repeated, he said, I those were my words. How I killed Zhao Zhentang, was fed by them. If I didn't say it to their liking, they'd beat me.

New Capital Journal: In your statement, regarding where the body was, there were two statements. One was that it was dumped into the river, and another that it was buried. Did they feed you that too?

Zhao Zuohai: I made them up, they were false. They asked me where to get the body, and I can not stand beating so I made up things randomly.

New Capital Journal: At that time, how many people beat you?

Zhao Zuohai: Four or five. I'd forgotten who they were. 12 years passed. A main one amongst them (then) was about 30 years old.

Wronged, I had a Mouth But Could Not Speak

New Capital Journal: So many years, when you thought of it, did you feel being wronged?

Zhao Zuohai: Could you not? How wronged I was. Around in my head I thought about this matter. I know that it was injustice, but what to do to this injustice? Falling wall was crooked from head to tail. You said that you did not kill, they said to you that if you did not kill, why you were in the Public Security Bureau? Nobody believed me, when they did not believe me and also hit me, insisted on that I killed. Everyone said that you killed somebody; no one believed me.

New Capital Journal: Did you say in court that you were wronged?

Zhao Zuohai: Did I dare say it? If I said that, what if they beat me again? Never mind that time; even just a few days ago, our prison cadre, came to ask me this matter, I do not dare to say it. I was afraid. Later, the cadre insisted, and he said that you need to tell the truth. Otherwise, did you still wish to go out? I finally told him everything. It was torture, forced confession.

New Capital Journal: You appealed once, then abandoned the effort?

Zhao Zuohai: Once I was in prison, the prison took care of me, I hoped for reduced terms then I could go out. I did not appeal. I also did not know how to write the appeal. I would thought that if I tried to appeal, what if they beat me again. I didn't dare to wish to overturn the verdict and had little hope.

New Capital Journal: Have you mentioned to friends and relatives of your innocence?

Zhao Zuohai: No. I didn't mention it to anyone. I am a mute who ate bitter pills could not tell it. I didn't dare to any one in my family.

New Capital Journal: You have never acknowledged your crime in the heart?

Zhao Zuohai: I have never acknowledged it in my heart. At that time, whatever was in the court's file was the acknowledgment. For example, say I stole vegetables. Others said I stole vegetables, but I did not steal. Others insisted on your stealing and it was acknowledged and accepted by all. But I have never accepted that verdict.

New Capital Journal: Over these years in prison, what did you think of most?

Zhao Zuohai: Mostly commutation, an early out. This time if I do not come back, I should have another commutation.

New Capital Journal: Ever thought of Zhao Zhentang's returning to the village?

Zhao Zuohai: I did not dare to think about it.

New Capital Journal: If Zhao Zhentang did not come back, when would you can out according to your calculation?

Zhao Zuohai: 70 years of age, 70 years old I could come out.

New Capital Journal: At that time, have you thought of your life once you were out?

Zhao Zuohai: I thought, I would scavenge and do a little trade; one has to live.

New Capital Journal: You perhaps did not expect to come out so soon?

Zhao Zuohai: I did not believe that I could live, did not expect this step.

New Capital Journal: Do you hope that those who beat you would apologize to you?

Zhao Zuohai: Apologize or not, does not matter. Beat first then apologize, has no meanings at all. You cannot peel of the original pain.

In Prison, Cry Underneath Quilt

New Capital Journal: What was your life in prison like?

Zhaozuo Hai: When I was in prison, I did mainly cleaning, and folding clothes in the clothing factory. I was old, and people did not expect me much, however much I could do was all right. Later, the prison took better care of me, and let me to become management staff, administering hundreds of people. Tire due to work, I could sit and and watch who did not work, and intervene. Prison staff really were taking care of me, allowing me to eat before other people, due to my old age. I was not beaten in prison and what I said counted, therefore I did not desire anything inside the prison.

New Capital Journal: Did you have monthly living allowances?

Zhao Zuohai: 6 Yuan [1 USD = 6.8 Yuan, or RMB], I couldn't use them all so I save up. I thought that I would need money once I went out, considering how expensive everything was.

New Capital Journal: Did you look forward to coming out when you were inside the prison?

Zhaozuo Hai: I was counting the days everyday, how many days inside already, how many days to go before I could go out, everyday.

New Capital Journal: Whom did you miss most in prison?

Zhao Zuohai: Sons and daughters, and family.

New Capital Journal: Did you ever dream of things took place before when you were in prison?

Zhao Zuohai: Always dreamed of children coming to see me. Whenever I had a dream, I dreamed of children's coming. I feel really painful. I was forced to confess, didn't you think I suffered gross injustice?

New Capital Journal: Did you cry when you thought of this?

Zhao Zuohai: I cried, I cried underneath the quilt, without making noise. I cried my quilt wet.

New Capital Journal: Did you children visit you?

Zhao Zuohai: My second son came last year. However, when he saw me, he did say anything. He didn't call me Dad. From his coming to leaving, he did not say once Dad. I felt extremely bad. He hated me. You say when my kids did not call me, wasn't I a useless person? The way he visited me was worse than his not to come at all. It made me feel even worse.

New Capital Journal: The child blame you?

Zhao Zuohai: I was in this trouble, my wife left, no one was at home, and my children couldn't continue their schooling, and begged everywhere. I was beaten, my children suffered a lot.

New Capital Journal: In prison, when you heard that Zhao Zhentang returned, how did you feel?

Zhao Zuohai: I cried, I longed to sit on the floor at once.

New Capital Journal: What did you think the most?

Zhao Zuohai: I thought that I was wronged so many years and I was angry and sad. I also know that I was going to be out soon.

Now, I Believe in the Laws

New Capital Journal: Do you know that your wife remarried?

Zhao Zuohai: I knew, I also understood. I was given a sentence, and could not even feed myself. Because this event, my wife left, my children dispersed, my family broken and family members dead. I have tears in my heart, and really it was in these words.

New Capital Journal: Does your son know that you are out?

Zhao Zuohai: He knows. He was working faraway and saw the newspaper. He told me that he wanted to come back to see me. Now, I don't even have a place to live, what's the use of his coming back. Moreover, when he comes back, his won't get paid.

New Capital Journal: What is the future plan of yours?

Zhao Zuohai: I still want to do a small business, selling vegetables, which was what I did before. House, I'll gradually get to it. This and that, to help my sons to form families.

New Capital Journal: I heard that your family grave was dug?

Zhaozuo Hai: At the time, the police said the body was hidden in it and when I was beaten so badly that I admitted that the body was in the grave. They dug up the tombs of my parents and my brother. I need to fix my parents' grave.

New Capital Journal: What is your idea regarding compensation?

Zhao Zuohai: I think it should not be less than 1.5 million Yuan [1 USD = 6.8 Yuan, or RMB]. I was in accordance with national standards, I would not calculate, other did it for me. Build a house, found wives for my sons, I also need money for old age.

New Capital Journal: Have you ever thought of holding the responsibility of the responsible person?

Zhao Zuohai: It was a matter of the government. State says he is not good, he is not good; it will not do if I say yes or no. I was even a criminal to be reformed through labor.

New Capital Journal: Do you find the change big once you are out?

Zhao Zuohai: Too big. Didn't dare to think. Stucco houses become concrete buildings, and I can not find my way.

New Capital Journal: Do you hate Zhao Chentang?

Zhao Zuohai: What is called hate, what is called not hate? I can not break the law, cursing him or beating him would not do.

New Capital Journal: Do you now believe in laws now?

Zhaozuo Hai: I am an ordinary person and did not know what laws were. Now after this, I believe in laws.

New Capital Journal: In the past people said that you were hot tempered. How about now?

Zhaozuo Hai: What temper can I have now? After this incident, any temper has been milled away.

New Capital Journal: Now, what is your happiest time?

Zhao Zuohai: My happiest time was the moment being told that I could come out, then that's great. This event was most tragic and most happy.

New Capital Journal: Why?

Zhao Zuohai: This thing is tragic. But now I am back, and knowing I was wronged, and this is the happiest time. Therefore, the most tragic, most happy. (Reported by Zhang Han from Shangqiu, Henang Province)

5月11日,河南省商丘市老王集乡余庙村,赵作海在其妹夫家中休息。记者 李强 摄

































































































  赵作海:这个事情是悲惨的。但是现在人回来了,知道我是被冤枉了,这也是最高兴的时候。所以说,最悲惨,最高兴。(记者 张寒 河南商丘报道)

1 comment:

  1. It has been reported that Zhao Zuohai received 0.65 Million Yuan, instead of 1.5 Million Yuan he believed that he deserved.