“In the event of my extradition, my fate will be sealed”
– If Poland surrenders me to China, I will die – says an activist of the movement fought by communist authorities of the Middle Kingdom. He is supported by the Swedish embassy of which he is a national and the Ombudsman. However, the Polish court believes that it is not about activities in the community fought by China, but about economic crimes and agreed to surrender the detainee.
Two beds, two stools and two bedside tables, a table, a partitioned toilet, a window with a frosted glass with bars showing through.
This is what a 12 square meter cell in the detention center in Warsaw’s Białołęka district looks like, where Zhihui Li, 53, from China, has been sitting for twenty months. He says about her: my death row.
He is officially pursued by China for an economic crime. However, he argues that this is just a cover for the communist regime punishing him for supporting Falun Gong, a community brutally fought in China. Li – as a millionaire – not only was a member of it, but also financed the organization’s activities.
Is this a line of defense to protect him from trial in his former homeland? We don’t know that. We know, however, that he is not alone in his narrative. The Embassy of Sweden, whose citizen for several years has been Zihui Li, in a letter sent to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes: “there is a high risk that our citizen, after handing him over to the Chinese side, may be sentenced to death.” Swedish diplomats point out that the local government published a report on human rights, democracy and the rule of law in China in spring 2019. It stressed that China was guilty of numerous violations of basic human rights and that the number of such incidents was constantly growing.
“The People’s Republic of China does not meet the criteria of the rule of law. The judiciary there is subject to the control of the communist party, so it is not independent,” the Swedes claim.
Amnesty International is also alerting that Falun Gong members are being tortured and executed. The members of the movement, which has over 100 million people worldwide, also speak about the persecution and preparation of accusations against Falun Gong.
These arguments, however, did not convince the Polish court, which agreed – now legally – that Zhihui Li, detained in Poland, should be handed over to China.
It is 2012. Zhihui Li is a respected citizen of the People’s Republic of China – for years he has been managing a large company in the textile industry, the turnover of which is counted in tens of millions of zlotys. He sits twice in the People’s Chamber, the equivalent of the Polish Sejm. Like every entrepreneur and politician at this level, he must have a party ID. Formally, however, he is not a member of the communist party, but of the communist youth group.
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