The Loss of Conscience

As in all the other areas in China, Falun Gong practitioners living in Hengshui City are also being persecuted for their belief. Since late 1999, the detention center in Hengshui City has been the center of persecution targeting Falun Gong practitioners. Particularly in 1999 and 2000, the entire population of detainees were Falun Gong practitioners, in effect making it a concentration camp. The chief of the center, Geng Zhanwu, has made the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners a means to score points and collect rewards from his superiors. In 1999, he was praised by his superior for his role in persecuting Falun Gong. Meanwhile, he has extorted money from practitioners using all kinds of means. For example, practitioners were required to pay a detention center "boarding fee" of 20 yuan [500 yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China] per day (actually, their daily food cost was even less than 2 yuan). In addition, practitioners were forced to pay for the heat, water and electricity bills during their detention. Some practitioners have had several thousand yuan extorted from them through forced payments while in detention.

Geng Zhanwu and other policemen all knew from their dealings with Falun Dafa practitioners that they are all good and honest people. Yet, they lost their consciences as a result of Jiang's order to eradicate Falun Gong and their own personal agenda to amass power and reward. Since July 20, 1999, they willingly acted as Jiang's accomplices and carried out many inhumane acts against Falun Gong practitioners.

One day, a practitioner in a cell was practicing the Falun Dafa exercises, and Geng Zhanwu angrily broke into the cell and brutally attacked the practitioner. After beating the practitioner for about 40 minutes, Geng, exhausted, ferociously roared, "Let's see who is fiercer, Falun Gong or me!"

One day, when practitioners were reciting Hong Yin [Teacher's collection of poems] policeman Shen Zhongshan grew angry and exasperated. He rushed into the cell, dragged practitioner Hou Guorui outside the cell, and repeatedly struck his face. Then Shen put handcuffs on Hou's hands. "Stop hitting people!" other practitioners shouted. Shen Zhongshan then cuffed practitioners Ms. Liu Shujun, Mr. Zhang Yongli, and Ms. Feng Caili together, and hung them up on from the metal door. Practitioners tried to reason with them, but policeman Guo Yangying further shouted, "It was Jiang Zemin who told us to do this. You go and ask Jiang!"

Geng Zhanwu mercilessly beat Mr. Zhong Baorui, and stabbed needles underneath Zhong's fingernails to torture him.

A Day of Serving the Devil

One day in mid December of 1999, Geng Zhanwu asked the policemen on duty, Guo Yangying and Li Jinliang, to open the metal door of a cell, and took practitioner Zheng Baowei (from Zhangzhuang Village, Hengshui City) out to a small hut outside the yard. Soon, the sounds of beating with batons and Zheng's miserable cries could be heard coming from the hut. Every once in a while, Geng's shouts could be heard, "Get up, would you still practice?" Zheng Baowei replied, "Yes." Then Geng roared, "Lay with your face down." After that, the sound of beating and Geng's fierce yelling could again be heard, "I'll let you practice!" The whole process lasted for about one and a half hours. Finally, Geng Zhanwu emerged bringing practitioner Zheng back to the cell. Practitioner Zheng, despite being brutally beaten while wearing handcuffs wore a serene smile on his face.

After that, the detention center guards kept mercilessly beating practitioners one by one for a whole day (except lunch time). At that time, I counted that only three among all the 28 Falun Gong practitioners had not been beaten mercilessly. The other 25 were all savagely beaten by Geng Zhanwu, then by Guo Yangying and Li Jinliang. The next morning, Geng ordered policeman Gao to brutally beat Ms. Liu Shujun, breaking her ribs. A female practitioner (Zhang Yongli's mother, who was in her 50s) vomited after the brutal beatings, but her hands were still cuffed behind the back. As a result, she urinated in her pants. After a female practitioner was beaten for a while, I began to count the beating sound of the police baton. When the policeman stopped, I had counted 396 blows.

After dinner, Geng Zhanwu came again. He asked practitioner Mr. Zheng Baowei if he would continue practicing Falun Gong. Zheng replied yes. Geng then cuffed Zheng up on a tiger bench* in the yard. It was in winter, and Zheng only had a sweater and knitted trousers on. He was cuffed from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. the next morning, during which Geng asked Zheng if he would still practice. Zheng replied yes. Geng immediately kicked Zheng in the face. Other practitioners who were beaten include: Mr. Sun Liangsheng, Mr. Hou Guorui, Mr. Cai Yongcun, Ms. Liu Hongluan, Mr. Yang Qixing, Ms. Wu Lijuan, Ms. Wang Jinling and others.

*Tiger Bench:áPractitioners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead. They are not allowed to turn their heads, close their eyes, talk to anyone or move at all. Several inmates are assigned to watch over the practitioners and force themá to remain motionless while sitting on the bench. Usually some hard objects are inserted underneath the practitioners' lower legs or ankles to make it harder for them to tolerate this abuse (see illustration on <http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/11/24/16156.html>)

November 15, 2003