An Eyewitness Account of the Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners at Chishan Prison in Hunan Province
(Clearwisdom.net) In my reckless youth, I committed a serious crime that landed me in Chishan prison with a heavy sentence. After years of awful incarceration, my hair had turned gray, and my life was void of any meaning. In this sad state, I moved toward the end of my life without any concern for the outcome.
I never thought that my twisted soul could ever be saved. In the fall of 2000, several Falun Gong practitioners were sent to my prison. As I became more familiar with them, they started to teach me the true standards for being a human being, that of having Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. They awakened my heart and conscience. Today, I am free from that dark place; I feel the need to write down the sufferings those Falun Dafa practitioners have endured and that I have witnessed.
Due to the unjust persecution of Falun Gong, there were once 36 (currently 28) kindhearted practitioners jailed in Chishan prison. These Falun Gong practitioners courageously followed their conscience and appealed on behalf of their peaceful belief, always keeping within legal and moral standards. They tried to show the true facts of Falun Gong to the authorities. By distributing truth-clarifying materials, they showed the public the slanderous attacks that they were being subjected to in Mainland China. These actions are within their legal rights according to the Chinese consitution and law. Yet, in defiance of China's own laws, these practitioners were sentenced to prison for conducting these activities.
In prison, when Falun Gong practitioners defend their fundamental rights they risk their lives. On many occasions, practitioners appealed to prison authorities and other government offices both verbally and in writing. They practice the Falun Gong exercises and meditation and study the Falun Dafa teachings in the book Zhuan Falun, they refuse to wear prison uniforms, to number off, and to squat down (a torture method) as a means to demonstrate that they are innocent and that they are not criminals. The prison authorities follow these actions with severe punishment. When I saw Falun Gong practitioners being tortured both physically and mentally in the prison, sometimes to the brink of death, I knew that the prison authorities were the ones committing crimes against Falun Gong. Those practitioners were brutally abused, intentionally harmed, and forced to live in constant agony. No matter what the official policy is toward Falun Gong, attacking and torturing these innocent people is entirely wrong. The following are some of their experiences that I witnessed in Chishan prison.
The Collective Persecution of Imprisoned Falun Gong Practitioners
In 2002 and 2003, Falun Gong practitioners were subjected to a psychological torture which was refered to as a "psychiatric evaluation" in order to deceive people about what was really going on.
Falun Gong practitioners were forbidden to talk to each other. When practitioner Huang Yonghui spoke with a practitioner from another prison section, common criminals were ordered by the prison officials to beat him. Falun Gong practitioner Fan Sanfa spoke with another practitioner from the same section; Fan was left in handcuffs for several days.
In 2002, Falun Gong practitioners Cheng Yang, Xiao Huisheng, Xiao Zixiang, Liu Duanrui, Jia Zhefa, and Zhou Pingyang refused to wear prison uniforms, refused to perform forced labor, and insisted on studying Falun Gong teachings and practice Falun Gong exercises and meditation. As a result they were all viciously beaten, handcuffed, and put into solitary confinement. On several occasions, practitioners Xiao Zixiang and Xiao Huisheng were cuffed to an outdoor steel frame from which a basketball backboard was mounted. They were cuffed there with their four limbs stretched out from morning to night. Practitioner Liu Duanrui and Jia Zhefa had both their hands cuffed together for approximately 5 months straight. Furthermore, during that period of time, they were hung up with only their toes touching the ground from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. Jia Zhefa, in addition, was continuously being shocked with electric batons all over his body. He was also tied up with ropes and chains.
Four Falun Gong Practitioners were Severely Tortured During the Second Half of 2002
In August, Falun Gong practitioner, Zeng Yinhua, was cuffed for seven days, and then thrown into solitary confinement for refusing to put on a prison uniform. While in solitary confinement, prison guards directed other inmates to enter and brutally torture him. Zeng had serious injures all over his body.
In September, prison guards forcefully took away practitioner Liu Duanrui's Falun Dafa materials. When practitioner Zhang Peng started hunger strike, he was brutally force-fed and beaten by guards. Even when he was in critical condition, he still wrote to provincial "610 Office" and prison officials to declare his innocence. ["610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.]
In November, practitioner Cheng Yang went on hunger strike for almost a month after his Dafa materials were confiscated. He was brutally force fed using a bamboo tube.
Cases of Extreme Persecution
Thirty-five year old Falun Dafa practitioner Lu Songming was a history teacher at a middle school in Xiangtan City. In December 2002, prison police He Young from the fifth prison section tortured him for six days and six nights straight. At night, Lu Songming was cuffed to the bed frame with his arms and legs stretched out. Prison guards also encouraged inmates to beat him. One day in January 2003, while Lu was being force fed, an inmate with a nickname of "Fat Bear" kicked Lu in his back. He also hit Lu's abdomen and even sat on him. As a result, Lu excreted blood for two hours. His excrement contained blood for the next several days. "Fat Bear" threatened to torment Lu to death on many occasions. One time, he hit Lu's head with a hand full of keys. In late January 2003, there were seven days when Falun Gong practitioner Lu Songming, Xiao Zixiang and Xiao Huisheng were dragged outside to do hard labor with only their underwear on. The director of the fifth prison section, Li Fewen, cuffed Lu Songming and hung him up for twelve hours. [This is a type of torture method with both hands cuffed, both feet off or only toes touching the ground, one is hung onto the basketball support or the beam of the house with the handcuff.á The hands and arms will soon become paresthetic and numb.] For two months, Lu Songming even slept with his hands cuffed.
Falun Dafa practitioner Xiang Xiulin, 57 years old, was a private medical doctor from Changdejing City. He was murdered in Chishan prison. His youngest son, Xiang Yanzhi, was also detained in Chishan prison. In January 2003, Xiang Xiulin showed symptoms of having a stroke and became unconscious. He lost the ability to move and speak. He was diagnosed of having a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away a week later in prison. On the surface, the provincial "610 Office" officials and prison authorities invited medical experts to treat him. Xiang had many visits from officials and had dedicated nurses. But most people were deceived. In fact, the prison authorities did not take any effective measures to treat him. They intentionally kept Xiang at the prison hospital, where there was neither the expertise nor necessary equipment to treat him. They did not even attempt to borrow adequate equipment from outside. That was the real cause of Xiang's death. His son, Xiang Yanzhi, requested his father to be transferred to another hospital and temporary release for medical treatment; but the request was denied. Even a common criminal has the right to seek medical treatment, but that right was stripped from Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Dafa practitioner Jia Zhefa, is 38 years old and is from Hanshou County, Changde City. In February 2003, Jia refused to wear a prison uniform and to perform hard labor. Guards from the fourth prison section, Wang Renshan, Zhu Xinghe and Cheng Tao, cuffed and hung Jia from a steel frame and then viciously beat him while he was hanging in this position.. For over a month, Jia was cuffed and hung up during the day and slept with one hand cuffed to the bed at night. Jia went on hunger strike to protest the beatings and physical punishment given to him by prison guards. But he was viciously beaten and then put into solitary confinement by the guards from the fourth prison section.
Falun Dafa practitioner Cheng Yang, 31 years old, used to work in the provincial medical department. In April 2003, a prison guard from the third prison used an electric baton to torture Cheng. The guard threatened to torture Cheng daily. The guard also boasted that if something happened to Cheng, he could just quit being a prison guard and go find a better job. On April 11, Cheng was stripped of his clothes and brutally beaten by Gao Pengfei and other four or five inmates. They lashed Cheng with bamboo strips, pinned him against a wall with arms and legs stretched apart, and then punched him in his head. Cheng sustained injuries all over his body. There were multiple cuts on his face and legs. Prison guard Ye Changzhang witnessed these crimes yet, he just watched and did nothing. On May 8, Cheng Yang refused to squat down as he entered the gate to prisoners' living quarters. Prison police He Zhongmo and Liu Xiao viciously beat him. On May 9, prison police Qiu Biao kicked Cheng Yang to the ground. As a result, Cheng was bleeding from his nose and mouth, and one of his teeth was knocked out.
Falun Dafa practitioner Zeng Haixian, 30 years old, is a resident of Zhuzhou City. On May 5 Zeng refused to squat down after he entered the gate to the prisoners' living quarters. He was severely beaten and shocked with electric batons by the assistant prison director, Zi Wei, and others. During the month of May, Zeng was beaten almost every day. One time the prison squat team locked Zeng in a room and shocked him with electric batons for an hour. The prison guards beat Zeng on a regular basis too. On June 4, under the instigation of Zi Wei, the prison political department, education department, and the fifth prison section conspired to brutally persecute Zeng Haixian. Assistant Director Li Wenfei said, "Even if he dies, we will still put a prison uniform on his body before sending it out for cremation." Since that day, Zeng Haixian's hands were tied behind his back with one hand over the shoulder and the other hand against the lower back. He was suspended in the air with his feet. On June 6, Zeng still refused to wear a prison uniform, and he was again viciously beaten and shocked with electric batons. He was cuffed to a big electric pole with his left hand cuffed to his right foot and his right hand to his left foot for the entire day. Starting the next day, he was cuffed and hung up with his feet off the ground for an entire day. At night, both his hands were cuffed to his bed's iron beam above his head. Zeng's hands swelled and became infected.
Falun Dafa practitioners' bodies are also made of flesh and blood. Just because they believe in "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance," and they want to become good people, they were subjected to such ruthless torture. Where is the justice in China?
Written on 2003-7-30