The Brutal Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners in Jiangsu Province (Part 2)
Vicious Police Acts
Police throughout Jiangsu Province have committed countless crimes in persecuting Falun Gong over the past seven years.
1. 71-year-old practitioner Mr. Zhang Wannian from Yandu County died from persecution
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhang Wannian, 71 years old, was the head of the Longgang Grain Station in Yandu County. He used to suffer from 11 illnesses including arthritis that resulted in deformed joints and immobility. Zhang Wannian began practicing Falun Gong in 1994. All of his illnesses disappeared without medical intervention within one year.
Mr. Zhang Wannian went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in February 2000. He was illegally arrested and taken to the Yandu County Grain Station Hotel for "reform" sessions. The police forced him to stand up and "reform," after which they savagely tortured him for 13 days. The police saw that he would not give up his belief, so they extorted 7,500 yuan from him, calling it a "case handling fee," and then sent him to the Nanyang Detention Center in Yancheng City. They tortured him there for one month and then sent him to the Longgang Mental Hospital, where they abused him for 45 days. Mr. Zhang Wannian was not swayed by the mistreatment and remained determined in his belief. He was sentenced to one year of forced labor. He went on a hunger strike in mid September 2000 to protest the persecution and was extremely weak after seven days. The police feared taking responsibility should he pass away in their custody, so they hastily carried him home. Mr. Zhang Wannian died one day later.
2. Suzhou City police torture Falun Gong practitioners
The following is the experience of a practitioner from Suzhou City.
"I was arrested by officers from Youyi Police Station in Suzhou City in November 2000 when distributing truth clarification materials. I was held at the police station and interrogated for one day and one night. I was later transferred to that city's No. 1 Detention Center. I refused to give up my belief in Dafa and was ruthlessly tortured. The guards forced me to wear the type of heavy torture instruments used on death row inmates, and they prevented me from talking to anyone. They ordered inmates to watch me around the clock. They made me sit motionless on a wooden plank for eight hours a day. After six months of these tortures I could no longer walk, my vision became blurred, and I lost my hearing. I was also incontinent and could not take care of myself. During this period, the guards also injected me with harmful substances. I had to wear shackles for more than 20 days after speaking out against the persecution.
"My first court hearing was held nine months after the initial acts of persecution. I was paralyzed at the time and had to be carried into the courtroom. The second hearing was held 15 days later. I was "illegally sentenced" to eight years in prison. I later learned that my family was not notified of either trial, and the guards blocked all information about me. They prevented me from writing letters or meeting with my family. The court told me that I could apply for medical parole, but after the application was complete, the guards continued to isolate me. Instead of releasing me, they sent me to a forced labor camp. The doctor there looked at my medical exam record and realized that I could not take care of myself, so he sent me back to the No. 1 Detention Center. The guards still refused to release me. One month later a hospital confirmed that my health had deteriorated further, so I again applied for medical parole. The guards sent me back to the forced labor camp, but I was rejected due to poor health and returned to the detention center. As my condition continued to deteriorate, the guards made me ingest large amounts of hormones to raise my blood pressure, followed by huge batches of drugs to lower my blood pressure. They did this to me repeatedly in order to inflict pain. My heart rate was 120 beats per minute at the time. After six months at the detention center I was close to death. They told me that they would release me only if I wrote a Guarantee Statement.
"The police and guards persecuted me for 18 months. After I went home I experienced life-threatening symptoms on two occasions and almost died. Even now, I am still in critical condition. The officials continue to harass my family. They made phone calls and sent many people to look for me. I am currently living in exile from my home in order to escape the police surveillance.
"My mother was so frightened during my detention that she nearly passed away. She suffers from a heart problem. More than ten police officers broke into my home and ransacked it at 2:00 a.m. on the day of my arrest. My 12-year-old daughter, who was home alone, was unconscious for two hours due to extreme fright. She currently experiences severe post-traumatic stress syndrome. My husband developed heart disease during my detention from the severe mental pressure. He underwent emergency treatment and survived, but still has frequent relapses. My aunt, uncle, brothers, sister, and other relatives were all harassed by the police."
3. Practitioner Mr. Zhang Zhenggang cremated alive
Zhang Zhenggang, 36 years old, worked at Huaian Industry and Commerce Bank. Officers from the Huaian Police Department took him away on March 2, 2000, for interrogation and sent him to the Huaian Detention Center. At around 8:00 a.m. on March 25, officers from the same police department savagely beat him until he sustained a severe head injury and lost consciousness. He was sent to the No. 1 Peoples Hospital in Huaian City without his family's knowledge. The doctor opened Mr. Zhang Zhenggang's skull, removed a blood clot, and gave him oxygen and an IV infusion after the surgery.
Mr. Zhang had a detectable pulse and blood pressure, but was unconscious the whole time. His wife and mother rushed to the hospital after they heard about the operation, but the police refused to tell the family anything about his treatment plan, medical record, or medications. The police saturated the entire ward and prevented any news of Mr. Zhang's condition from leaking out. A doctor performed an EKG at around 6:30 p.m. on March 30. Mr. Zhang had a weak pulse and was still breathing.
About 50 police officers suddenly came into the hospital. They imposed martial law throughout the hallways and wards. They duped Zhang Zhenggangs wife and mother into going into another room and immediately put them under close watch. Then several police officers shoved some other visiting relatives away, as well as curious patients who had come to the ward. They took Mr. Zhang Zhenggang away when he was still breathing. He also still had a heart beat. They directly cremated his body without the knowledge or consent of his family. They committed intentional murder.
The police later forbade Mr. Zhangs family and friends from commemorating him or sending wreaths. They prohibited the family from appealing to the courts or suing the police. Zhang Zhenggangs wife wrote, "A young, lively person entered a detention center, was brutally beaten, and died from the persecution. Zhang Zhenggang, you have been wronged!"
4. Nanjing City police arrest practitioner Ms. Zhang Yuhua and harass her relatives
Nanjing City police officers took practitioner Ms. Zhang Yuhua from home in the summer of 2001. They also confiscated her truth clarification materials and copy machine, among other things. Her grade-school-aged son was present during the arrest. The ruthless police deeply frightened the child when they ransacked the home and manhandled his mother. Ms. Zhang had no other choice but to call her ex-husband of nine years living in Beijing, and ask him to come take care of their child.
After Ms. Zhang Yuhua was taken to the police station, she walked out from under the polices nose with powerful righteous thoughts. When the police discovered that she had left, they went to her home and demanded that her ex-husband turn her over to them. Her ex-husband doesnt practice Falun Gong, but he knew from the changes in Zhang Yuhua and their child that Falun Gong is good. He said to the police in a stern voice, "You took her away, and now you are asking me for her? We suspect that you are responsible for her disappearance. Is she alive or dead at the moment? Now tell me: how did she leave the police station with all of you watching her?" The police looked at each other and couldnt figure out how Ms. Zhang had managed to leave without a trace. The ex-husband said, "Now youre asking me for her, but I ask you to find her! My child is uncared for! Also, she did not commit any crime, right? I think you know very well what they [Falun Gong practitioners] are about." The police said that they would come back, and then they left.
The police then went to Beijing and harassed Zhang Yuhuas parents-in-law and their relatives. They even staked out Ms. Zhangs ex-husbands brother home. He was very angry with the police officials. He went downstairs and said to the two police officers, "The person you are trying to capture has nothing to do with my brother; they divorced nine years ago. You have no right to stay here and wait for her; dont harass me and disrupt my life!" The two officers left.
Jiang's political group persecutes the families of Falun Gong practitioners as well as the practitioners themselves. More and more Chinese people now see clearly the nature of Jiang's group. They support and empathize with practitioners and condemn the dictators clique for its crimes. The ex-husbands cousin called Ms. Zhang Yuhuas parents and said, "If you ever get in touch with the childs mother, ask her to come and live with me. Im not afraid of these evildoers!" The childs father often says to the child, "Your mother is a good person and deserves great respect. She is a cultivator who persists in the truth. Dont you feel ashamed in front of your friends; your mother is a great person!"
5. Atrocities committed by Changzhou City Police
The persecution of practitioners at the hands of the Changzhou City police escalated steadily after July 20, 1999. The police often resort to barbaric methods to torture practitioners. Below are a few of the most frequently used methods:
a. Torture aiming to exhaust: Practitioners held at the Xilin Detention Center in Changzhou City are forced to work for 10 or 12 hours per day and are interrogated all night long. They are prohibited from sitting or taking a nap during the interrogation. One practitioner was tortured this way for eight days and nights. Some practitioners were tortured for seven days and nights. Some practitioners are handcuffed and hung up during the interrogation. Many practitioners detained in Changzhou City have endured this torture.
When the police cant get any information from the practitioners, they hang the practitioners up by their handcuffs. They don't even spare practitioners in their 70s. They also tie the practitioners to a board with several metal chains so the practitioners can't move. This is a punishment usually used on death row inmates.
b. Fanatic beatings: Ji Liming is a police officer at the Changzhou City Liaison Office in Beijing, and Hong Jianxing is head of the Anjiashe Town Police Station in Wujin. Ji Liming habitually beat and kicked practitioners. He dragged female practitioners by their hair while beating them. He banged the practitioners heads against a wall and against the floor. Ji Liming once beat a female practitioner until she was covered in blood and his hands were covered in blood, but he refused to stop. Hong Jianxing, head of the Anjiashe Town Police Station in Wujin, is really vicious. Once, after a group of practitioners were brought back from Beijing, he savagely beat each practitioner, hit them with sticks, and shocked them with electric batons. The neighbors could hear practitioners wrenching screams late at night.
c. Deception: Practitioner Gao Zhifang from Yonghong Township in Changzhou City was summoned to the village committee in December 1999. They told him that he would be allowed to return home in a little while. He ended up in a forced labor camp for one year. He didnt even have time to change his slippers before he left home. Police from Lanling took practitioner Ms. Liao, 38 years old, away on the morning of November 4, 2000, when she was buying vegetables at a market. She was told at noon that she had been sentenced to 18 months of forced labor because she practices Falun Gong and had gone to Beijing to appeal. A police station chief once said, "We dont talk about the law when dealing with Falun Gong people. You can sue us wherever you want, but youll never win!"
Dark Stories from the Brainwashing Centers
Since July 20, 1999, officials from different levels of the 610 Office in Jiangsu Province have established all kinds of unconstitutional brainwashing centers. Such a brainwashing center is merely another form of a fascist concentration camp. They are used to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners and force them to give up their belief.
1. Gulou District Brainwashing Center in Nanjing City is another form of an illegal detention center
On January 20, 2001, CCP officials in the Gulou District turned their brainwashing center into another illegal detention center. It has held many groups of practitioners. On arrival, practitioners have to submit to a body search. Anything supplied to them by their families is carefully scrutinized. Practitioners are separated into different cells, and their belongings are subject to being searched at any time. The cells have metal doors with small windows covered with metal bars. A large curtain located a meter away from the front window blocks the view of the window, and a wall is all you can see out the rear window. Surveillance monitors are installed in the ceiling. The lights in the rooms are left on day and night. Time allowed for daily activities is limited, including restroom breaks.
Windows in the room can be closed at any time, no matter how hot the weather is. This is another form of abuse. At 6:00 a.m. each day loudspeakers broadcast a propaganda radio program, sometimes lasting more than four hours. Practitioners are also forced to watch TV programs that slander Falun Gong. Practitioners are prohibited from talking during these presentations and are coerced to comment on them afterwards.
The authorities organized a so-called "Education Assistance Group." This group was made up of people from different fields, including police departments, law bodies, legal departments, government branches, academic institutions, residential community committees, and others. People from this group interrogated practitioners one by one. They compelled practitioners' family members to put pressure on the practitioners using methods such as beating, scolding, or threatening them. The officials made practitioners write so-called "Guarantee Statements." Different district governments got together and organized many people to visit Gulou District Brainwashing Center to learn brainwashing techniques to use in their areas.
Two college students were assigned to the so-called "Education Assistance Group." After they realized what was going on they said, "Normal people would be driven insane in such an environment. What legal procedure is required to detain you here?" We told them, "We were abducted and taken here."
Two female practitioners who were employees at a research institute refused to write the guarantee statement. They had been detained for ten months. Many husbands and wives were sentenced to forced labor for refusing to write the guarantee statement.
Practitioners' bank accounts were frozen. Some practitioners did not receive their salaries for several months, some for as long as six months. The practitioners had to pay 5,000 yuan per month for food and lodging at the detention center. If overdue, the fine would be doubled. When released from the brainwashing center, a payment of 3,000 yuan was required as a so-called "guarantee fee." The employees working there would get a 500 yuan bonus whenever a practitioner was released. They threatened practitioners on their release that if two practitioners were seen together again they could be arrested at any time, anywhere. Recently, the authorities boasted that whoever refuses to write a guarantee statement could be sentenced to up to nine years.
2. Tortures in the brainwashing center in Yandu County
On June 10, 2000, Yandu County officials in Yancheng City held the first brainwashing session for those so-called key practitioners. They tried to coerce the practitioners into to learning and practicing Taiji, which practitioners firmly refused to do so. The staff brought in security officers, who handcuffed practitioners behind their backs and kicked and boxed them. They claimed, "It will not be considered a crime, even if a practitioner is beaten to death." They beat the practitioners until they fell on the ground and then dragged them up to beat them again. Such torture took place over a six-day period. They threatened many practitioners' family members, saying if they refused to give up their beliefs they would be sentenced and sent to the far west of China." Threats like these made some family members beat the practitioners.
On November 20, 2000, Yandu County officials in Yancheng City held another brainwashing session to persecute practitioners. The purposes of the brainwashing session were clearly vicious. One purpose was to prevent practitioners from appealing in Beijing as New Year's Day was coming. The other was to prepare a long-term brainwashing center, which would cause practitioners to lose their jobs and income. The third was to force family members and friends to lose contact with practitioners. The Yancheng government provided 160,000 yuan in funding for those so-called "education assistance officials" to live luxuriously.
Those practitioners who were forced to attend this brainwashing session had to pay 40 yuan per day; 1,600 yuan for the 40-day-long class. The brainwashing center was located in a completely isolated area. Practitioners were forbidden all contact with the outside. Not even their family members and friends were permitted to visit them. Four people monitored each practitioner. The monitors' job was to watch and brainwash the practitioners. The decree was that a practitioner must be brainwashed within 40 days; otherwise, the practitioners would be sentenced to forced labor.
3. The brainwashing base where one can't live or die
Besides the brainwashing sessions run at the county, city, and provincial level, Jiangsu Province also set up so-called '"transformation" bases' in Xinghua, Nantong, Nanjing and Wuxi to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. These places went by the official name "Law Education Base." These bases targeted in particular those steadfast practitioners who had not been brainwashed during their terms in jails, forced labor camps, or detention centers; those who stood very firm in their belief in camps or detention centers; or those the authorities thought they could succeed in brainwashing. Persecution and torture at such brainwashing bases was ongoing. Each center contained dozens of practitioners.
These brainwashing bases were under the direct supervision of the provincial 610 Office, with cooperation from lower levels of the 610 Office. The main enforcing body was the so-called "experienced" police officials who came from police departments, labor camps, detention centers, and jails. Collaborators acted as assistants and directly conducted the brainwashing. Local security personnel were hired as hatchet men. In order to force steadfast practitioners to give up their beliefs, those in charge exploited any tactics they could think of. They proclaimed that those who refused to be brainwashed would not be allowed to live or die.
They forced practitioners to watch Dafa-slandering videos on a daily basis, forced them to hand-copy articles slandering Dafa, and compelled them to listen to the collaborators' evil indoctrination. Besides such methods, they often tortured practitioners. Following is a description of some frequently used tortures:
a. Long-term sleep deprivation: Sometimes practitioners were deprived of sleep 24 hours-a-day for a few days in a row. Sometimes it would last ten days, two weeks, and even over 20 days. The victims would become absentminded and then be forced to write guarantee statements. One practitioner was deprived of sleep for 22 days, bringing him close to the edge of a mental breakdown.
b. Limited food: They either withheld food entirely from practitioners or gave them less food for days, permitting them to drink only water.
c. Deprivation of restroom use: Those practitioners who refused to cooperate with the authorities would have their restroom privileges denied. Some practitioners had no choice but to soil their pants. Then, if the excrement fell on the ground, several people would open the practitioner's mouth, pinch his or her nose, and make the practitioner swallow the excrement.
d. Exposure to freezing temperatures or baking under the sun: In the cold winter, they removed the practitioners' warm clothing, leaving them only thin clothes or even nothing. Then they poured cold water on them and turned on an air conditioner or fan. When the practitioners were frozen, when their skin had turned purple, or when they lost consciousness, they put them on the bed and covered them up until they awoke. Then they might, immediately or the next day, repeat such a torture if the practitioner still refused to be brainwashed. Even more vicious, they stripped practitioners and threw them into cold water. Practitioner Liu suffered such torture at the Xinghua Brainwashing Base. He was pushed onto a bed and his legs were pulled apart until he screamed in extreme pain and dripped with sweat. Then they soaked him in cold water. The practitioner was unable to walk for several months after suffering such a brutal torture.
In the summer they stripped off practitioners' clothes and forced them to stand under the sun until they fell unconscious and were soaked in sweat. Some practitioners lost consciousness from dehydration; some people's skins peeled in layers from severe sunburns. They tortured the practitioners this way day after day.
e. Facing a wall to stand long hours; sitting on pebbles or squatting on a piece of brick: Practitioners were forced to stand straight up facing a wall, with their noses touching the wall and hands hanging down, for long hours each day. Practitioners would suffer beating and kicking if they moved even a little bit. The abusers might ask a practitioner whether he wanted to sit down. If the answer was yes, they would put Master's photo or a Dafa book on a chair and order the practitioner to sit down. If the practitioner refused to sit down, they would force him to sit down. If the practitioner insisted on not sitting, they would put sharp pebbles or smashed glasses on the concrete floor and then strip off the practitioners pants and force him to sit down. Then they would push the practitioner around until his bottom and legs were cut and bloody. Or they might get two bricks, remove the practitioner's shoes and socks, and force him to squat on the bricks for a long time. If the practitioner was tired and tried to straighten his wrist or move his feet, they would beat him and force him to continue squatting. This kind of torture would make the practitioner's feet swell and he would suffer extreme pain. Even worse, it would lead to an ankle injury and prevent the person from walking.
f. "Nailed to a board:" Practitioners would be fixed on a wooden board for a long time, with hands and feet spread out in four directions. The whole body looked like the Chinese character for "Da." The practitioners could not move around and were unable to go to the restroom. Practitioner Xie was subjected to this torture at the Weining Brainwashing Base.
g. Insulting Master and Dafa: They put Master's photos and Dafa books on the ground or on a chair and forced practitioners to sit on them. They even tied practitioners' hands and then squeezed Master's photo into their underwear.
(To be continued)