Exposing the Violent Persecution of Yang Xiliang at Qianjin Prison in Beijing
(Clearwisdom.net) During the New Year of 2000, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners went to Tiananmen Square to appeal for Falun Dafa. I was one of them. Quite a few of us were illegally arrested by Beijing police. On October 12, 2000, nine of us received three to eight year jail sentences. Yang Xiliang was sentenced to four years in prison. After he served his term in Beijing's Qianjin Prison and was released, he told me of his hellish experience in jail.
Physical Torture and Verbal Abuse
Mr. Yang Xiliang and fellow practitioners were sent to the Qianjin Prison, of the Qinghe Police Branch. After they arrived, the prison assigned four or more criminal inmates to monitor each practitioner.
The police ordered the criminal inmates to write "guilty of obstructing law enforcement" on a piece of white cloth and sewed it to Yang's jacket.
Every day at 6:00 a.m., policemen Huang Lihua, Chen Jun, Pang Qiang and Zhang Jianguo assigned the criminal inmates to escort Yang Xiliang outside. He was told to sit still on a narrow bench and put his hands on his knees. The weather was -10o to -20oC (14o to -5oF), and the strong gust made it feel much colder. Because of the low temperature, the criminal inmates who took turns watching him had to rotate every 30 minutes. Mr. Yang wore only a very thin coat and sat for the whole day. The police even forced him to open his coat and "sun bathe." The freezing temperature caused Yang to suffer very badly. Pus came out of his ears, his hands were frostbitten and his body ached beyond description. Yang told me that the pain was so hard to endure that he would remember it for the rest of his life. One day, a criminal inmate could not bear to watch and he gave Yang a winter hat to wear. Policeman Zhang Jianguo saw it and shouted, "How dare you have sympathy for Falun Gong! You want to make enemies with the government? I want to freeze these people to death."
One day Mr. Yang Xiliang was sitting in the cold weather as usual. Zhang Jianguo approached him from behind and kicked very hard on his lower back and knocked him down to the ground. Zhang went on to kick him nonstop while shouting profanities.
Once, policeman Chen Jun, gathered five criminal inmates and brought in practitioners Yang Xiliang and Li Jinpeng. They violently assaulted the two practitioners physically and verbally. They hit their chests and heads with foldable benches so hard that they even broke a bench. The criminals shouted, "You guys made the government very angry." A criminal named Xue said, "Let's beat them up as hard as we can." At the time, Mr. Yang Xiliang's feet were injured. Criminal Zhang Tao intentionally trampled on his feet, with army boots on, causing his foot injury to become worse. After the violent assault, Li Jinpeng passed out and was lying on the floor. The criminals said he was faking. It took Li Jinpeng a long time to regain consciousness.
They stopped the beating in the evening, but policeman Li Zhimin continued to curse at them for several more hours. After that, the criminal inmates forced Yang Xiliang to pose as an "airplane." That is to bow his head between the legs and reach his hands up in the air. He stood in this position against the wall for several hours. After that, they forced him to put his hands on the wall and then hit them with a steel ruler. The pain was so bad he almost cried out, but they told him not to make any sound. Every time they tortured the practitioners, the police and the criminal inmates would write in the record book, "We criticized Falun Gong."
All Kinds of Tortures
Because Yang Xiliang and some fellow practitioners refused to compromise, the police resorted to all means to torture them. On one occasion, policeman Zhang Jianguo told Yang to lie on his stomach and ordered the criminal inmates to pile dirty bricks from the sewer on top of Yang's body.
Sometimes, Zhang Jianguo got drunk at night. He would tell the criminal inmates to pull some practitioners from their beds, and he would shout profanities and insult them. The practitioners would be freezing as they stood there wearing only their underpants.
The prison forced practitioners to make soccer balls by hand. To make things harder for them, the police did not give them leather finger guards or an awl which were used by other inmates. The practitioners had to use regular needles to pull the nylon thread to sew the leather. The work hurts the fingers very much. Yang Xiliang's hands were badly cut by the thread.
One day the practitioners were forced to pull weeds in the yard. Some weeds were as tall as one meter and the roots were deep. Some weeds had tiny "saw teeth" leaves. After long term torture and mistreatment, Mr. Yang Xiliang was very fragile and had little energy to do such hard labor. His injured feet were hurting him, and his wounds from the beating added to his misery. Despite that, he still struggled to pull the weeds by hand, and dug a ditch. After they completed the work, policeman Cao Lihua scolded them for having a "bad attitude" and forced them to write apologies.
One day at 6:00 a.m., policeman Zhang Jianguo charged that Yang Xiliang had hidden a book under his coat. After searching, he could not find anything. So he brought Yang to his office and forced him to take off his coat. He then used an electric baton to shock Yang Xiliang on the chest, and he yelled profanities at him. After the torture, he insisted that Yang write an apology. Yang said he had nothing to write and refused. Finally, someone else wrote a statement on his behalf.
The Perverted Prison System
Ten days before his release date, a police officer came to see Yang Xiliang. He introduced himself as a staff member at the Prison General Office. He said, "Let's forget what happened to you here."
Before this, Mr. Yang Xiliang wrote a 12-page document exposing the crimes in the prison. He also told the leaders in Beijing Prison Administration and Qinghe Police Station in person of the torture, but these leaders warned him to shut his mouth. Now that he was about to go home, they once again made a threat, "So many Falun Gong practitioners were beaten to death. If you die, it's just another number, no big deal." They also said, "Anything can happen to you."
Despite such brutality and illegal conduct, the Beijing Prison Administration still awarded Warden Liu Yongqing a first class merit award and promoted him to become deputy director of the police department. Policeman Cao Lihua was also awarded with first class merit. Cao said, "Our brutality at Qianjin Prison was the result of an order from the director of Beijing Prison Administration, Zhu Jianhua. He told us to destroy Falun Gong practitioners' spirits, ruin their reputations, and eliminate them if necessary."
In addition, the Beijing City Administration of Personnel has named Qianjin Prison a top agency for law enforcement. All the police officers awarded with first and second class merits were invited to sightseeing tours in Sanya and Dalian, expenses paid.
On June 10, 2001, Beijing Fengtai District policeman Zhang Shengguo led a group of six policemen and seven security guards to Yang Xiliang's house. They "illegally arrested" Yang's wife Zhang Lijing. The police illegally searched his house and threw household property on the floor. They took some Falun Gong books, Master Li's portrait and some audio cassettes. They also took valuable personal belongings; including 400 yuan in cash, a watch, and a box of old stamps, which was Mr. Yang's personal collection. During the house search, none of the police showed any ID or legal documents.
The police also took Yang Xiliang's personal files from his desk drawer. On February 24, 2005, he was released from the prison, but Yang Xiliang could not find his personal files. This caused great difficulty to his job search and even in acquiring an insurance extension. These were hardships that could not be resolved. Police took away his proof of employment for the past 24 years. The police in Heyi Station used two computer boxes to store all the documents and kept them at the police station.
Yang Xiliang's parents are both in their eighties. When his brother visited him at the prison, he told Yang Xiliang, "Dad and Mom cried for three days after the police arrested you." When Yang called his parents, he could tell that his parents' voices were hoarse from crying for a long time.
After Yang Xiliang was detained, police from Dahongmen Police Station in Fengtai District went to his parents' house eleven times. One time they arrived at 11:00 p.m. Several dozen police officers in police cars, with sirens on, rushed to their house. Without showing any legal papers, they searched every room. Even their bicycle storage room was not spared. The search left the house in chaos, and it caused damage to furniture and frames. The police even forced tenants out of their rooms. They even searched the neighbors' house.
On August 30, 2006 at 8:00 p.m., policeman Wang Xuefei from the local branch knocked on the door. As soon as Mr. Yang Xiliang opened the door, a dozen people rushed in. Some were uniformed police, others were undercover. Six policemen pinned him down to the floor and handcuffed him. They kept him on the floor for 30 minutes. One policeman said, "Don't let him see anything." But Yang still noticed that they took out some papers from a black briefcase and started to take pictures. They also searched other rooms and took something away. Later Yang Xiliang was sentenced to two and a half years at a forced labor camp. The "evidence of a crime" was that the police found a copy of Zhuan Falun that he bought in 1995, and six flyers that the police brought in that day to frame him.
On January 1, 2007, Yang's wife Zhang Lijing went to Xuanwu District Court to appeal for her husband, but the court refused to listen because it was a Falun Gong case. A judge told her, "We do not accept any Falun Gong appeals, even if someone listens to your appeal, we will not open the case for investigation." Zhang Lijing said, "My husband was framed by the police. Whom should I report this to?" The judge said coldly, "It's not my business."
At Yang Xiliang's home, life is tough. His elderly parents are in poor health, his father uses a crutch to walk, and his baby child is not even one year old. His wife Zhang Lijing is unemployed.
March 10, 2007