How the Guards in the Eighth Squad of Liaoning Women's Prison Torture Practitioners
Falun Dafa practitioners have been illegally detained and tortured at the Eighth Squad of Liaoning Women's Prison for a long time. Torture methods have included shocking with electric batons. Zuo Xiaoyan, the leader of the Eighth Squad, and the associated prison guards have committed monstrous crimes against practitioners.
Partial List of Crimes Perpetrated by Guards of the Eighth Squad against Practitioners
In March 2004, prison guards tried to get practitioner Ms. Zhao Lijun, 47, from Lingyuan to renounce Falun Dafa, but she firmly rejected this demand. She shouted out "Falun Dafa is good" each day on the road to and from work. The prison guards then got the criminal inmates to beat her brutally, which left dark bruises on her face and body. They often taped her mouth shut, tied her up, and threw her on the floor of the bathroom. When they took her back to the ward, they kept her tied and gagged and stuffed her under the bed for the night. On the way to and from work, the guards often goaded other prisoners to drag her along the ground, causing many cuts and bruises. Beatings and other forms of torment were commonplace. The guards also stopped her food rations as "punishment," which caused Ms. Zhao to become very emaciated and her feet to swell and bruise. Although this form of torture lasted a whole year, Ms. Zhao never gave up her belief in Falun Dafa, and she finally was able to leave the prison with her dignity intact.
In March 2004, prison guards also incited the criminal inmates to increase pressure on practitioner Ms. Liu Junlu, who is in her 30s and comes from Dalian City, in order to get her to renounce Falun Gong. For example, after work, back on the ward, the guards stripped off her clothes, blindfolded her, and got together more than 20 prisoners at a time to beat her, kick her, tie her up, douse her with cold water, pinch the insides of her thighs, etc. When her wounds started to fester, the prison guards handcuffed her behind her back for several days, even when she had to use the bathroom. They ordered her to stand still in one place during the daytime and did not allow her to sleep at night. The guards would not remove her handcuffs even as the wounds on her wrists started to fester. By the time the handcuffs were finally removed, one of Ms. Liu's arms had lost feeling. In spite of this, they forced her to work with one hand. Ms. Liu has been imprisoned for more than four years now and her family has not been allowed to see her yet. (see Clearwisdom report from February 12, 2007)
Practitioner Ms. Li Hongshu, 30, has been slapped in the face, doused with cold water, starved, and forced to do slave labor. When Ms. Li became too weak from starvation to work, the guards did not allow her to buy any food in the prison. Ms. Li Hongshu, Ms. Zhang Huaping, Ms. Liu Junlu, and Ms. Wang Hong were not allowed to have rice and wheat for seven months, and were restricted to a diet consisting of corn meal and pickles only.
At one point, Ms. Li Hongshu wrote an account of how prison guards were mistreating Falun Dafa practitioners and successfully distributed flyers with this information. Knowing this, the leader of the prison guards, Zuo Xiaoyan, called Ms. Li to the office and struck her with two electric batons. This cruel torture continued for two days, and when one of the clubs malfunctioned, the guards continued to hit her with another, crippling her leg. One day, as she was finishing work, Ms. Li was not able to find her scissors. The guards did not allow anyone to leave the workshop and ordered everyone on the sewing squad, a total of about 90 people, to look for the scissors; they found nothing. The next day, the guards called Ms. Li to the office and struck her with an electric baton for a long time. They also used the event as an excuse to order other practitioners to the office, where they frisked them individually and went through their personal effects. The guards then ransacked the wards and tore through the quilts and clothing of practitioners. In the end, they found the missing scissors in the possession of an inmate with a mental condition.
Prison guards have tortured practitioner Ms. Wang Shuer, 47, from Dandong City many times in order to force her to renounce Falun Dafa. They shocked her with electric batons, often for half a day at a time, or harassed her for not being able to produce her quota of forced labor. When something malfunctioned with the prison's hot water heater, the cooking was stopped for half a month. Everyone was put on extremely small rations. Since Ms. Wang had no money available to buy extra food, she became so starved that she became dizzy and no longer had the strength to complete her quota of work. Guard Gu Yaxing slapped her face and forced her into an uncomfortable position. When she refused to comply, Gu Yaxing struck her with an electric baton. However, none of the violence could change Ms. Wang's commitment to Falun Gong.
Practitioner Ms. Wang Shiyuan, 35, from Fuxin City wrote a sentence validating Dafa in December 2005. Guard Jiao Lingling shocked her with an electric baton and confiscated all the food that her family had brought her. She only received two small cornmeal buns and two pieces of pickle per meal. Whenever rice or wheat was on the menu, she was not given anything, and nobody else was allowed to share their rations with her either. Ms. Wang was assigned to the ironing group, a heavy workload that requires a lot of physical stamina, and she had to work without a break for 14 to 17 hours a day. The prison guards hit her whenever she did not manage to complete her work quota on time. At one point, Ms. Wang's Falun Dafa materials were discovered, whereupon the leader of the guards, Zuo Xiaoyan, hit her with an electric baton for more than two hours and called her names. She developed many big blisters on her neck that hurt so badly that she had trouble turning her neck. In addition, her rice and wheat rations were withheld once again. Her family was banned from visiting her for three months and although her mother, who is in her 60s, came to see her several times, she was refused.
On another occasion, the guards incited prisoners Deng Xiujie and Qin Liying to persecute practitioner Ms. Li Chunxiao. They told Ms. Wang Shiyuan to fetch some adhesive tape because they wanted to tape Ms. Li's mouth shut to stop her from shouting "Falun Dafa is good," but Ms. Wang refused to cooperate. Prisoner Deng Xiujie got other prisoners to tie her up and beat and kick her. Ms. Wang was continuously tormented for more than half a year. She became thinner every day because she was often forced to stand when the others were having their meals. The guards did not allow her to eat but forced her to work as much as the others did.
Ms. Wang Hong, Ms. Wang Jinping, and Ms. Song Caihong had their hands tied behind their backs with ropes that were also looped round their necks, and each was put under a table in the workshop because they refused to give up their Falun Dafa practice. They were closely watched and were not allowed to close their eyes. After the workday ended and they were taken back to the ward, the guards continued their torture: They poured cold water on the practitioners' faces, forced them into painful postures, beat and kicked them, and did not permit them to sleep. Once, Ms. Wang Hong refused to bow her head low enough and was tied and forced to sit next to a guard's desk for a week, causing her bottom to develop sores. Ms. Wang Jinping was also tied several times and put in a secret place to avoid others noticing her. She was often detained after work or confined to a separate room where she was tortured. All three practitioners were taken to special wards where they were brutally tortured. They became severely emaciated because they were given no food; however, nothing changed their belief in Falun Dafa.
When Falun Dafa-related writings were discovered in the possession of practitioner Ms. Gao Yanxia, the guards immediately tied her up to torture her.
Practitioner Ms. Zhang Lina, 30, was bound in a painful position because she refused to renounce her belief in Falun Dafa. As a result, she was not able to straighten her neck for more than a year. She also lost bladder control because she suffered constant beatings by the criminal prisoners. Once, when Ms. Zhang went to fetch her meal, prisoner Zheng Qiu kicked her until she fell to the ground and called her dirty names. Zheng Qiu did not allow Ms. Zhang to have her meal for no particular reason and beat her again. Later, the prisoner in charge gave Ms. Zhang some radish but not her regular rations. Although she had some personal money to buy food, the guards did not allow her to spend it.
The guards used their entire bag of dirty tricks on practitioner Ms. Li Chunxiao: they ordered the most vicious criminal prisoners to watch her, did not allow her to sleep, poured cold water on her, cuffed her hands behind her back, and placed her inside a small box in which she could not even move her neck and had difficulty breathing. Ms. Li had to spend so much time in the box that she could no longer move her head or hands, and her eyes started to protrude and were bruised. She was tortured in this way until she was scarcely recognizable as a human being, and everybody who saw her was appalled. Perhaps due to a feeling of guilt, prisoner Qin Liying cursed everyone who even looked at Ms. Li.
Practitioner Ms. Zhang Pinghua, 41, was found to have passed along Falun Dafa writings to other practitioners and was reported by the prisoners. The guards then handcuffed her and forced her into a position where she had to touch her hands to her feet with straight legs for a whole week as punishment. She was required to stay in this position for 15 hours a day, and other people had to feed her with some corn meal during mealtimes.
Early in 2005, prison guards Gu Yaxing and Jiao Lingling called a prison squad consisting of 46 people to the office and started to kick and hit them with electric batons, cursing all the while as if all those people were animals, ostensibly because their slave labor output was too small. The guards were primarily targeting Falun Dafa practitioners, because they hit them for longer and more viciously. They suspected that the practitioners might have obtained certain Dafa articles, but could not obtain any evidence and just vented their anger on everyone in the section.
Practitioners detained in the Eighth Squad of Liaoning Women's Prison were treated with great cruelty. The law stipulates that electric batons may not be employed casually, but the officers of the law are deliberately breaking the law themselves. When inspectors came on tour, they hid the electric batons and took them back out when the inspection ended. In order to make more money, the head of the Eighth Squad, Zuo Xiaoyan, equipped every guard with an electric baton, and allowed them to use it casually. Very often, people were called to the office either individually or as a group and were struck with the baton. This happened to practitioners as well as other prisoners, and no particular reason was given. Cries and loud shouts could be heard every day and the smell of burned human flesh lingered outside the office.
Penal Servitude and Exploitation
In addition to the electric batons, practitioners were subject to forced labor and production quotas. There was no way to protest the production quotas and everyone was pushed to her limit to complete the quotas. If one day's quota was not completed, then the next day's quota would be even higher. Because prisoners were so afraid of being struck with the electric batons, they tried to drink as little water as possible so as not to have to take bathroom breaks. They even sacrificed their mealtimes in order to be able to complete the work quotas. They had to eat as quickly as possible and took only a few minutes to eat because they were also expected to wash their bowls. They only ate half of the food while sitting down and ate the other part while walking back to work. Even so, Zuo Xiaoyan was not satisfied with the speed of the mealtimes and often shouted abuse.
Prison guards gain profit from the sweat of prisoners by extending work hours and using them as slaves. Generally speaking, prisoners are supposed to start work at 6:00 a.m. and wrap up at 9:00 p.m., but police officer Zuo Xiaoyan keeps them working until midnight, and sometimes even until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. Occasionally prisoners are even forced to work through the night. One day in January 2004, they were finally finished at 4:00 a.m. However, guard Gu Yaxing had a problem with prisoner Gao Jie, who was in charge of the tools, and forced the whole group to stand at attention for an hour. After almost a day and night's worth of work, everyone was exhausted, and struggled to keep their eyes open, but Gu Yaxing was vicious enough to insist that everyone should stand straight. He only allowed everyone to get some rest after Gao Lijie apologized to him. After just one hour's sleep, they were all driven back to work as usual. The prison squads also have to take the unfinished work back with them after they finish their work at 9:00 p.m. each day. They are pressed to do extra work even when they are supposed to sleep and rest and are punished severely if they do not comply.
In the Eighth Squad controlled by Zou Xiaoyan, detainees are not allow to read, and not even a single pen or piece of paper is allowed in the cells. They have to spend all their time and effort on endless work. Zhou does not care about the methods used but cares only about making money. In the fall of 2005, the Eighth Squad was forced to package video disks for a factory. The cover of the videos was clearly printed with "X-rated," but the prisoners were forced to help bring in filthy profits without any thought about the impact this may have on society.
In December 2003, prisoners of the Eighth Squad were forced to peel garlic. After all the garlic had been peeled, the guards didn't return it right away but told everyone to soak it in water in order to add more weight to make a better profit, not paying attention to the quality of the product. Indeed, there is no difference between criminals and the so-called officers of the law. In February 2004, a sewing sweatshop was set up in the Eighth Division. It was supposed to supply labor to the "New Heaven and Earth" factory, which supplied the cloth and instructions. However, the planned co-operation didn't go as smoothly as expected, and a year later the contract was canceled. Before the factory moved away, Zuo Xiaoyan covered up the activities of criminal inmate Deng Xiujie, who was stealing bolts of cloth. Eventually, all the cloth was made into bedsheets, quilt-covers, and nightgowns, which were sold to the prisoners or given away to others. For example, ten of the female guards received free pajamas. Of course, some of the imprisoned people refused to accept the stolen goods.
The Eighth Squad checked prisoners for metals, tried to physically destroy them, and also tried to exploit them economically. It was only possible to buy something in prison with permission of the guards. From time to time, people were fined to "stimulate" them to increase their output. Everyone who managed to save some money was fined. Female guard Jiao Lingling created a kind of "rule" stating that people who saved more than 500 yuan were allowed to buy food; those who had less than 500 yuan were only allowed to buy daily necessities. The savings usually come from the inmate's family members, who often are very poor. They painfully save a few hundred yuan and send it to the prison. Even if they do not have much money from home, the prisoners are fined until they have almost nothing left.
When practitioner Ms. Liu Junlu was beaten by criminal inmates and guard Gao Nan, Ms. Liu inadvertently touched Gao Nan during the struggle, giving the guard an excuse to tie her up, torture her, and fine her 1,000 yuan.
Prisoner Gu Jibo 's home was very far from the prison, and it was not easy for her family to visit. The family managed to scrape together 3,000 yuan for her, but she was allowed to only spend 200 yuan on herself and had to pay the rest to Zuo Xiaoyan because of "low productivity."
One Person Commits Evil, the Whole Family Suffers
It is a natural principle that good will be repaid with good, and evil with evil. The director of the Eighth Prison Squad, Zuo Xiaoyan, had lost all conscience and humanity, with the result that her family and herself were badly harmed. We have learned that when the women's prison moved to its new location, within only a few years, Zuo Xiaoyan's parents passed away. Gu Yaxing's father took to his bed, suffering from paralysis, and lost his capacity to speak and eat. If one person commits evil, bad luck comes to all of his family members.
Everything described above is just a small part of the torture I have seen and heard in person and that occurred in the Eighth Prison Squad at the Women's Prison in Liaoning Province. These severe forms of torture and abuse have never ceased there. Every day, Falun Dafa practitioners are searched when the work stops for the day; guards often surprise prisoners by conducting sudden searches and confiscate practitioners' personal belongings. They often leave their bedclothes rumpled and even rip the cotton stuffing out of quilts and throw it on the floor. When the inmates return from work during the middle of the night, they have to spend quite a while to clean up the mess and lose precious time needed for sleep. Whenever a practitioner's family member comes to visit, the practitioner is searched thoroughly and even her underwear is taken off by a shameless guard.
The following is a list of names of practitioners still imprisoned in the Eighth Squad:
Group One: Gao Yanxia, Liu Junlu, Wang Jinping, Xu Baozhen, Song Caihong
Group Two: Li Chunxiao, Li Hongshu, Gao Manli, Cheng Ling, Wang Shiyuan, Qi Xiangru
Group Four: Du Xiuyun
Group Five: Zhang Li'na, Zhang Guozhen, Jin Shunnv, Li Xia, Ma Shuyan, and othersGuards who are quick to use their electric batons are: Zuo Xiaoyan, leader of the Eighth Squad; Gu Yaxing, the former division head; Zhang Lei, the present division head; Li Xiaohong, head of the section; Gao Nan, head of Group One; Jiao Lingling, the former head of Group Two; Liu Yili, the present head of Group Two; Meng; and others. Under the leadership of Zuo Xiaoyan, these guards have committed countless crimes.