The Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners inside Jinzhou Prison
(Clearwisdom.net) Jinzhou Prison officials have walked in the bloody footprints of the Chinese Communist Party by promising the guards 1,000 yuan each for "reforming" one Falun Gong practitioner. Some guards have thus resorted to all kinds of brutalities in an attempt to make the practitioners give up their belief. They also instructed certain inmates to assist in the abuse by using sentence reduction as bait. Practitioners Cui Zhilin and Xin Minduo died as a result of barbaric torture.
The gross abuses at Jinzhou Prison can be divided into four categories: deprivation of basic rights; physical torture; hard labor, and fabrications.
I. Deprivation of basic rights, in complete violation of the Chinese constitution
According to the Criminal Law of China, detainees are entitled to make phone calls and send and receive letters and packages, but Falun Gong practitioners are allowed none of these. Four inmates monitor each practitioner. The inmates are assigned to record the practitioner's every move, including eating and sleeping habits. They are also responsible for preventing the practitioner from speaking or having any form of contact with other people. At least two guards are present during each practitioner's family visit.
The prison officials force the practitioners to repeatedly watch propaganda videos slandering Falun Gong and try to coerce them to "atone for their crimes," the "crime" being their belief in "Truth, Compassion and Tolerance". One day in late September 2003, Mr. Zhang Guisheng was seen doing the Falun Gong exercises. Division 2 head Zhang Baozhi, division head Li Yue, and group head Li Xiangyang (who later died in a car accident) wrapped Zhang Guisheng's body and face with tape and ordered four inmates to carry him to the work site, where he was forced to do manual labor. A compulsory-attendance division-wide attack session with verbal berating was held, during which the officials coerced the practitioners to denounce themselves publicly [for their belief]. They locked Zhang Guisheng in solitary confinement.
II. Physical torture
1. Electric shock. Practitioners who persevered in their belief were shocked with electric batons. Zhang Baozhi, head of Prison Ward 2, ordered several electric-baton wielding guards to shock practitioners who refused to give up their belief. The practitioners' screams could be heard far away.
2. Beating and kicking. The guards and inmates often physically assault the practitioners. One group head [badge No. 2158336] knocked out some of practitioner Zhang Guisheng's teeth. Zhang Guisheng was also locked in solitary confinement and nearly died from brutal violence. Practitioner Wang Cunbo was also held in solitary confinement for more than 30 days.
3. "Embracing the Stool:" the prison also invented a torture method called "Embracing the Stool." It consists of a round wooden stool (about 2 ft tall) fixed upside-down on a rectangular metal board about 1.4 m [4.6 ft] long and 1 m [3.3 ft] wide. There are two metal rings on either side of the stool. The guards order the inmates to shackle the practitioner's feet, sit on the metal board with their legs wrapped around the stool, and put their arms through the rings and cuffed their arms on the rings that are at the height of one foot. In this low-lying posture, the practitioner is forced to crouch and cannot straighten his back.
Division One head Cui Yuanqi [Badge No 2158198] and Niu Baojin [Badge No 2158288], head of the Disciplinary Section, sent practitioners Hu Jianguo and Sun Jian to solitary confinement--a room less than 3 square meters [32 sq. ft.] in area and 7 meters [23 ft] in height with a ceiling window. The practitioner is forced to eat, drink, and relieve himself inside this room. Niu Baojin ordered inmates to keep them under surveillance and not let them sleep. The inmates would attack the practitioner if he closed his eyes. The practitioner is tortured with "Embracing the Stool" around the clock while in the solitary confinement cell. His handcuffs and shackles are removed only during meals and toilet breaks. Guards Cui Yuanqi and Niu Baojin divided six inmates into three groups. Each group was responsible for an 8-hour monitoring shift. After 20 days, the flesh on the two practitioners' buttocks had festered and ulcerated. They developed terrible lower back pain; numbness in their arms, legs and feet; and could barely stand during toilet breaks and had to rely on the inmates' help. Practitioners Wang Cunbo and Zhang Guisheng held at Division 2 were also tortured in the same way.
4. Force-feeding. Some practitioners felt wronged by the illegal prison sentence and stopped eating for a while, and some went on hunger strikes to protest. The prison officials resorted to force-feeding. The guards put a large quantity of salt into practitioner Wang Cunbo's food and then refused to provide him with water. Practitioner Xin Minduo was also force-fed following his incarceration in Jinzhou Prison on February 21, 2006.
Practitioner Hu Zhiming from Dandong City was a 36-year-old Air Force lieutenant. He has been tortured and periodically force-fed in a brutal manner at the prison hospital since October 2007. He is now wheelchair bound, and his leg muscles have atrophied. Hu Zhimin's brother, Hu Zhihua, a practitioner residing in the US called prison head Xin Tingquan several times in the early morning on November 21, 2006. Xin Tingquan hung up every time after giving vague and evasive answers to Hu Zhihua's questions.
Hu Zhiming was transferred to a canine animal hospital in early 2008 and was injected with unknown drugs, which has led to a nervous breakdown. It is said the officials used drugs that cause memory loss to prevent their crimes from being exposed. Hu Zhiming is now bedridden and in critical condition.
Two practitioners died as a result of these tortures.
a. Practitioner Cui Zhilin from Fuxin City was arrested by city 610 Office agents on September 18, 2002, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was taken to Jinzhou Prison and died while in custody in Division 5 on August 4, 2004, at the age of 43. His family received a notice the following day, stating the cause of death as "suicide by jumping from a building."
His family saw his skeleton-like body. Cotton balls were inside his ears, nostrils, and mouth. There was a hole in the back of his head, and one part of his gingiva had ulcerated. Large black and blue patches were present on his back. There were burn scars from electric shocks under his arms, on his ribcage, on the outer and inner thighs, below his knees, and especially his ankles. A large piece of flesh was missing from around one elbow. His testicles were dark and swollen. The body had clearly been cleaned or soaked in some type of fluid. The prison officials threatened the family and refused to let them take photographs.
Some facts: Li Xiuping, head of Prison Ward 5; deputy group head Pan Zhiyong; and class head Liu Jiandong planned an escalation of brainwashing and torture of practitioners. They did this in an effort to win the "Advanced Prison Ward" title. Practitioner Cui Zhilin was their first target. They held an eight-day, around-the-clock brainwashing session between July 27 and August 4, 2004, and forced Cui Zhilin to attend. They didn't let him sleep a wink during this period of time, forced him to repeatedly watch videos, and pressured him to "repent" and "reform." They handcuffed him to a large metal chair and savagely beat him. Inmates working downstairs heard cursing, beating, and electric shocks. In the first four days the guards watched him, and in the last four days Li Xiuping ordered inmates Wu Bin, Xue Linming, Zhang Yongzhe and Zhang Wanjiang to watch him and promised the inmates points toward sentence reduction.
Cui Zhilin had to ask for permission to drink water. They reduced his food rations by half. Cui Zhilin died in the afternoon on August 4, 2004. The officials claimed he "jumped from the office of district head Li Xiuping on the second floor at around 4:10 p.m."
The prison officials held a meeting on August 5 with the 153 inmates. Disciplinary Section head Wei Xiaoming delivered an order from top prison officials, warning the inmates not to "mouth off" about Cui Zhilin's death, or they would be held accountable for the consequences. The inmates were told to tell investigators that they were not present, or they didn't know anything, and if pressed, to say Cui Zhilin had committed suicide.
b. Practitioner Xin Minduo was a 33-year-old technician at the Liaohe Oilfield Exploration Company. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and taken to Jinzhou Prison on February 21, 2006. He defied the prison officials and refused to wear a prisoner's uniform or do slave labor. He asked for unconditional release. The guards locked him in solitary confinement and force-fed him.
Four prison officials went to the home of Xin Minduo's father in mid June 2006. They told his father that Xin Minduo was "on a hunger strike" and if he persisted, he would be transferred to Shenyang City or his sentence would be extended. Xin Minduo's family contacted the prison many times in July and August. The officials agreed to let the family visit him. When the family rushed to the prison in sweltering heat, however, the officials denied them access to Xin Minduo. Xin Minduo's parents stayed outside the prison gate and pleaded with different officials who threatened them. The guards remarked, "You guys wrote letters and divulged what happened in here, and that has infuriated our boss. Go ahead and do whatever you want. We won't release him, even if he dies here. Go talk to anyone, even the National Congress; you'll only waste your time."
Over time, Xin Minduo's father's eyesight deteriorated, and half of his teeth fell out from extreme anguish and anxiety.
Xin Minduo died in prison on September 1, 2006. His family was at the prison that day until 4:30 p.m., but they were forbidden to see him and had to go home. Xin Minduo's father received a phone call that evening, telling him to come to the prison, and that he was not to say anything to his wife and daughter. It is unknown what transpired during that visit. Xin Minduo's body was cremated against his family's wishes at 6 a.m. on September 3, 2006.
Officials personally responsible for Xin Minduo's gross abuse and eventual death: Gao Wenwei, Liu Zhiguo*, Zhang Xiaoping*, and Ma Hui from the Politics Division, a group especially appointed to persecute Falun Gong; Zhao Lixin* and Zhang Fanyu*, both heads of Division 10; and prison head Xin Tingquan*.
*Officials who were particularly malicious.
III. Hard Labor
Many practitioners were already weak from previous abuse and mistreatment as a result of persecution at the hands of police and regime officials when they were taken to the prison. Despite their condition, the officials still forced them to do hard labor.
Practitioner Ms. Wu Zhanting from Chaoyang City endured more than two years of abuse in Jinzhou Prison and developed symptoms of a stroke the end of May 2004. The prison authorities never told her family about it, but her family eventually learned of her condition and visited her. The prison hospital personnel administered three months of ineffective "medical treatment." Ms. Wu still could not speak or walk. Her family asked to take her home but the officials said, "She can't go home without having 'reformed' [renounced her belief]. She has to 'reform' and work until she has earned enough points." Her family was granted only 30 minutes at each meeting. Wu Zhanting's condition worsened in May 2006. She went into frequent convulsions. Her family requested her release on medical parole, but the prison officials refused to release her before the end of her term.
Practitioner Qiao Zhongjin from Jianping County, Liaoning Province, had symptoms of severe illnesses when he was taken to Jinzhou Prison in 2004. The officials still admitted him against nationwide prison policies prohibiting the incarceration of people in poor health. The officials made him do hard labor for long hours on a daily basis, in addition to brainwashing and torturing him. He accumulated fluid in his chest, and his face became swollen. He was emaciated and had difficulty walking.
IV. Fabrications 1. Officials blamed Falun Gong for the self-immolation-death of a former inmate
Wang Zhongjiang, a former inmate held at Division 3 set himself on fire in September 2001 to protest 14-hour workdays after his requests for a reduced workload were repeatedly denied. He was taken to the No. 205 Hospital. Officials there charged him 200,000 "yuan" [28,359 USD]. The prison officials brought him back without treating him. He died a few days later. Soon after his death, the officials began spreading a rumor that Wang Zhongjiang burned himself after practicing Falun Gong, although he had never learned Falun Gong.
Many guards and inmates who knew the truth said, "If the head of a little prison like this one can frame Falun Gong, then the Tiananmen Self-immolation incident portrayed on the central TV network must also be faked."
Officials personally responsible for fabricating and spreading defamation include Ma Zhenfeng, administrative prison chief, Pan Licai, head of Division 3 and Liu Bo, head of the Disciplinary Division.
2. Mistreatment of non-practitioner inmates for possessing Falun Gong materials
The guards also persecuted non-practitioner inmates that were caught with Falun Gong materials. One inmate who worked outside the prison saw a Falun Gong flyer in a bike basket and brought it back to the prison cell to read it. An official from the Politics Division found it and locked him in solitary confinement for one month and voided his right to earn a sentence reduction. Another inmate tried to take some Falun Gong materials with him when he was released and another inmate reported him. This about-to-be-released person was taken to a custody center as a result of collusion between the prison Politics Division and Taihe Police Department. During a night inspection, a guard found a truth clarification flyer under an inmate's bed and immediately sent him to solitary confinement.
Xie Li, an inmate from Prison Ward 5, wrote a letter to the procuratorate and the prison disciplinary committee. In the letter he exposed some guards who had physically and verbally abused 32 inmates, in addition to stealing money and items from inmates. After reading the letter, the prison officials transferred Xie Li from Prison Ward 5 and put him on strictly controlled status for 80 days. They also used tortured him. The prison officials also denied him a sentence reduction even though he met the requirement. He once contemplated suicide when the abuse became too much for him.
Liu Zhiguo Continues the Persecution
Liu Zhiguo, an official at the Politics Division, continues to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in 2008. His crimes have been exposed online several times, but he has not changed his ways. After the deaths of Cui Zhilin and Xin Minduo in particular, he aided prison heads to cover up the truth and threatened the victims' families. Furthermore, he refused to let Xin Minduo's family see his body.
Liu Zhiguo even goes as far as to personally take practitioners on the day of their release from the prison to the local police department instead of letting the practitioners go home. He is present during all of the practitioners' family visits and always threatens the families. If he realizes one of the visitors is also a Falun Gong practitioner, he immediately ends the meeting and reports this to his superiors.
Below is a partial list of Falun Gong practitioners being held in Jinzhou Prison:
Name Age Residence Prison term (in years)
Pan Ruosheng 28 Chaoyang City 8
Wu Zhanting 37 Chaoyang City 4
Zhang Huiyu 39 Shenyang City 15
Xu Shoufu 39 Benxi City 12
Hu Jianguo 34 Chaoyang City 14
Zhang Guisheng 40 Benxi City 12
Li Baozhen 50 Chaoyang City 7
Cao Zhiyong NA Chaoyang City 7
Li Jianhua NA Xingcheng City 5
Zhou Hanchun NA Huludao City Since 2003
Zhang Yuquan NA Panjin City 8, since 2003
Chen Hai NA Jianping City 13
Li Hailin 48 Jianping City 14
Bai Hongwu 47 Dashiqiao City 9
Xing Jiaqiu 27 Huludao City 6
Xiao Jiwen 40s NA 11
Zhang Shaofeng 20s NA 15
Ma Qingyuan 50 Fuxin City 4, since 2003
Wang Cunbo NA Panjin City 4, since 2007
Zhang Lifeng NA Jinzhou City 4, since 2007
In addition, the following practitioners were also held at Jinzhou Prison: Wu Zanting from Chaoyang City, Sun Mingze, Li Decheng, Xu Xiaoming, Meng Qingxiang, Guo Lifeng, Lu Guobin, Ma Baogang, Li Guang, Gu Wenqi, and Wang Wenfu
The following 17 practitioners were transferred from Wafangdian Prison to Jinzhou Prison on December 19, 2007: Chen Xin, Xu Zhibin, Miao Junjie, Xu Zhaobin, Xue Xinglong, Yang Guoqian, Zhang Liang, Kou Jianhua, She Cheng, Wang Changshun, Gao Hui, Li Shangrong, Zhang Chunduo, Li Fuchun, Tan, and two practitioners whose names are unknown.
Areas in Jinzhou Prison where practitioners are currently being held:
Prison Ward 1: Zhang Huiyu from Shenyang City, Hu Jianyuan from Chaoyang City, Wu
Zanting from Chaoyang City, Xu Baofu from Benxi City
Prison Ward 2: Zhang Guisheng, Xiao Jiwen, Zhang Shaofeng, Li Baozhen from Chaoyang
Prison Ward 3: Pan Ruosheng from Chaoyang City
Prison Ward 4: Cao Zhiyong from Chaoyang City
Prison Ward 7: Bai Hongwu from Dashiqiao City, Zhang Yuquan from Panjin City, Sun
Mingze, De Cheng
Prison Ward 8: Zhou Hanchun from Jinzhou City, Xu Xiaoming, Meng Qingxiang, Guo Lifeng
Prison Ward 10: Lu Guobin
Internal Ward 1: Chen Hai from Jianping City
Internal Ward 2: Li Jianhua
Internal Ward 3: Li Hailin from Jianping City
Internal Ward 4: Bao Gang
Internal Ward 5: Li Guang
Internal Ward 6: Gu Wenqi, Wang Wenfu