OTTAWA, Jan 18 (AFP) - A Chinese-Canadian Falungong practitioner who was just released from a Chinese labor camp said Thursday he experienced such horrific electrical-shock torture that "you could smell the burning skin."

Zhang Kunlun, 60, served two months of a three-year sentence in a Shandong province labor camp for practicing Falungong, a banned spiritual movement in China which combines exercise with meditation.

"I was detained three times in the past six months for doing nothing wrong," just for being a Falungong practitioner, Zhang said. "They ransacked my home twice, confiscated my Falungong books and tapped my phone."

Zhang is among 50,000 Falungong practitioners detained by the Chinese government since July 1999, when China banned the spiritual movement.

Zhang said the first time he was detained, last July, officers preparing to torture him with electrical shocks said: "If you were beaten to death, we could simply bury you and tell the outside world that you had committed suicide."

When the shocks began, "they threatened me (saying) 'If you shout, we will electric shock your mouth.'

"My arms, legs and bodies (sic) were burnt on many spots from the electricity. You could smell the burning skin. My left leg was badly injured. I could not walk properly. It took over three months to heal," he told the press in his first outing since he returned to Canada late Monday after his release last week from the labor camp.

Upon his return to Canada, Zhang was circumspect about his treatment while in Chinese custody, fearing the lives of his wife and her 90-year-old mother, who remain in China, would be endangered.

But Thursday, he strongly criticized the Chinese government's treatment of Falungong practitioners.

Zhang said Falungong practitioners in the labor camp were regularly tortured, either with electricity or with harsh beatings. All were forced to write letters of confession or to denounce the meditative practice.

"They beat all practitioners who were doing exercises and appeals, they electrically shocked them. I saw the injuries from the beating(s) and burns on their bodies," he said.

Zhang expressed concern about the fate of his wife Shumei, 61, who elected to remain in China to care for her ailing mother.

Zhang immigrated to Canada in 1989 and returned to China using a Chinese passport in April 1996 to care for his ailing mother-in-law.

Though Zhang has both Canadian and Chinese passports, he was traveling in China as a Chinese citizen, which prompted Beijing to sentence him to three years in a labor camp on November 15.