(Clearwisdom.net) Mr. Li Chunwen, sixty-one years of age, was from Wujiazhuang Village, Xiulin Township, Jingyang County, Hebei Province. He suffered years of cruel and inhuman persecution because of his steadfast belief in Falun Dafa and died on June 10, 2004.
1. Benefiting from Falun Dafa
Li Chunwen developed rheumatic heart disease when he was forty-eight years old. He sought out doctors everywhere for medical treatment, did not obtain any relief. While feeling hopeless about life, someone introduced him to the practice of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) in 1995. Just a few days after Mr. Li learned Falun Gong, all his symptoms disappeared. His health became better and better, day by day. His cheeks turned rosy and he became energetic. Everyone commented that he had totally changed.
Li Chunwen told everyone he met, "I could have lost my life a long time ago, if I had not practiced Falun Gong. It is Falun Gong that saved my life."
Mr. Li required himself to follow the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance, the main principles of Falun Gong. He volunteered to teach other people the practice of Falun Gong, no matter what time of day, or how far away. As long as there were people who wanted to learn Falun Gong, he would go help them without any complaint regardless of the weather. Because of his enthusiastic help, many people began practicing Falun Gong and thus benefited from it. People said, "Li Chunwen has improved both mentally and physically after practicing Falun Gong. How powerful Falun Gong truly is!"
2. Suffering Cruel Persecution
Falun Gong has been treated unfairly since July 20, 1999, when the persecution began. Like other Falun Gong practitioners, Li Chunwen tried to go to Beijing to appeal on behalf of Falun Gong. However, he was illegally arrested together with many other practitioners before he could realize his wish, because of the massive deployment of law-enforcement personnel, relentless pursuit, checkpoints, abductions, beatings and suppression of Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Li was arrested, interrogated, threatened, and detained. Later on, the police released everyone, only after they paid an illegal fine of 200 yuan (500 yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China).
On February 9, 2000, Li Chunwen was arrested again by Tian Yongfeng and Du Yongsheng, the director and the deputy director of the Xiulin Township Police Station, because he refused to give up practicing Falun Gong. He was handcuffed to a large tree and also to a steel door. The policemen stripped off his coat, and kept him handcuffed from the early morning to very late at night. Soon after that, they put him in a confinement room and handcuffed him to a bed for nine days. When it was extremely cold in winter, they handcuffed him in a cold room, or outside, with just one thin layer of clothing. Whenever he needed to use the restroom, he had to ask for permission many times before he would be allowed to go. Sometimes he had to urinate in his pants in the cold weather. His nasal mucous turned to ice.
However, Li Chunwen still refused to give up practicing Falun Gong despite this brutal persecution. Ten days later, the policemen secretly drove him to an abandoned office at The Sixth Pottery Factory that had been vacated, to persecute him more cruelly.
The policemen stood around Li Chunwen. The officer on the left was holding a stick to beat him, while the one on the right was holding an electric baton to shock him. The two officers at the back and front were holding a thin rope that was tied around him and pulled him in opposite directions, forcing Li Chunwen to kneel down. Then these two policemen trampled his calves with their full force (Note: This torture method is called "Putting on Strings"). Six young men were torturing one older man. They placed a thin rope under his arms, and while two of them used all their strength to pull him up, the other two stood on his calves. Such pulling upward while pressing down caused the thin rope to quickly cut into the flesh under his arms, causing instant bleeding. Li Chunwen had difficulty breathing and was sweating heavily after five minutes of the first round of being "stringed." He stopped breathing after ten minutes. The policemen released him when they saw that he was about to die and forced him to some drink water. If he refused to drink, they would use the police batons to beat him and the electric baton to shock him. Then they tortured him again for a second and third round, until the policemen became too exhausted to continue.
After Li Chunwen was tortured like this, his body was covered with blood and his mouth was bleeding because he had bitten his lips out of pain. His legs were so weak that he could not stand. When one policeman saw this, he said, "How cruel the deputy director is! He has no human nature!" On the next day, Li Chunwen and fifteen other Dafa practitioners were put in a meeting room where they were paired off and handcuffed together. They were not allowed to sleep. One of them could only squat for a second, while the other was standing. Both men and women were forced to stay in one room, eating, drinking, and relieving themselves together in the same room. At night they were given a water bucket to be used as a toilet. During the daytime, each one had to use a small plastic bag for relieving themselves.
While the policemen were torturing Falun Gong practitioners, they extorted money from them. The biggest amount was up to 10,000 yuan and the smallest amount was 1,000 yuan. If the practitioners paid the money, the policemen would release them. Otherwise, the policemen would continue to detain them in the confinement room. Such inhuman persecution lasted until February 23. The policemen sent Li Chunwen and others to Xiantai for forced brainwashing. At Xiantai, Li Zhongyong, Deputy Director of the county police department, was in charge. The court, Judiciary Bureau, and each township police station sent one person to monitor the practitioners. The practitioners were forced to do heavy manual work from morning to late at night. They were starved to the point that they were dizzy and weak. The practitioners were only allowed to have nine ounces of food daily. The Xuilin Township authorities then took them home and detained them in iron cages for twenty days. The iron cages were normally used for detaining violent prisoners. There was urine and excrement in the cages. There was no place to sleep and the practitioners were not fed properly. The unlawful personnel forced the family practitioners' members to pay a 3,000 yuan fine before they would release them. Being tortured like this for fifty-one days, Li Chunwen, once healthy and strong, turned thin and sallow and was extremely weak.
3. Relentlessly Persecuted to Death
After Li Chunwen came home, the county police department, the township government, and the local police station came to his home to harass him once every few days at all times of the day and night. Whenever there was a holiday or a "sensitive day" (1) they would abduct him without any reason and detain him for as long as one month. For example, when Li Chunwen was working his land on April 25, 2001 while his wife was looking after their daughter who had just given birth to a baby in the county hospital, a group of policemen and township leaders came to his property and arrested him illegally. Then, they went to the hospital and forcefully abducted his wife, totally ignoring the condition of the newborn baby and the baby's mother. They detained the elderly couple in a cave under the township government building for five days. During that time, they did not have any space to sleep or sit. It was extremely uncomfortable, because the cave was filthy and damp. Then Mr. Li and his wife were detained in a meeting room for one month and were fined 1,000 yuan. Li Chunwen had to sell all his crops to pay the "fine" for their release. The policemen and the government officials released them only after they paid the money. It was the continuous abductions and abuse that severely damaged the health of Li Chunwen and his wife.
On August 10, 2001, officers from the Xuilin Township Police Station broke into their home again and ruthlessly harassed the couple. They forced Mr. Li and his wife to go to the police station, but he refused. The next day, two people from the township government came to his home to force him to go to the government office. He refused again. On August 12, two people from the police station came again to harass them. At about 5:00 p.m., two more people from the police station came while the couple was working in their field. They were harassed like this again and again. As a result, the couple decided not to go home and stayed in the mountains for two days and two nights. They could not remain there however, and went home again, because it was very cold and there was no food. Then, about nine people led by Liu Yongbin, director of the police station, went to their home and illegally arrested them.
The relentless, cruel torture severely damaged Li Chuwen's health. He was so weak and thin that he would fall down frequently. He could not breathe properly and his internal organs were constantly in pain. He could not eat, drink or sleep properly. In this condition, his life lasted until June 10, 2004. On that day, Li Chunwen fell down unconscious and died.
(1) "Sensitive days" refer to dates that are significant to Falun Dafa, or national holidays or political meetings. The authorities often fear that Dafa practitioners will appeal on these days.