(Clearwisdom.net) Tilanqiao Prison, the central prison in Shanghai, is especially for political prisoners, such as so-called "anti-revolution criminals" or spies. It is called "The Hundred-year-old Prison" and "The Biggest Prison in the Far East." In this darkest prison in Shanghai, the darkest team is the so-called "youth test team," which used to be for the condemned and now is used for jailing Falun Dafa practitioners.

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Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai
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Shanghai Prison Administration
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Bureau of Public Security of Minghang District of Shanghai

1. About Tilanqiao Prison

There are 10 wards in Tilanqiao Prison. In the first ward are those who are sentenced to the death penalty with reprieve, life imprisonment and more than 15 years. The second ward is in charge of logistical services and teams like the "youth team." Criminals jailed in this ward are required to package soap. In the third and fourth wards are those who are forced to do labor related to the printing business. The fifth ward didn't exist originally. Since more and more practitioners have been arrested, they combined the "youth team" and teams for condemned persons and created a fifth ward. But because more and more evil acts of the prison have been exposed, the fifth ward has since been disbanded and all the teams included in it were returned to the second ward. The sixth and seventh wards are in charge of sewing labor. It is said that all the police uniforms for the entire prison system are produced here. The eighth ward is in charge of heath care, including the prison hospital. The ninth is the so-called the "cultural ward," where good-looking female prisoners produce entertainment for all the prisons in Shanghai. The tenth is the "elderly and disabled ward." The elderly and disabled prisoners in this ward also have to do heavy labor everyday.

Prisoners in Tilanqiao prison have to do very hard labor. They don't have any free time and have to get up around 5:00 a.m. and go to bed around 11:00 p.m., sometimes even later. When higher departments come to inspect the prison, the prison police will reduce the criminals' labor time and improve the food.

2. The evil "youth team"

Condemned persons are not treated as human beings. Two condemned persons need to share a 35-square-foot cell. Their hands are locked together. Since Tilanqiao Prison is so old, there are no beds in the cells, so they have to sit on the floor.

There is a very strict "monitoring system" in Tilanqiao Prison. In every cell, there are three criminals monitoring one practitioner. The treatment for practitioners is even worse than for the condemned persons, who can read, play chess, or talk. Falun Gong practitioners have no such privileges.

After leaving the detention center, practitioners have to register in the Shanghai prison in charge of new criminals and then they will be transferred to the "youth team" in Tilanqiao Prison. After being searched, they will be confined to a small cell. There is no furniture, only a toilet barrel. Practitioners are kept in the small cell 24 hours a day. They are not allowed to talk or read books. Sometimes they are forced to sit on the floor, with their legs stretching straight out, with no socks even in the wintertime, hands on their laps or down at their sides at a 45-degree angle, and not allowed to move at all. An average person cannot maintain this position longer than 20 minutes, but Falun Gong practitioners are forced to sit like this from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., 15 hours. They are not allowed to move around or walk out of the cell to stretch, especially those who have refused to renounce Falun Gong, such as Zhou Bin, Xiong Wenqi, Qu Yanlai, who were never allowed to walk outside of the cell at all. When sitting in the prescribed pose, practitioners are not allowed to move. Even if they move their hands, the criminals stop them. Practitioners are first confined with the condemned prisoners because the prison police want to create an intimidating environment.

Beijing practitioner Mr. Hua Wei insisted on doing the Falun Gong exercises in the detention center, so he was sent to Tilanqiao Prison. In the prison, Mr. Hua still insisted on doing the exercises, so the team chief Ou Ligang and the political head Zhang Jian ordered other criminals to beat Mr. Hua Wei every day. To keep it secret, the prison police forbid those criminals from talking about it and told others, "Beating is forbidden here. No one is beaten."

In order to avoid personal responsibility, prison police ordered the criminal inmates to "transform" the practitioners. To gain rewards from the police, the criminals monitor practitioners, report all of their behavior, and torture them.

Forty-three-year-old Mr. Tang Renya, from Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, was sentenced to three years. Prison policeman Ni Ling ordered criminal inmate Wang Haomin to "transform" Tang Renya. Wang Haomin forced Mr. Tang to sit on a very small stool with his legs stretched forward, which made his legs swell up. Later, Wang Haomin put a bowl on the floor upside-down, and placed a piece of soap on the top of the bowl and ordered Mr. Tang Renya to sit on it. Wang Haomin also beat Mr. Tang with wooden board and slapped him with shoes. He woke up Mr. Tang every hour, not allowing him to get any sleep.

Forty-six-year-old practitioner Mr. Tao Xiangwei, from Shanghai, was sentenced to four years. The criminal who monitored Mr. Tao beat him regularly and once pushed his head into the toilet barrel. In 2003, the local police station tried to take Mr. Tao Xiangwei's fingerprints, but he refused to cooperate with them. Prison Communist Party Secretary Fu Kehu was infuriated, and he transferred Mr. Tao Xiangwei from the "youth team" to the condemned team. (The condemned person team and Falun Gong practitioners' team belonged to the fifth ward at that time.) They had a conference in the ward, ordering everybody to curse Mr. Tao. He was not allowed to fall asleep at night, and the criminal inmates beat him. He was tortured for over a month.

Forty-five-year-old practitioner Mr. Zhang Qin was sentenced to four years. Under orders from prison police Ou Ligang, Zhang Jian and Ni Ling, criminal inmate Zhang Desheng beat Mr. Zhang everyday. This brutal man knows the parts of the body that will hurt the most without showing injury. He beat Mr. Zhang Qin for two hours every afternoon, and one hour every night. He applied the skills he learned from the jail to torture Zhang Qin. He used his palm, foot or a stick to strike Mr. Zhang's throat, stomach and lower back, and he beat his fingers and toes with a wooden board. He would do whatever it took to cause the most pain and often came up with new torture methods.

Fifty-year-old Mr. Chou Shen was sentenced to six years. Criminal inmate Liu Hongtao beat him regularly. The noise of these beatings could be heard from far away.

Twenty-eight-year-old Mr. Mei Jianqi, a student at Shanghai Jiaotong University, was sentenced to five years. He was beaten so badly with a wooden stick that his head bled.

Thirty-year-old Mr. Yang Yanhui was sentenced to three years. He refused to renounce Falun Gong. Before he was released, Fu Kehu transferred him to the condemned team and ordered the criminal inmates to beat him badly.

Practitioner Mr. Cai Jun, who was just released from a labor camp, was sentenced to seven years for he handing out Falun Gong flyers. In the prison, he was severely tortured. Prison guards poured water into a basin and forced him to sit in it. He was often yelled at and cursed.

3. The righteousness of Falun Gong practitioners in Tilanqiao Prison

Even in such an evil environment, practitioners remained steadfast in their beliefs.

Practitioner Mr. Qu Yanlai has been on a hunger strike since the day he was arrested, and it has already been 900 days. Practitioner Xiong Wenqi has been on a hunger strike for 500 days. The anti-persecution hunger strike is the direct reason that the evil secretary Fu Kehu lost his position. Practitioner Jiang Yong threw the prisoner uniform out of the cell, shouting, "We are not criminals. Why should we wear criminals' uniforms?" Practitioner Geng Zhaojun reported being beaten by criminal inmates to the prison's upper level management, so that the criminals who beat practitioners were punished. Practitioner Jiang Yexiang refused to cooperate and refused to take notes during "education" (brainwashing) classes. He also started a hunger strike to oppose the persecution. Practitioner Yu Lei clarifies the truth about Falun Gong to others and has also been on a hunger strike for 120 days. Practitioner Wu Wenming applied his knowledge about the law to oppose the illegal persecution. Practitioner Zhang Yiming, who is very rational and serious, helped many of the criminal inmates understand the truth about Falun Gong. Even the prison policemen respect him, saying, "He is a real man." Practitioner Hu Zhiming started an anti-persecution hunger strike and was finally released due to his righteous thoughts. Practitioner Zhang Qin didn't give in to the torture and was also released due to his righteous thoughts. Practitioner Zhang Zhanjie, whose wife was jailed in Shanghai Songjiang Women's Prison, was also released due to righteous thoughts.