An Open Letter to the Outside World from Practitioners Illegally Detained in the Second Prison in Shenyang City
To all kindhearted people:
We are dozens of Falun Gong practitioners who are being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and are now being "illegally detained" in the Shenyang Second Jail in Liaoning Province. Please pay close attention to the evil persecution toward us and the severe abuse of our human rights during the past seven years, and listen to our appeal.
We practice Falun Gong and try to be better people by following the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." We also clarify the truth about Falun Gong to people all over the world, and reveal the lies and propaganda of the CCP, as well as the brutal persecution towards Falun Gong. Therefore, we are being persecuted by the CCP, illegally sentenced and thrown into jail. Some of us were sentenced to relatively short terms such as three, five, or eight years. Others received long terms such as ten or thirteen years. The longest term is fifteen years. Among us are young people in their twenties and thirties. There are also experienced and strong middle-aged people in their forties and fifties. There are also very old people like Fan Weihuai who was sentenced to ten years in jail in 2002 when he was 73 years old. We were previously factory workers, farmers, teachers, police officers, college lecturers, company clerks with high ranks, engineers, and government officials. We are good people in different levels of society. We previously had happy and harmonious families. We lived normal lives and had legal rights as citizens. However, we were brutally persecuted by the CCP because of our belief in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." We were brutally deprived of our careers, families and a life as normal human beings. Our happy and harmonious families were broken into pieces. Elderly parents lost their son's care. Young kids lost their fathers. Weak wives lost the care of their husbands.
During the seven years of being illegally detained in the Shenyang Second Jail, we suffered from inhuman tortures. Our freedom of belief and human rights were severely abused. This jail in Liaoning Province is for career criminals. Among the over 4,000 prisoners here, most are sentenced to a delayed death penalty, to life in jail or terms over ten years. We are being detained together with these prisoners. The Second Jail is specifically focused on the persecution and torturing of Falun Gong practitioners. At one time, over fifty practitioners were illegally detained here. After some practitioners completed their terms they were released, other practitioners were sent to other districts. As of now, this district is still illegally detaining over twenty practitioners. There are over twenty practitioners in other districts as well.
During the past seven years, the jail guards, other than a small percentage who still have a conscience, in the section that persecutes Falun Gong, led by the section head Li Jianguo and some inmates continued the vicious persecution and tortures towards us. The following are just a few cases:
1. Guards Give Power to Criminal Inmates to Torture Practitioners
The jail authorities transferred some prisoners who had committed violent crimes from other districts and told them to watch us around the clock. Those prisoners were murderers, or had committed robbery and physical abuses. Some prisoners were sentenced to a delayed death penalty, a life-time in jail, or to a more than ten year term in jail due to stealing or fraud. Currently, there are over twenty inmates who are watching us in this district. A small percentage of them still have some conscience left, however, most of them are extremely violent and vicious. They depend on the power authorized by the guards, and spare no mercy when torturing us. They do not allow us to do anything. When we questioned them by saying, "You are prisoners, how can you give orders to us? Who gave you the authorization?" They replied arrogantly, "We have authorization. We have the authorization from the guards, government and communist party." The law for Chinese prisons clearly states that the guards are managing the jail, and that this power cannot be transferred to others. Therefore, are the deeds by the guards in the Second Jail in Shenyang not clearly a violation of the law? Illegally sentencing innocent people and throwing them in jail is already persecution in itself. The jail guards who are supposed to uphold the law, instead openly disobey the law. This is a persecution within a
2. Watching Us Around the Clock
In the district, guard Li Jianguo arranged inmates to watch every corner of the bedrooms, hallways, activity rooms, washrooms, and restrooms. They watch us around the clock, continuously. In Li Jianguo's words, "There are eyes everywhere." The washroom is open only at specific hours during the morning, noon and night. Other times it is locked. Every day, the inmates record every word and every movement we make, then it is collected and submitted to Li Jianguo. Even if we get up in the middle of the night, the inmates on night duty must record it.
3. Separating Us into Different Rooms to Isolate Us
Guard Li Jianguo separated dozens of us into different rooms. Every room contains a few practitioners and several inmates who watch us. We can only associate with practitioners within the same room. We cannot go to other rooms, nor can we contact practitioners in other rooms. Even if we meet each other in the hallway, we cannot speak with each other besides a simple greeting. Before 2004, each room even had to take turns using the washroom during the morning and at night. We are not allowed to be together. This kind of separation made it impossible to get to know each other, even though we see each other every day. We do not even know what is happening in the room next door.
4. We are Not Allowed to Talk
Guard Li Jianguo does not allow us to talk with each other in a low voice. Inmates watch us, and if we speak, we have to speak loudly, and let inmates next to us know what we are talking about. We are not allowed to say anything about Falun Gong. When we speak with a low voice, the inmates who are watching us will rush towards us, as ordered by the guards, and shout at us that we are not allowed to talk.
5. We are Not Allowed to Do Falun Gong Exercises
When we start doing the exercises, a gang of inmates assigned by the guards will come towards us rampantly, and five or six people attack one practitioner, forcibly separating his hands and legs, then cuff the neck and hold him onto the bed. Or several people hold one person and throw him to the ground, holding him down, and sometimes even beat him. During the day, even if one does not do the exercises, if he crosses his legs, a gang of inmates will come forward and forcibly pull his legs apart. In the beginning years, one could not even close ones eyes. Once our eyes were closed, the inmate gang shouted and told us to open our eyes.
In 2001, practitioner Wu Haili was kicked in the genitals by the inmate gang because he was doing the exercises. At that time, his entire lower body was covered with blood. He urinated blood for several months. He used to be very healthy, but quickly became very thin and it seemed as he would not make it. After resting for a long time he gradually recovered, however even now he still urinates strange things from time to time.
In 2001, practitioner Wang Zhicheng was transferred from the Falun Gong section to the original third team because he was doing the exercises. There he was brutally beaten by inmates specified by team guard Wang Jun and he almost died. They beat on his kidneys until they were bleeding and they beat his head using a wooden board with nails which left him with scars. The longest scar is 7 centimeters long. When they took him to the hospital, he was on the verge of dying. After intensive treatments, he finally recovered. Later, because of long term tortures, he developed sepsis and almost died again. He had to pay more than 30,000 yuan for the medical bills in order to cure the disease.
At 10:00 p.m. one night in October 2003, the guard on duty, Li Xiangdong (Title: instructor of the Falun Gong district) got very drunk. He used an excuse in order to talk with practitioner Chen Xiu, who did the exercises during the day, and lured him into his office. He shut the door and together with another two inmates they beat Chen Xiu and used electric batons to shock him. The torture continued for nearly an hour. When Chen Xiu said that it is against the law to beat people, guard Li Xiangdong shouted crazily, "I am the law!" A few days later, in order to prevent this incident from being exposed, they took Chen Xiu and more than ten practitioners from the Falun Gong district to several other teams.
6. We Are Not Allowed to Read Falun Dafa Articles
Once in a while, the guards will let inmates search our bodies and our belongings. They even break the quilts and mats. Once they find Dafa articles, they confiscate them immediately. The inmates either openly grab them or secretly steal them and then submit them to guards for rewards. Telling inmates to search our bodies or belongings is against the jail rules.
7. We Are Not Allowed to Have a Pen and Paper in Our Hands
If we want to write letters, we need to have the agreement of the guards, and let inmates give us paper and pen. After the letter is written, inmates will take back the paper and pen.
8. Guards Hold Our Letters Which Describe Our Current Situation
Our letters written to prosecution departments, the court and to jail officials describing our situations are held back by the guards in the district. They do not submit them. Practitioner Zhen Shijie even received intensified torture treatment for writing appeal letters to the prosecution department. Nonetheless the jail law clearly states that materials regarding appeals, suing and other reports should be transferred by the jail immediately and should not be withheld.
9. Family Visit Is Monitored Throughout the Whole Process
When our family members visited us we were monitored during the entire time. At the beginning we were allowed to dine with family members, which meant we could sit together and have a meal while talking with each other for as long as one hour. However, a guard would be sitting with us during the entire time, listening to the conversations between us and our family. We were not allowed to say anything related to Falun Gong, nor were we allowed to tell our family members about the persecution and torture by jail personnel towards us and the severe violation of human rights. Using their words, it was not allowed to expose the secrets of the jails. While other criminals do not have guards listening in at all while they have family visits, and they were allowed to say anything to their family members. Since 2005, they have not even allowed us to dine together. We are only allowed to talk via phone through the glass and it can only be half an hour, and with guards listening and the whole phone conversation is being recorded. Recently, some practitioners refused to wear prisoner name cards. This is a paper card worn by criminals, with a photo, job, and the name of the district he belongs to. These practitioners are no longer allowed any visits from their families. One practitioner's mother came from another city far away and wanted to see her son, however she was rejected by the guards with the excuse that no family visits are allowed without wearing a name card. The mother had to leave without seeing her son and she was very disappointed and sad.
10. Isolating Us from All Contact from Outside the Section
Except for family visits and occasional outside duty, all of our life is restricted to the inside of the Falun Gong section. We are cut off from all outside contacts, we do not even have a chance to talk with inmates from other districts. In 2004 and 2005, we were not even allowed to go to the jail market to purchase daily necessities. If we need anything, the inmates who are watching us would have to buy things for us. After 2006, we were allowed to purchase by ourselves, however, each room can only send one representative to do the purchase for the whole room. And during the process they send many inmates to watch us, not allowing us to contact or speak with inmates from other districts.
11. Torture - Locked in a Small Cell
If we do not obey the so-called management, which means being persecuted and tortured by the guards and inmates, we will be sent to a strict treatment, which means being locked in a cell. The jail set up a strict treatment team for criminals. It is used to punish those criminals who disobey orders or violate regulations. So the strict treatment team is called by inmates the prison within the prison. People who have to undergo the strict treatment are confined to individual isolated cells. Each cell is about 2.5 meters long, about 2 meters wide, with a narrow space and dim light. They are cold and humid. Each cell usually detains two people. They receive two meals a day. Each meal contains a small corn bread (about 1 oz.), a small scoop of corn porridge, and several slices of salted vegetables. Recently, each meal only contained a small scoop of porridge, and no corn bread.
Each cell is equipped with a monitoring camera. Outside of the cell, there are inmates watching people day and night. As soon as something happens, inmates will rush in and start beating people. However, this place became the most evil location at the Second Jail for us. In the Falun Gong district, if we do the exercises, or refuse to join the forced labor work ordered by them, or refuse to be ordered around by criminals, or to wear inmate suits etc., guard Li Jianguo takes us to the strict treatment team to be tortured. Most of the practitioners here had been detained in the strict treatment team before. In the strict treatment team, if we continue to do the exercises, there will be a group of inmates and guards rushing in, who beat us violently. They use electric batons and force us to wear a back cuff and foot cuffs, which are tools for punishment.
Before 2005, each time we had to undergo strict treatment it lasted two or three months, and sometimes as long as half a year. Some of us received this strict treatment multiple times. However, the Chinese jail laws clearly indicate that the length of a strict treatment should not exceed 7-15 days. Most of the strict treatments for criminals were dismissed after fifteen days, except in rare cases. Because of long-term mental and physical abuses, as well as long term malnutrition, our practitioners usually become extremely weak and thin after coming out of these strict treatments. Some of them could not even walk, and they had to hold on to the wall while walking. After 2005, because of the pressure from outside, they no longer dare to openly break the law, and gradually shortened our strict treatments to one month, and eventually to fifteen days.
In 2002, practitioner Liu Mingjie wanted to go to the washroom in order to wash his food container after a meal. The inmate watching him did not allow him to go. He did not obey the inmate, thus received strict treatment by guard Li Jianguo and was inhumanly tortured for six months. During this time, he had to be hospitalized for a while. Guards and inmates beat him, shocked him with electric batons, and tortured him using various tools. Eventually he became mentally disoriented due to the tortures.
In 2003, practitioner Zhen Shijie was taken by guards for a conversation. Guard Zhang Lei cursed Teacher Li. While Zhen Shijie tried to stop him, he accidentally touched his body. He was accused of beating guards, and received strict treatment for more than six months. Long-term strict treatment and malnutrition caused him to have severe anemia and not even mosquitoes could get blood from his body. Doctors said that this kind of detention is life-threatening to this person. Because he feared that he would die, guard Li Jianguo had to let Zhen Shijie return to the district and release him from strict treatment. While he was in strict treatment, the jail personnel lied to all inmates through a cable system saying that Zhen Shijie had broken three backbones of a guard.
In May 2003, practitioner Huang Gang received strict treatment for doing the exercises. While there, he was beaten by inmates specified by guards. They opened his arms, stuck both his hands in two iron rings attached to the wall, and hung him up. At night, they tortured him with other tools. They held him down on the ground, handcuffed him with iron rings, and tightened them around his wrists. Each iron ring has an iron chain. They held both of his arms over his head, then stretched the two iron chains, causing his body to be stretched very straight and then they secured the chains to the wall. This torture lasted 17 to 18 hours and was extremely painful. In late 2004, practitioner Sun Qian refused to join the forced labor and consequently received one month of strict treatment. After he came back, he suddenly started coughing frequently. He was previously very healthy and also became extremely thin. After they sent him to a hospital, he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. After staying in the hospital for more than two months, he passed away in March 2005. He was only 30 years old.
In March 2003, practitioner Sui Xin refused to perform forced labor and received strict treatment. In strict treatment, in order to prevent him from doing the Falun Gong exercises, guards ordered inmates to stick an iron pipe through his sleeves behind his back and tie his hands on the two ends of the pipe. Thus his two arms were spread out in a horizontal shape, and tied tight to the pipe, so he could not put them down. They then inserted two wooden sticks into his pant legs and tied both of his ankles to the sticks. Thus he could only sit with both legs straight and could not bend them. The stick torture lasted for more than ten days. In June 2006, practitioner Zhao Jiyuan received strict treatment for refusing to wear an inmate uniform. They put him in handcuffs and foot cuffs for fifteen days continuously. Even people who visited the jail from the outside were shocked and said, "Look at the tortures Falun Gong suffer from."
Long-term tortures severely damaged us, mentally and physically, leading to severe diseases in some of us and early death in others. Some of the cases include:
Yu Fei became hemiplegic from stroke, Liu Mingjie became mentally disoriented, Li Quanchen contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, Han Liguo died from a heart attack, Sun Qian died from pulmonary tuberculosis, and Fan Weihuai was released from jail after being diagnosed with end-stage intestinal cancer and died soon after that.
Falun Gong practitioner Fan Weihuai, male, 74 years old, was from Chaoyang City, Liaoning. He retired from the Northern Mechanical Factory in Zhaoyang City, Liaoning Province. He started practicing Falun Gong in 1994, after joining a Falun Gong workshop in Guangzhou. In the following years, he cultivated and lived by the standard of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," and he had been very healthy. After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, local policeman Lu Xiaofei from the Northern Mechanical Factory district in Zhaoyang City, forced practitioners to write the three statements. Whoever refused to write them would be arrested and sentenced to jail. Because of the constant harassments since September 2001, the 70-year-old couple Mr. and Mrs. Fan Weihuai were forced to leave their home.
No matter where they went, the older man continued to clarify the truth about Falun Gong, and validated Dafa. On March 17, 2002, Mr. and Mrs. Fan Weihuai came to Beipiao. On April 17, Li Zhu from the Beipiao Police Station arrested and extorted nearly 4,000 yuan from them. After that their family members went to question this incident, but the police station refused to return the money. The couple were both illegally sentenced to long jail terms and sent to the Dabei Jail in Shenyang.
During their detention, family members went to visit them in the jail in Shenyang multiple times. They pleaded with the guards and asked them whether it was possible to get a probation for medical treatments, since the couple was of old age. However, they replied that without writing the so-called "transformation statement," which means giving up their belief against their will, there was no way out.
On December 7, 2005, because of losing the cultivation environment in jail for a long time, and not being allowed to do the exercises, Fan Weihuai's health condition was very bad. He requested a physical examination. The jail guards did not care about his life, they even threatened that there would be no physical examination without a "transformation." Because the old man's body could not hold up any longer, he wrote the transformation statement in order to receive the physical examination. However, it turned out that he already had late-term liver cancer and there was no time for treatment. At that time, the old man was already very weak, but they still refused to release him. They used the excuse that they could not allow him out on probation for medical treatments until all the paperwork was completed, thus delaying him for another month. The jail personnel was sure that he would not live for more than a couple of days. To shirk their responsibilities, they released him. On December 12, 2005, Fan Weihuai passed away.
Everything listed above are just a few typical cases of the brutal persecution and human rights violations that the Second Jail in Shenyang did to us during the past seven years. During these years, the persecution and tortures happened every day and never stopped. We cannot help but ask: Why is the CCP treating kind-hearted people in such a brutal way? Whenever we question the persecution and tortures, the guards always reply with arrogance, "This is jail! This is the place to punish people!" It meant that here is jail, thus all the persecution and tortures towards us are normal. However, the jail, the execution department of the law, and the guards as people who are supposed to execute the law, should they not strictly obey and act according to the law? How could they openly break the law and do all these bad deeds?
Although the persecution is so evil, we still strongly believe in Dafa from the bottom of our hearts. We strongly believe in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" and we never hesitated. Are we wrong for being good people? We did not break the law, nor did we commit any crime. While in the Second Jail, we held hunger strikes multiple times in order to protest the persecution. We also asked that they stop the persecution and release us unconditionally. Actually there are more places besides the First Department of the Second Jail in Shenyang were Falun Gong practitioners are being detained and tortured. The jails, labor camps, detention centers and police stations all over mainland China have been systematically and nationally committing persecution. Many kind-hearted people were killed, injured, disabled, illegally detained, and suffered from inhuman tortures. Here again, we appeal to human rights organizations and kind-hearted people all over the world, to pay attention to the evil persecution which is currently happening in mainland China. Let's stop the persecution together, defend human rights and freedom of belief, defend public value and justice! At the same time, we also ask the CCP regime to immediately stop the persecution towards Falun Gong, restore the reputation of Teacher Li Hongzhi, unconditionally release all the detained Falun Gong practitioners, and legally punish those criminals who killed, injured and persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.
From all Falun Gong practitioners who are illegally detained in the Second Jail in Shenyang, Liaoning Province.
September 15, 2006