Elementary School teacher Persecuted to Death at Tianshui Prison in Gansu Province
Name: Liu Zhirong(刘志荣)
Address: Xifeng District, Qingyang City, Gansu Province
Occupation: Elementary Schoolteacher
Date of Death: January 10, 2006
Date of Most Recent Arrest: 2002
Most recent place of detention: Tianshui Prison(天水监狱)
City: Tianshui City
Province: Gansu Province
Persecution Suffered: Imprisonment, Sleep Deprivation, Physical Restraint, Physical Beatings, Torture
Key Persecutors: Chu Zhiyong(楚志勇), Wang Hui(王辉)
Mr. Liu Zhirong was a teacher at Tuanjie Elementary School in the Xifeng District of Qingyang City, Gansu Province. At the end of October 2002, he was illegally sentenced 15 years in prison by the Chengguan District Court in Lanzhou City for practicing Falun Gong. On December 14, 2005, he was transferred from Dingxi Prison to Tianshui Prison. By January 10, 2006, less than one month after the transfer, he had been persecuted to death. The guards cremated his body without permission from his family.
Mr. Liu was assigned to the First Team of the First Prison District in Tianshui Prison. The team leader, Wang Hui, and other guards tried to get him to write the so-called three statements to give up Falun Gong. He refused. They then did not allow him to leave his cell, to go to the restroom, or to sleep. They also forced him to stand for long periods of time time, sit still for long periods of time, and lean his head against the wall. guards also incited the prisoners who were ordered to monitor him and who were in the same cell with him to beat him at will. Prisoners from other cells also beat him sometimes.
All those that beat Mr. Liu Zhirong were incited by the guards. Many prisoners beat and kicked him in turn, which caused him to become incontinent. The prison had a weekly prisoner meeting to slander Falun Gong, and they also tried to force practitioners to write the three statements to give up the practice. The prison strictly restricted any information they didn't want revealed to the public.
One day, a few prisoners who were told to watch Mr. Liu carried him to the water supply room after beating him brutally. They removed his clothes and used the toilet cleaning pipe to douse him with water. It was at night and the sound of flushing water was very loud. All the prisoners in other rooms were woken up and they all complained about the noise. This was in January, and it was extremely painful to be soaked in freezing water. Mr. Liu also did not eat or sleep well besides being brutally tortured. The prisoners that tortured him also taunted him. The guards were just a few feet away, but they pretended not to see anything and just let the prisoners brutally torture the practitioners.
Guards Incited Prisoners to Torture Liu Zhirong
Prisoner Wang, who was ordered to monitor Liu Zhirong, chatted with his fellow villager and other prisoners. He told them that Liu never said "no" to him and he kicked his hand very hard against the radiator. Mr. Liu's hand immediately swelled badly.
If the practitioners gave in and wrote the three statements, the prisoners that were told to watch them would get a bonus, such as merit points or a reduction of their sentence. So they worked very hard to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. In the prison, the ability to persecute people is prized, and all the guards and prisoners are proud of it. Liu Zhirong was persecuted to death under such an evil environment. Because the prison officials strictly blocked information regarding Liu Zhirong's death and nobody has dared to speak the truth, afraid of being persecuted by the prison authorities, the exact details are unknown.
The Guards Force Prisoners to Betray Their Conscience
Prisoner Mingming (an alias) told of something that happened to him. Prisoners Mingming and Xixi (alias) were nearing the end of their terms. The guards were easy on them and let them live in the prison factory to protect the factory rooms. They did not need to live in the cells, and they had more freedom than other prisoners. On the morning Liu Zhirong died, the guards told Mingming and Xixi to go to a cell to carry a body out. They had already heard that a person had died and needed to be carried outside. They went to the cell and saw the body covered with a bed sheet. They lifted the sheet and saw blood all over the mattress, which shocked them. Then the guards ordered them to lift the body onto a stretcher and carry it to the prison entrance. The two prisoners repeatedly told themselves that they just did whatever the guards orderd them to do.
A few days later, the guards told Mingming and Xixi to go to the First Prison District office. When they arrived in the office, they saw many guards already sitting in the room, including the team leaders, captain, and the political instructors. All the guards were serious. The guards that directly supervised them said, "After learning of Liu Zhirong's death, his family will suspect that he was persecuted to death instead of believing that he committed suicide (as the prison had falsely reported). He was a Falun Gong practitioner. There are a lot of them, and we cannot control the situation. We have compiled a set of materials, including a witness testimony, supporting documents, and so on. You two take a look at it and sign your names to be our witnesses. We will treat you well."
Mingming did not sign the documents after he looked at them. He had already heard from other prisoners the truth about Liu Zhirong's death. He knew that Mr. Liu had been tortured to death by a few prisoners, and so the witness testimony and supporting documents were all fabricated. If he signed his name, he would betray his own conscience. He did not want to be a witness and refused to sign his name. Xixi followed Mingming's lead and did not sign, either. The guards then told them to go back and think about it. Later they called them again and tried to convince them. The guards said the prison was under a lot of pressure from the public because of Liu Zhirong's death. Their upper level CCP authorities gave them strict orders to handle this well. So the guards from the First Prison District had worked together to create their fabricated documents. But they did not expect Mingming and Xixi to refuse to cooperate.
After a while, the guards asked Mingming and Xixi again if they had made a decision. The captain, team leaders, and political instructors in the First Prison District cajoled and threatened them in turn to get them to sign. Usually when prisoners are needed to sign a false testimony, the prison gives the prisoners a bonus and the prisoners are glad to do it. But this time the guards did not expect these two prisoners to refuse to cooperate. Mingming was honest and stubborn. Also, his term would expire within a few months, and the guards could not do anything to him. But Xixi was timid, and he was afraid of getting into trouble. He also had already applied for parole and did not want to lose this opportunity, so the guards worked on him in turn from noon until midnight. They did not let him eat or go to sleep.
Finally, the guards started to threaten Xixi that if he did not sign his name, his parole would be canceled and he would have a hard time for the rest of the two years of his term in prison. Xixi compromised under the pressure. Then guards told Xixi to persuade Mingming, because they were really good friends. Xixi cried in front of Mingming and begged him to sign his name. Mingming was very disturbed after he understood Xixi's situation. If he did not sign, the guards would harm Xixi. Finally, due to Xixi's begging, he signed his name on the fabricated documents, betraying his conscience.
After the guards in the First District Prison had fooled Liu Zhirong's family with these fabricated testimonies, the prison praised their actions. The guards went to a restaurant to celebrate their "success." This is the true crime committed in a "civilized prison."
Falun Dafa Practitioner Mr. Liu Zhirong Tortured to Death at the No. 3 Prison in Gansu Province