Name: Ma Zhiwu (马智武)
Gender: Male
Age: 38
Address: Unknown
Occupation: Employee of Yinchuan Railroad Sub-bureau
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 1999
Most Recent Place of Detention: Wuzhong Prison (宁夏吴忠监狱)
City: Yinchuan
Province: Ningxia Autonomous Region
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, forced injections/drug administration, beatings, being hung up, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, force-feedings, home ransacked, denial of restroom use

( My name is Ma Zhiwu and I am 38 years old. I was a driver for the Yinchuan Railroad Sub-bureau. I practiced martial arts when I was young. I enlisted in the army in 1988 and got a job in 1992. I worked hard and never slacked off. I had serious sinus problems, hemorrhoids, prostate problems, and other illnesses. In May 1998, I heard people discussing that practicing Falun Gong could achieve a healthier and stronger body. In order to improve my health, I started practicing Falun Gong, and all my illnesses were gone in less than two months. I followed the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and became a truly good person.

However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Because of my belief, I was detained and imprisoned in Yinchuan Detention Center, Ningxia Forced Labor Camp, and Wuzhong Prison for eight years. I experienced the most inhuman torture imaginable during those days. I tried to commit suicide several times as I couldn't stand the torture and I lost the courage to live. [Note: The teachings of Falun Gong forbid killing, including committing suicide and self-injury. Dafa practitioners are taught to clearly remember at every moment that they are practitioners, and to treasure their lives and avoid thinking and behaving in an extreme or irrational manner.]

Though it is very hard for me to look back, I will try to tell about my experiences during those days. I think it will help people to see clearly the CCP's lies. This will lead to the end of slandering Falun Gong and help stop the persecution.

1. Detained for Speaking the Truth

I went to Beijing trying to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. I wanted to tell the truth about Falun Gong to the proper offices. One day, several police officers came to our apartment and said they wanted us to answer some questions. They took 19 of us to the nearby police station. The officers there didn't ask us any questions but just took us to Chaoyang Detention Center in Beijing. I was taken back to Yinchuan by officers from the Yinchuan Police Department and detained at the Yinchuan Detention Center for about two months. Guard Wang encouraged other inmates to beat me, handcuff me behind my back, and put heavy foot chains on me. I was sentenced to three years of forced labor on November 12 and was sent to Baitugangzi Forced Labor Camp with two other practitioners, Mr. Wang Yuzhu and Mr. Wang Yuzhou.

2. Three Years of Forced Labor

In the forced labor camp, the inmates kept telling us, "Here you must learn to be bad. The worse you are, the fewer people dare to hurt you. You have to learn to lie and deceive others." Falun Gong practitioners became the targets of their attacks. Being kicked or beaten was common. Anything could serve as a tool to hit us: wooden sticks, stools, pipes, etc. They didn't care which part of your body they hit: head, face, eyes, etc. They always hit you hard. At any time, for no reason at all, they could hit us as they pleased. Mr. Wang Yuzhu and I were taken to a room once and more than a dozen people hit us for no reason. After the beating, I was bruised all over and my eyes were so swollen that I couldn't see anything. I hurt so much that I couldn't sit or sleep. Wang Yuzhu was a mass of bruises, too. The guards encouraged the inmates to beat us. We never hit back or bullied back, never sought revenge or bore grudges. We told them the principle of being a good person with compassion. Our words and actions touched their hearts. Eventually they realized that we were good people and not like what it said on TV.

I couldn't understand why good people would be detained in a place that should only be for criminals. In August 2000, I started a hunger strike to protest the persecution and demand my freedom. On the fifth day of the hunger strike, I was taken to Shangqiao Hospital in Wuzhong. They poured some milk down me through a tube in my nose after the doctor gave me anesthesia. I was returned to the labor camp after several days. Guo Wenzhi, who was the director of the Management Division of the labor camp at the time, conducted and also took part in torturing me. He, guard Chen Mingyuan, the camp doctor ,and about eight inmates used a nasal tube to force-fed me. In order to make me suffer, they inserted the tube into my nose and kept inserting and pulling it out. Some pulled my arms, some pushed my legs down, some held my head. Others took pictures and videotaped the proceedings. It was so painful that I wanted to die. On the sixth day, I was much thinner. I was only skin and bones and almost dead on the tenth day. Guo Wenzhi wouldn't let go of me and continued torturing me. On the afternoon of the fourteenth day, I couldn't bear the torture any more. I stopped the hunger strike and started to eat again.

In August 2001, I realized that we shouldn't be detained without a reason and I wanted to go home. More than 20 of us Falun Gong practitioners refused to do the forced labor and began hunger strikes on the same day. We demanded to be released immediately. On the fourth day of the hunger strike, we were lying in one cell in the second ward. Many guards suddenly rushed into the cell. About three guards carried each of us to a different place. The guard ordered several inmates to push me onto a bed. There were hands on my head, arms, hands, legs, everywhere. I couldn't move a bit. A prison doctor from Yinchuan Prison inserted a tube into my stomach and injected mush-like stuff into my stomach using a syringe. They injected one syringe full after another, causing me tremendous pain. When they injected one syringe of stuff into a 60-year-old practitioner, Mr. Li Jixin, the old man fainted instantly. Other practitioners were tortured the same way. The force-feeding scene was horrifying! We had to stop the hunger strike afterwards.

3. Sentenced to Six Years in Prison Because of Hunger Strike

Because of that hunger strike, Mr. Zheng Yongxin and I were sent to Lingwu Detention Center on November 12, 2001. We told the inmates our stories and how Teacher taught us to be good people. The inmates started to change. They didn't hit or bully the new inmates anymore.

Mr. Zheng Yongxin and I were tried in Lingwu Court after four months of detention. The hunger strike was listed as evidence of a crime. I defended myself, but the judge and the prosecutor wouldn't listen. We were sentenced to six years in prison and sent to Wuzhong Prison on April 18, 2002.

4. Tortured in Wuzhong Prison

We told the prison guards that we were innocent when we got there. They simply ignored us. We began a hunger strike on May 4 and demanded to be released. The prison guards set us apart on the sixth day, and I was sent to a prison factory. The hunger strike lasted for more than 20 days. Guard Liang Haiwang tortured me in many ways during that period. He ordered three inmates to take turns watching and beating me; they didn't let me sleep for more than 12 days. They would beat me, the shake or splash cold water on me if they couldn't wake me up. Once I fell asleep and they couldn't wake me up, so they lifted me up and threw me on the ground, lifted me up again and threw me again. I was "woken up" finally. Liang Haiwang also organized a criticism meeting every night from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. He ordered the inmates to put me into an "indigenous airplane" position (both arms tied to the upper back) and stuffed my month with different things. Then the inmates criticized me, shouted slogans, and hit me like they did during the Cultural Revolution.

I couldn't bear the inhuman torture and wanted to commit suicide to end the pain. I hid a razor blade. At night, I cut my own vein and put a basin under it to catch the blood. Then I lost conscious. I found myself in Wuzhong Hospital when I woke up. The guards were afraid that my death would cause them trouble, but they didn't lessen the torture after this incident. Liang Haiwang ordered the inmates to take me to the prison factory every day. Then they cuffed me onto a beam in the factory building and hung me up. Some beat me with belts and sticks, while others shocked my head, hands, and body with electric batons. At the same time, someone would read articles slandering Falun Gong. They also made a wooden box with my name and words slandering Falun Gong on it. They filled the box with bricks and hung the box around my neck with a rope. They also put sandbags on my head and neck. This lasted two months.

I denied that I was a criminal regardless of the torture. The guards moved me to the third ward in March 2003. They wanted to escalate the persecution. Yin Zineng, the prison's Education Director, told me one night, "This time they have moved you to the third ward. They're going to punish you for real." The guards in the third ward were even worse. Whatever happened there was always kept secret. Every inmate had a personal monitor. Everything you did was watched. Whenever an inmate was released, his whole body would be searched and nothing was allowed to be taken out of the prison.

I began another hunger strike in April 2003. I didn't eat or drink for six days. One guard, Sun Xiong, handcuffed me to the basketball stand in the yard for the whole afternoon.

On the morning of October 10, 2004, another guard, Guo Jian, ordered several inmates to handcuff me behind my back. They pulled my arms with my back touching the ground. Several inmates took turns dragging me along back and forth. They dragged me for about a couple of kilometers, and it hurt much more than being beaten with pipes or straps. They dragged me to the nearby cornfield and dragged me back and forth in the cornfield. I was dragged in that position for a whole day and was dragged back in the evening. Lots of prison guards were watching. I didn't eat or drink for a whole day. Then they cuffed my arms to two beds for a whole night. My hands and arms were swollen in the morning, and I felt my limbs no longer belonged to me.

One afternoon Guo Jian ordered several inmates to put me on the death bed. The death bed was placed in a room near the public restroom in the third ward. Guo Jian order the inmates to cover the window with a bedsheet. He also gave orders that nobody else could come near my cell except the inmates who were watching me. So nobody dared to come see what was happening inside the cell. The inmates put me on the bed, stretched my arms and handcuffed them, hung my feet using the foot chain, then tied my thighs and waist to the bed. My ankles were stretched out and started to bleed. They didn't let me shut my eyes for 24 hours. Several inmates were reading the articles that slandered Falun Gong beside my bed for 24 hours. Whenever I shut my eyes, they would beat me with fire tongs and wooden sticks. My face was mangled and swollen. They also force-fed me with some salty, mushy things. My nose was stuffed and I could barely breathe, so I would choke badly at every feeding. Whatever they fed me was very salty and had unknown drugs in it. I felt hot and burning after ingesting it.

It was cold in October and November, but they didn't let me use a cover at night. They bullied and hit me, torturing me with all kinds of methods, day and night. I was "stretched" on the bed for more than 40 days. I couldn't move my arms or legs. The bed was sodden with my urine and soiled with my excrement. My head rested on the bed board and my hair was almost worn away. I was kept in this position and couldn't move a bit.

One day they drilled four holes and installed four metal rings on the wall. First they fed me the salty stuff with unknown drugs, which made me feel hot and burning. Then they cuffed my arms to the upper rings and put my legs in the lower rings. I started to sweat all over. After a few hours, my ears were ringing, my eyes were blackened, and my ankles were bleeding. I said, "I cannot stand it anymore." Then I fainted. The next day, Guo Jian ordered the inmates to hold my hands to write the guarantee statement and take my fingerprints.

After that, I was monitored by those inmates for six months. I couldn't walk or stand during that period. I slowly recovered after half a year.

Among those inmates, Ma Chengjiang was the worst. Ma Chengjiang led about seven inmates to hit me brutally in April, 2005. My face was swollen, my back was bent, and I was black and blue all over. There was blood in my urine. I couldn't sleep or sit because of the pain. He was praised by Guo Jian and even became the head of the third ward. Guo Jian also hit people. He once had several inmates keep pushing me. Then he hit my face and mouth so badly that my face and mouth were swollen for several days and I couldn't eat.

I was supposed to be released on the evening of November 6, 2007. A group of officers from Ningxia 610 Office and West Garden Police Station came and took me to the brainwashing center organized by the 610 Office. I was held there for two months.

5. My Family Suffered, Too

My wife, Sun Yajuan, was pregnant when I was illegally arrested. My wife had to bring up our daughter by herself during my eight years of detention. She was hard-pressed to provide for herself and our daughter. Local authorities often illegally searched our home. To force my wife to renounce Falun Gong, officers from the West Garden Police Station in Yinchuan City abducted our daughter, two years old at the time, on November 20, 2001. They then demanded that my wife stop practicing Falun Gong in exchange for our daughter. My dad was very sad and angry and he passed away in 2001.

In order to visit me in Wuzhong Prison, my family went back and forth between the Ningxia Prison Management Office and Wuzhong Prison. My family's visits had been denied because I was a Falun Gong practitioner. The only time they got to see me was because I was on a hunger strike and the guards wanted my family to persuade me to start eating again. Once when my wife, daughter, and several other relatives came to visit me, Yi Zineng told the police officers to take all of them to Gaozha Police Station. They were released the next day after the police had extorted 20 yuan from each of them.

Earlier report:

August 12, 2008