Name: Li Rongtang (李荣堂)
Gender: Male
Age: 61
Address: Youngfu Village, Xinglonggang Town, Fujin City, Heilongjiang Province
Occupation: Farmer

Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 22, 2005
Most Recent Place of Detention: Lianjiangkou Prison (佳木斯莲江口监狱)
City: Jiamusi
Province: Heilongjiang
Persecution Suffered: Detention, beatings, extortion, home ransacked, hung up, tortured, interrogation, sleep deprivation, physical restraint, illegal sentencing, electric shock.

( Mr. Li Rongtang has been arrested several times, simply because he firmly believes in the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and wanted to speak out on the side of justice for Falun Gong. He was twice sentenced to a forced labor camp term, and to a six-year prison term. Mr. Li refused to renounce his belief and was brutally tortured.

Below is Mr. Li Rongtang's statement:

I began practicing Falun Gong in November 1998. When the persecution started in 1999, I wanted to help practitioners clarify the truth about Falun Gong to the central government. On February 20, 2000, I went with Mr. Xu Zongrang and his wife Ms. Liu Hailan to Beijing to appeal. We were arrested by officers from the Tianzhu Police Station, Shunyi County, Beijing, on February 23.

We were brought back to our hometown the next day by Wang Yunge, the director of Xinglonggang Town Police Station, Zhang Cai, an armed assistant, and a person with the surname Wu, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary of Xinglonggang Town. They held us at the Fujin City Detention Center, in Xinglonggang Town, where they tried to extort five thousand yuan from each of us, saying that it was to cover their travel expenses to Beijing to collect us. I had no money with me, so my son had to borrow money from someone who charged interest on the amount. Mr. Xu and Ms. Liu did not give them any money, so their land was confiscated by the village CCP officials, and subleased to other people. The land was returned to Mr. Xu and his wife only after they paid the officials 10,000 yuan. We were held in the Fujin City Detention Center for over two months, and were also forced to pay one thousand yuan each as a deposit, but the money was never returned to us.

In early November 2000, I was again arrested by Wang Yunge. My home was ransacked and my Falun Dafa books confiscated. I was held at the Fujin City Detention Center, and my family was not informed of my whereabouts. My wife, Ms. Wang Changfen, was later arrested because she went to Beijing to appeal, and was also held at the Fujin City Detention Center.

I was tortured several times at the detention center because I persisted in doing the exercises. On one occasion a guard with the surname Gao, ordered prisoners Ju Chuanjian, Liu Tao, Wu Tao, and another person with the surname Li, who all worked for the guards, to beat me. For about two hours they kicked and punched me, hit me with their elbows, stepped on me, and then tortured me in various ways.

The next day, Liu Tao said something to the guards about me. I was then forced to wear the heaviest shackles, weighing about 90 pounds, around my feet. At night, when I tried to do the exercises, prisoners Ju Chuanjian, Liu Tao and some others took off my clothes and hung me up by the window, while Liu Tao stuck needles into my thigh. When they let me down, they pushed me down on the bed and poured cold water over my body.

When Wang Yunge came to the detention center, he slapped both my wife and me across our faces several times. During our detention, police officers made several practitioners parade through the streets and take part in a public trial.

The detention center authorities tried to extort 5,000 yuan from my wife. When I refused to pay, the village CCP officials confiscated our land and subleased it to others for three years. During that time, officers from Xinglonggang Town Police Station and officials from the village went to the homes of my children to harass and threaten them, putting them under a great deal of pressure.

My Wife and I Were Sentenced to a Forced Labor Camp

When my wife and I had been detained for over two months, we were sentenced to one year in Xigemu Forced Labor Camp, in Jiamusi City, on January 10, 2001. The guards forced us to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong, and made us listen to CCP propaganda. Prisoners, working for the guards, were ordered to monitor us and they would not allow us to do the exercises. They sometimes handcuffed us on the bed to prevent us from doing the exercises.

I was released on December 18, 2001. After a month, Wang Yunge, the director of Xinglonggang Police Station, and Wang Yanbo, the assistant director of the police station, took me to the Fujin City Detention Center. As this was only two weeks away from the Chinese New Year, they feared that I may go to Beijing to appeal and disrupt their celebrations. I was released two months later. After I had been home for about another month, Wang Yunge and some others took me to the Fujin City Detention Center again, because I was distributing truth clarification materials. On May 11, 2002, I was sentenced to three years in the Xigemu Forced Labor Camp.

The guards locked me in a cold room and left all of the windows open. I was handcuffed to the bed, with my hands tied behind my back, and left there for seven days. The guards knew that I was strong willed and determined not to renounce my belief, so they handcuffed me to a tiger bench for seven days. During that time, I was deprived of sleep, and they poured cold water on me if I tried to sleep. I was tortured for about 15 days, and released on August 20, 2004.

I was Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

I was arrested by officers from the Jinshan Town Police Station, while I was distributing truth clarification materials, on the evening of March 22, 2005, and was taken to the Fujin City Detention Center. Guards, Yan Baijie, and a person whose last name was Zhang forced me to take off my winter coat and cuffed my feet to an iron ring next to a bed. They then handcuffed both of my hands behind my back, and kept me like this for about six days.

In May 2005, officials from the Fujin City Court sentenced me to six years in Lianjiangkou Prison, Jiamusi City. When I was detained at the No. 2 section, No. 4 sub-division of the prison, I persisted in doing the exercises, and was later beaten by prisoners Li Benhe, Che Xiaomin, Jiang Xiangjian, and Liu Haichen. These prisoners later went after me repeatedly, apparently with the guards' blessing.

I was transferred to the No. 3 sub-division of the same section in 2007. Prisoners Gao Lingjun, Zhang Jingyu, Zhu Changli, Liu Jingren, and Luo Shiming were ordered to monitor me. They beat me because I persisted in doing the exercises, and they deprived me of sleep. They also tied me up and forced me to stand there for about ten days. The prison guards pretended that they knew nothing about it. On another occasion, Chen Hua, head of the sub-division, shocked me with an electric baton, and Yang Xinhua, the political instructor, beat me for about two hours.