Crimes Committed Against Falun Gong Practitioners by the No. 1 Prison in Yunnan Province
(Clearwisdom.net) The Provincial No. 1 Prison in Yunnan Province, located at Wangdaqiao, East Renmin Road, Kunming City, is a prison for major male criminal offenders, many of whom are on death row, as well as foreign prisoners of state. Since July 20, 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong, many male practitioners have been detained in this prison. Below is a partial account of the persecution they have suffered to date, gathered from first-hand accounts and witness statements.
1) Persecuted in Strict-Control Cells
There were 12 wards in the prison, and 3 to 4 practitioners were placed in each ward. Those who refused to give up their beliefs were forced into strict-control cells, where they were locked in and cut off from all outside contact. Most of the strict-control cells were located on the ground floor and were dark and damp. Some of them had such low ceilings that practitioners could not stand up straight. They were forced to do marching drills and perform the dirtiest and hardest labor. They were allowed to eat only two small meals a day. They had to be up at 6 a.m. and were not allowed to go to bed at least until 11 p.m. Practitioners were detained in this environment from several weeks to several years, and they were severely persecuted on a daily basis.
The prison guards and criminal inmates beat, tortured and insulted them at will. Some of the torture methods included being forced to stand in a stiff military posture for long periods of time in freezing weather, being forced to run in intense summer heat, being handcuffed while hugging a tree, and being handcuffed and hung up from tree branches. Some were hung upside down, some had their hands cuffed behind their backs and then hung up, and some were locked up in iron cages.
Violent inmates in the No. 1 ward formed a specialized team aimed to persecute practitioners. They kicked and beat practitioners with electric batons and clubs, put shackles on them, cuffed their arms in a spread-eagle position to metal poles, handcuffed and hung them up so that only the tips of their toes were touching the ground, and forced them to squat for extensive periods of time.
Mr. Fei Xuelong, a senior university lecturer from Yuxi City, Yunnan Province, in his 40s, was locked up in a strict-control cell upon being placed into the No. 1 ward. The deputy head of the ward, Wang Kun, who was about 30 years old and is currently the ward's political instructor, forced Mr. Fei to kneel on the bricks holding a bucket of water on his head. Then he incited inmates to beat him. Mr. Fei suffered from inflammation of the internal organs and generalized edema as a result of the torture. The prison guards did not stop the beatings and other abuse until Mr. Fei was near death and could no longer look after himself.
Mr. Zhao Yue, 40, a teacher from Qiubei County, Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to 9 years in prison and was detained at the No. 3 ward. At the beginning of 2008, he asked someone in the same ward to pass a slip of paper to a friend in another ward, but was discovered by the prison guards. As a result, he was placed into solitary confinement for 2 months. After returning to the ward, he was subjected to intense physical and mental torture for a month.
2) Illegal Use of Restraint Implements
The Chinese Constitution stipulates that a prison may use restraint implements, with required approvals, if a prisoner tries in any way to escape or commits any acts of violence. In the Provincial No.1 Prison, however, the guards used restraint implements, such as handcuffs and shackles, on Falun Gong practitioners at will.
Mr. Bao Yuanjing, 40, a senior engineer from Gansu Province, was detained at No. 5 sub-ward of the No. 8 ward. On February 5, 2007 per orders from the ward head, sub-ward head Ding Yongzhong confiscated Mr. Bao's meal card, falsely claiming that he failed to be in the line-up.
Prison guard Ding Yongzhong incited Lu Chao to put shackles weighing more than 10 kilograms on Mr. Bao and locked him up in a dark, damp strict control cell, which was guarded by 4 inmates. Inmate Lu Dehua also incited another inmate to hit Mr. Bao in the face. Mr. Bao was in the handcuffs and shackles for more than 2 months.
In the morning of June 5, 2010, Ding Yongzhong locked Mr. Bao in the strict-control cell once again for failing to greet him with "Good morning, sir." Mr. Bao was placed in shackles and two pairs of handcuffs and cuffed in a spread-eagle position to the metal rails for 2 days. One week later, another sub-ward head Xu Yan, following orders from Ding Yongzhong, shackled and handcuffed Mr. Bao to the rails again, and this torture continued day and night for more than 3 months. In total, Mr. Bao was shackled and handcuffed for over 6 months. Afterward, the prison guards forced him to undergo intense brainwashing sessions, where he was continuously monitored by 3 inmates, who forced him to read articles that slandered Falun Gong for at least 10 hours a day. The brainwashing lasted for more than a year.
Mr. Li Zheng, in his 30s, from Fengqing County, Linchang City, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to 6 years in prison and detained at the No. 4 ward of the Provincial No. 1 Prison. Ever since his arrival there, several prison guards punched and kicked him, as a result of which several of his front teeth were knocked out, and he suffered injuries all over his body. He was repeatedly severely beaten and handcuffed for nearly a year. The handcuffs were removed only when the prison guards discovered that they were rusting.
3) Prolonged Forced Labor
The detainees at the prison were forced to do over 10 hours of hard labor every day. There were no holidays or days off, and if someone failed to finish their quota of work, they were not allowed to go to sleep. Some were forced to stay in the workshop for more than a month for failing to fulfill the extensive workload assigned to them. Sometimes, practitioners were also shackled and handcuffed at the workshop.
Mr. Hou Fayong from Sichuan Province was illegally arrested by police in Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province, and sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment at the Provincial No. 1 Prison. On February 20, 2007, Mr. Hou asked Zhao Fan, the deputy head of the ward, for a few minutes to write his family Chinese New Year greetings before starting hard labor. His request was rejected, and Zhao Fan incited several inmates to lock Mr. Hou up in the strict-control cell. They cuffed his hands to the metal rails and put shackles on his legs. He was given only 100 grams of rice with no meat for each meal. He suffered this torture for 86 days, and as a result his weight plummeted from 83 to 67 kilograms and his physical and mental health deteriorated.
Mr. Li Xianze, in his 60s, was detained at the No. 5 sub-ward of No. 5 ward. When he requested Li Peng, the sub-ward head, to change his forced labor assignment on August 20, 2007, because he was suffering from pain and swelling in his ankle, Li rejected his request and locked him in an iron cage in the strict-control zone for 33 days.
4) Mental Torture
Besides the physical torture, practitioners were also subjected to mental torture. They were forced to write confessions or report other practitioners, and to copy and recite 38 clauses of the prison regulations.
Each practitioner was monitored by 2 to 5 inmates 24 hours a day. They were not allowed to talk to others or have family visits. The prison collaborated with the local 610 Office and police in running "reform" sessions inside the prison to try and force practitioners to give up their belief.
Mr. Liu Mingzhong, 22, from Yanglin County, Yunnan Province, was arrested in 2003 while distributing truth-clarification materials and sentenced to 3 years in prison. He was detained at the No. 8 ward of the prison. The prison guards forced him to write confessions and guarantee statements to give up the practice. They forced great mental pressure on him. At the end of May 2004, he fell from the fifth floor and broke his spine. The reason for the fall is not known. He was sent to the prison hospital for treatment, but his lower body was crippled for life.
Several dozen practitioners are currently being held and persecuted at the Provincial No. 1 Prison.