Shanghai Tilanqiao Prison Intensifies Persecution of Engineer Zhang Qin
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Zhang Qin (张勤)
Address: Longshui South Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai City
Date of Most Recent Arrest: June 5, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai (上海提篮桥监狱)
Persecution Suffered: Imprisonment, illegal sentencing, mail withheld, torture, solitary confinement, brutal beatings, denied visitation, damaging force-feeding, sleep deprivation, brainwashing, starvation, physical restraint
Starting in 2013, the directors and supervisors at Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai carried out a new round of persecution of Mr. Zhang Qin. Prison officials have been trying to “transform” this 60-year-old Falun Gong practitioner before his five-year sentence ends on June 4, 2014.
Each day, guards allow him to sleep for only a few hours and then force him to sit on a small stool (a type of torture, pictured below) for more than 10 hours a day. If he moves even a little, he is beaten. He is not given enough food. Verbal and physical abuse are routine.
Mr. Zhang is confined to a cell 3.3 meters (35.5 ft) square and has to report to the guards even to use the toilet. When Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike, the guards put him in a solitary confinement cell and force-fed him.
The cruel torture is still going on, and Mr. Zhang’s current condition is extremely critical.
Sentenced for His Belief
Mr. Zhang was formerly the manager of the Quality Inspection Department and Chief Engineer of Desheng Plastics Company, Ltd. in Shanghai. Because he refused to give up his belief, he was arrested for the sixth time in June 2009 and sentenced to five years.
Mr. Zhang was transferred to Tilanqiao Prison on July 20, 2010. Upon arrival, he refused to put on the prison uniform as a protest against the illegal persecution. The guards directed other prisoners to put the uniform on him by force. To prevent him from practicing the Falun Gong exercises, the guards confined him in physical restraints for two months.
Officials Sanction Abuse by Other Inmates
In the middle of April 2011, Mr. Zhang was put in a solitary confinement cell for refusing to wear the prison uniform. After he returned, he was beaten by other inmates. Prisoner Gu Sheng hit him in the left eye and bruised his face. He also kicked Mr. Zhang in the chest. Prisoner Zhao Bin repeatedly slapped his face. They both threatened him to give up his belief.
According to prison regulations, prisoners are prohibited from beating other prisoners. While the prisoners were beating Mr. Zhang, a guard passed by and saw them but did not intervene. With tacit approval from the guards, the other prisoners acted more and more aggressively.
Special Committee to "Transform" Practitioners
In 2012, Tilanqiao Prison set up a committee specifically for persecuting Falun Gong. They concentrated on detaining, persecuting, and “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners transferred from other prisons.
Upon his transfer to Tilanqiao, Mr. Zhang was under the auspices of that committee. He continued to practice Falun Gong and could not be “transformed” even when he was beaten and put in solitary, where the isolation enabled guards to use even more cruel means of torture. Mr. Zhang was also prohibited from communicating with anyone. Guards isolated him in the completely dark space for long periods of time in an attempt to destroy his spirit.
To achieve their goals, the officials and guards use force, threats, and deceit. Some of them beat their victims and deprive them of sleep, food, and water, while others provide them with fringe benefits. After long periods hunger, pain, and physical and mental exhaustion, some victims come to identify with and sympathize with their captors and comply with their demands.
During the past three years, Mr. Zhang has not worn a prison uniform and insists on practicing the exercises. When the committee has a meeting, Mr. Zhang always yells out, “Falun Dafa is good!”
Deputy prison head Yin Guanghui, who was transferred from Wujiao Prison to Tilanqiao Prison in 2013, threatened Mr. Zhang, saying, “We have millions of ways in this prison. We are not afraid to continue until you surrender.” Later, he personally reprimanded a supervisor and drew up strategies for “transforming” Mr. Zhang.