A Simple, Everyday Toothbrush Is Routinely Used as an Instrument of Torture
(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda machines, CCTV and Xinhua.net, reported on June 4, 2013 that the torture re-enactment photos taken by Falun Gong practitioners to expose the CCP's persecution against them, were false. Specifically mentioned was the torture of “twisting a toothbrush between fingers.” These CCP-backed media claimed that Falun Gong practitioners had made up 25 false torture reenactments. In fact, the torture method, “Twisting a toothbrush between fingers” not only exists in China's detention centers, forced labor camps and prisons, but also has been widely used against Falun Gong practitioners in the CCP's brutal efforts to force them to renounce their belief.
In order to cover up what's really being done to practitioners, aliases such as “eating a cigarette,” “opening the lock” or “stir-fried green beans” are used to describe these tortures. A simple, everyday toothbrush has indeed been used many ways as an instrument of torture against Falun Gong practitioners. Some of the tortures have been given names by the perpetrators, some have not. This article describes some of the more widespread uses of the toothbrush as a torture tool, citing actual accounts of torture of Falun Gong practitioners.
Twisting a Toothbrush Between Fingers
In No. 1 Prison of Jinan City, Shandong Province, inmate Zhu Qingjiang put a toothbrush between the fingers of practitioner Zhao Chennuo. While another inmate held the fingers tightly together, Zhu Qingjiang turned the toothbrush around and around until the flesh between the two fingers was severely abraded. He didn't stop until all the fingers on both of Zhao Chennuo's hands were badly injured.
Practitioner Dang Aiping from Tangshan City was detained in Kuiguzhi Detention Center in October 2000 because he appealed for justice for Falun Gong in Beijing. The guards incited inmates to torture him. They inserted a thick toothbrush between his fingers and turned it around until his flesh was torn off and the bones were exposed. They asked Mr. Dang whether he would continue practicing Falun Gong and he said “Yes,” so they continued torturing him this way until most of the flesh on his fingers was torn off.
“Eating a Cigarette”
Mr. Dou Jinbao, from Zhucheng, Shandong Province, was sent to Changle Forced Labor Camp on June 28, 2003. The perpetrators frequently used a torture method called "eating a cigarette" on him. They inserted a toothbrush between his fingers while squeezing them together and rotating the brush around. Soon his fingers became swollen, and later the injuries filled with pus. They used the same torture on his toes.
“Opening the Lock”
Mr. Chen Aizhong, a villager from Huailai County, Hebei Province, was detained in the Haidian District Detention Center in Beijing. Incited by guards, several inmates tortured him with a method called “opening the lock.” One inmate held two of his fingers tightly, while another squeezed a toothbrush between the two fingers and rotated it repeatedly. His fingers immediately became lacerated and started bleeding.
“Stir-fried Green Beans”
Mr. Xie Jipu from Leshan City, Sichuan Province, was detained in Wutongjiao Detention Center in November 2002. He was tortured with method called “stir-fried green beans.” The inmates inserted a toothbrush between his fingers, tightened his fingers around it, and then twisted the brush left and right until the skin and the flesh were lacerated. As a result the fingers on Mr. Xie's right hand festered for more than 40 days.
There are two other torture methods in which toothbrushes are used at Wutongjiao Detention Center. One is to use a toothbrush to knock on a practitioner's teeth until they are loose or even knocked out. The other one is used in the winter time. In the bitter cold winter, a practitioner's clothes are stripped off and cold water is poured over his head and body. Then the inmates use a toothbrush to scrub his back until the skin bleeds.
The following are other tortures in which a toothbrush has been turned into a torture device.
“Playing a Piano”
This torture involves hitting the fingers with a toothbrush. Mr. Li Zhongguo from Qingyuan County, Fusun City was sent to the Qingyuan County Detention Center in December 2001 because he appealed for justice for Falun Gong in Beijing. The detention center guards tortured him with a variety of means including “playing a piano.”
“Counting the Ribs”
Using a toothbrush to jab the ribs one after another causes extreme pain to the victim. Mr. Wang Nanfang from Qingyuan County, Fusun City was arrested on July 9, 2008 and was taken to the Armed Police Division of the Qingyuan County Police Department by officers Sun Yieming and Hou Zhaowei. His four limbs and head were tied to a metal chair. The police shocked him with six electric batons simultaneously all over his body, especially over the sensitive parts. While the six electric batons were being recharged, they tortured him with other means, including force-feeding him alcohol, making him inhale cigarette smoke and stabbing his ribs with a toothbrush.
“Brushing the Anus”
Scrubbing a stiff brush across a person's anus until it bleeds is another torture that has been used on Falun Gong practitioners in detention. Tang Jianping from Neijiang City, Sichuan Province was illegally arrested and sent to a detention center in October 2000. He suffered more than ten tortures including the one called “brushing the anus.”
Dong Lijun from Huludao City, Liaoning Province, was detained in Xingchen Detention Center at the end of 2000. He suffered three kinds of tortures. One of them involved four or five toothbrushes being inserted into his anus and agitated repeatedly.
The above torture methods all have names, given by the perpetrators. There are other torture methods using a toothbrush as a torture instrument that are unnamed. Below are further accounts of Falun Gong practitioners being tortured with toothbrushes, some tortures of which are extremely cruel and base.
1. Brushing the anus and the teeth with the same toothbrush
Mr. Wang Tiezhuang, former head of the Nanyang City Industry and Business Bureau, was sent to the No. 3 Forced Labor Camp in Henan Province in 2002. He suffered a number of tortures and insults there. The guards incited inmates to scrub his anus with a toothbrush and then forced him to use the same toothbrush to brush his teeth.
2. Brushing the vagina
This extremely brutal and shameless torture is widely used on female practitioners.
Practitioner Yang Xiulian was subjected to this torture in 2002 while she was detained in the Hantai District Detention Center in Hanzhong City, Shanxi Province. Ma Pingan, head of the Political and Security Team of the Hantai District Police Department, and officer Men Quanxue incited inmates including Zhang Li to torture Ms. Yang. They forced her to stand against a wall in a spread eagle position while four inmates held her four limbs. Two other inmates inserted a toothbrush into her vagina and forcefully agitated the brush.
At Banqiao Women's Forced Labor Camp in Tianjing City, in 2003, the inmates tied four toothbrushes together with the bristle side facing outwards and inserted them into practitioner Ms. Yang Fenxia's vagina.
On September 21, 2001, Wan Yalin, head of the division at Dalian Forced Labor Camp incited inmates to torture practitioner Ms. Chang Xuexia. The inmates vigorously scrubbed her vagina with a toothbrush. When she did not bleed, Wan Yalin ordered the inmate to take a shoe brush from the restroom. She also ordered them to put a basin on the floor below Ms. Chang's body. They didn't stop torturing her until a large amount of blood had collected in the basin. After being tortured this way, Ms. Chang could not move for two weeks.
Ms. Kang Ruiqi from Changsha City, Hunan Province, was over 60 years old and had never married. In 2006, she was detained at Baimalong Forced Labor Camp. The guards incited the inmates to torture her in order to force her to give up Falun Gong. After they had used several torture methods on her, they inserted several toothbrushes into her vagina and twisted them. This immediately caused her to bleed and suffer extreme pain.
3. Brushing one's vagina and the teeth with the same toothbrush
In April 2004, practitioner Ms. Yu was taken to the bathroom by drug offenders Wang Xiaohua, Wang San and Yang Meiqin and her clothes were stripped off. The perpetrators inserted a toothbrush into Ms. Yu's vagina and forcefully brushed around inside. Then they put the same toothbrush into her mouth and forcefully brushed around. To stop her from screaming, they also forced a menstrual pad into her mouth.
4. Brushing one's mouth
Ms. Yi Fangying from Xipu County, Huan Province, went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in March 2011. When she was arrested and sent to a police station, she was thrown two meters by a policeman. When other practitioners tried to stop the policeman from beating her, other policemen used toothbrushes to forcefully brush the practitioners' mouths, which caused their mouths to become lacerated and bleed.
5. Brushing one's throat
Mr. Lu Chenlin from Jinshan Village, Yicun City went on a hunger strike during his detention in Yicun Forced Labor Camp. His mouth was often forcefully pried open for brutal forced-feeding. The ruffians inserted a toothbrush all the way into his throat and forcefully brushed it, causing his throat and mouth to bleed heavily.
6. Brushing wounds
In Shansui Forced Labor Camp of Guangdong Province, a guard would be awarded 20,000 yuan if he could “transform” a Falun Gong practitioner. Therefore, several tortures were widely used. In the winter of 2002, a guard dumped hot water over practitioner Mr. Lin Fengchi, which caused a large burn on Mr. Lin's chest and back. Then the guard put salt on the burned area and brushed it with a toothbrush.
In March 2003, a group of guards in Yimahe Forced Labor Camp in Jilin Province, led by the guard Shi Cunfeng, tied practitioner Huang Yuedong to a bed. They used a PVC pipe one inch wide and 20 cm long to drill four holes into Mr. Huang's inner thighs and armpits. Then they spread salt on his wounds and brushed them with a toothbrush. They also took an electric baton and used it to shock his wounds.
7. Prying the mouth open
Ms. Huang Zhenglan from Chongqing City was arrested and sent to Maojiashan Women's Forced Labor Camp in Jiangbei District. She suffered two forced-feedings during the first two months she was detained. During one forced-feeding, led by guard Hu Xiaoyan, she was fed with unknown drugs. The perpetrators held Ms. Huang on the ground with her feet and arms tied up while one person sat on her stomach. Her nose and neck were tightly held to force her to open her mouth but she kept her teeth clenched. The perpetrator used a toothbrush to pry her teeth open, breaking two toothbrushes. After Ms. Huang was fed the “medicine,” her whole body shook uncontrollably and she could not stop screaming.
8. Jabbing the ribs
On September 23, 2009, the fifth day after Mr. Wu Dianzhong from Tianjin City was sent to Kangbei Prison, inmates Zhang Suo, Zhang Xiaoyue, Zhang Di and Zhang Jianmin forced him to sit on a small stool. When he refused, they held his feet and forced him to bend his upper body and head forward. His back made a loud snapping sound and he lost all feeling in his upper body. The next morning, around 5 a.m., Mr. Wu still couldn't straighten his back.
However four ruffians forced him to sit on a small stool again. The four of them pushed on him from four directions. Zhang Di jammed his fist against Mr. Wu's ribs. When his hand became tired, he switched to using a toothbrush, which caused Mr. Wu extreme pain. One year later, his ribs were still in pain.
Mr. Zhang Zhenxue from Lingyuan City, Liaoning Province, was detained in the No.1 Division of Panjin Prison. He held a hunger strike and suffered electric shocks and forced-feeding. Division head Zhang Guolin shackled Mr. Zhang's feet to a “tiger bench” to electrically shock and force-feed him. He was fastened to a tiger bench for 48 days. As a result, his feet became so swollen that he could not wear his shoes. Zhang Guolin also incited inmates to torture him. Inmates Xu Tiehui and Li Zhi put Mr. Zhang's feet on a stool in front of him and cuffed his hands behind his back. They stripped his jacket off and opened the window to let the cold winter air in. They used a toothbrush to stab him in the ribs.
9. Stabbing the bottoms of the feet
In December 2001, guard Sun Baisun at the Zhangshi Forced Labor Camp in Shenyuan City ordered six inmates to bring practitioner Zhang Guoyi to a large room. At that time, Mr. Zhang had been on a hunger strike for four days. He was held down on a ping-pong table and his arms and legs were restrained. Two inmates used the handles of plastic toothbrushes to forcefully stab the sensitive center area of the bottoms of his feet. Later an inmate named Dong broke the toothbrush handle in two and used the sharp end to stab the bottoms of Mr. Zhang's feet, causing heavy bleeding and extreme pain.
The above accounts expose just some of ways a toothbrush is used by the CCP in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. It doesn't cover all the tortures that the CCP has been using to persecute practitioners over the past 14 years.
The CCP's propaganda machines have said that Falun Gong practitioners fabricated 25 false torture reenactments. In fact, the tortures that the CCP has been using on practitioners number far more than 25. A simple toothbrush can be used in more than 10 torture methods. Imagine how many other tortures the CCP has created!
Using a simple household implement as a torture device reflects the CCP's evil essence, an evil which has no bottom line.