Mr. Sun Lilong: "I Was Tortured for 10 Years in Prison"
(Minghui.org) Mr. Sun Lilong from Tonghua City, Jilin Province, was arrested for practicing Falun Gong and talking to people about Falun Gong. He was tortured by the police when he was first detained and repeatedly during his 10 years in Jilin Prison. He was on the verge of death multiple times. Below is his account in his own words.
“Nobody leaves here alive” – tortured by the police
On the morning of April 23, 2002, fellow practitioners and I were in a rental residence preparing Falun Gong materials to distribute, when we heard people coming up the stairs. When someone tried to open the door with a key, Ma Qinghua held the knob to keep it from opening.
When the key didn't work, the people outside started to pry the door open. I took my turn holding onto the knob, but they got the door open a crack, and I saw Jing Guiquan, captain of the local national domestic security team, who shouted my name, “Sun Lilong.” I had to let go and ran back into the room. The police swarmed in, tackled me to the floor, and tied me up. I saw practitioner Li Zhanwu on the floor, his face covered in blood.
They covered my head with a plastic bag and pushed me down the stairs and into a minivan. They took me to Xinzhan Police Station and cuffed one of my hands to the armrest of a chair and the other to the chair leg. I couldn't stand up or squat down and was in terrific pain. After a while, another officer came and re-positioned the handcuffs so that I could sit properly. I later learned that practitioners often talked to this officer and had persuaded her to treat practitioners nicely.
Then the police covered my head again and pushed me onto a vehicle. At the new place, I was taken up a lot of stairs and into a room, where they cuffed me again to a chair and removed the bag covering my head. I saw in front of me a row of desks, behind which three plainclothes officers were sitting. The person in the middle said, “Do you know where you are?” I replied that it was the national security agency. He said, “This is Tonghua City Police Department's criminal squad. Nobody leaves here alive or without a death sentence. As long as you confess that you put up the banner on the city government building, we won't lay a finger on you.” I later learned he was Wang Cuicui, captain of the criminal squad.
I was dragged to a restroom in the basement. They stripped off all my clothes except my underwear. I was cuffed onto an iron chair. They then poured cold water over my head with all windows and the door open. It was freezing cold in April in northeastern China, and I was shivering. Then they took me back to the interrogation room and forced a spicy condiment into my nose and mouth. When I did not appear to suffer much from it, Wang Cuicui said, “It is probably a counterfeit product. What a waste of money!”
Next they put a metal bucket on my head. Several of them pounded on the bucket. They then shocked me with electric batons, dragged me to the restroom to pour cold water over my head and pressed a cigarette lighter into my ribs. It felt as if my ribs were broken. They were going to force feces force down my throat but had to give it up when they couldn't find any.
They took me back to the interrogation room and continued to shock me with electric batons on my mouth, armpits, private parts, thighs, hands, and other sensitive areas. With each powerful shock, my body shook. Although two people were holding me down, the chair was lifted off the floor with my spasms. To be even more despicable, they brought pictures of Master Li Hongzhi and spread them out over my buttocks, private parts, and the floor.
At the time I thought of Master's poem “Nonexistence” from Hong Yin and I recited it out loud:
“Live with no pursuit, Die not caring about staying; Clear out all wild thoughts, Cultivating to a Buddha is not hard.”
All of a sudden, the electric batons ran out of power. Wang Cuicui said, “I quit. They'd better get someone else to do it.”
Afterwards, Liu Jingxue, deputy director of the 610 Office and also the former police chief of the Xinzhan Police Station, came in and started telling me all kinds of things, such as how many material production sites there were, where each one was, where the materials were transported, etc. Apparently he was attempting to get me to talk about it and to get more information, but he didn't succeed.
During Ten Years in Prison, Tortured to Almost to Death Multiple Times
In November 2002, Dongchang District Court sentenced us. Mr. Li Zhanwu was given 13 years; Ye Songchang, 13 years; Hou Qinghua, 12 years; and myself, 10 years. We were charged with “sabotaging law enforcement.” On December 12, 2002, we were taken to Jilin Province 2nd Prison, also known as Jilin Prison. Hou Qinghua was later transferred to Siping Prison.
1.Violent ward, violent inmates
The prison authorities confiscated over 30 articles of clothing my family had brought me, including cotton jackets and pants, wool jackets and pants, shirts, and underpants. I was allowed to keep two sets of thin shirts and pants. After changing into the inmate uniform, I was taken to the prison hospital for a physical.
I was assigned to the fifth ward. Two inmates took me upstairs to a room, where a long row of inmates were sitting upright. This was called “sitting on the plank.” I was told to sit at the end of the row. Wang Boyou, the head inmate, also known as the “team lead,” had a large build and a murderous look. He told me, “This is the fifth ward, the ward of violence. All violent criminals are locked up here. Don't talk. Just sit up straight.”
Once I sat down, Wang told me to take my feet from the tops of my thighs. I changed my position and asked, “Is this okay?” Wang suddenly started punching and kicking me, knocking me off the plank. I shouted, “I'm being beaten!” Two more inmates joined in the beating. Wang got another board to hit me. I got up and rushed out of the room, shouting, “They are beating me!” They grabbed me and forced me back into the room to continue the beating until they were tired. They then made me sit up straight again. None of the guards or staff members ever intervened.
The next day, guard Fei of the fifth ward ordered two inmates to summon me to a small room at the end of the hallway. Fei asked me whether I would continue to practice Falun Gong. I replied yes. After Fei left the room, the two inmates came in and beat me for over half an hour. Fei then came back and told the inmates to take me back to my cell, never questioning what they had done to me.
In my cell, I was forced to sit up straight. There were five inmates in charge of watching Falun Gong practitioners. Other practitioners in my cell included Zhang Wen, Wang Hongliang, He Yuanhui (who was later persecuted to death), and Zheng Weidong.
Zhang Wen was serving an 18-year sentence for his involvement in the cable television hijacking case in Changchun. Wang Hongliang was in for 14 years and Zheng Weidong for 12 years.
Zheng Weidong was tortured for his revoking his previous "transformation," which was a result of torture. Wang Boyou and other inmates tied him to the bed and put objects under his waist and buttocks to force his body upward and cause pain. The ropes cut deeply into his wrists and ankles, and he bled profusely. The inmates hammered seven nails into his feet, which left seven marks referred to by the inmates as “the seven stars of the Big Dipper.” The inmates were violent outlaws and would do anything to earn more "points," part of the prison bonus system to shorten one's term.
Under the instigation and lack of oversight from the guards, the inmates were fearless and dared to beat practitioners on a daily basis. With a small stick, they would go around the cell striking practitioners' ankles. If they saw a practitioner not sitting up to their satisfaction, they would not hesitate to beat him.
Because I refused to write the "four statements" (a confession statement, a repentance statement, a guarantee to give up the practice statement, and an "implication" statement reporting on other practitioners), I was tortured every day.
Wang Boyou carried out a carrot and stick strategy. He would beat me all the time, then invite me to have meals with him. He told me, “What do you think of Zheng Weidong? He wrote the four statements and later revoked them. He was stripped naked and was doused with 50 buckets of cold water. He cannot even stand up now. He was then whipped with bamboo strips.” Once he realized I was not moved at all by his words, he then said some nicer things to me. But soon enough he started beating me again. He had lost his rationality and behaved like a psychotic.
2. Whipped over a hundred times and the stretching bed
A week later, they started to deprive me of sleep. One of the inmates was assigned to watch me 24 hours a day and hit me with a stick if I felt asleep. At night they would force me to squat to prevent me from falling asleep. This went on for seven days. I still refused to give in and write the statements. One day, five inmates stripped me of my winter clothes. Four of them took hold of one of my limbs and the fifth whipped me with a leather belt with a steel buckle. The fifth inmate continued to beat me until he got tired. And then they took turns whipping me.
They whipped me over 100 hundred times. I was covered in open flesh wounds with blood all over. I heard them talking to each other, “Put him on the stretching bed. No one can last seven days of beatings. He has lasted for half a month. We can break him without killing him. This is a prison, and people die from beatings all the time. Some corpses were already stiff and cold, and the guards still pretended to try to resuscitate them with intravenous injections and everything. A dead body here is like a dead ant. It's a war between us and our enemy. Has anybody's family ever successfully sued the prison? The leaders have given the order. Let's get him on the stretching bed.”
I felt I was at the limit of my physical endurance and gave in against my will. I wrote the four statements. They said it was not enough. They beat me one more time and forced me to copy the statements. A few days later, I came to my senses and realized that it was not wrong for me to practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I then wrote an announcement to revoke the statements. When I handed it to the captain, he was infuriated and ripped it to pieces.
Facing the evil environment and the extreme hardships in the prison, we practitioners often encouraged each other and shared understandings at night when the inmates were not watching closely. One night we sat in a circle on an upper bunk to send righteous thoughts together. The inmates were in awe and did not dare to break us apart. Instead, they reported it to captain Lin Zhibin, the one that ordered the inmates to torture practitioners. Lin was later arrested for extorting funds from inmates' families, who secretly recorded it and reported him to the authorities.
One day I talked to the inmates about Falun Gong, and one of them reported me to the guards. I was locked up in the strictly disciplined team, which was established by the prison authorities to torture those deemed "tough to break."
That team had a special torture room. On one side was a large wooden board over 10 meters long, where four rows of inmates could sit with a dozen in each row. On the other side were four stretching beds, three regular size and one large. The stretching bed had four iron plates designed to hold the victim's limbs. Each plate had a ring with a sliding function that could restrain the victim's hand or foot according to his height. The victim's hands were stretched as far as possible, then locked into the ring, which was then locked into position. The feet were stretched the same way and the ankles locked into position. After ten minutes of this, the victim had to be released before the next torture session to prevent permanent injury. The victim's bones and joints were stretched so much that it caused extreme pain. One of the inmates who was tortured on the stretching bed was crippled permanently. His complaint was ignored by the authorities. Some victims died on the bed of the immense pain. All the torture was carried out by inmates who were told to do it by the prison guards.
The head inmate of the strictly disciplined team was Wang Zhigang, nicknamed Da Gang. He tortured people on the stretching bed frequently just to get extra bonus points to reduce his term. All practitioners sent to the strictly disciplined team were tortured on the stretching bed. Practitioner Zhang Wen's wrists and ankles were mangled by the locking rings until his muscles were exposed. When practitioner Zhang Hongwei was restrained on the bed, the inmates further tortured him day and night by poking his privates with needles and putting objects under his waist to inflict more pain. They also stuffed his mouth with socks and rags and denied toilet access. After stretching him for some time, he was released before being put back on the bed again and again. The torture lasted for 68 days.
Regular inmates were also tortured on the stretching beds. Some of them soiled their pants on the bed. They then would be dragged to the toilet and hosed down with their pants stripped off and all the doors and windows wide open in the freezing cold.
The prison authorities made use of criminals with long prison terms who had committed heinous crimes. Encouraged by the guards and motivated by the bonus points, they tortured Falun Gong practitioners in all kinds of ways.