Mr. Guo Zhengqing Unable to Work after Enduring Long Years of Torture and Abuse
(Minghui.org) “Once a successful business owner, he was detained for 20 months for his belief. During that time, he was beaten and tortured, becoming severely disabled. After that, he spent three years in prison, where the abuse continued and his disabilities worsened…"
This is not the plot of a novel or movie, but what really happened to Mr. Guo Zhengqing, a 53-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Xuanhua County, Hebei Province, China.
Successful career and happy life
Mr. Guo was born in Shihuli, a small village of about 300 residents. Smart and physically fit, he was elected head of his village. His incorruptibility and hard work for the village residents earned him a good reputation. Tiring of dirty political struggles, Mr. Guo resigned after three years and began to pursue a different life. Armed with self-taught knowledge on electronics, he opened a home electronics and appliance sales and repair shop. With solid skills and consideration for his customers, his business was very successful.
In November 1998, Mr. Guo began to learn Falun Gong. The practice quickly improved his mind and body. With thoughts of becoming a better person, he became more open-minded and generous. This not only made him happy, but also benefited those he came into contact with.
Arrested for wanting to explain the truth
Less than a year after Mr. Guo became a practitioner, the communist regime led by Jiang Zemin launched the nationwide persecution of Falun Gong. State-controlled media outlets aired massive propaganda campaigns, and large scale arrests took place throughout China. Xuanhua County was no exception.
Having benefitted from Falun Gong firsthand, Mr. Guo knew the decision made by the government was wrong. Like millions of other practitioners, his sense of responsibility and trust in the government prompted him to want to explain the truth, even though that was a risky to do in an authoritarian nation ruled by a communist regime.
He went to Beijing on April 25, 2001, and on Golden Water Bridge next to Tiananmen Square, unfolded a banner bearing words from his heart: “Practicing Falun Gong is a basic human right.” Tourists and passersby reacted with both surprise and respect.
The police arrived in no time. They seized Mr. Guo and pushed him into their van. Inside the moving vehicle, he opened the window and called out, “Falun Dafa is great!” An agent grabbed a long steel baton and struck Mr. Guo repeatedly, injuring his left eye. Blood ran out of his nose for three days.
Detained and tortured for 20 months
Mr. Guo was taken back to Xuanhua County and put in the county detention center, where he was illegally detained for the next 20 months.
During that time, Mr. Guo was subjected to many types of intense torture, including being handcuffed behind his back, having his feet chained, having to sit on an iron chair, being force-fed, and enduring beatings.
1) Handcuffed behind the back
Special handcuffs are used for this purpose. They consist of two U-shaped metal rings with holes on the ends. A bar is inserted through the holes and locked. Because of the special design, the cuffs cut into the flesh, causing intense pain and swelling within two hours.
2) Iron chair
Force-feeding is meant be a medical procedure that saves lives, but it is commonly used in China to torture detained Falun Gong practitioners in an attempt to force them to give up their belief.
After the victim’s hands are cuffed behind a chair, one guard holds the head and pulls it backwards, while another guard inserts a tube through a nostril all the way to the stomach. It is excruciatingly painful and also prone to causing injury and suffocation, since the guards actually intend to mistreat practitioners this way.
Ms. Sun Yanqing, a practitioner in her 40s, died of forced feeding in Xuanhua in 2000. That information was leaked to the outside although officials tried to cover it up.
Mr. Guo was force-fed three times. Each time, 8 or 9 agents held him down and rammed a tube into his nostril. After repeating this twice, Mr. Guo had blood all over his face. Frightened by all the blood, a nurse in the room kept saying, “We need to stop. This is too brutal!”
4) Beaten by 19 inmates
When detained practitioners remain firm in their belief, guards will beat them or order inmates to do so. Mr. Guo was once beaten by 19 inmates. Instead of being reprimanded, each of the 19 got a cigarette from the guard for following his order.
Guards and inmates beat Mr. Guo over 50 times. Sometimes he passed out, once for three hours, as a result of the pain. Due to frequent beatings and other types of torture, Mr. Guo’s brain tissue was damaged and his nose bled all the time. Within a year, Mr. Guo, once strong and fit, could no longer straighten his back. His legs often seized up and his entire body shook. He also became completely incontinent. With all four limbs severely damaged, he could not write or carry anything, nor could he walk normally. His excellent eyesight also dropped to 20/100, and after 12 months, he was totally blind.
The torture continued and by August 13, Mr. Guo was paralyzed and could no longer take care of himself. Because he was in bed all day, he was catheterized. When blood appeared in his urine, nobody did anything about it.
In order to recover, Mr. Guo decided to resume doing the Falun Gong exercises. Despite the extreme pain, he pulled out the catheter by himself and bled profusely. Although Mr. Guo was abused and tortured, his family knew nothing about it. Every time they came to visit him, center officials turned them away.
By resuming the exercises, Mr. Guo's health improved and he was able to stand. However, he was so disabled as a result of torture that he was unable to walk properly and could only inch forward.
Despite Mr. Guo's poor health, Zhang Yanxue, the Xuanhua Domestic Security Division head, attempted to send him to prison. Seeing how severely disabled he was, both Shalingzi Prison and Datangwan Prison refused to accept Mr. Guo. Prison officials kept trying, though, and in the end, Shijiazhuang City Northern Suburb Prison admitted him. His family was still unaware of what was happening.
Tortured for three years in prison
Also known as Hebei Province Fourth Prison, Shijiazhuang City Northern Suburb Prison holds 4,000 detainees and employs 2,000 guards. Notorious for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners, officials put them together in "Intensified" Units. They force practitioners to watch brainwashing videos every day and torture them, trying to force them to give up their belief in the practice.
Sleep deprivation is often used. “Sitting on stool legs” is another tactic. Stools are placed upside down and practitioners are forced to sit on the stool legs with their legs crossed. They are also kicked in the kidneys, have their feet burned with cigarettes, and are force-fed, slapped, and forced to walk with their feet chained. They are deprived of food, water, and even toilet use.
According to inmates, it was usual to have blood in the urine after four days of such torture and have a mental collapse by the fifth day.
Guards often ordered inmates to beat practitioners and rewarded them by reducing their terms. The prisoners ranged from killers to rapists and thieves. After they were assigned to the Intensified Unit, some could not tolerate the cruelty and chose to give it up, even at the cost of not having their terms reduced. In the end, the officials had to assign the worst inmates to do this.
When Mr. Guo was admitted to the prison, his legs and feet were already so mangled that he could not wear shoes or walk normally. His hands were affected, too. Because he refused to give up Falun Gong, the brutality continued. He was transferred from the Fifth Division to the Intensified Unit in March 2003.
He was once deprived of sleep for eight days. During that time, political head Liu Rufeng and inmates beat him day and night, and he lost consciousness many times. Once he did not come to until after midnight.
Liu instructed inmates Li Hua and Shi Chunsheng to watch Mr. Guo all the time and abuse him. They often looked for trouble from him and did not allow him to speak. Whenever Mr. Guo said something, Li slapped him in the face with a foot-long wooden board, until it was bloody. Li would yell, “I am following orders to not let you speak.”
Once after Mr. Guo returned from slave labor, Shi pushed him down on the floor three times. His right leg and foot were already injured, and this made them worse: his right foot was permanently twisted 180 degrees. Shi laughed as Mr. Guo was carried back to the cell. That night, Mr. Guo had to go to the bathroom four times. The first two times, he inched forward in a sitting position; the last two times, he had to crawl. For quite a long time after that, whenever Mr. Guo went to bathroom, he had to crawl back and forth.
Despite the mistreatment, Mr. Guo compassionately told Shi that good would be rewarded and that doing bad would incur retribution. Shi did not believe him at first, but then he had a heart attack. Afterwards, his legs hurt and were unresponsive. He needed crutches to walk. From then on, Shi did not mistreat practitioners.
Mr. Guo was brutally beaten and tortured more than 70 times during his three years in prison. This led to severe illnesses and disability. He was unable to take care of himself. For three years after his release, he could not hold a spoon, let alone chopsticks. His hands, arms, legs, and feet, and even his face and mouth, were numb.
The harassment continues
Mr. Guo's suffering did not end when he returned home. Although his health improved significantly through studying the Falun Gong books and doing the exercises, he is still unable to work as a result of long years of abuse.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Dongsheng Police Station agents showed up at his home, intending to arrest him for receiving the NTDTV signal through a satellite dish. Mr. Guo told them that access to public information was a basic human right and that prohibiting such access went against the constitution. "Restricting information will only further empower the totalitarian regime, which can then continue to deceive and persecute the people." The police did not know what to say and left.
Mr. Guo’s ordeal is only one example of how practitioners have been mistreated in China for their belief. As more and more examples of CCP brutality come to light, more and more Chinese will continue to resign from the CCP and its affiliated organizations and ensure a better future for themselves.