(Minghui.org) Continued from Cruel Stretching Tortures Employed by China's Communist Regime (Part 1)

The Stretching Tortures at the Benxi Forced Labor Camp and Other Prisons

The previous article described the stretching torture methods used in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province. This article will cover the stretching torture methods used in Benxi Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province, Jilin Prison, and Yushu City Detention Center in Jilin Province, and Wuzhong Prison in Ningxian Hui Autonomous Region.

“Fixed Position Stretching”

The officials at Benxi Forced Labor Camp set up a "stretching room" in the strict team of the Sixth Division to torture Falun Gong practitioners. In December 1999, Chen Zhongwei, chief of the Political Committee of the labor camp, ordered guard Liu Yinxiang to outfit a "stretching room" near the cafeteria, copying the design of the stretching room in Benxi Detention Center.

In the stretching room, six steel rings in two rows were buried underground about an inch deep. The two rows were about six feet apart and the rings worked with chains or handcuffs. When a practitioner was tortured, one ring of the handcuff was put on a wrist or ankle, and the other end was linked with the chains. The chains were pulled through the rings to stretch the four limbs and pull the victim off the ground. Only a little bit of the hip would touch the ground. This was called “fixed-position stretching.”

Mr. Zhao Chenglin was a former head of a health team in the military at the battalion-level rank. He was forced to leave the military because he practiced Falun Gong and worked as a doctor in the Benxi City Hospital for Infectious Diseases. In July 2002, he was illegally arrested and sent to Benxi Forced Labor Camp. He was subjected to the torture of “fixed-position stretching” during his detention at the labor camp.

“Dismembering the Limbs with Five Horses Stretching”

There is another type of "stretching torture" used in Benxi Forced Labor Camp. The victim is placed between two beds with his arms and legs handcuffed to the four outer corners of the beds, and the beds are pulled apart. After a period of time, the beds are forced apart further and bricks are squeezed into the space between the beds. This is called "dismembering the limbs with five horses."

“Hanging-in-the-Air Stretching”

There was also a kind of stretching torture called “hanging-in-the-air stretching.” This is how practitioner Mr. Song Yuegang, who was tortured this way, described it: “On June 4, 2001, more than 20 people, guards and inmates together, dragged me and five other practitioners to the stretching room to torture us since we refused to renounce Falun Gong. Our wrists and ankles were handcuffed and stretched. The handcuffs cut into our ankles and it was extremely painful. After two days and two nights of this, my lower body was numb. When Wu Gang, the deputy director of the labor camp, arrived and saw that I still had not given in, he began to shock my face with a high voltage electric baton of 18,000 volts. After four days and nights, I could not feel anything below my waist. It felt as if the pain had reached the marrow of my bones. It felt as if my spine was broken and someone was constantly digging in it with a chisel. My upper body was so painful that it felt as if all my bones were about to break and ants were eating at my chest. However, guard Wang Yi and Liu Jiangpeng each held an electric baton of 18,000 volts to shock me, and the sparks were over a foot long. Wang Yi shouted at me, 'If you don't "transform" today, I will beat you to death.' I used all my strength to shout back, “Falun Dafa is good!” This frightened them and they dared not try to kill me.”

Torture re-enactment: Stretching torture

This kind of “hanging-in-the-air stretching” torture resulted in at least one practitioner becoming a vegetable. Since the handcuffs left obvious injuries, the labor camp officials replaced them with cloth strips, not to alleviate the pain, but to cover up their crimes.

Guard Zheng Kai ordered two inmates to tie Mr. Song Jiwei to a stretching bed on January 3, 2008. Mr. Song had been tortured for over 12 days. Since he still refused to renounce Falun Gong, Zheng Kai ordered them to put a car tire underneath his back to increase the pain. The pain was unbearable. Mr. Song was tortured for a total of 24 days.

Mr. Liang Yuncheng, a judge of the Fengcheng City Court in Liaoning Province, was sent to Benxi Forced Labor Camp in February of 2006. At around 5:00 p.m. on February 8, 2006, Mi Yang, a division chief, and Meng Lixin, the section head of the Management Section, ordered the inmates to tie Mr. Liang to a stretching bed. After he was tightly tied up, the camp doctor first put him on an IV infusion and later force-fed him. They ordered three inmates to monitor him around the clock. By the next morning, because Mr. Liang still refused to give up practicing Falun Gong, Meng Lixin gave orders to torture him with the stretching torture. The bed he was tied to was made of two beds. They pushed him down between the beds and tied his wrists and ankles with cloth strips to the four outer corners of the beds. The pain was increased when the cloth strips were tightened.

Torture re-enactment: Death Bed

This torture could last as long as it took until practitioners gave up their belief. They were not released for meals or to go to the restroom. Inmates were ordered to feed them and give them water and help them relieve themselves in pots. Inmates often cursed, insulted, or beat the practitioners while doing it. At least one guard and one camp doctor participated in the torture each time. The guard controlled the proceedings and made sure the practitioner would not end up handicapped or dead.

Mr. Liang was tortured for 15 days the first time and 29 days the second time. By the 19th day of the second time, Mr. Liang was unable to have bowel movements. The camp guards were alarmed and made an exception to have him partially released so he could defecate on the bed. However, he was unable to sit up due to the long time stretching torture. When he was finally released from the bed after 29 days, he immediately lost consciousness.

It was very common to torture Falun Gong practitioners with the stretching torture. Sometimes they tortured six or seven practitioners at the same time. Most of them suffered severe damage to their soft tissue. However, the damage was all internal and could not see it with the naked eye.

Stretching Torture in Jilin Prison

The officials at Jilin Prison used various torture beds for the stretching torture, such as “fixed-position bed,” “stretching bed,” “dislocation bed,” or “dead-penalty bed.”

Fixed-position beds were made of wooden boards about six and half feet long. Two steel strips with a row of holes were added to the ends of the boards. They were used to tie the hands and feet at the four corners of the bed. Practitioners had to urinate and sleep at the same position except for bowel movements. It was really painful. There were 17 fixed-position beds in Jilin Prison. Most of the practitioners were tortured this way. When Mr. Zheng Weidong was tied to this kind of bed, the inmates put soda bottles underneath his back to increase the pain because he refused to renounce Falun Gong. The torture lasted for five days.

Torture re-enactment: Fixed-Position Bed

When practitioners were subjected to the torture of the death-penalty beds, their four limbs were stretched out and their bodies were up in the air. A quilt was put under the victim's back. They stretched the practitionerss limbs and pushed down their bodies at the same time. Many practitioners became disabled after this torture. Mr. Zhang Hongwei was admitted to Jilin Prison in May of 2002. He was tortured with solitary confinement and the death-penalty bed. He was put on a death-penalty bed several hours a day and was tortured for several days. As a result, he was very weak and his inner thighs and many other places were badly rotting.

The stretching-bed is another of the cruelest torture instruments. Four steel plates were placed at the four corners of the bed where wrists and ankles were positioned. Each plate had many holes to attach the steel buckle. The steel buckle consisted of two half-circle rings that were specially made. When the four buckles were tightened, the practitioner would be stretched up in the air. It would be very painful only after a few seconds. When the torture lasted longer, the knuckles, tendons and muscles of the arms and legs would be injured and became disabled.

After about 20 to 30 minutes of this torture, the limbs would be numb. The torturers would release the practitioner and rub their feet. When the practitioner's limbs recovered some feeling, they resumed the torture. Mr. Wu Yifeng was a famous bridge expert in Jilin Province and the director of the Department of Architectural Engineering of Changchun Architectural Engineering College. When he was detained in Jilin Prison, he was tortured on the stretching bed. He was stretched up in the air, and his wrists and ankles showed bruises shortly after the torture began. However, the two inmates kept rubbing his wrists and ankles against the steel buckles, which cut into the flesh. Mr. Wu was in so much pain that he had urinary incontinence. To shirk their responsibilities, the camp guards sent him to the hospital the next day. The doctor and the nurses were surprised at how bad his injuries were.

On the dislocation stretching bed, they used rebar rings to fix the handcuffs on practitioners' wrists and shackles on their ankles. One arm was stretched upward and the other downward to the extreme, making the body arched. The guards or inmates would then put sticks, washbasins, or canned food underneath the victim's body so it no longer touched the bed. All the practitioner's joints were stretched and it was agony.

Torture re-enactment: Dislocation Stretching Bed

When a practitioner was subjected to the stretching torture without the beds, he was first placed face down on the ground and then his four limbs were tied with ropes and stretched up in the air. When the practitioner refused to renounce Falun Gong, the torturers would stretch him further. The torture left practitioners with flesh injuries on their wrists and ankles. Sometimes their tendons were severed and they would be disabled. They would sometimes bang the practitioner's joints with a small hammer until the joints turned purple. Practitioners Mr. Tan Qiucheng, Mr. Liu Chengjun, Mr. Diao Shujun, Mr. Sun Qian and Mr. Zhang Xinqi were disabled from this torture.

When Mr. Sun Qian was tortured like this, he was stretched three times and the tendons of one of his heels ruptured. He was then sent to the handicapped team.

Practitioners were subjected to other kinds of stretching torture. Mr. Xin Yanjun, a former air force officer and an employee of the Yanjin City Water Supply Company, had been hung up between two bunk beds. The guards ordered four strong inmates to use the two thick sticks in a cross shape to open his legs. He lost consciousness during the torture. They poured cold water to wake him up and continued torturing him. Afterwards, Mr. Yan's legs were disabled, his kidneys failed to function, his left arm was broken, and he had multiple other injuries.

Hanging Torture in Yushu City Detention Center

Mr. Yang Zhanjiu, a practitioner from Yushu City, Jilin Province, was arrested in August 2002 and held in the Yushu City Detention Center. When he was interrogated, he was bound to a steel chair. One night, officers from the Domestic Security Division, including director Zhang Deqing, Shi Hailin, and Qi Li, came to the interrogation room, handcuffed Mr. Yang's hands behind his back, and tied a rope to his handcuffs. They had him stand on a chair and tied the other end of the rope to the door frame. They then took away the chair and left Mr. Yang hanging in the air. They also kicked his legs to make him swing back and forth. The handcuffs cut into his flesh. Mr. Yang quickly lost consciousness.

Stretching Torture in Wuzhong Prison in Ningxian Province

Mr. Ma Zhiwu, formerly employed at Yinchuan Railway Bureau, was sent to Wuzhong Prison on April 18, 2002. Mr. Ma was once subjected to the stretching torture on a Death Bed for more than 40 days. His hands were handcuffed and his feet shackled. His back and legs were tied to the bed with ropes. The stretching of his four limbs resulted in unbearable pain in his muscles and entire body. The shackles cut into his flesh and he bled profusely, as the inmates took turns torturing him. He was not allowed to sleep around the clock, and, at the same time, they read materials that defamed Falun Gong to him. When Mr. Ma closed his eyes, they used pliers or batons to beat him. His face was swollen and covered with blood and bruises. He was force-fed everyday with a salty paste with his nose stuffed. The strong smell of the paste made him unable to breathe. In the winter, he was not given a quilt and was forced to urinate and defecate on the bed. His head directly touched the wooden board, which made his hair fall out.

(to be continued)