Mr. Zhang Hongwei Tortured in Prison for 13 Years
( Minghui.org )
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhang Hongwei from Jilin City went to Beijing in 2001 to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. He was illegally arrested by police from the Liangxiang Police Station in Fangshan District and first held in a detention center, then in the Beijing Police Department No.7 Division. Later, he was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment by the Fangshan District Court.
Tortured on a “Fixed Bed” for 18 Days
Mr. Zhang was transferred to Tiebei Prison in Changchun in mid-November 2001. He protested the persecution by going on a hunger strike for two months, and was brutally force-fed.
Mr. Zhang was taken to Jilin Prison on March 6, 2002. When he refused to give up his belief in Falun Gong, he was forced to sit on the “board” – a painful torture involving sitting straight with hands handcuffed behind the back, feet shackled, causing intense pain after just five minutes. He was then thrown into a prison cell for three days, and then tied to a “Fixed Bed” for another 18 days. During this period, he was constantly beaten by inmate Xu Siyang. Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike again to protest the abuse.
On May 28, nine Falun Gong practitioners from Changchun, including Yang Guang, Sun Changjun, Liu Weiming, and Zhang Wen, were arrested for broadcasting truth-clarification programming on the cable TV network in the Changchun area. Mr. Zhang Hongwei was taken to the Tenth Supervision Unit during that time.
Tied to a “Fixed Bed” for 52 Days
A brainwashing center was set up in the Tenth Supervision Unit with the intention to “reform” Mr. Zhang. Li Xiaocheng, Wang Shaochen and three other prisoners took turns watching and torturing him.
A large number of practitioners were detained in Jilin Prison. The Fourth and Fifth Supervision Unit were the most vicious places, with guards who randomly ordered inmates to torture practitioners with the Fixed Bed and Stretching Bed tortures. Prisoners were rewarded when they successfully “reformed” a practitioner, gaining points towards reduction of their prison terms.
Prison guard Li Yongsheng threatened Mr. Zhan: “No one can leave here without being 'reformed.'” One day, Li Yongsheng gave Mr. Zhang a final warning: “If you don't reform, I will put you on the Fixed Bed.” In desperation, Mr. Zhang attempted to end his life by banging his head against the hooks attached to the heater. He was taken to the prison hospital and held in a “strictly-monitored cell” for three days. (Editor's note: The teachings of Falun Dafa requires that practitioners cherish all life, including their own, and prohibits self-destructive acts or suicide even under extreme conditions.)
After being tortured in the brainwashing center for three months, Mr. Zhang was taken to a strictly-monitored cell for another three months. In December, he was sent to a prison cell for extended persecution. The prison cell was about five square meters in size. He was forced to sit on a board inside the cell all day long without moving, or he would be severely beaten by the inmates.
One day, prison guard Li Yongsheng encouraged inmates Wang Shaochen and Xu Laohei to discuss escaping from the prison with Mr. Zhang. The next day, Wang framed Mr. Zhang by reporting to the warden his “plan of escape.” On February 4, 2003, Liu Wei, section chief of the prison, shackled Mr. Zhang on the Stretching Bed (this is where all four limbs are stretched as if to tear the body apart). Inmate Song Liguo said, “I suggest that you “reform,” otherwise the torture will be endless.”
Mr. Zhang remained steadfast in his faith, even after being stretched for an entire day.
Later, Mr. Zhang was tortured again on the Fixed Bed. During the first day on it, his body ached and breathing became difficult. On the fifth day, his limbs were numb, and by the tenth day he felt as if his skin had been worn off. The fiberboard underneath where he was tied was stained with his sweat. His feet became infected. By the 20 th day, his head ached and he felt as if he was being shocked with electricity. Time lingered – every second felt like a day. On the 30 th day, he was only half-conscious. On the 40 th day, Mr. Zhang was untied and taken down from the bed. When Mr. Zhang questioned the guards as to why they put him on the bed, without saying anything, they put him back on the Fixed Bed. On the 52 nd day, they untied him again. His feet were now completed infected, and he was emaciated – just skin and bone, and unrecognizable.
The torture of Mr. Zhang didn't stop there. He was sent to a “strictly-monitored unit” for further persecution. One month later, he was taken back to the prison cell. At that time, the cell was very cold inside. The only available water for him to drink was from the toilet.
Torture at Midnight
Another practitioner, Mr. Liang Zhenxing was held in the cell next to Mr. Zhang's cell. During the midnight hours, the prison guards tortured Mr. Liang so that Mr. Zhang could hear his screams.
While tied to the Fixed Bed, Mr. Zhang's clothes were removed and the window opened for an hour, allowing the freezing cold air into the cell. Next door, two inmates were watching Mr. Liang. One of them was Wang Quanyou. When they sat on Mr. Liang's chest, blood gushed out of his mouth. In the morning, Li Yongsheng and Tan Fuhua taunted Mr. Zhang, asking if he'd had a “good” night's sleep, and if he was ready to “reform.”
Over 100 Degrees Fahrenheit in the Cell; Heroin Added to the Porridge
The strictly-monitored unit was moved to the third floor of the new building, on June 18, 2003. Next to the unit was the prison cell. Mr. Zhang was locked inside the cell. The guards sealed the windows with plastic sheeting. It was summertime, and the indoor temperature rose over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The stench from the inmates' perspiration was suffocating.
In September, Mr. Zhang was taken to the Fifth Cell. Warden Wei Xianghui instigated prisoner Jin Dongwei to torture Mr. Zhang in a further attempt to “reform” him. One day, Jin Dongwei violently punched Mr. Zhang in the face. Blood gushed out of his nose, causing his face to become misshapen. Wei told Jin to force Mr. Zhang to write a “thank you” letter to the prison. Mr. Zhang refused to cooperate with them and said, “How can you ask me to thank them for persecuting me?”
No matter how they tortured Mr. Zhang, he refused to give up his belief. Inmate Ning Weicheng, who was a drug addict, made a suggestion to Jin Dongwei to put some heroin on his food. Ning indicated that once Mr. Zhang became addicted, he would do whatever was asked of him and therefore would give up his belief. Jin told the guard about this idea. Several days later, on September 26, Jin went to fetch some porridge. He accidentally spilled some heroin powder on the side of the bowl. When Mr. Zhang asked him what it was, he said it was plaster powder that fell from a wall. Mr. Zhang refused to eat. The next day, Wei Xianghui asked Mr. Zhang about the porridge. Mr. Zhang didn't mention the heroin because he knew that if he did, the prisoners would likely kill him.
In October, the weather was getting cold. Prisoners and guards wore heavy, warm clothing, but Mr. Zhang was only allowed to wear a short-sleeved shirt. He shivered from the cold, but the guards refused to close the window for him. On November 15, while it was snowing, Mr. Zhang requested a coat. Wei Xianghui felt pressured in front of the others, and reluctantly gave him a jacket.
The prison guards and inmates became more brutal in persecuting practitioners. One day, Mr. Zhang witnessed inmates Zhang Chuang and Da E, led by prison guard Li Yongsheng, carry a practitioner who refused to be “reformed” to a Fixed Bed and then whip him violently with a belt and wooden board.
One day, the prison doctor tried to give practitioner Mr. Yang Guang an injection. When Mr. Yang refused to cooperate with the doctor, he was tied to a Fixed Bed for over 10 days.
Sitting on the Cold Floor
It was now wintertime. In was obvious that the other inmates could not “reform” Mr. Zhang, so the prison guards sent in another prisoner, Yu Liwei, who was known to be very vicious. With no heat in the room, he forced Mr. Zhang to sit on the cold cement floor. It was so cold that Yu was holding a heated bag and wore a winter coat. One day, Yu warned Mr. Zhang that he was given a limited time to “reform” him. Mr. Zhang ignored Yu, so Yu rushed over to him and started beating him violently. He hit Mr. Zhang's face so hard that blood gushed from his nose and eyes. His vision was blurry for more than 10 days.
Yu continued to force Mr. Zhang to sit on the cold floor during the day and deprived him of sleep at night. When Mr. Zhang closed his eyes to sleep, Yu pinched him. It would be difficult for anyone to bear this kind of torture. Two months later, Yu still couldn't “reform” Mr. Zhang.
Mr. Zhang was forced to sit on the cold floor until March of the next year. The cold damaged his ears and they became infected. He eventually lost parts of his earlobes to infection.
Mr. Zhang was not allowed to brush his teeth. He was given only two small meals a day, porridge and a small bun, for breakfast and dinner. He was not given any toilet paper. He cleaned himself with his hands and cold water. One day, Yu kicked Mr. Zhang in the ribs on the right side. As a result, he couldn't turn his body for 15 days when trying to sleep.
Mr. Zhang was placed in solitary confinement. Another prisoner named Xu Xueying was sent to “reform” him, along with Yu Liwei. One night, Mr. Zhang was very ill, and had 7 episodes of diarrhea within half an hour. He was in a state of delirium. Yu and Xu observed him for another 30 minutes, while the condition worsened. They finally reported him to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, Yu pinched Mr. Zhang in the ribs. Mr. Zhang was now almost completely disfigured. The doctor gave him an injection, but there was no plan of treatment. Prison guard Wang Yuanchun asked if Mr. Zhang wanted to “reform.” They said that if he would renounce his belief, they would release him; otherwise he would hold him indefinitely. Mr. Zhang Hongwei said “No!” He was taken back to the solitary confinement.
Thirteen Years of Imprisonment, Tortured for Two and a Half Years in Solitary Confinement
Mr. Zhang's family had been going to the Procurator's office and accusing the Jilin Prison authorities for illegally holding Mr. Zhang in solitary confinement for an extended period. At the end of August 2004, due to pressure from his family, the Jilin Prison was forced to release Mr. Zhang from solitary confinement, where he had been held for two and a half years.
By that time, Mr. Zhang had become unrecognizable due to the persecution. His family had tried to demand his release on medical parole three times, but were refused by the prison authorities due to his refusal to renounce Falun Gong.
At present, Mr. Zhang has been released. Thirteen years ago, he was a 33-year-old young man, and his son was 3. Now, he is no longer a young man – robbed of the prime of life, and his child is almost grown – robbed of his father's care during his formative years.
Summary of Key Persecution Facts: Name: Zhang Hongwei(张洪伟) Gender: Male Age: 46 Address: Jilin City, Jilin Province Occupation: Unknown
Date of Most Recent Arrest: 2001
Most recent place of detention: Jilin City Prison(吉林监狱) City: Jilin
Persecution Suffered: Detention, illegal sentencing, imprisonment, forced-feedings, locked in a small cell, handcuffed on a bed for an extended period, brutal beatings, stretched and hung up, freezing, sleep deprivation, sitting board .