(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zuo Zengqi was arrested in March 2013 and sentenced to six years in prison for his belief in Falun Gong. During visits from family members, he described some of his experiences in the prison.

Personal Account

Mr. Zuo, 61, was first taken to Hulan Prison in December 2013.

“150 of us slept in one room. All the blankets were piled up together and they had fleas in them. The flea bites were so itchy that we could not sleep at night.

“We had to get up at 5:00 a.m., start to work at 6:00 a.m., and work until 9:00 p.m. every day with no breaks. We had to finish our lunch within a few minutes, and we had to squat on the ground to eat it. Then we had to resume work immediately. Inmates beat us practitioners when we didn't work fast enough.”

Transferred But Not Released

Mr. Zuo's family reported his situation to Wang Dong, head of the Prison Politics Section. Mr. Zuo was moved to Ward No. 5, where he is still being held. His situation there is a little better.

In Ward 5 there are over 40 people in one room that have to share two large bunk beds. There are over 200 inmates in the entire ward, and there was not enough water to go around. Mr. Zhuo often can't even get any water to brush his teeth, let alone take a shower. He hasn't had a shower since last December. Because of the poor sanitation, he developed scabies on his chest and arms.

Lately, he has had to knit mats, which has caused his legs to swell and his sight to blur.

Each practitioner was coerced to pay five yuan to buy a pump, since the water pressure was too low to reach the fourth floor where they were held. The prison food is so poor that inmates are forced to pay for extra food. Otherwise they only get vegetable leaves in salt water for every meal.

Everyone pays the high prices to buy additional food, except for a few that are too poor, such as Mr. Zuo. As a result of malnutrition, he often suffers from heartburn, stomach aches, and diarrhea and has become emaciated.