CCP Torture Method: “Hunger Therapy”
“Mr. Mou Lunhui lost consciousness a total of five times in three days due to brutal beatings by the guards. As if that was not enough, the guards gave him almost nothing to eat during the three-day period. Ten grains of rice were all he got for three meals each day.”
“30 grains of rice for three days” may sound inconceivably cruel, but that is what happened at Xishanping Labor Camp in Chongqing. Food deprivation is just one of many methods used by the guards there in their attempts to force detained Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief.
Dubbed “hunger therapy” by the guards, such food deprivation is aimed at weakening the practitioners physically, wearing down their willpower.
Many other practitioners detained in the same labor camp as Mr. Mou were also made to go through “hunger therapy.” Though they were given a bit more food than Mr. Mou, there was barely enough for subsistence.
When the practitioners became dangerously weak after a period of “hunger therapy,” the guards resumed normal food rations to keep them alive. However, before the practitioners were able to fully recover, they were put back on the “hunger therapy.”
What happened at Xishanping Labor Camp is not an isolated phenomenon. Many other detention facilities across China have also been known to use food deprivation in their attempts to make practitioners renounce Falun Gong.
Many practitioners experienced severe complications as a result of this torture. A woman practitioner detained in Shanghai Women's Prison lost about 60 pounds in six months. She was so hungry that she ate rotten cabbage leaves that she found in a trash can. Even that was soon taken away when the guards removed the trash can upon discovering that she had found a source of food.
Food deprivation comes in different ways and is often used in conjunction with other torture methods.
Various Forms of Food Deprivation
Falun Gong practitioners are often malnourished in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) detention facilities. Below are some of the more common tactics used to starve practitioners.
1. Extreme Portion Control
Many detention facilities offer only meager amounts of food to practitioners who refuse to give up their belief in Falun Gong. In addition to the cases mentioned above, Mr. Huang Zhaojin, a 72-year-old man, was given less than 100g of food per day for 30 days straight during his 2013 detention at a brainwashing center in Wuhan City, Hubei Province.
2. Unreasonable Time Limit for Each Meal
Limiting meal time is another way to reduce practitioners' food consumption. The guards often give unreasonable time constraints for each meal.
Practitioners detained at Wumaping Prison in Sichuan Province were given 20 seconds to finish a small bowl of rice per meal, and could only watch as the guards snatched their bowls away before they really had a chance to eat.
Mr. Zhang Weijie was made to go through a torture dubbed “three-ones” while detained at Fanjiatai Prison in Hubei Province. He was allowed only one hour of sleep and one trip to the bathroom per day, and one bite of food per meal.
3. Food Deprivation Under the Guise of “Hunger Strikes”
Mr. Wang Zhiwu did not hold any hunger strikes when he was detained in the Handan Labor Camp in March 2003. However, the guards claimed that he was on a hunger strike and stopped giving him food.
Guards at Zhengzhou Prison in Henan Province reduced the food given to the practitioners, anticipating a protest. When some practitioners indeed went on hunger strikes, the guards immediately took the opportunity to force-feed them with various substances, including human excrement.
4. Humiliation Before Each Meal
When Mr. Lu Songming was detained in a brainwashing center in Hubei Province in November 2010, he was ordered to praise the Chinese Communist Party before each meal. He refused to comply and was starved for eight days.
Starvation Used in Addition to Other Deprivation
Some detention facilities intentionally limit food consumption for practitioners already very weak due to forced labor, torture or sickness.
Mr. Wang Haijin was brutally tortured and required to make 2,000 cake cups per day during his incarceration in Funing County Detention Center in Hebei Province. His daily breakfast consisted of two scoops of corn porridge, and his lunch and dinner were steamed buns and watery cabbage soup. He lost a third of his body weight within three months, and had severe heart problems when he was released. He died 79 days later.
Mr. Zhang Shizeng spent thirty days in solitary confinement in the Mudanjiang Prison in 2008. He was only given two meals per day. Each meal was a piece of bun (about 25g) and a bottle of water. He had to sleep on the cold cement floor with thin clothes and no bedding.
Ms. Wang Aihua had acute stomach pain when she was detained in the Youyang Detention Center in July 2014. The guards denied her medical care in a hospital, and the center's doctors recommended that she maintain a liquid diet. Ms. Wang, however, was forced to go nine days without any food or water, as the guards claimed that no one would receive “special treatment.”
Related articles in English:Bakery Owner Dies at Home Soon After Suffering 90 Days of Abuse in DetentionImprisoned Woman with Stomach Problem Denied Sustenance for 15 DaysMr. Zhang Weijie Tortured in Fanjiatai Prison in Hubei Province