Practitioner in Heilongjiang Detained and Tortured Before Beijing Olympics
(Minghui.org) Mr. Li Waxia is a 61-year-old retiree from Baoqing County, Heilongjiang Province. He started to practice Falun Gong in 1997 and became more energetic. For refusing to renounce his belief at the demand of communist authorities, he was held in a detention center in 2008, shortly before the Beijing Olympics.
Released After the Beijing Olympics
Mr. Li was arrested on July 27, 2008, just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, by officers from Qinghe Police Station when he and his wife visited an old colleague.
He was interrogated by a police officer whom he knew. He clarified the truth about Falun Gong to the officer and mentioned how he had benefited from practicing it, that Falun Gong practitioners are law-abiding people.
However, he was taken to the Hongxinglong Detention Center. After his fingerprints were taken, he was stripped down to just a pair of pants. Even his belt was removed. Then, very heavy shackles were put around his ankles. His hands were cuffed behind his back, with one arm over the shoulder and the other arm around the lower back.
Torture reenactment: Heavy loaded Shackles
Mr. Li was held in the No. 6 cell with nine criminals. One of them was a murderer, and the others were thieves. Shackled and cuffed, Li could not stand up or sit down. Therefore he could not drink, eat, sleep, or use the restroom.
Mr. Li's family tried to visit him that August for the first time. However, family visitation was not allowed, and no reason was given.
Mr. Li was interrogated a few times. As he had to walk about 40 to 50 meters each time, the guards changed his handcuffs from around his back to around the shackles. He had to bend at the waist to about 90 degrees and lift the weight of the shackles so he could walk. When he stopped to rest, the guards cursed and mistreated him. The shackles injured his ankles. The scars are still visible after seven years.
Torture illustration: Cuffs around Shackles
Mr. Li was tortured like this for more than 10 days. His health deteriorated quickly. Right before the last interrogation, he fell down and lost consciousness after walking only about 20 meters. The guards removed his shackles and handcuffs. He was released after the Bejing Olympics.
Falun Gong Changes an Abusive Person
Mr. Li's health was very poor before he started to practice Falun Gong. He had purple marks on the back of his hands, a symptom of poor blood circulation. The skin on his left leg turned a little black and started to emit an unusual odor. He was just 43 at the time.
He could not sleep well. At night, he always felt there was something in his throat choking him; during the day, he was absentminded. He often had headaches and lower back pain. He felt weak and could not lift anything heavy. His energy level and memory deteriorated quickly.
Mr. Li said he was jealous of everything and everyone. He was narrow-minded and constantly fought with others. He never admitted his shortcomings and was never one to give in during a fight. He was selfish, felt his situation was unfair, and hated anyone who had it better than he did.
When Mr. Li started to practice Falun Gong, he studied the book Zhuan Falun and practiced the exercises every day. He followed Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and improved his character. Within a short time, his physical health also improved. It took just three months for him to start sleeping well. He felt much more energetic during the day, and his headaches and lower back pain disappeared. He could lift heavy objects again.
Winning Colleagues' Respect
The state-owned enterprise that Mr. Li worked for went bankrupt in June 1998 and became a privately owned company. Mr. Li was promoted to workshop manager by the board of directors. He was in charge of more than 30 workers and the warehouse.
Some of his employees cursed at him, while others brown-nosed or flattered him. Some even called the police anonymously to report him as a Falun Gong practitioner. His work goals were very difficult to achieve, but he never gave up. Holding to his belief in Falun Gong, he treated his colleagues with patience and dedication, slowly winning their respect.