Forced Labor and Torture in a Liaoning Province Prison
(Minghui.org) Prison No. 1 in Liaoning Province has 19 wards, with each ward containing two sub-wards. Inmates in the prison are forced to do slave labor for long hours. Those who are regarded as disobedient are taken to ward No. 19, which is called the “strictly controlled” ward. Inmates in this ward are subjected to beatings, electric shocks, the tiger bench torture, extended sitting on a small stool, being locked in solitary confinement, and so on. Falun Gong practitioners often ended up in ward No. 19.
1. Forced Labor
Inmates in Liaoning Prison No. 1 are forced to work from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. They are given lunch in the workshop, but allowed only ten minutes to eat. They make clothing and shoes, most of which is exported to other countries.
Prison regulations state, “Except for restricted personal freedom, inmates in prisons have the same rights as other citizens.” State labor law limits inmate work hours to eight hours per day, and no more than one hour of overtime per day. Maximum work hours are 44 hours per week, with two days off per week.
Inmates in this prison, however, are made to work over 80 hours per week and have only one day off every 15 days. Some inmates find this unbearable. Because he could no longer bear it, one young inmate, Hou, jumped out a window from the second floor of a building. Fortunately, he was not injured. Prison authorities refused to accept responsibility for the incident and forced Hou to criticize himself publicly during an assembly in ward No. 1.
During inspections, prison officials also tried to conceal the fact that they had inmates doing slave labor. In 2015, the State Department of Justice conducted an inspection. But the guards had threatened inmates and forced them to deny any form of mistreatment.
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Gao Mingxing from Anshan City was sentenced to 10 years because he had broadcast videos that contained information about Falun Gong and its persecution. He was tortured until his legs became disabled. He still refuses to give up his belief and has often been incarcerated in solitary confinement in ward No.19.
Practitioner Mr. Guo Chuanjiang from Anshan City had been detained in ward No.19 for nearly 4 months, starting in March or April 2013. He has also been placed in solitary confinement with Mr. Gao Mingxing.
To try to force Mr. Guo Chuanjiang to renounce his belief, Jin Xu, a deputy in ward 19, tortured him with electric batons, the tiger bench, burning his nose with a lighter, and having inmates poke him in the ribs with plastic sticks.
Once, Jin Xu personally took Mr. Guo's blood pressure, then proceeded to shock his eyes with an electric baton while stating, “So what if you become blind?” He then shocked his lips and jaw until the flesh was burned. Due to the torture, Mr. Guo's legs became very swollen.
Jin Xu even took some guards to Anshan City to hold a criticism gathering at the home of Mr. Guo's mother. This scared her so much that she had to leave her home for several days.
When practitioner Mr. Li Wenzhong had just arrived in prison No.1, guard Han Cheng, who was the team leader, and two other guards, beat Mr. Li, because Han apparently was not satisfied with him during a drill exercise and wanted to use Mr. Li as an example. During the beating, Mr. Li lost two teeth. According to prison regulations, the loss of a tooth is considered a personal injury and is regarded as a violation of prison regulations. However, the investigation department of the prison failed to act on the matter.
Inmate Dong Xuewen reported Mr. Li Wenzhong to guard Li of ward No.1 on May 9, 2013. Guard Li searched Mr. Li and found an article about Falun Gong. He then beat Mr. Li's face with a slipper, which caused his mouth to bleed and one front tooth to become loose. He threatened Mr. Li by saying that he would beat him to death should he appeal to higher authorities. Mr. Li was then taken to ward No.19, where he was subjected to even more intense torture.
In October 2014, guard Yan Xuefeng instigated inmate Yu Yongjun to beat Mr. Li Wenzhong and Mr. Guo Chuanjiang because Mr. Li had helped Mr. Guo to purchase something and they had fraternized.
Guards Shi Lei and Ye Changqing ordered Mr. Li Wenzhong and Mr. Guo Chuanjiang to their office in November 2014. They stripped off the practitioners’ clothes and searched them with the window in the room open. They then forced Mr. Li to recite the prison regulations and later sent him to a brainwashing session.
Practitioner Mr. Xu Bin from Dalian City was brutally beaten by guard Han Cheng. He started a hunger strike in order to protest his mistreatment and was immediately taken to ward No.19, where he was force-fed.
Guard Han Cheng shocked inmate Geng Jingwang from Chifeng City because he was unable to finish his daily quota. His back was burned. He was subsequently taken to ward No.19 and forced to sit on a small bench for extended periods of time.
Guard Yan Bin often beat inmate Mr. Zhang Pingping from Dalian City because he too was unable to finish the daily labor quota. He was taken to ward 19 as well. He was just over 30 years old, but his hair had already turned white.
The food is poor in Chinese prisons. Families of inmates know this and often send their family member money to be deposited in the prison's logistics department. Each inmate is assigned a specific account, and when they want to buy something, they submit their request to a designated inmate, who is in charge of purchasing items. The guards and inmates often collaborate to steal these funds.
The family of Mr. Li Wenzhong had deposited more than 6,000 yuan(about $911 USD) into his account between September and December 2014. However, when Mr. Li checked his account, he was told that it was empty.
Mr. Li reported this to higher prison authorities Liu Yi, Dong, Han Cheng, Li Song, and He Shangyuan (head of ward 1), but they refused to help. Mr. He, in fact, collaborated with prisoner Wang, who was in charge of inmates’ orders, and stole more than 100,000yuan (about $15,189) from the inmate accounts. Because most of the inmates were afraid of the abusive guards, they didn't dare to speak up.