(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Cao Jihai, a farmer in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, was arrested in November 2015 for filing a legal complaint against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for launching the illegal persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. Cao has endured persecution for his faith since 1999, and was imprisoned for a total of 7 years prior to this most recent arrest. He was tortured nearly to death numerous times while in police custody. He is currently still incarcerated.

The following is Mr. Cao’s personal account of the persecution he and his family have experienced before the November 2015 arrest.

I began to cultivate in Falun Dafa in 1998. Before that, I suffered from various illnesses. I am a farmer, and toiling in the fields was hard on my body. My health deteriorated. Falun Gong healed all my illnesses, and after that, I never felt tired working anymore. My body became very flexible and I was full of energy. I followed Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and tried to remind myself to do good deeds and to be a good person. I avoided having conflicts with others and always considered others’ needs before mine. I treated others with compassion. People in my village said that I was a very good person.

However, since the onset of the persecution in 1999, policemen often came to my residence to harass me and my family. My home was ransacked many times, and our personal belongings confiscated. Policemen threatened us and prohibited us from talking to people about Falun Gong. They tried to force me to write statements renouncing Falun Gong. Because of the benefits I had gained from the practice, I refused to renounce my faith, and continued going out to distribute informational materials to help more people to learn the truth about Falun Gong.

While working on my land one day in November 2000, policemen took me to the local police station, where they handcuffed my hands to heating pipes for 24 hours, and then took me to the Public Security Bureau. They forcibly stretched my legs into a split and shocked me with electric batons, including my private parts and inside my mouth. Many of my teeth fell out after my mouth was shocked. They hung me up by my cuffed hands along with a female practitioner for about 4 hours. After that, they transferred me back to the detention center, where the guards and prisoners beat and verbally abused me. I was then held in a brainwashing center for fourteen months, and was released in January 2002.

About six months later, three people from the local government came to take me to the brainwashing center. I refused to go with them. However, they forcibly dragged me into their car. The 610 office official there claimed that if I refused to write the three statements, I would be sentenced to forced labor.

Since that time, policemen and people from the 610 Office often came to my residence to harass my family. They refused to listen to me telling them the facts about Falun Gong. I went out to distribute Falun Gong truth-clarification materials, but was arrested once again. I was tortured, and one of my ribs was broken. I was also forced to take cold showers in winter.

After being detained for half a year, I was given a three-year prison sentence. The prison officials allowed the guards to brutally torture me. I was forced to stand for a long period of time, and my legs were swollen as a result. The guards pulled my hair and hit my head against hard objects until I fainted, and my mouth and nose were bleeding. After I gained consciousness, they changed my blood-soaked shirt with a clean one so that others would not know what they did to me. I found out that my rib was broken after I was taken back to the cell. However, the guards continued torturing me right up until the time I was released.

After I returned home, policemen and people from the 610 Office never stopped harassing me and my family. They constantly threatened us, and everyone in my family was traumatized having to live through the stress on a daily basis.

Three policemen broke into my house on December 12, 2009. Without a warrant, they ransacked our residence, pried open our safe, and stole our personal belongings. They arrested me and took me to the Public Security Bureau, where they put me on a tiger bench. Eight policemen punched and kicked me. The broom that they used to beat me with was broken in two, and my face was injured and swollen. My left eardrum was ruptured, and I lost my hearing after that. My hands were tied to a stool to prevent me from moving. Afterwards, I was transferred to a detention center.

I was charged with “using an evil cult to interfere with the implementation of law.” However, when I asked the prosecutor in court what I did that was interfering with the law, he was unable to answer my question, but said that they were simply carrying out orders.

When I was held in the detention center, I shouted out, “Falun Dafa is good!” Then guards tied me up on a stool, and then they struck and kicked me. I lost more of my teeth as a result of the beatings.

After being detained for a year, I was transferred to a prison, where the guards and prisoners brutally tortured me. My right eye and temple were severely bruised and swollen. The guards said that they could easily kill me and still not face any consequences.

I was finally released on December 11, 2013. However, the guards prohibited me from going home directly. They held me in a brainwashing center for 15 days before I was allowed to return home.

In the summer of 2014, policemen came to take me to the brainwashing center again. When they could not find me, they threatened my wife that if I did not go, they would arrest me again. My wife had no choice but to go to the brainwashing center herself and stayed there for 18 days.