(Minghui.org) Mr. Chen Xiaodong, a teacher from Jilin Province, has endured forced labor, imprisonment, and brutal torture for remaining steadfast in his belief in Falun Gong (Falun Dafa). He recently filed a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin, then-leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), for launching the campaign of persecution against the spiritual practice.

By joining 200,000 other fellow practitioners in filing lawsuits against Jiang, Mr. Chen hoped to find justice for what he had suffered and uphold his constitutional right to freedom of religion. His case has been submitted to the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Mr. Chen Xiaodong is an English teacher at No. 8 Middle School in Dehui City. He has regained his health and become happier since he started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. Full of gratitude for Dafa and its founder, Mr. Chen stayed true to his beliefs through even the darkest hours of the persecution.

Mr. Chen was arrested in 2001 and endured one year of forced labor at the Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp in Changchun. In an attempt to make him renounce his belief, the guards beat him, shocked him with electric batons, and whipped him with a leather belt. He was also forced to do hard labor for long periods of time. He had edema and needed help just to walk by the time he was released.

He was again arrested in March 2008 and taken to Changchun by police officers from the local Domestic Security Division. Mr. Chen was tortured and later sentenced to three years in prison.

The following is Mr. Chen's personal account of what he has endured.

I know that when one is lucky enough to have found a righteous religion, one will benefit for life. And I have been one of the luckiest in that I have found Falun Dafa and lived by the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

However, since Jiang launched the persecution against Falun Dafa in July 1999, more than 100 million practitioners and their families have been victimized, and countless heartbreaking tragedies have unfolded.

The worst part is that such a long-lasting nationwide campaign has turned right into wrong, good into bad. It has ultimately eroded the sense of justice and morals of the Chinese people.

Arrested for Telling My Students That Falun Dafa Is Good

During a flag-raising ceremony at my school in September 2001, the communist party's fabricated stories slandering Falun Dafa were broadcast to all the students and staff. As an educator, I couldn't sit and watch innocent children be deceived by such lies.

I gave out DVDs with facts about the staged Tiananmen self-immolation to my students in the following days. I returned after work one day to find my home broken into and saw that my fliers with Dafa information had been taken.

When I saw a police car on campus the next day, I knew they had come for me. I quickly left and rode my bike 10 miles to get to a long-distance bus station. I took a bus to Changchun and then called my principal later that night.

My principal sounded very calm on the phone and told me that he had made a deal with the police. He assured me that I would not be arrested and asked me to return as soon as possible, since he couldn't find a substitute teacher. I took a bus home that night and was arrested as soon as I walked into the classroom the next morning.

In the police car to the Dehui Police Department, I overheard a phone conversation between Gao Xibiao, director of the local police station, and his supervisor and witnessed Gao's excitement at arresting me and potentially being promoted.

Arriving at the Forced Labor Camp

I was taken to Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp in Changchun and was detained there from October 2001 to October 2002.

I felt great pain and sadness walking through the entrance of the forced labor camp—an educator who was supposed to teach in a classroom was being thrown into a correctional facility meant for criminals. When I saw my reflection in theglass window after being forced to have my head shaved, I burst into tears. It was unbearably humiliating.

An inmate dumped a big bucket of cold water on my head after the haircut and called it a “shower.”

Mistreatment and Torture

In the camp, Falun Dafa practitioners were not allowed to talk without permission. We were especially prohibited from talking or communicating in any way with each other; even as much as giving each other a nod could get us in big trouble.

Every practitioner had one to two assigned “monitor” inmates who followed us everywhere, even into the bathrooms in the middle of the night. To keep conflicts with these monitors to a minimum, I tried not to use the bathroom at night unless I absolutely had to. As a result, I enventually developed prostate problems.

As I sat up straight on the bed as I was made to one morning, the team lead suddenly shouted at me and told me to get off the bed. He said my lips were moving, so I must have been reciting something.

He slapped me so hard that I almost passed out. He yelled at the inmates monitoring me. The inmates, in turn, verbally abused me.

Attack Plan Launched

A small group of Changchun practitioners successfully intercepted the programs of a local TV station in March 2002, boradcasting a video exposing the CCP's lies behind the Tiananmen Square self-immolation. Jiang was furious. Five thousand local practitioners were arrested; the detention centers and forced labor camps in the area suddenly became crowded with newcomers.

Officials at the Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp announced a three-month attack plan specifically designed to get the practitioners to renounce Falun Dafa. A big banner outlining the goals of the attack was put up at the facility. The entire staff and all of the detainees had a meeting before the attack was launched.

Their first target was a practitioner from Huadian City, who was severely beaten until he finally gave in. He was covered with injuries and his face was disfigured. He was made to go from cell to cell and read his announcement renouncing Falun Dafa. I knew the storm was coming fast.

Brutal Torture and Renouncement

A round of torture started simultaneously in all six divisions one night during a weekend in March. The entire building was filled with the sounds of electric batons shocking people, beatings, shouts, and screams.

Mr. Wang Tianming had been transferred to Chaoyanggou after being severely beaten at the Fenjin Forced Labor Camp, to the point where they broke his back. Despite still recovering from his back injury, he was shocked and beaten with electric batons that night to the brink of death.

Mr. Wang Guoxiang was made to stand in the middle of an empty room with a wooden sign hanging around his neck. On that sign was a painted message slandering our Master, the founder of Falun Dafa. More than 20 practitioners were made to sit around him on small stools. The guard waved a fist and shouted slogans insulting our master, and all the practitioners were to repeat after him. Anybody who refused was severely beaten.

Our division had a special torture instrument, a rattan stick. The inmates often talked about the rattan with great fear. According to them, nobody could withstand the pain unless he was made of metal.

I was whipped with it that night and experienced the most excruciating pain in my life. The pain crushed my spirit and struck fear into my heart. I couldn't bear it anymore. With tears in my eyes, I wrote a “guarantee statement” renouncing Falun Dafa to stop the whipping. Yet the guilt drilled into me harder in the following days.

I was given a questionnaire to confirm my renouncement a week later. I stated honestly, “I wrote the guarantee statement only because of the torture and therefore it is invalid.”

I was sent to the office for another round of torture. While a guard shocked my upper body with an electric baton, a political instructor beat my buttocks and legs with a club. The beatings lasted about half an hour and left me covered with wounds and bruises.

Hard Labor and More Torture

I was transferred to another cell with other unyielding practitioners. We were made to get up at 3 a.m. every day and sit straight on small stools until midnight. If we ever dozed off, we were kicked in the back by the inmates monitoring us.

We were the main labor force when the labor camp had construction projects. We carried huge stone blocks from the roadside up the hill, where the camp is. I had never had to do such hard labor before, and the pain in my wounded body was excruciating.

We built roads and laid down asphalt the entire month of May. I was exposed to the sun all day and my skin peeled off. I lost so much weight that I hardly looked like myself at the end of the month.

Like many inmates there, I suffered from itchy and painful boils, sometimes with blood seeping out. Even when I had them on my buttocks, I was still made to sit on small stools. If anybody was ever found to bend over just slightly, he was getting a beating.

My body started to swell and it gradually became worse and worse. Towards the end of the year, the swelling got so bad that I couldn't walk without help. My family went back and forth negotiating with the camp officials, who eventually agreed to my release.

Arrested and Transported

In the name of maintaining stability, Jiang and his thugs arrested many practitioners before the Olympic Games in 2008. Local police stations received quotas from higher-ups for the number of practitioners that they had to arrest.

Policemen from the Dehui Police Department and Changchun Police Department came into my classroom and arrested me during a lecture in March 2008. I was taken to the Dehui Police Department. The police broke into my home later and confiscated a computer, a printer, Dafa books, and printed materials with Dafa information.

I was pushed into a police car in the afternoon, with my hands cuffed and my head covered with a black plastic bag. I could feel the car moving, but didn't know where we were going. What I could tell was that we traveled for a long time before going off the road, and drove on dirt roads for an even longer time before the car stopped.

When the plastic bag was taken off my head, it was almost dark. I was within four very tall walls, standing in the middle of a courtyard, surrounded by a few rundown buildings.

A Round of Torture

In an large empty warehouse-like room, I was made to sit on an old chair against a big cement pillar. My upper body and the back of the chair were tied to the pillar, and my hands were tied behind my back.

In the dimmed light, I saw a person walking toward me. He dumped cold water down the back of my neck and repeated it several times during the night. I remember him asking, “Have you made up your mind? Do you know what's going on?”

My clothes were soaked and I was shivering from the cold. I could hear the barking of dogs from distance.

I was taken to another room the next day and found many people playing cards and making loud noises. From their conversation, I gathered that they were policemen stationed there. They said that Mr. Jiang Chunxian from Dehui City was tortured to death there.

I was shackled and taken to a huge empty basement with many big pillars. The police knew that Dafa practitioners didn't drink or smoke. To torment me, they stuck a lit cigarette in my nose and poured half a bottle of hard liquor down my throat.

Afterwards, they beat me with electric batons. They stripped me naked, poured cold water on my body and then fanned me with cardboard. I was shivering so hard that I almost fell over.

Three Years in Prison

The police took me back to Dehui City in the afternoon and held me at a detention center that night. I was later sentenced to three years in prison and served the term at the Shiling Prison in Siping City from 2008 to 2010.

A short guard asked me if I knew what electric needles were when I first arrived at the Shiling Prison. He said I would get a taste of them if I didn't renounce Falun Dafa.

Division head Han Jingjun was the most brutal of all the guards. He slapped me so hard one time that I lost hearing in one ear for a month. Han took me to a bathroom and asked me to write down what I thought about Falun Dafa. Several other guards stood nearby and were ready to attack me.

One night shortly after I arrived at the prison, I heard beatings in the first floor bathroom that lasted a few hours. I found out later that Mr. Dong Fengshan was beaten to death that night. Once in the shower, I saw Mr. Gao Weixi, an ice hockey coach who was in his seventies. His back was covered in wounds and bruises.

Mr. Wang Xuezhu was found to have hidden pieces of paper with Dafa information under his bedding one time. He was beaten by Han to the point where his face and clothes were covered with blood. Mr. Wang Xuezhu was tortured to death later on.

I was made to work at the sewing machine. In order to meet quotas, I had to work from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., and sometimes for longer.

I turned in a statement declaring that everything that I had said or done that was not compliant with the Fa was invalid right before my release day in 2010. I was taken to the office on the second floor and shocked with electric batons by the division head while the political director punched me repeatedly.