Imprisoned Man Loses Most of His Teeth Due to Abuse, Still Fighting to Hold Perpetrators Responsible One Year after Release
(Minghui.org) More than a year after his release, a Zhongning County resident is still fighting for justice after the loss of two-thirds of his teeth in the prison where he was tortured.
Mr. Sun Jianfeng, 46, was arrested on March 30, 2012, and sentenced to five and a half years in prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
In January 2013, he was admitted to Yinchuan Prison, where he was subjected to brutal torture.
By the time he was released on September 30, 2017, he only had ten teeth left and could no longer chew his food. He also sustained severe back injuries.
He submitted a complaint against the prison, but was told that the Shangqiancheng Procuratorate had no authority over the case. He then submitted his complaint to a newly established monitoring committee in January 2018, as he was instructed to do. When he received no response, he filed an administrative suit against the prison with the Xingqing District Court in May 2018. The district court ruled on June 15 that it would not hear the case.
According to the Administrative Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, the courts “shall accept administrative suits filed against government agencies that have infringed on the rights of citizens.”
Mr. Sun then filed an appeal with the Yinchuan Intermediate Court, requesting that it order the district court to take his case. The higher court notified him on August 8 that a hearing would be held on August 15. In the courtroom, he was surprised to find the hearing had been turned into a question-and-answer session, and he was told that the higher court was still trying to determine whether they should take up the case.
Details of Mr. Sun's Appearance in Yinchuan Intermediate Court
In Mr. Sun's administrative suit, he asked that the prison compensate him 300,000 yuan for the repair of his teeth and mental anguish, and that the prison director and other key perpetrators be held responsible for the injuries they caused.
After the Xingqing District Court refused to hear the case, Mr. Sun filed an appeal with the Yinchuan Intermediate Court. He asked the higher court to revoke the district court's ruling and order the lower court to re-hear his suit. He further requested that the higher court order the prison to cover his litigation costs.
On August 8, Yinchuan Intermediate Court sent him two documents: “Summons to Appear in Yinchuan Intermediate Court, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region” and “Acknowledgment of Receipt for Yinchuan Intermediate Court, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.” The purpose indicated on the summons was stated as “hearing, August 15, 2018, 2:30 p.m. at 201 Courtroom, East District.”
Accompanied by a dozen family members and friends, Mr. Sun went to the courthouse. The security guard at the gate took his summons and acknowledgment of receipt.
In the courtroom, he was given a new summons and acknowledgment of receipt, and told to sign for them. He noticed that the purpose in the summons had been changed to a “question-and-answer session.”
The judge told Mr. Sun that the session was being held to confirm if the case was eligible for the court to accept.
Mr. Sun didn't see a need for the question-and-answer session, as everything he told the judge had been clearly stated in his appeal.
“This is an appeal case, so we have to go through the formalities,” the judge responded.
The session lasted about 20 minutes.
Abuse Detailed in Administrative Suit Against Prison
Mr. Sun detailed his ordeals in the prison in his administrative suit.
1. Physical and Mental Abuse in Prison
Mr. Sun was transferred from Zhongwei Detention Center to Yinchuan Prison in January 2013. On the day of his arrival, five inmates were assigned to monitor him.
On the guards' orders, inmates took turns forcing him to sit on a stool with his hands on his legs. He was not allowed to move or talk. If he needed to get a drink, go to the restroom, blow his nose, or go to bed, the inmates had to approve it. Otherwise, he would be threatened, sworn at, made to stand at attention, or beaten.
A few days later, warden Hu Jianqiao wanted to talk to him. The inmates then ordered him to squat down and call himself a criminal when Hu came. Because Mr. Sun felt that he had been illegally sentenced and there is no such rule in the code of conduct for prisoners, he refused.
One day, when he was sitting on the stool, two inmates allowed another inmate to punch him several times, making his mouth bleed. When Tian Hui, the inmate from the disciplinary committee, arrived and saw the blood, he ordered the floor to be cleaned. Mr. Sun refused and asked to report the incident to the guard.
The other inmates then pulled Mr. Sun up and pushed him out of the way to wipe up the blood, while Tian told him to wipe the blood off his mouth. When Mr. Sun refused, an inmate dragged him to the washroom to splash water on his face and wipe off the blood.
Mr. Sun's mouth hurt when he rinsed it out, and some of his teeth were loose. Mr. Sun tried to walk out of the room, but the inmates held him back.
In order to try to force Mr. Sun to renounce Falun Gong, warden Lu Wei made him sit on a small stool and deprived him of sleep.
An inmate would wake him up at 5 in the morning and make him sit on a plastic chair that had its legs sawed off. Other than eating and going to the restroom, Mr. Sun was not allowed to move.
Every night, the guards and inmates took turns talking to him until midnight. When Lu and the guards talked to him, they sat on a tall chair, forcing Mr. Sun to raise his head. Because he was deprived of sleep until he was too weak to lift his head, the inmates grabbed his hair and held his cheeks to push his head back. When he tried to avoid their hands, they grabbed him even harder, loosening his teeth even further.
After sitting on the stool for days on end, his buttocks started to fester and his feet swelled until his shoes wouldn't fit. In addition, he lost feeling in his legs and his back ached. He appeared dazed.
One inmate then made him sit on a stool that he had assembled from three palm-sized wooden planks. The inmate also swore at Mr. Sun every day.
2. Request for Dental Care Ignored
After Mr. Sun told warden Hu that he was beaten, two guards came to see him to take a statement. When he informed them that his teeth were loose and two had fallen out, they said nothing.
The two guards continued to ignore Mr. Sun when he told them two more times about his teeth.
Because Mr. Sun's face was swollen and his teeth were loose, he was in pain and couldn't eat. Inmate Tian gave him a pack of instant noodles.
Mr. Sun sought out the prison nurse and told him about his teeth. The nurse said that the prison didn't provide dental care and later ignored Mr. Sun when he looked for him again.
A few days later, two more of Mr. Sun's teeth fell out.
A few months later when Mr. Sun was transferred to the strict management division, he told the nurse there about his teeth and was again ignored. He also did not receive a reply when he wrote to the prison to ask to see a dentist.
Only after Mr. Sun was transferred to the No. 12 Division was he taken to the prison hospital for an exam. As there was no dentist in the hospital, a dentist from a private clinic was brought in to examine Mr. Sun.
Mr. Sun was told that his teeth were in terrible condition and the only option was to extract them. As a result, a dozen of his teeth were pulled out in less than two years. Since dental care is not covered by medical insurance, Mr. Sun had to pay nearly 2,000 yuan for this to be done.
By the time he was released from prison, he had only ten teeth left and could no longer chew anything. He had to rely on liquid food.
3. Ignored When Reporting the Abuse
Mr. Sun reported and appealed to the prison, Zhongwei City Court, and Ningxia Prison Management Department about the torture, but was either ignored or retaliated against.
After Mr. Sun was released, he sent a complaint to the internal affairs department at the Yinchuan Prison and Yinchuan Monitoring Committee but received no response.