Young Artist Brutally Tortured in Prison for His Faith
(Minghui.org) Mr. Xu Wenlong, a 32-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Heilongjiang Province, has been tortured in Tailai Prison in Qiqihar City since December 2012 because he refuses to renounce his belief.
He has been placed in solitary confinement, beaten, and shocked with electric batons, hung by handcuffs, starved, and deprived of sleep. Recently, Mr. Xu was transferred to Fengtun Prison in Qiqihar for further persecution.
Mr. Xu, born in 1986, was an outstanding graduate of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He was arrested with eight other practitioners in 2011, after the police had tapped into his phone and monitored him for a period of time. He was sentenced to a six-and-a-half-year prison term and transferred to Tailai Prison on December 26, 2012.
Mr. Xu was held in a small cell alone for more than a month, were he was required to write daily “thought reports.” When Mr. Xu wrote “I am innocent” in his thought report on January 16, 2013, prison guard Gao Bin beat and threatened to “keep him in the cell forever.”
In the city of Qiqihar, in the northern extremes of China, temperatures often drop to -10°F in January. There was no bed, blanket, or pillow in the small cell, and Mr. Xu had to sleep on the icy cement floor. Dressed in only a thin layer of clothes, with his hands cuffed and feet shackled, he could only sleep for a very short period at a time due to the cold and discomfort.
The guards gave Mr. Xu only two ladles of thin noodle soup each day. Starvation soon led to severe constipation. His weight dropped rapidly, and he was emaciated by the time he was let out of the small cell. His gums were infected because he was not allowed to brush his teeth.
After enduring 37 days of solitary confinement, starvation, and extreme cold, Mr. Xu gave in and wrote the guarantee statement. When he later made a solemn declaration that the guarantee statement was null and void, the guards put him through another round of torture.
Beaten and Shocked with Electric Batons
After a failed attempt to force Mr. Xu to insult Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, on March 25, 2013, Guard Wu Gang hung him by his handcuffs from an electric motor in the workshop, and proceeded to beat and shock him with electric batons. Wu shocked him on the head, face, and genitals.
He was beaten repeatedly. A few guards often cornered him and would beat him with electric batons until the batons ran out of power. The guards then propped him up on a metal rod and left him bent over the rod for hours on end. They drove other inmates away so that no one would witness the torture sessions.
Propped Up with a Rod During the Day and Hung Up at Night
Mr. Xu was given only one steamed bun to eat each day during the last two weeks of March. The temperature in Qiqihar often falls below -10°F in March. Mr. Xu wore only thin clothing while the guards wore heavy jackets.
During the day, he was propped up with a metal rod in the workshop, his legs tied to a rod inserted into his pants, with his body bent over for hours on end. At night, his hands were cuffed behind his back and he was hung from a bunk bed ladder in an awkward position. An inmate was assigned to monitor him through the night. He was not allowed to sleep or use the restroom.
When officials from the Provincial Bureau of Prisons inspected Tailai Prison in late May 2013, Mr. Xu refused to answer to the head count. Sub-division Head Zheng Hui ordered several inmates to beat him until he was injured.
Division Head Liu Chunxiao cuffed Mr. Xu's hands, shackled his feet, and put a hat on him to hide the injuries. He was again locked in a small cell for an extended period of time.
16-Day Torture Marathon
In 2015, Mr. Xu was once made to go through a 16-day torture marathon from December 3-18 for refusing to follow the orders of the prison guards.
The guards placed him in a solitary confinement cell on December 3, 2015, after he reported that the prison had tortured Mr. Zhang Haitao, another Falun Gong practitioner. They sat Mr. Xu on a “tiger bench” for six days with his hands tied behind his back and his feet shackled. There was also a restraining belt strapped across his chest. They didn't let him sleep and sprayed chili water on his head, face, and neck 10 to 20 times a day.
“It was enough to wash my hair with,” Mr. Xu said afterward.
When Mr. Xu protested the mistreatment, they sprayed him even more. The pain was excruciating and his vision was significantly affected. His face and nose also became swollen.
When the guards released Mr. Xu from the “tiger bench” on December 9, he was unable to walk. The guards then shackled him to a floor anchor – a ring affixed to the ground, for another nine days.
His wrists hurt if he tried to lie down to sleep. The confinement area was very cold, but he was again only given thin clothes to wear. He went on a hunger strike and became even more malnourished. Sitting on the concrete floor for nine days caused great pain in his legs, hips, and buttocks.
Mr. Xu said in the caption that he felt extremely cold with only one thin layer of clothes on. There was no cushion for him to sit on and his buttocks developed blisters after prolonged sitting on the concrete floor.
The guards kept him restrained to the floor anchor until December 18, 2015.
Denied Family Visitation and Personal Mail
In July 2016, Mr. Xu was subjected to further persecution for refusing to renounce his faith and because he protested the mistreatment of other imprisoned practitioners.
Between August and October 2016, the guards in Ward 3 denied Mr. Xu family visits, phone calls, mail privileges, and shopping privileges at the canteen. He was only allowed to stay in a designated area and was not allowed to talk to anyone.
Currently, Mr. Xu is in Fengtun Prison, in solitary confinement.