Falun Gong Practitioners Subjected to Torture and “Strict Management” in a Sichuan Prison
(Minghui.org) In the 19 years of ongoing persecution, the practitioners of Falun Gong suffered unspeakable physical and mental torture—especially in prisons. The use of “Strict Management” not only aims at crushing practitioners physically, but also mentally.
In December 2017, two practitioners died less than ten days apart in Longquan Woman’s Prison in Chengdu City. Ms. Hu Xia died on December 19 and Ms. Yan Hongmei on December 28. Prison authorities cremated their remains quickly, without the families’ consent, and before their family could see them.
Prison authorities use two primary methods of Strict Management: in solitary confinement and in prison cells. Most newly-arrived practitioners are locked in solitary confinement to isolate them from others. Practitioners are not allowed daily necessities and are often abused.
For the practitioners who refuse to give up their faith after strict management in solitary confinement, they are transferred back to their cells where abuse continues in secret. The authorities place only one practitioner in each cell with 10 to 12 criminal prisoners.
During the day after all prisoners leave to do manual labor, the practitioner remains in the cell. Several staff arrive to insult and beat the practitioner. A practitioner may work during the day and, when they return to the cells, are not allowed to rest but forced to stand upright without moving until late at night.
Cases of Practitioners Subjected to Strict Management
1. Ms. Liu Xiaolin was a primary school teacher from Luzhou City. She was sentenced to five years in 2015 for suing Jiang Zemin and his regime for starting the persecution. She was put in Longquan Prison in 2016. From the first day she was forced to stand upright without moving, around the clock, for days. Then, every day Ms. Liu was forced to stand until midnight. She was viciously beaten, not given enough food, and forced to stand in strong winds soaking wet.
Ms. Liu was put under strict management in her cell in June 2017. She had to stand from 5 a.m. to midnight. She was given little food each day and sometimes nothing. Hungry and exhausted around the clock, Ms. Liu was forced by the authorities to sign a statement renouncing her belief.
Three months into the strict management, Ms. Liu became emaciated and disfigured. She became mentally incoherent, depressed, and no longer spoke.
2. Ms. Zhong Shuirong from Chengdu was put in the prison in the summer of 2016. Under strict management, she wasn’t allowed to shower or wash up. One day two prisoners instigated by the guards poured a bucket of filthy water on Ms. Zhong and left her soaking wet outside on a windy winter day.
The guards threw out all of Ms. Zhong’s clothes except the ones she was wearing and confiscated all her daily necessities. Anyone who lent anything to her would be punished. She didn’t have toilet paper to use or sanitary napkins when she had her period. She was allowed to clean herself only with toilet water.
Under strict management Ms. Zhong had to do cleaning all day and wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone. The guards instigated criminal prisoners to violate her sexually. Several prisoners beat her and pulled her hair. Others pulled down her pants and attempted to insert a tooth brush into her vagina. In this instance, Ms. Zhong strongly resisted and avoided the assault.
3. Ms. Wang Manqun from Xuyong County is in her seventies. She was under strict management for three months in the cell. She had to work during the day and sit without moving until midnight with no rest. On winter days all prisoners, except Falun Gong practitioners, were given warm clothes, coats, and bedding. The guards threw away most of Ms. Wang’s clothes and she had nothing to keep her warm in the winter.
Falun Gong practitioners were not allowed to purchase food, clothes, or bedding from the prison store even if they had money. Ms. Wang was only allowed a bottle of water each day, which wasn’t nearly enough. She was freezing, hungry and dehydrated all the time.
The torture took a heavy toll on her at her age. She suffered swollen limbs, continually vomited, and had symptoms of leukemia. She eventually lost consciousness and was rushed to a prison hospital.
4. Ms. Lu Guangxin, 74, is a practitioner from Ya’an City. She was put under strict management several times a year for refusing to slander Falun Gong in writing. When she arrived at the prison, the prisoners viciously beat her and punched her in the chest. She was covered in bruises and scars and her chest hurt for months. She was forced to stand all day every day and the food she bought was taken from her.
Ms. Lu was under strict management again in September 2017 and had to stand all day in her cell. The guard told her that she could sit down if only she wrote two sentences slandering her practice and master. She eventually did so under excruciating physical and mental pressure. After that she stopped talking to others and had to face the tremendous guilt for betraying her conscience.
Various Tortures Used During Strict Management
1. Physical Abuse
Some prisoners who were asked to abuse Falun Gong practitioners would hold down a practitioner, pry open her mouth, stick their fingers in and violently scratch the inside of the practitioner's mouth. This badly injured the practitioner’s mouth and throat and made it impossible for them to properly swallow food and water.
Criminal prisoners shared the same cell with Ms. Zhong Qunfang from Leshan City often beat her under the instruction of the guards. Since 2015 Ms. Zhong sustained constant beatings and lost consciousness several times. She was rushed to a hospital for resuscitation. The prison authorities claimed that she had heart attacks.
Since February 2016 she was placed in solitary confinement where guards allowed prisoners to secretly beat and torture her. Ms. Zhong was frequently force-fed. She became extremely thin and most of her hair fell out.
Ms. Zhang Yi from Xichang City was often beaten by a prisoner. The beatings were so brutal that other inmates reported them to the authorities. The authorities only commented that fortunately nothing happened to Ms. Zhang and punished the prisoner. The guard who instigated the beating wasn’t held to account.
3. Sleep Deprivation
Practitioners were forced to stand at night for months, or overnight even after a day’s hard work. Some were forced to stand around the clock.
Ms. Yang Taizhen from Luzhou City was forced to stand until midnight and had to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning. In the few hours Ms. Yang got to rest, the person on duty woke her up every 20 minutes to prevent her from falling asleep. This went on for a long time.
4. Extra Work and No Rest
Another way to gradually ruin the practitioners’ health was to give them extra work after a day of hard labor. Ms. Guan Xuelin from Mount Emei had to work in a shop during the day and copy down prison regulations until midnight. She had to wake up at 5 a.m. and, before everyone went to work, she had to take out the garbage and food scraps and do other heavy work. This continued because she refused to acknowledge that she had committed a crime for practicing Falun Gong.
5. Given or Force-fed Unknown Drugs
Once put in the prison Falun Gong practitioners were put through a series of health tests and told that they were sick and must start taking medicine. Many were told they had hypertension and had to take drugs every day or be put under strict management.
Ms. Zhong Qunfang was force-fed with unknown nerve-damaging drugs. As a result she couldn’t stand on her feet and became mentally incoherent. She also became incontinent and lost control of her bowel movements.
Ms. Li Mingxiu was a healthy, energetic woman before she was imprisoned. Shortly afterwards she became incontinent and lost control of her bowel movements. She was also mentally incoherent.
After taking the unknown drug, Ms. Guan Xuelin’s heart beat so fast that she felt she could not breathe.
Ms. Huang Chaozhen from Luzhou City was forced to take a drug for imaginary hypertension for a year.
Ms. Lu Guangxin reassured the prison authorities that she didn’t have hypertension, but they still forced her to take it.