(Minghui.org) Mr. Zhang De, a Falun Gong practitioner from Haicheng Town in Anshan City, Liaoning Province, has been persecuted several times since the Chinese Communist Party started its persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999.

Born in 1972, Mr. Zhang is an artist. He underwent a major surgery in 1998 after leaving the military. Following the surgery, he began to practice Falun Gong, and his health quickly recovered.

For refusing to renounce his faith, Mr. Zhang was previously sentenced to two years of forced labor in 2000 and ten years of imprisonment in 2003. In 2016, he was again sentenced to four and a half years of imprisonment and fined 5,000 yuan. He is currently held at the No. 5 Division of Kangjishan Prison in Shenyang City.

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhang De

Below is a detailed report of the brutal persecution that Mr. Zhang endured in police custody.

Recent Arrest and Second Imprisonment

On the morning of June 28, 2016, a group of unidentified people barged into Mr. Zhang's home claiming that he was involved in a hit and run and asked for his ID card. However, when he took out his ID, some of them rushed forward, grabbed his throat and pushed him to the ground before arresting him and his friend.

Mr. Zhang couldn't breathe when he was taken to the Nantai Police Station and only came to after coughing up blood.

It was later discovered that officers from Haicheng City Domestic Security Bureau and Nantai Police Station deceived Mr. Zhang through the use of a bogus hit-and-run accident.

Later, without a search warrant, the police confiscated two computers, a phone, a bag of Falun Gong books, and personal items from Mr. Zhang’s home.

That night, Mr. Zhang was detained at Haicheng City Detention Center, and his family was only informed of his detention four days later.

The next day, Mr. Zhang was forced to do hard labor. When he refused, he was beaten. He then went on a hunger strike and was tortured with various brutal methods, causing his lower body to be swollen and injured.

Five days later, when police discovered that he was still on a hunger strike, they instigated inmates to beat him.

While in detention, Mr. Zhang was brutally beaten and denied restroom use when he refused to work. A few months after using the restroom only once a day, he had rectal bleeding each time he relieved himself.

Due to malnutrition, Mr. Zhang had extremely low blood sugar and dizziness. He also developed scabies filled with pus from the unhygienic environment. Later, an infection caused his right arm to become swollen. In the end, he had to cut open his elbow to squeeze out the pus.

Mr. Zhang was also deprived of basic necessities due to the high prices he was charged at the prison store.

Mr. Zhang's arrest was approved on July 17, and he was tried on September 21.

On October 9, Mr. Zhang was informed that he was sentenced to four and a half years and fined 5,000 yuan.

He filed an appeal. In mid-December, he was notified that the original sentence was upheld.

When his family filed a complaint with Anshan City Intermediate Court, the judge informed them that the complaint was denied and that the original sentence was upheld. Later, his family filed a complaint with Liaoning High Court but was informed via mail that the original sentence was upheld. With no choice left, his family decided to file a lawsuit.

Mr. Zhang was initially confined to No. 3 Division of the Kangjiashan Prison, where he was beaten by inmates and held in solitary confinement for telling the police about Falun Gong and the persecution of his faith. He later went on a hunger strike and was hospitalized.

He is currently incarcerated in No. 5 Division, where the environment is slightly relaxed.

Another Arrest and Torture

In 2002, shortly after Mr. Zhang was released from the labor camp, he was arrested again and bound with chains at the police station. He fainted after police pulled a plastic bag over his head and attempted to suffocate him.

Torture re-enactment: plastic bag over the head

Officers later hit his head many times like a sandbag. To ensure that no one witnessed the abuse, Liu Ling, the female personnel in charge, chased others away.

Mr. Zhang was later sent to Haicheng Detention Center.

While Mr. Zhang was in detention, a prison guard and his assistant used two electric batons to shock his mouth, neck, head, and exposed skin, causing blisters to form. He was later tied with chains and a large iron ball, causing the skin on his feet, hands, and neck to crack.

Torture re-enactment: shocking with an electric baton

In 2003, the Haicheng City Court sentenced Mr. Zhang to 10 years in Wafangdian Prison.

He was later transferred to Shenyang No. 2 Prison, where he was deprived of food and restroom use. He was also shocked with electric batons, forced to stand and squat for long periods, handcuffed, tied up, force-fed, and had both boiling and cold water poured on him.

Re-enactment: force-feeding

Mr. Zhang was imprisoned together with 27 other practitioners. Two inmates were assigned to each practitioner to monitor their movements.

Police instigated a group of inmates to beat Mr. Zhang at any time. Three times, Mr. Zhang was beaten to disability. Once, he lost his memory temporarily after an inmate hit the back of his head, causing him to faint.

Mr. Zhang then went on a hunger strike and was brutally force-fed by inmates without the presence of any medical staff. The tube went into his lung and caused bleeding. Despite the injury, he was locked up in the basement instead of being taken to the hospital, leading to an infection and fever.

During the Chinese New Year period in 2004, when Mr. Zhang did not greet a prison guard, Lǚ Chuangui, and wish him a happy new year, Lǚ instigated a few inmates to beat Mr. Zhang with wooden clubs.

Afterward, an inmate wanted to take off his clothes and pour cold water over him. But due to the lack of tools, they decided to do it the next day.

Unable to bear the humiliation, Mr. Zhang attempted suicide (Editor’s note: Though this is due to the brutal persecution, Falun Gong teachings forbid suicide).

After Mr. Zhang was rescued, the inmates who tortured him had their sentences reduced with the reason that they found him in the nick of time.

Mr. Zhang was not given any basic necessities and was denied them even when his family brought them to the prison for him. He was only allowed to buy them from the prison store.

The long-term imprisonment and lack of sunlight caused Mr. Zhang to develop suppurative acne, and both his legs became swollen.

In July 2004, a section chief instigated inmate Wang Tao to hit Mr. Zhang's tibia bone with a wooden stool, causing injuries. That night, when the chief was drunk, he dragged Mr. Zhang to his sleeping room, cuffed him and shocked him with an electric baton. He threatened that he could kill Mr. Zhang with his gun and later told the public that Mr. Zhang had assaulted an officer.

Torture re-enactment: cuffed and shackled

In the next three months, the chief ordered someone to torture the already tied-up Mr. Zhang with a micro stool, causing rectal bleeding and swollen lymph nodes in the thigh. At the same time, he was also not allowed to use the restroom.

Guard Lǚ then set up a five-member team specifically to torture practitioners. These five people were given a private room where they could drink, cook, eat, play cards, and use computers and phones while beating practitioners at the same time. They were promised that if they could “transform” one practitioner (force them to renounce their belief), their sentence would be reduced by a half year.

In December 2007, Mr. Zhang was transferred to the No. 6 Division in Shenyang No. 2 Prison.

An inmate once thought that he was not sitting properly and beat him viciously, causing rib injuries and swollen testicles.

One day, an inmate beat Mr. Zhang until his right eardrum perforated. A guard then locked him up in a room in an attempt to stop the news of his injury from spreading.

However, due to the seriousness of the injury, he was later taken to the hospital, where it was confirmed that his eardrum had perforated. Mr. Zhang wanted to sue the inmate, but his request was ignored.

When Mr. Zhang learned that there was proof of the diagnosis of his perforated ear, guards denied it. Later, the prison forced him to sign a compensation document and informed other parties that everything had been resolved.

When the prison staff were drunk, they pretended to look at his ear before saying that there was nothing wrong with it.

The inmate who injured Mr. Zhang received a term reduction, while guard Xu Guoliang, who instigated the beating, was transferred to another area.

Another guard, Jin Xin, replaced Xu. Jin, along with five other guards and two inmates, tortured Mr. Zhang.

To “transform” Mr. Zhang, guards used electric batons, mustard water, boiling water, ropes, an electric grill (to dehydrate him), a lighter (to burn his fingers), and tape (to cover his nose and mouth). Jin also covered up the guard room windows with black cloth and played loud music so others could not see or hear anything.

In the room, Mr. Zhang had mustard water poured through his nose, causing him to tear up. When he was unable to breathe, six guards started to shock him with electric batons together. When they grew tired, they instructed two inmates to take over and deprived him of sleep. After a few nights of sleep deprivation, Mr. Zhang's mind became disoriented.

Jin then handed the electric batons to the inmates while he went to take a rest. Later, the inmates poured boiling water on his body and cold water on his head. They put the hot water bottle in his arms to scald him.

To keep Mr. Zhang from falling asleep, one inmate plied open his eyelids and directed the light on the electric batons to his eyes. They plucked away his eyebrows and burned his fingernails with cigarettes.

The ordeal caused Mr. Zhang's buttocks to fester after a few nights.

Later, Jin taped a pair of earmuffs and earpieces to his head and for several nights, forcing Mr. Zhang to listen to propaganda slandering Falun Gong. The loud volume affected Mr. Zhang's already-perforated eardrum, leading him to have a headache whenever he hears a slightly loud noise. Moreover, the tape caused his hair roots to come out, leaving bald spots on many parts of his head.

To keep the torture going, guards gathered a small basket of electric batons and chargers.

Jin once put a metal box on Mr. Zhang's head and hit it before using an explosion-proof electric baton to shock the metal box. The current caused Mr. Zhang to faint instantly. A scar formed where the metal box met his head, and hair can no longer grow in that area.

Mr. Zhang once asked the two inmates why they tortured him relentlessly. They replied that by doing so, their sentences could be reduced by half a year. He also asked Jin, who answered that his superiors promised him a promotion if he transformed Mr. Zhang and threatened to fire him if he failed.

To cover up Mr. Zhang’s abuse, the group even went to his home and lied to his family that he was well and there was no need for visitation. The whole process was recorded on video and replayed for him to see. Jin then told him that if he died, the prison would tell his family that he died of illness.

Once, when he was semi-unconscious, he heard two inmates say, “These two gloves are used to carry his dead body, and we have to avoid carrying his body during the day so other inmates can’t see it.”

While imprisoned, Mr. Zhang could not talk to other inmates, as they were told not to talk to him. As time passed, his tongue became inflexible, and he stuttered whenever he spoke.

First Arrest and Labor Camp

Mr. Zhang was first arrested in 2000 and sentenced to two years at Yuemingshan Forced Labor Camp. The details of the torture he suffered here is currently unknown.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Yang Sen, head of Haicheng Police Station: +86-412-3555111 (office), +86-412-3157666 (home), +86-159-42265522 (cell)
Li Shuling, head, Haicheng Political and Legal Committee: +86-412-3222169 (office), +86-412-3603003 (home), +86-138-41211119 (cell)He Guoli, presiding judge at Haicheng City Court: +86-412-3609109 (office), +86-138-41202111 (cell)

(More contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

Related reports:
After 12 Years of Imprisonment, Practitioner Faces New Trial
Once Imprisoned For a Decade, Liaoning Man Tried Again for His FaithSix Haicheng Practitioners File Appeals after Being Sentenced