Eleven Years of Torture for Practicing and Speaking Out for Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Mr. Liu Quanwang worked at the Xiaolinghe Coal Mine, which is part of the Nanpiao Coal Mining Bureau in Huludao City, Liaoning Province. He used to suffer from all kinds of health problems, including silicosis (lung fibrosis), rheumatoid arthritis, a gastric ulcer, and heart disease. Within six months of practicing Falun Gong in 1996, his illnesses were cured and he regained a healthy life.
After the Chinese Communist Party initiated its policy of persecution, he was subjected to years of detention, forced labor, and imprisonment for practicing and speaking out on behalf of Falun Gong, including six months in Huludao City Detention Center, two years in Huludao Forced Labor Camp, two years in Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp, a year and a half in Jinzhou Forced Labor Camp, and five years in Panjin Prison. He was tortured for 11 years in all. Below is an account of his ordeals.
Days in the Huludao City Detention Center
When Mr. Liu went to Beijing in October 1999 to speak out for the right to practice Falun Gong, he was taken back to his hometown by Huludao City's Liaison Office in Beijing. Back in his hometown, he was held in the local detention center, where police officer Wang Shulin beat him for reading Falun Gong books and doing the exercises. When Mr. Liu went on a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment, he was force-fed.
When an officer caught Mr. Liu's cellmate (also a practitioner) reading Zhuan Falun, other officers came into the cell to seize the book. Mr. Liu held the book close to his chest and all the other practitioners in the cell surrounded him to shield him from the police. The officers forced everyone out of the way and dragged Mr. Liu by his feet out of the cell with his head scraping the floor. The police beat him with rubber hoses from head to toe, leaving him bruised all over. He was then handcuffed behind his back and shackled for a week. He was force-fed for going on a hunger strike.
After 15 days in the detention center, the security division where he worked took him back and continued to try to force him to give up practicing Falun Gong. When he refused, he was taken to the detention center again for another 15 days. He was sent back and forth between the detention center and his workplace's security division for over six months. Finally, he was sentenced to two years of forced labor and taken to the Huludao City Forced Labor Camp.
Tortured in Huludao City Forced Labor Camp
Six practitioners, including Mr. Liu Quanwang, refused to give up Falun Gong. They continued to do the exercises and resisted wearing the inmate uniform. As a result, they were locked up in a strictly monitored area, where four inmates took turns watching them and making them sit for long periods of time without moving a muscle. Inmate Wei Wenzhong frequently beat them. They went on a hunger strike for over three months to protest the maltreatment and demand their release. They were taken to the camp infirmary to be force-fed.
During the force-feeding sessions, guards would hold the practitioner on an iron chair by grabbing his arms and stomping on his legs. They then whipped the practitioner with an inch-thick plastic tube. When the practitioner struggled and refused to comply, the guards ordered several inmates to pry open the practitioner's mouth open with an iron rod and a metal ruler that loosened the practitioner's teeth and made them bleed. Wang Dalu, a camp doctor, put half a kilogram of salt in the porridge that was used in the force-feeding to inflict more pain and suffering. The force-feeding sessions lasted 20 days.
Because Mr. Liu continued to refuse to give up his practice, he was shocked with electric batons.
Practitioner Mr. Chen Dewen, 57, a resident of Chen Village in Gejia Township, Suizhong County, Liaoning Province, was tortured to death by electric batons on March 11, 2001, in Huludao City Forced Labor Camp. The authorities declared his death a result of heart disease. The perpetrators included Wang Shengli, Zhang Fusheng, Song, Guo, Li Jian, Song Dadui, Captain Yang, Wang Zhuzhen, Zhang Guozhu, Division Head Yang, and Cui Xiaodong.
Over 200 practitioners were detained in the Huludao City Forced Labor Camp in 2000. About 60 of them were placed in the strictly monitored team for refusing to give up Falun Gong. They went on a collective hunger strike to protest and demand their release.
The Huludao City's Political and Legal Affairs Committee and 610 Office deployed over a hundred riot police for a special form of torture. The officers were arranged about a meter apart and each was given an electric baton. They stood on both sides of the path from the strictly monitored team all the way to the re-education division office. Liu Guohua and other officers declared that those who wouldn't comply with the rules of the strictly monitored team could step forward and leave. Mr. Liu Quanwang, Chen Dewen, Zhang Xuan, Zhao Lianxin, He Fenghua, and Li Xuemin started walking and were shocked all along the way by the many officers lining the path.
The six practitioners were later locked up in separate rooms. In each room, a dozen officers took turns shocking them with electric batons and beating them savagely, even as they asked them if they would give in and obey. The torture started at night and lasted until the next morning. The officers used maces, leather belts, boots, and fists. The six practitioners were beaten beyond recognition.
Liu Guohua and other officers pulled down practitioner Zhao Lianxin's pants and used the electric batons to shock his private parts and even insert the batons into his anus. They poured cold water to revive him when he passed out, then continued to shock and beat him. Zhao's head was severely bruised and his eyes were swollen shut. The torture lasted for three days.
Resistance in the Labor Camp
When the head of the re-education division pointed his baton at Mr. Liu Quanwang and asked, “Do you hate us for treating you this way?” Mr. Liu replied, “No, I don't. My master taught us that we won't be able to achieve consummation in our cultivation if we don't love our enemy, not to mention that you are not even my enemy. We have no feud. Jiang Zemin ordered the persecution. As police officers, you are merely doing your job to earn a living. You are treating us like this because you have had no chance to find out about the truth about Falun Gong and have been deceived by the slanderous propaganda.”
The division head threw down his baton and told Mr. Liu to go back to his cell. From then on, the division head stopped beating him and refused to follow orders to torture practitioners.
One of the officers was a Christian. He said to Mr. Liu, “Falun Gong practitioners are suffering the persecution similar to what Jesus suffered in the past. History is repeating itself. Just like Jesus, you are being purified and elevated through the ordeal and tribulation.”
Falun Gong practitioners acted as a whole in resisting the persecution in the labor camp. They wrote and cosigned a letter to protest their maltreatment and demanded their release. Mr. Liu Quanwang was the first to sign his name on the letter. Mr. Liu and the other practitioners resisted in other ways, as the four examples below attest.
Example 1 – One day, Huludao City's mayor hosted dozens of government officials and journalists at the labor camp to obtain video footage to slander Falun Gong and justify the persecution. Mr. Liu pointed at the mayor and said, “As public servants, you government officials and police officers arrest and detain good citizens who practice Falun Gong and ignore the real criminals. How can you claim to be public servants?” The mayor told the camera operator to stop filming immediately.
Example 2 – One day, Mr. Liu wrote “Falun Dafa is good” on the chalkboard in a classroom. Infuriated, the authorities gathered the 60 practitioners in the classroom. They asked who did it and threatened to not let anyone sleep if nobody confessed. Mr. Liu stepped forward and admitted to it. He then told them how he benefited from practicing Falun Gong. The guards let him go without punishing him.
Example 3 – Mr. Liu and several other practitioners, including Zhao Lianxin, Yao Yanhui, and Zhang Xuan, gathered books and magazines that slandered Falun Gong from the classroom and took them to the utility closet. They borrowed a lighter and started to burn them, causing a lot of smoke in the building. When the authorities asked about it, the regular inmates protected the practitioners by saying that it was an accident, that someone threw a cigarette butt in the trash can.
Example 4 – Ding Wenxue, deputy captain of Mr. Liu's team, summoned him to the office and started a long speech slandering Falun Gong. Mr. Liu pointed at Ding and said, “It is not you who is saying this. You are possessed.” At that exact moment, Ding fell onto the desk, his face pale and his body still. When Mr. Liu thought to himself that he did not want Ding to die, Ding revived and started to move again. He told Mr. Liu to go back to his cell. Later, whenever the guards summoned Mr. Liu to the office, they would first plead with him, “Please don't point your finger at me. I am afraid of that.” Mr. Liu knew that deputy captain Ding had told his team about their previous encounter.
Underhanded Techniques in Huludao City Forced Labor Camp
To try to coerce practitioners into giving up their belief, the Huludao City Labor Camp authorities often asked the infamous Masanjia Forced Labor Camp for help. On one of these occasions, Masanjia's director and two dozen inmates who claimed to be former Falun Gong practitioners came to Huludao Labor Camp.
They summoned Mr. Liu to the office, where a good-looking female inmate in a short skirt that showed her thighs claimed that she wanted to read a single copy of a Falun Gong book next to him. Mr. Liu's guard was up and he told her not to get too close, that they could just take turns holding the book to read.
After a while, the female inmate tried to get closer, so Mr. Liu told her to back off again. She got angry and left.
Later, Mr. Liu heard from another practitioner who had agreed to give up his practice due to this very technique. This practitioner said that he fell in the same trap that they were trying on Mr. Liu and told him how it worked. When the female inmate got closer to him to read the book, guards would rush into the room and claim the two were being intimate. The guards would then threaten that they would tell everyone the two were doing lewd things in the room if he refused to renounce his practice.
Mr. Liu learned how underhanded the camp authorities were when it came to using whatever means necessary to force practitioners to give up their belief.
Due to practitioners' efforts, things improved gradually and they were able to read Falun Gong books, do the exercises, and recite poems from Hong Yin out loud.
At the end of his two years, Mr. Liu was taken back to the local detention center for another 45 days. He was then forced to become homeless to avoid further persecution.
Two Years in Beijing Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp
Mr. Liu went to Beijing on May 13, 2002, to display a banner that said “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. Falun Dafa is good.” He was sent to Tuanhe Labor Camp in Beijing for two years.
One day the camp guards gathered all detained practitioners to watch a video that slandered Falun Gong. Mr. Liu stood up and announced that he would not watch a video denouncing Falun Gong and its founder. Several other practitioners stood up, too. The guards ordered them to stand in the hallway facing the wall for a long time.
Afterward, a guard told Mr. Liu, “You are only the second practitioner who has ever dared to refuse to watch the video. You have guts.” He then gave him a thumbs-up.
All the practitioners who did not give in had their food allotment cut in half and were denied winter clothes.
On a freezing cold day with heavy snow and chilling wind, the guards ordered several inmates to drag Mr. Liu downstairs and throw him out on the ground. Then they lifted his clothes and covered his belly and limbs with ice and snow and left him in the wind for a long time. His feet were frostbitten and developed blisters. They then ordered him to run in the snow, but he refused.
In the summer, steadfast practitioners were forced to run two kilometers in the heat around noon. Then they had to stand in direct sunlight without any water. Some practitioners fainted.
In the third team, the guards ordered the inmates to block the toilet drain and had several of them urinate in the bowl. Then the guards forced Mr. Liu's head into the bowl and placed their feet on top, almost suffocating him.
When Mr. Liu went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse, the guards force-fed him sewer water filled with human waste. Mr. Liu kept vomiting.
When he was forced to sit for extended periods, his buttocks developed a deep dent due to the pressure.
The west building in Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp housed a team named “Conquering the Formidable” which was specially designed to torture steadfast Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Liu was beaten there and deprived of sleep every night.
Guard Yan Xiaojie told the inmates there to hit Mr. Liu with wooden sticks and, when they broke, to poke Mr. Liu with the sharp ends. In the winter, they would open the door and windows, pour cold water over Mr. Liu, then turn on the electric fan. Even the inmates caught colds themselves. They also urinated on Mr. Liu. Due to long periods of sitting, large areas of his buttocks ulcerated. Guard Zhao told the inmates to apply ointment on his ulcerated areas but in fact ordered them to peel off the scabs and poke at the open wounds.
Mr. Liu was also banned from using the toilet. He was routinely forced to stand straight for long periods of time and clean the toilets and hallway floor from midnight till four in the morning. One day, several guards beat him savagely in the men's room.
Another time when Mr. Liu went to the men's room, Wei Hongtao and other guards rushed in, dragged him out, and beat him up for no obvious reason. In August 2003, he was tied on a chair and not allowed to sleep or use the toilet, causing him to soil his pants.
Yan Xiaojie, then captain of a female team, spared no means in trying to coerce practitioners to give in. One day, Yan told Mr. Liu's wife to visit him and bring a harmonica. Yan then told him that, since he used to play the harmonica, he should play for his wife during the visit. Yan arranged for a young, good-looking female guard to teach him how to play it better. When Mr. Liu did not cooperate, Yan threatened him, “If you don't give up practicing Falun Gong, don't expect to see your wife again. Even after your term is up, you won't be going home because the local police will move you to their facility and detain you.”
After suffering endless inhuman forms of torture, Mr. Liu attempted to run headfirst into a metal radiator. He fainted and was revived. The authorities later forced him to wear a helmet and handcuffed him to a chair.
A Year and a Half in Jinzhou City Forced Labor Camp
Mr. Liu went to visit practitioner Liu Fengmei to learn how to use a computer in September 2005. He wrote his study notes and computer password in a notebook. He was arrested on his way home and later sent to Jinzhou Forced Labor Camp for a year and a half.
On November 26, 2005, Mr. Liu did the Falun Gong exercise in the camp and a dozen inmates were ordered by the labor camp's political instructor Li Songtao to beat him. He was then held in solitary confinement for a week while his limbs were spread out and cuffed to the corners of a bed.
The Minghui website has reported the details of this incident in the article “ Jinzhou City Forced Labor Camp Intensifies Its Brutal Torture of Falun Dafa Practitioners.” The original Chinese version was published on July 30, 2006.
Mr. Liu was due to be released on March 3, 2007, but the camp authorities arbitrarily held him for another ten days.
Five Years in Panjin Prison in Liaoning Province
On the afternoon of March 23, 2008, the police showed up at Mr. Liu's home and asked him if he still planned to go to Beijing to speak up for Falun Gong. He insisted that it was his legal right to go to Beijing. The police ransacked his home and arrested him.
When the neighbors questioned the legality of his arrest, the police responded, “The Olympic Games are about to take place. We have to arrest many Falun Gong practitioners.”
When Mr. Liu said the words “Falun Dafa is good” in court, the judge told him, “I was about to sentence you to three years in prison. Now that you've said that, I will add two more years.” He was taken to Panjin Prison in Liaoning Province.
Once in a while all the inmates had to squat in the field outside while the prison authorities inspected all the cells. Mr. Liu resisted once and was beaten and shocked with electric batons for several hours.
During another cell inspection, the guards took away Mr. Liu's handwritten Falun Gong articles. He went on a hunger strike to protest. Seven days into his hunger strike, he was taken to the prison hospital and held there for over two months.
When the authorities tried to take him back from the hospital, he resisted and was shocked with electric batons. When the batons ran out of electricity, the guards used needles to stab his fingers and cigarettes to burn his fingertips. Guard Hu Xiaodong said to him, “I will give you some coffee to drink.” Then the guard coughed up some phlegm, spit it into an ashtray, and force-fed it down Mr. Liu's throat.
The guards continued to shock him for another four hours, burning his upper lip and leaving blisters all over his body. The guards feared that others might see the blisters and used needles to puncture all of them, which was intensely painful.
Since he still would not give in, captain Han Yan obtained permission from the Panjin Prison administration office to use two electric batons with a combined strength of 1.5 million volts on Mr. Liu. They used one baton on the top of his head and another on his feet to shock him simultaneously. According to Mr. Liu's account, he felt as if a heavy hammer had hit his head and his body was about to explode. The guards also kept pouring water over him. Afterward, he could not walk on his own and had to be carried back to his cell.
After being shocked with the extremely high voltage batons, regular batons felt like mosquito bites. When the guards shocked him again, he would stare right back at them. That frightened them and they stopped.
Newly-deployed captain Li told Mr. Liu one day, “Since you want to practice your exercises, I will find a great place for you to do it.” He took him to a place filled with mosquitoes and ordered inmates to strip off his clothes so that the mosquitoes could feast on him. In the next two hours, his face, ears, and body were covered in red bumps and severely swollen. The next day when the guards did the same, no mosquitoes would bite Mr. Liu as they were still full from the previous day's feeding session.
In the past, whenever Mr. Liu did the Falun Gong exercises, the guards would cuff him onto a bed. After the mosquito incident, captain Li did not care anymore when he did the exercises.
Four and a half years into his term in Panjin Prison, many steadfast practitioners were transferred to prisons in other cities, including Anshan City, Yingkou City, and Dalian City. Mr. Liu was taken to Nanguanling Prison in Dalian City, where he was forced to sit on a small chair in a solitary cell with no window or light for several days at once. When he fell asleep, the guards beat him and poured cold water on him. Another practitioner, Wang Hongtingm was tortured this way until he became mentally ill.
When Mr. Liu was sleep-deprived and disoriented, the guards would make him sign statements stating that he would give up Falun Gong. Soon after he regained full consciousness, he would renounce the statements. Then the guards would continue to torture him the same way and force him to give in again and again.
The provincial government later assigned inspectors to check on the status of practitioners the prison authorities claimed had given up their practice. During the interview, Mr. Liu told the inspector that it was unjust that he was sentenced to five years in prison merely for practicing Falun Gong. The inspector realized he had not really given up his belief. The prison authorities were infuriated and continued to torture him. He was forced to stand facing the wall for refusing to do the assigned hard labor in the workshop. He declared multiple times that he would continue to uphold his belief and practice Falun Gong. As his term was almost over, the authorities left him alone.
Mr. Liu was released on March 22, 2013.
Many people have been moved to tears when they hear what Mr. Liu endured. When people ask him if he hates those who tortured him, he responds, “Why would I hate them? They are the victims of the CCP's lies and propaganda. My ordeal was meant to wake them up, help them tell right from wrong, and make them stop participating in the persecution, thereby choosing a good future for their families and themselves. That is my hope. They have committed crimes that they sill have to pay for. I would shed tears for them for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners without knowing the truth. Despite my over 11 years of suffering, I consider myself lucky because I walked out of prison alive.”