How Falun Gong Practitioners Are Tortured in Tianjin First Prison
(Minghui.org) A Falun Gong practitioner from the Hangu District in Tianjin was tortured in Tianjin First Prison (a.k.a. Liyuantou Prison) from 2002 to 2005. During that time, Mr. Bai Shuangcheng also witnessed how other practitioners who refused to give up their faith were tortured. Falun Gong is a mind and body improvement system that has been suppressed in China since 1999. The following is Mr. Bai’s account of how he was persecuted and how the practitioners in that prison were tortured.
I started working in Tianjin Chemical Plant in 1984. Twenty years later, in 2004, I was fired because I refused to renounce Falun Gong after the persecution started in 1999.
I was giving out fliers with information about the persecution of the practice on August 16, 2002. Someone who believed the Chinese regime’s propaganda defaming Falun Gong reported me to the police. I was arrested and taken to Hangu Detention Center the next day.
In the detention center, another practitioner, Mr. Wang Zengcheng, tried to do the Falun Gong exercises to stay healthy. The deputy chief at the time then put 48-pound shackles and special handcuffs on him, from June to August 2002.
The special handcuffs were comprised of two steel rings linked together with no separation. Ordinary handcuffs have about a five-inch chain between the two rings, the special kind had none. Mr. Wang’s wrists were so close together they were almost immobile. According to the rules in the detention center, the maximum time a detainee could be restrained in the special handcuffs was six hours. Mr. Wang was handcuffed behind his back with the special cuffs for over 30 days. He couldn’t do anything during that time. He even required assistance to use the toilet. Mr. Wang was later transferred to Tianjin Forced Labor Camp, where he died of torture in 2003.
After being illegally tried, I was sentenced to prison and sent to Tianjin First Prison. The prison was designed to hold felons. Falun Gong practitioners who were mostly accused of “using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws” were also held there. Each practitioner was monitored by several criminal offenders around the clock. The practitioners were forced to do intense labor and were forbidden from talking to one other. They had very limited access to water and use of the toilet. Every morning they had to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong. Every night they had to watch a CCTV brainwashing program and write statements guaranteeing that they would give up their practice. Each week they were forced to write a so-called “thought report” to show that they had given up their belief.
The practitioners were tortured in ways that did not leave visible injuries, so that their families would not see any evidence of abuse when they visited. For example, some practitioners were made to stand still from 7:00 a.m. to the evening. Afterward, their knees were so stiff they had to swing their legs to walk. One practitioner was forced to stand this way for over 40 days and sustained tremendous physical injury.
Another common form of torture was forcing practitioners to sit on a tiny stool for long hours every day. The seat was about 2 by 4 inches, and the stool itself was about 2 inches tall. After sitting on the stool for a long time, the practitioner’s buttocks would develop open sores. The sores would never heal unless the torture stopped.
Procuratorate employees were stationed in the prison. Their job was to investigate whether the prison authorities were violating the prisoners’ rights or mistreating them. Because of the persecution, no such investigations were ever carried out.
After I left the prison in 2005, local police officers and residential committee members often harassed me at home. They even harassed my family members at work, which was very stressful.