(Minghui.org) For upholding his faith in Falun Gong, Mr. Li Guanghai was fired from his job and had his pension withheld. The police harassed him and took him to local brainwashing centers several times. While serving a three-year forced labor camp term, he was subjected to constant electric shocks and severe beatings that resulted in three hospitalizations.

Mr. Li, in his 50s, was an engineer in Huludao City, Liaoning Province. He started to practice Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline, in March 1997. He began to live by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He no longer accepted gifts or took anything from his workplace, both of which were common practices by his colleagues. At the same time, he stopped drinking and changed his calculating habits in life. The benefits to both mind and body from practicing Falun Gong brought harmony to his family.

Only two years later, the Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999 due to its tremendous popularity, especially among Party members, turning the lives of millions of practitioners upside down, including Mr. Li’s.

Persecution at Work

On the morning of July 22, 1999, two days after the onset of the persecution, Mr. Li did Falun Gong exercises in a public plaza, only to be arrested and have his tape player snatched. The police berated him for practicing Falun Gong and reported his case to his workplace.

In the afternoon, Mr. Li was taken to a hotel to attend a brainwashing session aimed at forcing him to renounce his faith. A week later, he was transferred to another hotel for continued brainwashing. During this period, the authorities confiscated all of his Falun Gong books from his home. Shortly after he was released, he was demoted from an engineer to a regular worker.

Because he erased a slanderous message on a blackboard at work, the security personnel at his workplace reprimanded him for an entire morning.

At the end of November 1999, Mr. Li and two other practitioners working at the same company were interrogated by their supervisor and forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong.

Because he refused to promise not to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, he was handcuffed to a heating pipe overnight and taken to a detention center the next day. During his 15-day detention, the guards handcuffed him for three days because he did the Falun Gong exercises.

To prevent Mr. Li from going to Beijing to appeal on July 20, 2000, the first anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong, his supervisor held him and his two practitioner colleagues in the workplace for a week. Security personnel watched them closely and even followed them when they used the restroom.

Not long after, Mr. Li was taken to a brainwashing center again. Although he was soon released after going on a hunger strike for three days, he was reprimanded by his supervisor at work and had his daily life monitored.

Arrest and Interrogation for Going to Beijing to Appeal

In October 2000, Mr. Li went to Beijing to appeal to the central government. He was arrested, taken back to Huludao and put on administration detention. The police interrogated him twice upon finding out that he had borrowed Falun Gong books from another practitioner before setting off to Beijing.

During the first interrogation, Ma Qingbo, the head of the Domestic Security Office, forced Mr. Li's legs apart into a split. At the second interrogation, the police brought a few Falun Gong books and ordered Mr. Li to tear them. He didn’t cooperate. As Mr. Li refused to answer any questions, Ma was furious and slapped him in the face several times.

Mr. Li tried to do Falun Gong exercises in the detention center. After a guard saw him, he slapped Mr. Li with a leather shoe, causing his face to swell up for a week.

Abuse in Huludao City Forced Labor Camp

Mr. Li was soon given a three-year forced labor camp term. He was held in a ward for all Falun Gong practitioners at the Huludao City Forced Labor Camp.

On the first night, Zhang Guozhu, the guard on duty, didn’t allow Mr. Li to sleep until 2 a.m. and tried to talk him into renouncing Falun Gong. Mr. Li stayed firm in his faith. The next day, a few people who practiced Falun Gong before but had given it up came to brainwash Mr. Li. As he still didn’t give in, the guards shocked him with multiple electric batons.

Before the Chinese New Year in January 2001, some practitioners who had been forced to write statements to renounce Falun Gong due to the brutal torture announced that their statements were void and they would continue to practice Falun Gong.

Fearing that other practitioners would be influenced by them and follow suit, the guards transferred 16 practitioners including Mr. Li from the 4th floor to the 2nd floor. They planned another “transformation” campaign after the Chinese New Year. With the cold weather, they left the practitioners to sleep on the concrete floor with the excuse that there weren’t enough beds.

After sleeping on the concrete floor for a month, Mr. Li's back started to hurt, and he often woke up in the middle of the night shivering in cold. Many other practitioners, especially the elderly, also experienced medical conditions as a result of the cold temperature and humidity. When they requested to sleep on the bed, the chief guard Liu Guohua replied with a grim face, “This [sleeping on the concrete floor] is not even a punishment.”

In the spring of 2001, several guards came from the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp and tried to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners at the Huludao City Forced Labor Camp.

Mr. Li went on a hunger strike to protest the brainwashing. On the seventh day, he was brought to the third floor to be force-fed. At that time, six practitioners were already there, handcuffed to the beds and force-fed through nasal tubes.

When the guards inserted the feeding tube into Mr. Li’s nose, he became nauseated and spit the tube out. He couldn't breathe. His heart beat faster and his face became numb. The prison doctor rushed him to the hospital.

After an examination, the prison doctor still decided to force-feed him through the nasal tube. Several guards held Mr. Li and a senior female doctor in the hospital inserted the tube. As they still failed to insert the tube into Mr. Li, the prison doctor gave up on the force-feeding but injected him with several drugs. A few days later, Mr. Li was taken back to the forced labor camp. At the same time, the brainwashing campaign had also stopped. So Mr. Li resumed eating.

In November 2001, as Falun Gong practitioners resisted the persecution, the guards assigned them to two cells and arranged prisoners from another division to live with them. Two prisoners were ordered to monitor each practitioner.

As Mr. Li and several other practitioners went on a hunger strike in protest, riot police came in at 9 p.m., took a few practitioners to a detention center, and beat them. The remaining practitioners were handcuffed behind their backs and dragged one by one to the guards' office, where they were shocked with electric batons and forced to eat.

As soon as Mr. Li was pushed into a room in the labor camp, guard Zhang Guozhu shocked his throat with a large electric baton. Li Shangfu, the deputy chief of the correctional section, grabbed Mr. Li’s collar and pushed him to the ground. Other guards then shocked him with eight electric batons at the same time. Mr. Li felt as if his head was exploding. To increase his suffering, a guard poured a glass of water onto his face and electrocuted him until Mr. Li promised to stop the hunger strike.

The next day, Mr. Li's mouth swelled so badly that no one could recognize him. He couldn't eat normally but had to use a straw to take in liquid food.

One morning in the summer of 2002, Mr. Li suddenly had a rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing. He was hospitalized for one day.

On another morning in the fall of 2002, Mr. Li went on a hunger strike to protest the guards’ shocking another practitioner. Two days later, another practitioner joined him in the hunger strike. The guards dragged both of them to the dining hall and electrocuted them. The prison doctor monitored Mr. Li’s pulse and signaled how much voltage the guards should use.

In addition to being beaten for holding hunger strikes, sometimes Mr. Li was beaten for minor things.

Because Mr. Li shouted for something while being dragged by two prisoners upstairs on the evening of January 8, 2003, a guard kicked him in the chest several times. Then he dragged Mr. Li to a dark room. Two guards first tried to persuade him to write a statement to renounce his faith. As Mr. Li refused, they put a helmet on him and began to shock his armpits with electric batons.

Mr. Li was unable to get up the next morning. He fell into a delirious state in the afternoon and was hospitalized. Both of his armpits were ulcerated and oozed puss.

As soon as he recovered, the guards took him back to the labor camp and held him in solitary confinement for a long time. He almost suffered a mental breakdown due to the isolation.

When Mr. Li went on another hunger strike, requesting to be released, the guards force-fed him unknown drugs in his food. He began to cough up blood soon afterwards.

On the evening of July 19, 2003, the labor camp asked Mr. Li’s family to pick him up. The guards tried to extort money from his family but were unsuccessful.

Persecution by Huludao City 610 Office

Since 2008, agents of the Huludao City 610 Office, an extralegal agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, harassed Mr. Li almost every year. The agents tried to take Mr. Li and another practitioner to a brainwashing class, but they escaped.

In the spring of 2011, 610 Office agents arrested Mr. Li at his workplace and took him to a brainwashing center. Mr. Li held a hunger strike to protest the brainwashing. As Mr. Li stayed firm in his faith, his manager at work signed a statement to renounce Falun Gong on his behalf in exchange for his release.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution