(Minghui.org) A 49-year-old former orthopedic surgeon in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province was transferred to Hulan Prison in February 2022 to serve a ten-year term for practicing Falun Gong. For the first three months there he was subjected to constant beatings, electric shocks and sleep deprivation, among many other forms of torture. 

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Li Lizhuang

Mr. Li Lizhuang was arrested in April 2020. The Ranghulu District Court sentenced him to ten years and eight months with an 80,000-yuan fine in late 2021. The main evidence used to justify his conviction was that he had over 80,000 phone numbers saved in his address book and that he called four officers and played recorded voice messages about Falun Gong. 

Ordered to Write Statement Renouncing Falun Gong

Mr. Li was assigned to the training ward when he was taken to the Hulan Prison on February 17, 2022. Inmate Wu Jianjia verbally abused him on his first day there. He urged Wu to stop. Wu ordered other inmates to drag him forward and tried to force him to squat. 

As Mr. Li refused to comply, Wu and other inmates dragged him to the warehouse facing the guards’ office, where there was no surveillance camera. Several inmates knocked him down. Wu shocked him with electric batons and sprayed spicy water into his eyes. He had difficulty breathing and had burning pain on his face and neck. He kept shedding tears for hours.

The next day, guard Geng Hongtao tried to coerce Mr. Li to write a statement renouncing Falun Gong. Li maintained that it’s his freedom of belief to practice Falun Gong and refused to write it. 

“You have to write it no matter what.” Geng told him.

Mr. Li refuted that it’s against the Constitution if they forced him to do so. 

Geng shocked Mr. Li with electric batons, threatening to “straighten you out.”

Two days later, inmate Wu shocked Mr. Li with electric batons again, mostly on his sensitive parts, including head, neck, chest, hands, knees and private parts. He again sprayed spicy water onto his private parts, inner thighs, buttocks, anus, face and eyes. Mr. Li shed several layers of skin due to the torture.

After another two days, guard Geng ordered the inmates to bring Mr. Li to his office. As Mr. Li refused to report his name, inmate Song Fei stomped on his stomach. Mr. Li stepped back and fell to the ground. Geng questioned whether he would write the renouncing statements. Mr. Li insisted that he wouldn’t. Geng then shocked him with electric batons.

Sleep Deprivation and Continued Electric Shocks

When Mr. Li returned to his cell, four more inmates, Li Wanlong, Lu Baoxiang, Li Guodong and Wang Qingkun, were there waiting for him. They were assigned to monitor him around the clock and prevent him from falling asleep. As soon as he closed his eyes, they would shake him to wake him up. Mr. Li tried to clarify the facts about Falun Gong and how the communist regime spread propaganda to demonize it, but they refused to listen.

As Mr. Li became extremely sleepy, he couldn’t keep his eyes open, even when the inmates kept beating him. Li Wanlong beat him the hardest. He often experimented on himself to see how to maximize the pain in the beating. He flicked Mr. Li on his fingers and toes. Mr. Li woke up the next morning to find found many bruises on his body.

In addition to the sleep deprivation, Wu also shocked Mr. Li with electric batons and sprayed spicy water to him two or three times every day , with each time lasting two hours.

Another inmate Chen Mingfei also joined the torture as Mr. Li remained firm in his faith. One day Chen asked Mr. Li whether he knew how to do the plaza dancing. Mr. Li said he didn’t. Then Chen ordered him to stand in the water and shocked him with electric batons. As Mr. Li kept jumping due to the shocks, Chen burst into laughter. They repeated the torture in the afternoon and evening. 

In addition to the electric shocks and sleep deprivation, they also either rationed his food or forced him to eat excessive amounts of food several meals in a row.

A few days later, Geng questioned Mr. Li again if he would write the renouncing statement. He still said no. This time, Geng didn’t shock him with electric batons, but asked him to cooperate. Mr. Li urged him not to follow the persecution policy, as justice would prevail one day. 

When Mr. Li returned to the cell, inmate Wu tried to persuade him. He said that since he came to the training ward in 2021, he had tortured many Falun Gong practitioners and all of them had been forced to write the renouncing statement. One of the practitioners, Mr. Li Changzhu, became incontinent as a result of the torture. Mr. Li Lizhuang still refused to comply.

Two New Guards

On the next day, Mr. Li was brought to the guards’ office. This time, a young guard in his 30s surnamed Qian met with him. He asked about Mr. Li’s age and profession, before picking a long electric baton to shock him. He pointed the baton at him, “You’d better write the renouncing statement to spare yourself from some torture. We have all kinds of methods to deal with you. If you don’t write it, we would keep you here without assigning you to the regular ward.”

Inmates Chen and Wu later took Mr. Li to the warehouse and again shocked him with electric batons and sprayed him with spicy water. About half an hour later, another guard, Xia Ming, in his 50s, came. 

After Xia came, guard Qian and the inmates left. Xia sat down with Mr. Li and tried to persuade him to convert to Buddhism. Mr. Li said that many Buddhist abbots are members of the Communist Party nowadays, and they are corrupt and womanizers. But Falun Gong is a righteous practice and his 27 years of practicing it proves it. Unable to change his mind, Xia left.

More Torture

For the next few months, inmates Chen and Wu still tortured Mr. Li every day. Chen began to prick him with needles around his body. Chen verbally abused Falun Gong and its founder, and also ordered other inmates to do the same together with him. 

He again forced Mr. Li to stand in the water and shocked him with the electric baton. Then he poured cold water over Mr. Li’s pants and socks, when the temperature was below freezing, and didn’t allow him to change. 

Another inmate from a different team once suggested Chen and Wu whip Mr. Li with thick PVC pipes. When the wound was about to heal, they would whip him again and repeat the torture every few days. He said many Falun Gong practitioners in his team gave in after such torture. Wu found a PVC pipe and whipped Mr. Li on his buttocks. But then Wu decided that he still preferred electric batons.

One night, two guards, Lyu Yunlei and another one surnamed Yin, came. Lyu beat Mr. Li on his head and face and kicked him. “The Communist Party has been providing you with food and clothes, yet you are against it.” Lyu shouted at him.

Mr. Li tried to argue that the Party itself is a cult by deceiving and persecuting its own people.

Lyu was infuriated, shouting, “I’m a member of the Communist Party. How dare you call it a cult!”

To please the guards, Wu shocked Mr. Li with electric batons all over his body. The scars were still visible ten months later. The torture lasted from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

When Mr. Li was carried back into the cell, his face, neck, and chest were severely swollen. His blood pressure also dropped to 100/60 mmHg. Fearing that he might die from the torture, the inmates began to allow him to sleep at night. But they still verbally abused him from time to time. Sometimes they spit phlegm, chewed peanuts or melon seeds onto his face to humiliate him.

Two weeks later, inmate Luo Yanjun accused Mr. Li of doing the Falun Gong meditation when he was just sitting on his bed. Luo and others dragged him to the ground and beat his head with their shoes. He had blurred vision in the left eye for two weeks. Luo also stuffed his stinky socks into Mr. Li’s mouth and he almost suffocated. 

Afterwards, Luo threatened to wrap Mr. Li with a blanket and tie him up. He said he tortured other inmates with this method and they all became cooperative as a result. Mr. Li called the guards and they eventually stopped Luo, fearing that he might torture Mr. Li to death.

Later, inmates Li Wanlong began to have blood in his stool and Li Guodong came down with acute appendicitis. Wu was given seven days in solitary confinement for beating another inmates. With only inmates Luo and Wang left to monitor Mr. Li, the torture became less severe. 

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