(Minghui.org) The authorities in Yunnan Province First Prison have spared no efforts in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners jailed there for upholding their faith.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Guards also inject practitioners with unknown nerve-damaging drugs. At least eight practitioners have died as a result, and many more debilitated. All practitioners incarcerated in the prison are currently placed in the first ward under strict management.

Persecution With No Limit

Influenced by the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda against Falun Gong, the guards here tortured practitioners without holding anything back. To avoid leaving visible marks on practitioners’ bodies, the guards used what they call “soft torture,” such as spraying the practitioners with hot chili water, or putting them in solitary confinement with their hands cuffed to the ground or hanging them to a high bar with their feet dangling in the air.

Some guards follow the persecution policy because that is their job, without having any sympathy for the innocent practitioners or considering whether they would be brought to justice themselves.

Ding Pengxiang, the deputy prison director, once said to a practitioner who called him to urge him to stop the persecution, “What we do does not count as persecution. Only hanging them up and beating them, or putting them on Tiger Bench counts as persecution.”

Zeng Jingnan, another senior guard from the education division, often bragged about how he had “tortured over 300 Falun Gong practitioners since 1999 and have never suffered consequences.”

Physical Abuse and Extension of Sentences

Guards torture the practitioners to force them to renounce their faith. In the name of giving them medical treatments, put them in hospitals and inject them with unknown drugs. Practitioners who refuse to follow the orders may see their prison terms extended by years at will. Below are select cases of imprisoned practitioners being abused.

1. Mr. Zhang Liang, 69, lived in Kunming City. He was arrested on February 5, 2015 and sentenced to three years in June 2015 by Xishan District Court. He was taken to the prison two months later in August. The guards constantly slapped him in the face and held him in solitary confinement when he shouted “Falun Dafa is good”. One time the guards ordered three inmates to drag him to a corner, hold him down, and strangle him because he protested the persecution. In the last few months before he was released, the guards held him in the strict management group and sprayed him with hot chili water every day because he continued to shout “Falun Dafa is good.”

2. Mr. Li Peigao, 86, was arrested in November 2015. Although a judge at Xishan District Court allowed him to serve time outside of prison after sentencing him to four years, the police took him to the prison in January 2019, right after his term expired. The authorities arbitrarily extended his term, and he is currently held in the 11th ward of the prison.

3. Mr. Li Wenbo was taken to the prison in 2020 to serve a six-year term. The guards sprayed him with hot chili water and put him in solitary confinement for two months because he often talked about how great Falun Gong is. The torture destroyed his health and the guards put him in the affiliated hospital of Yunnan Province Bureau of Prison Administration. Currently Mr. Li is incarcerated at the 11th ward.

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Li has been jailed in the prison. When he served his previous five-year term between 2009 and 2014, the guards handcuffed him and hung him up every day to a window frame for six months in 2014. They also taped his mouth during the hanging torture. His skin ruptured and blood often stained the tape.

For eight months when the inmates went out to exercise, the guards hung him to the basketball stand. As a result he couldn’t take in food normally and suffered stomach bleeding. After taking him to the hospital, the guards tied him to a bed and fed him unknown drugs. To restrict his movement in the hospital, they put him in a custom-made one-legged pant.

4. Mr. Qiu An was put in the prison in 2021 after a judge in Wuhua District Court gave him three years. He refused to cooperate with all management in the first ward, and the guards put him in solitary confinement three times in two months. When he refused to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong, the guards sprayed him with spicy chili water.

Guards Instigate Inmates to Abuse Practitioners

The guards in the first ward had four inmates watch one practitioner around the clock. Ou Xiyao, deputy chief of the education division, publicly instigated the inmates to torture the practitioners, “How can you have your sentences reduced? Make sure you truly take care of the Falun Gong practitioners.” In private, the guards authorized the inmates to humiliate and make things difficult for the practitioners. The following are some examples.

1. The inmates forced the practitioners to sit still on a tiny stool for over 10 hours a day. They sandwiched the practitioner with one sitting in front, and the other behind his back pushing his knees against the practitioner, and two at the practitioner’s sides using their elbows to push against the practitioner’s ribs. The practitioner must have the inmates’ approval to use the restroom.

Mr. Wen Chunfu from Kunming City suffered this torture. When the inmates kept closing in on Mr. Wen, he pushed away the elbow of an inmate next to him. A guard claimed that he hit the inmate and held him in solitary confinement for a week.

Torture reenactment: sitting still on a tiny stool

2. To make the practitioners renounce their faith, the guards and inmates would make things difficult for them. During meal times, the guards would sit next to the rice bucket and ordered the inmates to salute before they were given any rice. Anyone refusing to cooperate got nothing to eat.

3. Guards, particularly those from the education division, often wanted to talk to the practitioners “heart to heart.” During the conversations, they used deceit, tricks, and verbal threats, in attempts to force the practitioners to renounce their faith. The guards would tell elderly practitioners with poor health that if they didn’t renounce their faith, life would become especially hard, and they couldn’t blame anyone because they had brought it onto themselves.,“Don’t blame us if your life is in danger, since you are already in poor health.”

Eight Practitioners Die As a Result of Torture in Prison

In the past 23 years of persecution, at least eight practitioners died as a result of tortures in this prison alone. The following is a brief recap of their cases.

1. Mr. Fang Zhengping was a native of Xichang City, Sichuan Province. He was arrested for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong in Suijiang County, Yunnan Province, on October 14, 2007. The Suijiang County Court sentenced him to seven years in Yunnan Province First Prison. Because he refused to write statements to renounce his faith, the guards tortured him to near death. His parents asked for him to be released on medical parole, but the prison authorities denied their request. He died on April 1, 2013. He was 56.

2. Mr. Shi Jianwei was an English teacher in Binchuan County, Yunnan Province. He died at Yunnan Province First Prison while serving a 6.5-year term for his faith. He was 56. The prison claimed that Mr. Shi died of liver cancer. However, his family suspects he was tortured to death, given the bruising on his back and that there was no sign of liver cancer in his medical record. His body was cremated against his family’s will, a practice that is commonplace in what is believed to be an attempt to cover up evidence of torture and other abuses such as forced organ harvesting.

3. Mr. Luo Jiangping from Miyi County in Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province was arrested in January 2012 in Nanhua County, Yunnan Province. He was sentenced to 4.5 years in Yunnan Province First Prison. Because he refused to renounce his faith, the guards injected him with unknown drugs, handcuffed and shackled him. The guards also forced him to do intense labor for over 10 hours a day, deprived him of sleep, and put him in solitary confinement. He went on a hunger strike to protest the abuses, and the guards force fed him. They pulled all of his lower teeth, causing massive bleeding and infection. He was on the verge of death in three months. He was released on medical parole on December 23, 2013 and passed away five days later at the age of 51.

4. Mr. Liao Jianfu, a Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province resident was arrested in October 2016 for putting up informational posters about Falun Gong. The authorities sentenced him to four years in Yunnan Province First Prison. He was transferred there in July 2018 and in less than nine months, he passed away.

Mr. Liao suffered high blood pressure in the prison, yet the guards still forced him to sit still for over 10 hours a day for three months. To put more pressure on him, the guards measured his blood pressure several times a day, and even took him to a hospital for checkups. His family visited him twice and knew that his blood pressure was dangerously high, and that he had blood clots in the brain. Their requests for medical parole were repeatedly denied. He died in the evening of March 19, 2019 at the age of 65.

5. Mr. Pu Zheng of Kunming City, Yunnan Province was arrested on September 17, 2005 and given four years in Yunnan Province First Prison. He was placed under strict management during the four years and did not see sunlight for a day. The guards constantly beat him and verbally abused him. He was extremely weak and often coughed up blood after he was released on September 16, 2009. Unable to recover, he passed away in 2017, at the age of 39.

6. Mr. Chi Zhi worked in a bank in Yiliang County, Yunnan Province. When he gave out Falun Gong fliers in June 2003, the police seized him. A judge later sentenced him to 3.5 years in Yunnan Province First Prison. The guards forced him to do intensive labor for over 10 hours a day. His health soon deteriorated and he was later diagnosed with liver cancer. After his family took him home, the police often came to harass him. With no financial means to treat his illness, he died in July 2009 at the age of 27.

Illustration: Forced labor.

7. Mr. Zheng Zhiyang, a Chongqing resident, was arrested in Kunming City in December 2004. After a judge gave him three years, he was taken to Yunnan Province First Prison. His diabetes worsened because of the tortures and lack of nutrients. The guards had to rush him to a hospital. After he was released, his health never recovered. He died in 2010 at the age of 36.

8. Mr. Yang Kaiwen was a farmer from Yongfu Village, Shidian County, Yunnan Province. Because he mailed out Falun Gong fliers to tell people about the persecution, the police arrested him on October 27, 2004. The authorities transferred him to Yunnan Province First Prison after he was sentenced to three years. He mentally collapsed from the torture and died soon after he was released.

Related reports:

Mr. Fang Zhengping Dies in Prison in Xichang, Sichuan, after His Seventh Arrest

Demanding Answers for Mr. Fang Zhengping's Untimely Death, Family Hires Lawyers

English Teacher Imprisoned for His Faith Dies in Custody, Foul Play Suspected

Mr. Luo Jiangping Dies from Torture and Injections of Poisonous Drugs

Stroke Patient Denied Medical Parole, Dies in Prison While Serving Time for His Faith

Belated News: Abused for Four Years in Prison, Yunnan Man Passes Away Eight Years After Being Released