(Minghui.org) The Pengzhou City Court in Sichuan Province sentenced three residents on October 30, 2023 for practicing their faith, Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Mr. Liu Jia, a resident of Chengdu (capital city of Sichuan Province), Mr. Nie Zongguo (a resident of Pengzhou City), and Ms. Gong Yubin (unclear whether she lives in Chengdu or Pengzhou) were each sentenced to five years.

Mr. Liu, around 54, was arrested on the morning of January 6, 2022, while driving to Pengzhou (about 20 miles from Chengdu) to run some errands. The arresting officers from the Junyue Police Station in Pengzhou impounded his car on the spot and raided his home in Chengdu around 2 p.m. that day. They confiscated seven computers, three cellphones, a printer, one bluetooth server, a set of Falun Gong books, and 2,000 yuan.

Officers from the Junyue Police Station and the Chengdu City Domestic Security Office also arrested Ms. Gong around the same time. It’s unclear which police agency arrested Mr. Nie on what day, and why the three practitioners’ cases were later combined into one.

Sister Passes Out Upon Seeing Brother Dragged Away

Mr. Liu, Mr. Nie, and Ms. Gong were all shackled and handcuffed and they were each led by two bailiffs into the courtroom during their trial at the Pengzhou City Court on October 30, 2023.

Mr. Liu defended himself, while Mr. Nie and Ms. Gong had their respective lawyers enter a not guilty plea for them. The presiding judge, Zhang Huawen, announced the guilty verdicts against all three of them at the end of the hearing.

When Mr. Liu was led out of the courtroom, he turned his head to look at his 80-year-old mother and younger sister, who were there to attend his trial. The bailiffs said he walked too slowly and dragged him out of the courtroom.

Mr. Liu’s sister criticized the bailiffs for treating her brother that way, “How could you do this to my brother!” She collapsed on the ground and passed out. Her mother began to cry.

The court called in an ambulance, and the emergency medical technicians found that Mr. Liu’s sister’s blood pressure was very high (she had no history of hypertension). After receiving emergency treatment for thirty minutes, her condition stabilized.

Mr. Liu’s Past Persecution

This is not the first time that Mr. Liu has been targeted for his faith. While living in Shanghai, he was given two years of forced labor in 2001 for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He later moved to Chengdu City, Sichuan Province and worked as a senior sales manager at the Chengdu Life Insurance Branch of Ping An Insurance Company of China. He was arrested again in 2007 and sentenced to 5.5 years. He suffered brutal torture during his labor camp term and first prison term.

Two Years of Forced Labor (January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2002)

While working in Shanghai, Mr. Liu went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong on January 1, 2001. He was arrested and interrogated with torture at the Haidian District Police Station in Beijing for nearly one hour. The police shocked him with electric batons and kicked and punched him.

He was later given two years of forced labor and taken to the Shanghai City Labor Camp (then located in Dafeng District, Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province). From March to July 2001, a team head surnamed Hong instructed guard Xia to arrange four inmates to monitor Mr. Liu around the clock. The inmates put him through military training for more than ten hours a day, including long-distance running, standing in military posture, push-ups, squats, running with legs raised, and sitting on a low bench.

The inmates also secured a thermos stopper on the wall and had Mr. Ma stand facing the wall, about 50 centimeters (20 inches) away from the wall. They then forced him to bend his body such that his head was right underneath the thermos stopper. He had to stand for hours with his head pushed against the stopper.

Another torture involved hanging a chamber pot around Mr. Liu’s neck every morning, while forcing him to sit on two thermos stoppers placed inches apart on a low bench. To increase his suffering, the inmates also poured water into the chamber pot if it was not already full.

Mr. Liu held firm to his faith despite the brutal torture. Guard Xia then separately talked with the four inmates who monitored him, and threatened to revoke their privileges to accrue points for term reduction if they failed to make Mr. Liu renounce his faith. Afterwards, the inmates intensified the torture.

Mr. Liu remained steadfast. The guards then moved him to a different team on October 29, 2001 to stop him from encouraging other Falun Gong practitioners to hold firm to their faith.

The new team was mainly composed of non-practitioners, Mr. Liu was forced to do hard labor without pay seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to around 7 p.m. every day. Those who failed to finish their daily work quota were spanked at night after they returned to their cells.

The guards took the “low-performing” inmates out of their cells, ordered them to take off their pants and a one-inch-wide and half-inch-thick wooden stick was used to spank their bare buttocks. The number of times they were hit depended on the amount of work yet to be finished. One less ball put in a bag during the day meant five whips with the wooden stick. The sound of beating and the painful moans terrified those who finished their quota but worried they might be next if they failed to complete their quota the next day.

It was not uncommon to hear that some inmates committed suicide or resorted to self-harm in an attempt to avoid hard labor and punishment.

Around June 2002, the labor camp was relocated to a suburban area in Shanghai. Mr. Liu was given a new task of washing energy-saving lamps.

After Mr. Liu was released on December 31, 2002, he went to the Gaoqiao Police Station in Pudongxin District, Shanghai, which was in charge of his neighborhood, to renew his ID. The police refused to process his request on the grounds that he left Shanghai during the past two years. Without a new ID, he struggled to live a normal life.

Deprived of Sleep for 15 Straight Days Soon After Being Arrested in August 2007

Mr. Liu later moved from Shanghai to Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. He was arrested at home on August 1, 2007, by agents from the Chengdu City Domestic Security Office and the Wuhou District Domestic Security Office. They took him to the Wuhou District Legal Education Center located in Jinhua Town, Chengdu City. The facility looked like a resort from the outside when it was in fact a brainwashing center.

The center had about 25 police officers and security guards. There were also two big wolf dogs. Liu Xiaokang, former director of the Jiangxi Street Office of the Wuhou District Judicial Bureau, headed the brainwashing center.

On August 3, 2007, the police moved Mr. Liu to the Yuanyuan Hotel, where he was deprived of sleep for 15 straight days.

During those 15 days, Mr. Liu also had his hands cuffed either in the front or behind his back to a wooden chair. Six people took turns watching him to prevent him from falling asleep. Two large 100-watt desk lamps were placed about 20 centimeters away from him, shining directly into his eyes day and night. The monitors also kept talking and played the TV loudly. Whenever they noticed that Mr. Liu was about to doze off, they shook him to wake him up and smeared oil and mustard around his eyes, on his temples, and around his nostrils. They also put mustard into his mouth, poured cold water on his head, and punched him.

While being tortured every day, he was only given a few sips of water and 2-3 bowls of noodles.

On the 10th day, August 13, 2007, a muscular plainclothes officer surnamed Zhang came to torture Mr. Liu. He punched, kicked and pinched Mr. Liu on the left and right inner thighs for more than half an hour.

Mr. Liu twice passed out from the pain during the torture session. His right thigh in particular completely lost feeling and became swollen and black. He had to be supported by two security guards before he could move. He collapsed while trying to use the restroom.

The police interrogated Mr. Liu during the two occasions when he lost consciousness due to Zhang’s torture. They pushed his head up and down to “nod” yes to their questions and pressed his fingerprints on the interrogation records.

Mr. Liu was issued a formal arrest warrant on November 13, 2007 and then transferred to the Chengdu City Detention Center. He was never shown or provided a copy of the relevant paperwork, such as his arrest warrant and detention notice.

Sentenced to 5.5 Years in October 2008 and Transferred to Prison in March 2009

The Wuhou District Court sentenced Mr. Liu to five and a half years on October 10, 2008. The details of his indictment, trial, and sentencing remain unknown.

Mr. Liu was admitted to the Deyang City Prison in Sichuan Province on March 3, 2009. He was assigned to Division Four two weeks later and held there until May 2011 when he was moved to Division One. He was then transferred to yet another division on September 1, 2011. He was brutally tortured wherever he was held within the prison.

The day after he was admitted to prison, Mr. Liu was brutalized when he refused to recite the prison rules as ordered. The guards instigated inmates to slap him in the face and beat him. One inmate kicked his chest so hard that he immediately vomited blood.

Mr. Liu still had blood in his sputum two weeks later. He asked for paper and pen to write a complaint against the inmate who kicked him, only to be moved to Division Four to do hard labor without pay and continue to be tortured.

Abuse Suffered in Division Four (March 2009 – May 2011)

Mr. Liu was subjected to the following abuse in Division Four:

- “Military training”

Mr. Liu and other jailed Falun Gong practitioners were forced to go through intensive “military training” for long periods of time. The slightest deviation from the standard postures or discontent with the guards would invite punishment. While ordering the practitioners to do military marching movements, the trainer intentionally drew out each word when shouting out his command. For instance, instead of saying “stand on one foot” quickly, the trainer said “staaaaaaand on one fooooooot.” The practitioners struggled to keep their balance while standing on one foot, but as soon as they put down the other foot, the trainer punched and kicked them for not following his command.

- Standing for hours

The guards often forced Mr. Liu to stand motionlessly for hours on end, sometimes even for several days in a row, until his legs became extremely swollen and he could no longer remain standing. Sometimes they had him stand throughout the night but still ordered him to do hard labor the next day, before forcing him to stand again after he returned to his cell at night.

During the standing torture, Mr. Liu was watched by several inmates, whose job was to make sure he did not lean against anything or close his eyes. They also did not allow him to drink, eat, brush his teeth, shower, or use the restroom.

To intensify his suffering, the guards sometimes placed an object on his head or had his head pressed against the wall or a sharp corner. Other times they made him stand outside, either under the scorching sun or in the freezing cold. The slightest disobedience would invite beatings.

- Forced Labor and Brainwashing

In early February 2011, prison warden Liu Yuanhang ordered all divisions to sign a pledge to make plans on how to transform jailed Falun Gong practitioners. Each division was asked to set up a “study class” (a black jail within the prison) and hold steadfast Falun Gong practitioners there.

Wu Yueshan, the education department chief in the prison, once told the jailed practitioners, “as long as we don’t torture you to death, whatever we do to you is considered ‘helping you study [anti-Falun Gong materials and become more aligned with the communist regime ideologically].’” He instigated the guards and inmates to use whatever it took to make practitioners renounce their faith.

The guards usually did not directly beat practitioners. Instead, they instigated the inmates to torture practitioners. From February to May 2011, Mr. Liu was forced to do hard labor during the day and taken to a corner in the open field after the evening news program. He was ordered to sit on a bench there to study anti-Falun Gong materials until 10 or 11 at night.

Abuse Suffered in Division One (May 2011 – August 31, 2011)

In May 2011, Mr. Liu was reassigned to Division One, where division head Luo Guanglun held him in solitary confinement and had him monitored around the clock.

The solitary confinement cell was about 130 square feet, and all the windows were covered in thick paper. Two inmates monitored Mr. Liu from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and he was monitored by eight inmates from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning. Mr. Liu was not allowed to talk to anyone. Even the inmates monitoring him could only exchange a few words with him. Luo ordered the inmates to record Mr. Liu’s behavior, facial expressions and words once every hour.

Mr. Liu was given very little food to eat. Luo also ordered the inmates to rinse off any seasoning or oil from the already cooked vegetables to make the food as bland as possible. When the food had meat in it, Luo had the inmates remove it.

Mr. Liu was ordered to use a chamber pot when he had to urinate. The only time he was allowed outside the room was when he had to defecate or when he was taken somewhere else to be tortured.

During his three-month stay in Division One, Mr. Liu was only allowed to shower three times. The first time was when the higher-up were about to inspect the prison, the second time was when Mr. Liu became ill from the abuse and had to be sent to a hospital, and the last time was when the vice division head could no longer bear seeing him suffering. Luo later reprimanded the vice head for ruining his plan to make Mr. Liu suffer as much as possible.

Because he could not shower in the hot summer, Mr. Liu stank and had lice. Even the inmates monitoring him had to pinch their noses when they were near him.

In addition to above abuse, Mr. Liu was also subjected to the following torture methods:

- “Tight Suit” Torture (July-August 2011)

One day in early July 2011, Luo summoned Mr. Liu to an office to have a “talk.” The goal was to force him to write statements to renounce and denounce Falun Gong. Mr. Liu refused to comply and Luo asked him if he still practiced Falun Gong. He said yes. Luo asked him to face the surveillance camera and repeat his words. He said yes again, and Luo immediately took out a tight suit and ordered some inmates to put it on him.

The tight suit was made of linen by inmates in Division Four and resembled a space suit. The tight suit, however, had a strap attached to the cuff of each sleeve. After forcing Mr. Liu to wear it, the inmates pulled his hands behind his back and tied the two straps together. By adjusting the tightness of the straps, the inmates could control the range of Mr. Liu’s arm movements, thus causing different degrees of pain as they desired.

The tight suit’s knee caps were linked with a 5-inch-long straps, which caused Mr. Liu to wobble like a penguin when he walked and he fell every time he was ordered to squat.

Mr. Liu was made to wear the tight suit during the day, every day, until August 31, 2011. (It was during this time he was only allowed to take three showers.) To increase his suffering, the guards inserted a cushion between his hands and the tight suit so that the suit pressed against his body tightly. The suit was soon soaked in sweat and took hours to air dry at night when he was finally allowed to take it off. He was given half a basin of water to clean himself every day and he only had a few minutes to wash himself.

While wearing the tight suit, Mr. Liu was only allowed two hours of sleep each night (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.). The rest of the day he was forced to stand facing the wall or squat. He could only sit on a small plastic stool for ten minutes during meal time.

Within just a few days of wearing the tight suit, Mr. Liu became visibly thinner and his eyes turned red. His legs also became swollen.

- Thick Space Cotton Hat

The guards later forced Mr. Liu to wear a thick cotton hat with ear flaps to cover his face while he was enduring the tight suit torture. The hat was made of space cotton and weighed several kilograms. After wearing it for a long time, Mr. Liu became dizzy.

When the tight suit and thick hat torture was finally stopped on August 31, 2011, Mr. Liu’s hands and shoulders had been severely injured. He suffered chronic pain since then. Even though the hat was removed, his head still felt heavy and he was dazed as if he was still wearing an invisible air hat.

- Nasal Feeding

During Mr. Liu’s stay in Division One, head Luo sometimes brought him to a reading room (also unknown as a library room as it had books in it) to torture him, while the inmates went to work or sleep.

Mr. Liu was subjected to a nasal feeding torture three times. Luo and a few inmates pushed two tables in the reading room next to each other and held Mr. Liu down on it.

They taped his mouth shut and inserted a soft tube into one of his nostrils down to his throat. The tube was connected to an IV drip equipment. He could only breathe through the other nostril.

When the saline water was fed into him, Mr. Liu could only swallow one or two mouthfuls. But most of the time he was not fast enough to swallow any of the liquid (as the inmates could speed up the flow of the saline water by adjusting the IV equipment settings). He soon struggled to breathe and his face became flushed. His brain became dull due to the gradual lack of oxygen, and he became dazed.

Luo noticed that Mr. Liu was in danger and ordered the inmates to stop the nasal feeding and remove the tape covering his mouth.

Mr. Liu instinctively gasped for air and coughed out the water in his lungs. Luo asked him if he would still practice Falun Gong and he said yes. Luo had his mouth taped shut again and the nasal feeding torture was resumed.

Mr. Liu struggled to breathe again and the inmates started chest compression. He felt as if he was drunk. For a few brief moments, he lost awareness of his surroundings and could not recognize Luo or the inmates.

Luo stopped the feeding after seeing Mr. Liu completely lost consciousness. They moved him to another room and allowed him to sleep.

After one or two weeks, Luo put Mr. Liu through the same torture again. He was subjected to the nasal feeding torture three times, yet he held firm to his faith.

Luo became so frustrated that he once personally beat Mr. Liu savagely. The inmates also beat him and sometimes flicked his eyeballs with their fingers.

Abuse Suffered in Another Division (September 2011 – May 2013)

Mr. Liu was moved to another division on September 1, 2011 to serve the remainder of his term. He was again subjected to various kinds of abuse and was deprived of his basic human rights.

Mr. Liu was never allowed to eat with other inmates, even during the Chinese New Year holidays. He could only eat with the inmates assigned to monitor him.

When Mr. Liu was not in solitary confinement, he was ordered to sleep on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed, not the top bunk. The guards did this so it would be easier to monitor him and he could not hide Falun Gong materials in his bed.

Mr. Liu was not allowed to keep any books, pens, notebooks, paper, letters from family and friends, or photos of his loved ones.

Mr. Liu was not allowed to borrow books from the reading room or exchange books with other inmates.

Mr. Liu was not allowed to move around by himself. He was always followed by at least two inmates. He could not talk to the the other practitioners, not even exchange a smile. Those who sympathized with him were deemed at-risk and subjected to punishment.

Mr. Liu was ordered to write a thought report once every week. His monitors must file weekly reports of his daily activities.

Mr. Liu was often denied family visits while the inmates were allowed two in-person family visits every month. His wife traveled to the prison, only to be turned away. A guard claimed that she must produce proof from her employer and her local street committee that she did not practice Falun Gong. When she was finally allowed to see him, the visit was closely monitored by the guards.

Whenever Mr. Liu was put under strict management aimed to torture him and force him to renounce Falun Gong, his water intake, break time, amount of money he was allowed to spend purchasing daily necessities, and restroom use, were restricted. He was denied phone calls with his wife. The guards also withheld all letters addressed to him.

Related report:

Chengdu Man Beaten at a Hotel-turned Detention Site, Incurred Injuries in His Leg and Gallbladder