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Eyewitness Account: I Saw Falun Gong Practitioners Persecuted in Beijiang Prison in Guangdong Province

Jan. 11, 2024 |   By Yizhen

(Minghui.org) When I was imprisoned in the 9th Division in Beijiang Prison, which is located in Guangdong Province, I personally witnessed how guards and inmates abuse Falun Gong practitioners. Below is a snippet of what I have seen.

As soon as they enter the 9th Division practitioners are immediately locked in solitary confinement. They are not allowed to speak with others, walk around, look around, or use the restroom. The guards try create a sense of friendliness by asking the practitioners how they are doing and what do they do, to understand them. In the cell, the captain is the one who has the final say. The cell is comprised of 12 people with 6 inmates taking up the upper bunk bed to monitor practitioners who sleep on the lower bunk bed. They have been trained by the guards and know what the guards want. They are responsible for monitoring practitioners, and practitioners need their approval to eat, drink, use the restroom, or sleep.

Practitioners in the 9th Division don’t have to do the forced labor. The main focus is brainwashing practitioners and religious people. Everyone has to study, read, and write the Communist propaganda, every day. In the beginning, the instructors speak nicely to them but change their approach if they refused to be transformed. The changes depend on the duration of the sentence. Those who have short sentences seeing the quickest change.

Placing people in “solitary confinement” is a torture method especially used on Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to be transformed. They are forced to sit on small stools the entire day with their backs straight and their hands on their knees. One to three inmates are in charge of monitoring them. If anyone bends their back, the inmates stab them with their fingers while observing them and humiliating them. While out of sight of the security cameras (CCTV) inmates also use the tip of a pen to stab practitioners. They do this to try to provoke practitioners and force them to react. If they do, the guards use it as an excuse to torture them.

Torture re-enactment: Sitting on small stools

“Straitjacket” is a torture method that restricts a person’s hands and feet, and the body is forced into a 90-degree angle. A person is forced to wear it for at least one month and up to three months, depending on the person’s “performance.” The person has to wear it while eating, drinking, using the restroom, and sleeping. The summer temperature can go up to 38 degrees Celsius and the prison only allows practitioners to take a shower depending on their performance or how badly they smell. Practitioners are given only half a pail of water to shower and wash their clothes before being forced to wear the straitjacket again. It’s a luxury to be allowed to have a shower every 10 days or two weeks.

While being made to wear the straitjacket, practitioners continue being humiliated and beaten by all the inmates. These inmates are watched closely by the guards every day.

Practitioners are also forced to study the CCP propaganda against Falun Gong every day while squatting. They have to write thoughts reports, a tactic that the guards use in an attempt to force practitioners to renounce their faith. If the practitioners do not agree with the information in the materials, they are tortured by the guards and inmates, and are not allowed to sleep normally, have a full meal, or go to the restroom. Most practitioners are tortured like this and very few can endure it.

I personally witnessed the guards giving the inmates suggestions on how to torture Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Qiaosong. They began torturing and humiliating him when he refused to be transformed. He was not given enough water to drink, or have enough to eat. His time to sleep and shower were shortened. He was covered with a thick blanket during the heat of summer and forced to watch videos that slander Falun Gong. He was also forced to study other religions’ teachings. When Mr. Li disagreed or questioned anything, he was verbally abused or made to squat.

They used any excuse to deny him restroom use. If the instructors saw that he did not go to the restroom frequently, they forced him to drink a lot of water. When he refused to read religious scriptures, he was forced to squat up and down 1,000 times each time, in the morning and afternoon, for several days.

Guard Huo Linyin deprived Mr. Li and other practitioners and other religious people who refused to be transformed, of sleep. However, Huo was especially strict with Mr. Li and other practitioners. When he lay down, he had to keep his body, arms and legs straight, and not move. If he moved or relaxed the inmate on night duty woke him up and prohibited him from going back to sleep. Mr. Li could only sleep for a few minutes. This torture could continue from a few months to half a year. He became so exhausted that he could barely open his eyes, so he was made to study the propaganda. The inmates often attacked his back with their knees when he was squatting or sitting on the small stool. The guards never stopped the inmates from abusing practitioners.

Guard Ye was placed in charge of Mr. Li. He instructed the inmate not to give him a full meal. I was standing next to Ye and the inmate when I heard the inmate report to Ye, “Li has eaten a lot these days and has the energy to rebut.” Ye said, “Don’t let him eat that much then.” The inmate replied, “I got it.”

Afterward, I saw what happened during lunch. The 9th Division let each inmate pick up a serving of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, allowing them to have a full meal. After Mr. Li took his food and was waiting for the instruction to start eating, the inmate took his plate and gave most of the food to other inmates, leaving only a handful of food for Mr. Li. Sometimes, he was not given anything to eat in the morning, or he might be given only a mouthful of noodles. When Mr. Li told the guard, the guard said, “The food is for inmates. We will give you food if you acknowledge that you are a criminal.” Mr. Li sat down silently and did not show any fear. I later noticed that he could not walk steadily.

Mr. Li was mainly tortured by three inmates. Previously, an inmate also used the same starving method to torture him. When he was sometimes not allowed to shower for more than 10 days, other inmates said sarcastically that Mr. Li smelled because he chose not to shower.

Despite this, Mr. Li never admitted that he was wrong in practicing Falun Gong. That was in August 2003.

There was another practitioner with the surname Li. He was also forced to wear the straitjacket for more than three months with his waist bent at 90 degrees. He became emaciated and the inmates had to drag him along. He suffered a lot.

I personally saw and heard guard Wang Zhijie verbally abuse a man in his 50s (not a practitioner). Wang told the man not to eat and humiliated him. Later the man went on a hunger strike and was force-fed. He was tortured beyond recognition.

Under the instigation of the guards, inmates went all out to torture practitioners who refused to be transformed. Some of the torture methods include being made to sit, stand, or squat in certain positions, being covered with layers quilts in the summer, and sleeping in one position. These methods eventually caused internal injuries. Inmates also spit into practitioners’ water and food. They also pinched their private parts and slapped them. While some inmates did not openly torture the practitioners, some did when the guards were there.

This is what I personally witnessed while at the 9th Division in Beijiang Prison.