(Minghui.org) After completing a four-year prison term for upholding his belief in Falun Gong, Mr. Xie Yiqiang was finally released. He went home at the end of 2012, with a badly tortured body and memories of endless beatings and constant verbal abuse by the prison guards.
Mr. Xie said, “Those days passed slowly, minute by minute and second by second. Every day seemed like a year.”
Mr. Xie was the engineer for Special Electromechanical Equipment Inspection in Ningxia Autonomous Region. He was illegally sentenced to four years in Shizuishan Prison and Yinchuan Prison in 2008 for practicing Falun Gong.
The Chinese Communist Party has been persecuting Falun Gong for 15 years. Mr. Xie has been imprisoned for 7 of those years. He was brutally tortured, including being subjected to the tiger bench, sleep deprivation, prolonged sitting on small stools, and beatings.
Mr. Xie Yiqiang was arrested at work on February 2, 2008. The police questioned his colleagues one by one. One of them, a Mr. Yu, was questioned for 8 hours.
Mr. Xie's home was ransacked twice that evening. The police found Shen Yun DVDs and Falun Gong flyers. They used these as evidence to charge him.
On May 5, Mr. Xie was sentenced 4 years in prison.
When Mr. Xie was detained in Xinchuan Detention Center, the guards used a tiger bench to try to force him to give up his belief.
Mr. Xie recalled, “They handcuffed my hands and feet. I was tightly tied to the bench from my chest to my abdomen. I could move only my neck. I could not stop myself from screaming due to the severe pain. They shoved filthy rags into my mouth.”
He was tied on the tiger bench for 9 days. He was only released during meal times to go to the bathroom.
Mr. Xie said, “My bottom was bleeding. My hands and feet were in severe pain. I felt sharp pain all over my body. It felt like my veins would burst. “
In mid July, Mr. Xie was sent to Shizuishan Prison. He was taken out at 6 a.m. every morning to stand in the sun the entire day and then made to continue standing until midnight.
Mr. Xie said, “My skin was burned and injured after many days of being exposed to the sun. I asked the guards for a piece of paper and pen to write a protest. After a few days the guards gave me a pen and a piece of paper but then ordered me to write a 'confession.'”
Mr. Xie was soon transferred to Yinchuan Prison. He was forced to do hard labor every day.
He said, “In the factory, I was forced to stay in a area of 3 square meters. I was monitored so that I would not step out of the square. Nobody was allowed to talk to me. Every evening I was beaten and assaulted.”
One morning, he was thrown from the upper level of a bunk bed. The other prisoners kicked his chest and beat him for more than half an hour.
Mr. Xie said, “I did not fight back. I went to the guard and asked to be treated for the injuries. I was ignored.”
Yinchuan Prison transferred 16 guards and arranged dozens of prisoners to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners.
They made a small stool, 10 cm high. Mr. Xie had to sit on the stool for a long time with his back straight and upright. If he moved, he would be beaten.
Mr. Xie recalls, “Sixteen guards subjected us to brainwashing me day and night. They did not allow us to sleep. We were forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong. Sometimes they forced me to drink excessive amounts of water but did not allow me to go to the restroom.
“I refused to give up my belief, so they increased the frequency and length of the beatings. They used sticks to open my eyes to prevent me from sleeping. They inserted sticks into my nostrils. They opened my eyelids and flicked my eyeballs.”
Mr. Xie said, “Under severe torture, I was forced to write that I would stop practicing Falun Gong. At that moment, I could feel my heart breaking.”
Mr. Xie said the guards knew he still believed in Falun Gong so they forced him to write articles to slander Falun Gong. Whenever they were not satisfied with the article he wrote, they deprived him of sleep.
Mr. Xie said, “Before my term ended, I wrote a statement that I intended to keep practicing Falun Gong.”
Mr. Xie's mother was also a Falun gong practitioner. After her son was arrested, she could not sleep. She was sad and in despair. She went to the detention center every week to visit her son, but was never allowed to see him. Overwhelmed by worry and grief, she passed away on June 29, 2009.
Mr. Xie started practicing Falun Gong in 1996. He was arrested in March 2001 when he distributed Falun Gong materials. He was detained at Yinchuan Detention Center for 8 months. In October 2001, he was sentenced to 3 years in a forced labor camp.
He was threatened and questioned for a long time at the detention center, and was forced to do hard labor.
Among the tasks he was forced to do, Mr. Xie had to separate the thread from a type of adhesive tape.
He said, “The tape was dusty, filthy, and poisonous. We had to use our teeth to tear the thread out. It was very easy to accidentally swallow small pieces of tape. My hands were frequently cut and injured and my teeth became loose.
“I was covered with blisters from the poison on that tape. Even if I used an entire roll of toilet paper, I could not clean up all the pus from those blisters. I could not wear underwear because my clothing stuck to my flesh. Finally, I could not walk properly. I had to support myself with my arms and wait to feel my legs before I took the next step. The blisters on my legs and feet bled with every step I took.
“The blisters stank. One night, the smell woke up all the others in my cell, so the guard transferred me to another room which was unheated. I froze.
“I was handcuffed and forced to go out to work in this condition until I could not stand. I asked for medical treatment but was ignored. After I recovered a little bit, I was handcuffed to a pole outside all day long.”
Later, Mr. Xie was transferred to a concrete factory. His health was further damaged there.
After he served his full term, Mr. Xie was taken to a brainwashing center for several months. After he was finally released and went back to work, he was detained for 7 days by the local police station because he had not stopped practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Xie was also deprived of his salary and pension after working for the company for 28 years, simply for exercising his constitutional right to uphold his belief.
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name : Xie Yiqiang Gender : Male Age : 50 Address : Unknown Occupation : Engineer Date of Most Recent Arrest : May 2008 Most Recent Place of Detention : Yinchuan Prison City : Yinchuan Province : Gansu Persecution Suffered : Sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, beatings, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, extortion, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of restroom use, denied visitation