(Minghui.org) Mr. Ming Shaolin from Nanchong City was sentenced to four years in prison. This followed his arrest in April 2014 for distributing information about Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that is being persecuted in China.
The 50-year-old man was brutally tortured in custody. While he was in Jiazhou Prison, he was viciously beaten, shocked with electric batons, exposed to tear gas and pepper spray, administered unknown drugs, and force-fed through his nostrils. He was almost disabled as a result; his hair turned grey, his teeth loosened, and his eyesight was almost gone.
Mr. Ming was released on April 18, 2018. The following is his personal account of his ordeals.
The Longpan Town police arrested me on April 17, 2014, as I was giving out Falun Gong literature. They hit me inside the police vehicle. At the station, after I refused to give an officer my name and address and information about other practitioners, he slapped me and kicked my stomach. He bashed my left sole with a plastic baton, stepped on my ankle, and continued hitting my head and back. The beating lasted an hour.
Another policeman told me that I could leave if I paid a fine. I refused. A deputy chief came at 2 a.m. and handcuffed me to a metal chair. They brought out a large box filled with Falun Gong literature and took photos of me beside it, as if it belonged to me. The photos would be used as evidence in court to show that I practiced Falun Gong.
The next morning two agents from the city 610 Office interrogated me at the station. They wanted me to sign a deposition but I refused. Later they transferred me to Jialing Public Safety Bureau. I still refused to give them my name. I was transferred to the city detention center that afternoon.
I refused to wear the detainee uniform, so a guard named Yang had four detainees hold me down with my face down and bashed my back with a heavy plastic baton.
I went on a hunger strike. To force feed me, they inserted a feeding tube into my nostril down to my stomach. I was force fed with milk and other unknown substances. The procedure was done by non-medical staff and very roughly. Each time it hurt tremendously; bodily fluids came up from my stomach and nose. Later they replaced my handcuffs with a straitjacket and purposely left the feeding tube in me for days until they found out my identity.
In the ten months I was detained, I never had enough to eat. The authorities came repeatedly to talk to me into giving up Falun Gong and revealing the identities of other practitioners in exchange for a reduced sentence. I refused and was later put on trial.
After a show trial, I was sentenced to four years in prison on October 8, 2014. During the hearing, an unknown woman who wasn’t a court official walked into the courtroom and threatened my defense lawyer. I filed an appeal but the intermediate court upheld the original sentence.
I was transferred to Jiazhou Prison in Leshan City in the morning of February 4, 2015.
1. Sleep deprivation, electric shocks, tear gas and pepper spray
Other new prisoners and I were first put in the 9th ward. Our warm clothes and bedding were confiscated, and the guards arranged for at least two prisoners to closely watch every Falun Gong practitioner. We were ordered to memorize prison rules and phrases that defamed Falun Gong. Those who refused to were verbally insulted and physically abused.
I refused to cooperate with the guards. One day while I was eating, two guards shocked me with electric batons and assaulted me with tear gas and pepper spray. My nose ran and my eyes watered because of the stabbing pain. I couldn’t stop vomiting. They shocked me for the next two hours.
That weakened me tremendously. I had severe constipation and developed hemorrhoids. They didn’t go away for years.
2. Freezing and force-feeding
The next day the guards stripped me and left me with only a thin layer of clothes. I had to sit on the icy concrete for hours each day in the winter.
On the morning of February 11, 2015, I went on a hunger strike, and three days later the guards force fed me. A woman rammed a tube up into my nostril and pushed it down to my stomach. After the force-feeding, she yanked the tube out and the lining of my nostril ruptured. Blood clots oozed out of my nose over the next few days. A person who watched me around the clock often elbowed me violently when I was taken out for force-feeding. The prison authorities often threatened me with death.
With the hunger strike and only thin clothing to wear, my health deteriorated in a week. I was taken to a hospital and handcuffed to a bed. I lost consciousness later but still refused to eat.
3. Plucking out my hair and denying me use of the toilet
It got worse in February 2015. I had to stand still all day every day with 20 seconds to eat my meal. The prisoners and authorities plucked out my hair, eyebrows, beard and pubic hair. They slapped my face, poked at my eyes, pinched me, stomped on my ankles, and beat me until midnight.
I had to wake up before five in the morning just to stand by the toilet. One morning I refused to do so and the head of the cell smashed my head against the wall. Three weeks after that I wasn’t allowed to use the toilet from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. I had to purposely stop drinking water.
One night as I was telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong, the prisoner the guard instigated to monitor me punched me. My cheek was torn and bled a lot. It felt like my skull had caved in and my jaw was dislocated. For a long time my head hurt constantly. Nevertheless, I was still forced to run laps. Sometimes I fell and the prisoners would drag me on the ground.
4. Deteriorating health
Because of the abuse, I developed diabetes. My health worsened and I was later diagnosed with heart infarction. While I was hospitalized, I was made to sleep on the floor. My chest hurt and I couldn’t rest properly.
As the torment continued, the illnesses worsened. My head hurt and I had a hard time breathing. My limbs became numb, I could barely see, and my teeth loosened and I couldn’t chew. Eventually I lost a tooth and my face was all swollen. I was tired all the time because I couldn’t rest properly with the chest pain.
I still had constipation and hemorrhoids and bled 32 out of the 38 months I was imprisoned. My hair turned grey and much of it fell out. The skin on my chest and back festered and itched terribly.
5. Secret drug administration
After I was hospitalized for my heart condition, the authorities secretly put unknown drugs in my food to worsen my condition. The chest pain became so terrible that I couldn’t straighten my back.
In August 2017 I was put in a strict management unit. After eating the food given to me, I had stomach cramps. The next day I ate the food at the workshop and my stomach cramps worsened. The prisoner who monitored me suddenly warmed up to me and suggested I see a doctor. I realized that they were trying to get me hospitalized so that they could give me drugs more easily.
6. Physical abuses continue
The guards knew that I had a hard time breathing. When I had to work in the workshop, they purposely arranged for me to sit next to the smoking area, where I was constantly surrounded by smokers. They later transferred me the cleaning area, where solvents with a pungent smell were used. I had bad headaches all day.
Another time the guard purposely put me next to the welding room when I went to work. I couldn’t stand the exhaust and the smell. I got a headache, had pain in my chest and stomach, and could hardly breathe. I later vomited but still was forced to work.
The authorities put my life in danger many other times. They often took me to have my brain checked because I'd sustained a brain injury. In the prison hospital, they used a chest x-ray on my head. When everyone had to get a blood test, they drew from me double the amount of blood needed.
7. Slave Labor
I was transferred to another ward in August 2017, where the guards used extreme measures. I was isolated and constantly picked on.
A prisoner who monitored me prevented me from doing the Falun Gong exercises to stay healthy. He would shout into my ears after I'd worked all day and was trying to go to sleep. I couldn’t rest. The guard encouraged him and gave him a reduced sentence.
The prisoners were the guards' money-making machines. We had to work long hours without pay to make cheap products. The guards could punish us at will without consequence.
I was released on April 18, 2018, and four guards took me home. They warned my family and neighbors to call the police if they spotted any Falun Gong practitioners and that they would be rewarded if they did. They frequently harassed me at home.