International Businessman Recounts 10 Years of Torture in Prison (Part 1)
(Minghui.org) [Editors' note: an accomplished professional in Gansu Province has been repeatedly arrested for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison following his third arrest in May 2002. Mr. Han Xu, who is proficient in four languages, details the torture he suffered in this two-part series.]
My name is Han Xu and I'm 52 years old. I used to travel worldwide as an export salesman and the director of the computing center in an import and export carpet company.
Before practicing Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, I always placed personal interests as priority and used any method to obtain wealth. After I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1998, I finally understood the true meaning of life and wanted to turn into someone with high moral standards. I no longer took office supplies home for personal use and worked diligently without expecting overtime pay. I also set right the strained relationship with my wife's family.
However, after the persecution of Falun Dafa started in July 1999, I was arrested, detained, and sentenced to a 10-year-term. While imprisoned, I was tortured, forced to do slave labor, and due to the pressure, my wife divorced me
Mistreatment in Detention
I went to the provincial government on July 21 and 22, 1999, to appeal for the right to practice Falun Dafa, and was detained at Taoshuping Elementary School. I was arrested again on January 14, 2000, when I went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Dafa. I was taken to the Lanzhou Security Detention Center and detained for 10 days.
Then, I was arrested and detained at Dashaping Detention Center on October 13, 2000, because the police suspected that I was related to a practitioner who was arrested for clarifying the truth about Falun Dafa.
When I first arrived at the detention center, all my clothes and personal items were stolen by an inmate. Then, I was forced to perform unpaid labor. I had to shell black melon seeds for the Taiwan corporation “Zhenglin Food,” and was beaten and punched when I did not meet my quota. Each punch was accompanied with a question, “Have I beaten you?” The beatings only stopped when I answered “no,” and “thank you” after the beatings stop. If anyone resisted, other inmates would hit that person.
The seeds production was a seasonal job. We had to crack the shell around the seed with our front teeth and then take out the seeds with our fingernails. Some inmates damaged their teeth, and some had their fingernails fall off.
The head of inmates demanded from everyone that their families bring money and cigarettes. They were for the main guard, in exchange for some drugs. Those whose family didn't send money and goods were given the dirtiest jobs. They also would be beaten, verbally abused, and not allowed to talk to anyone.
For food we were allotted porridge in the morning, a hard bun in the afternoon, and a small amount of noodles at night. Everyone hoped to make it out of the prison alive.
As there were too many people in the cell, I had to lie on my side to sleep. The sanitary condition was very poor and most everyone developed scabies. Without medicine, one had to use a hard brush to clear away the festered skin before using a matchstick to extract the pus, and then rub some laundry detergent on it to disinfect.
I developed scabies all over my body when I was detained for nine-and-a-half months. It was very painful and I almost fainted. The scars from the scabies can still be seen on my legs.
I was released on July 26, 2001. When my wife came to take me home, she didn't dare look at me and hid behind someone, as I looked very emaciated.
I was on my way home on May 2, 2002, when two people appeared and pushed me to the ground. I was handcuffed and my head was covered with a bag.
The police took me to an unknown location and confiscated all my personal belongings, including my money. After taking me to a room, they tried to make me kneel. When they did not succeed, they pushed me to the ground. Then, they put a chair over my body, and a person sat on the chair. Two policemen grabbed my arms from behind while stepping on my feet to take a photo. Then, they interrogated me throughout the night. I told them that I didn't do anything wrong and did not cooperate.
The next morning, I was taken to the Xiguoyuan Detention Center. Upon arrival, I was strip searched. Afterwards, I was told to select melon seeds for shelling, but I refused. I said that that I did not commit a crime by practicing Falun Dafa. I also refused to squat or answer roll-call.
I wrote protest notes on the 45th day when my detention was extended. When the officers from the city's Public Security Bureau came to interrogate me, I asked them the reason for not giving me a receipt after confiscating my items, including cash and bank passbook totaling more than 10,000 yuan.
Officer He Bo, said, “Don't ever think of getting this money back. We will definitely use it as evidence for Falun Gong's activity fees.”
To protest against this, I banged my head hard on the wall (I understand now that this action is not in accordance with the Falun Gong principles) and went on a hunger strike. I was taken to Kangtai Hospital (also known as Dashaping Labor Reform Hospital) with heavy shackles on my feet.
I was told to squat down the minute I entered the door, but I refused. Then, a nurse injected me with an unknown drug. I told the doctor that I had been on a hunger strike for three days and he mocked me.
The doctors prescribed a lot of medicines although I advised them that I did not require any medication. My family were later made to pay the medical expenses.
I was taken back to the prison after about 20 days when the money paid by my family was used up. Then, after my family gave some more money, I was returned to the hospital.
Threatened with Death
Police officers from the Lanzhou Public Security Bureau took me to room 518 in the Jinquan Hotel in Lanzhou, and six people, among them Zhang Chengfu, were assigned to monitor me.
I asked them for proof of the legality in detaining me there and they showed me a form the next day when in fact, the procuratorate had already issued a release form, which they concealed from my family. I refused to sign the form and asked for my family to be informed and a lawyer to be hired. They rejected my requests as the State Security Bureau wanted me to confess where I had obtained my portable hard disk, which contained Falun Gong information.
Forty days later, when a tall man humiliated me and slapped me after getting drunk, I decided to escape the next morning but was caught and beaten. They handcuffed my hands to the shackles, which forced me to bend down for the entire day. I was deprived of sleep and made to face the wall, with my hands cuffed behind my back. I had to sit in this position for 24 hours.
For at least a week, I was not allowed to sleep or close my eyes. Gradually, I started having hallucinations and fell down. Zhang lifted me up by the handcuffs, causing excruciating pain. My wrists became severely swollen.
Zhang tortured me almost daily and gave me only two small buns and a paper cup filled with water to drink for every meal. One person, who was hired to monitor me, pitied me. He would give me a small apple or two sausages and extra water. When the weather turned cold and I didn't have any clothes, he gave me some old clothes. He told me, with tears in his eyes, that he couldn't bear to see me tortured like this. As he had been laid off, he had to accept this job to earn some money.
Zhang had also shocked my toenails with electric batons in between giving electric shocks to another practitioner in the next room. He came back and told me that the practitioner was jumping with each electric shock. When the officers saw that I refused to say anything, they threatened me, “No one will know if we buried you alive in the mountain.”
The section chief of the State Security Bureau slapped and abused me verbally. When he started vomiting later, he claimed that I cursed him.
Another time, an officer from the State Security Bureau walked on my chest with leather shoes, which was very painful.
Tortured While Interrogated
I was transferred to the Hu County Public Security Bureau in Shaanxi Province, in October 2002, in handcuffs and shackles. I used to tell people about Falun Gong with a few practitioners in Xi'an. As one of the practitioners was arrested, I was implicated, and thus involved in the court proceedings.
They cuffed my hands to a heating pipe before they transferred me and another practitioner to the Lajiatan Drug Rehabilitation Center the next day. We were interrogated at the center.
They interrogated the other practitioner first in an adjacent room, and I could hear her screaming in pain, as they tried to extract a confession through torture. The practitioner refused to cooperate.
I was interrogated next and the captain, Fan Hede, told me that they knew everything that I did in Xi'an and just wanted to verify the information, and claimed that the practitioners that I knew were already detained at the center. He said that they usually tie the person up and let him confess everything when he could no longer take it. I told him that he is persecuting Falun Gong practitioners who are good people.
They tied me up and forced me into a V-shaped position between two chairs. With my head touching my thighs, I felt as if my lower back and arms were about to break. At the same time, they hit my shoulder. I lost consciousness and when I could no longer bear the pain, I gave in to the officers' pressure to curse Dafa, which is still a painful regret of mine.
To cover up what they did, they forced me to thank the Public Security Bureau in my statement record for “helping” and “educating” me.
(To be continued)