Gansu Man Recounts Nine Years of Imprisonment for Upholding His Faith
(Minghui.org) A Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, resident was released in July 2020 after serving nine years in Lanzhou Prison for refusing to renounce his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice persecuted in China since 1999.
Mr. Chen Deguang, a 74-year-old retiree from No. 4 Metallurgical Construction Co., was arrested in July 2011 with his wife, Ms. Sheng Chunmei, while giving out Falun Gong DVDs. Both were sentenced to nine years in prison.
Ms. Sheng’s health deteriorated as a result of being tortured at the Gansu Province Women’s Prison. She suffered gallbladder infection, hypertension, and diabetes, and the prison didn’t release her until she was on the verge of death. She passed away on October 12, 2017, seven weeks following her release. She was 65 years old.
The following is Mr. Chen telling his story of how he suffered during the past nine years in prison:
My wife and I were giving out Falun Gong DVDs on July 6, 2011, when someone spotted us and then reported us to the police. A kindhearted person tipped us off. But before we were able to leave, the police seized my wife. When I went to help her, we were both arrested and taken to the Pingantai Police Station.
At the police station, an officer kicked my shin and injured my leg. My wife and I were transferred to Honggu Detention Center the next day. I was detained there for six months before being transferred to Hualinshan Detention Center. The injury on my leg festered during this time.
I went on a hunger strike twice to protest the persecution. The first time the strike lasted four days until a prosecutor came to see me. I demanded to be released without charges. He promised to relay my message to the higher authorities but never got back to me. Two months later, I went on another hunger strike. Six men came to force-feed me a few days later. They held me down and poured milk into my nose. A person injected an unknown drug in my buttock, twice. Seeing that I didn't respond to the shots, I was tied to a bed and given an intravenous injection, which caused me to black out.
My wife and I were tried by the Honggu District Court on April 20, 2013, and were both given nine years in prison. After I was taken back to the detention center, a guard asked if I offended the judge, because the sentence was supposed to be from three to seven years.
After I was transferred to Lanzhou Prison on January 21, 2014, a prison guard locked me in a strict management cell with seven prisoners who had felony convictions. They worked with the guard to monitor and abuse me.
I was placed in the 4th ward, also called the devil’s ward, where prisoners often had to work overtime and were beaten with electric batons.
The prisoners, including minors, in the 4th ward worked from 6:40 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The assigned work had to be finished no matter what. The guards shocked a teenage boy with an electric baton for not finishing his work. They also beat a 65-year-old prisoner for the same reason and made him go back and finish it. He was handcuffed that night and still worked the next day.
Because I refused to work and was old and slow, the guards transferred me to a team designated for the old, weak, sick, and handicapped. There were about 20 of us, and every day we still had to go to the workshop and stay with the rest of the prisoners.
The guards instigated other prisoners to torture me in order to force me to give up Falun Gong. The prisoners made me smoke cigarettes and hurt me by bending my fingers backward. I wasn't allowed to wear shoes on cold winter days. The guards, who wore heavy leather shoes, stepped on and twisted my bare feet.
When they were torturing me by depriving me of sleep, they poured cold water on my head if I dozed off.
At night they used the hanging torture on me. The guards used a rope to tie my wrists behind my back and fixed the rope on the upper deck of a bunk bed so my toes barely touched the ground. They then placed a bucket under my feet to prop me up and quickly kicked the bucket away, causing me to drop abruptly. They put the bucket back and repeated the torture over and over. Not wanting others to hear me scream from the excruciating pain, they jammed a dirty towel in my mouth. Each time they finished torturing me, they yanked the towel out of my mouth. After many times my teeth got loose. Eventually they fell out one after another, and I don’t have many left.
The guards also tortured me by handcuffing my hands behind my back. To intensify the pain, they placed water bottles between my wrists and back to further tighten up the handcuffs.
After 40-plus days of relentless torture, they broke my will and I signed a statement to renounce Falun Gong. The statement was validated by the ward, the prison, the Prison Administrative Bureau, and the province. When authorities from the central government came to verify the statement, I told them that Falun Gong is good.
During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the prison authorities only allowed me to call home once, after I made many requests. Right after I called, they wanted me to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong, which I refused to. I was then shocked with an electric baton and my hands were cuffed behind my back. They used this back-handcuff torture when I refused to do chores for them, such as picking up the ping pong balls while they played. I was handcuffed for hours if not over a day.
My term ended on July 6, 2020. After returning home, I realized that my pension had been unlawfully revoked years prior. Not only did the authorities refuse to reinstate my pension, someone from the Social Security department told my daughter that I had to return the pension issued to me the year after I was arrested.