Falun Gong Practitioners in Binhai Prison Tortured During the Pandemic
(Minghui.org) Binhai Men's Prison in Tianjin City has been carrying out a campaign since May 2019 to force imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief. All practitioners, including those who are ill, those in their 70s and 80s, as well as those who are scheduled to be released soon, have been required to “transform”.
Different forms of physical torture, as well as sleep and food deprivation, are being used to try to “transform” the practitioners. This has resulted in the death of Mr. Li Shaochen, while others are in critical condition. Yet one prison guard boasted, “I'd rather have one dead Falun Gong practitioner ‘transformed’ over a live one who is not.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the “transformation” campaign in the prison continues. During the lockdown, the guards were divided into three groups. Each group has to remain in the prison and is not allowed to go home for a month at a time.
Strictly Controlled and Persecuted
All Falun Gong practitioners in Binhai Prison were moved to a strictly controlled unit in May 2019 and were subjected to a “transformation” regime.
That includes being isolated in a room with two inmates during the day and at night. The inmates are responsible for monitoring the practitioner’s every move. They force the practitioner to stand or sit on a small stool for a long time every day. The practitioner may only be allowed between two and three hours of sleep at night.
Those who refuse to be “transformed” are shocked with electric batons, beaten, and verbally abused. Prison officials also call the practitioner's family and tell them to try to convince the practitioner, over the phone, to give up the practice. If the family refuses, they aren’t allowed to visit their loved one.
The prison also starves the practitioners by sometimes giving them only half or one steamed bun per meal. They also won’t let the practitioner purchase daily necessities.
Torture Resulted in Death and Injuries
The intense physical torture and “transformation” campaign resulted in dire consequences for Mr. Li Shaochen, who was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for practicing Falun Gong in October 2017. He was taken to the prison hospital after being forced to “transform.” He died early on March 6, 2020, at the age of 77. Details of his death remain to be investigated.
Because of being forced to stand for prolonged periods of time, some practitioners’ legs are severely swollen, some practitioners can only walk with difficulty, and some have to use wheelchairs. Other practitioners' buttocks festered from sitting on the small stool for long periods of time.
Due to the physical and mental torment, some practitioners became delirious and couldn’t tell their families what had happened to them in prison.