Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners in Jiazhou Prison
(Minghui.org) Male Falun Gong practitioners in Sichuan Province are usually held in Jiazhou Prison, which is located in Leshan City. The prison mainly engages in labor intensive tasks such as making clothes and electronic coils.
Apart from forced, unpaid labor, imprisoned practitioners are also subjected to different methods of torture. The physical torture includes prolonged standing, electric shocks, beatings, and restricted meal times. They are also forced to write guarantee statements to renounce their faith.
Pepper Spray, Beatings, Restricted Meal Times
Mr. Lu Shengli of Deyang City was arrested at home on June 4, 2015 and later sentenced to five years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan. He was ordered to write guarantee statements upon arriving at the prison. When he refused, the guards made him stand from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for three days, until his hands and legs became swollen. The guards only gave him seconds to finish his food and would throw away what’s remaining when time was up.
Practitioners who were placed under strict control would be subjected to beatings, standing, squatting, sleep deprivation, and being ordered to write guarantee statements. They would also be prohibited from speaking or moving around. Exposing the practitioners under the scorching sun, covering their heads with helmets and spraying pepper water into their noses, and restricting their meal times are also some of the common methods used in Jiazhou Prison.
Mr. Sun Renzhi was shocked with electric batons and pepper sprayed in his eyes for refusing to wear the prison uniform. When he refused to write guarantee statements, the police placed him under strict control to torture him and also exposed him to the sun in the summer for prolonged periods.
Mr. Gu Zhiguang was starved for a few days after he refused to be transformed. He was also punished by prolonged standing and had his hands and feet shackled. For more than a year, he was subjected to beatings, pepper spray, and sleep deprivation.
Mr. Liang Junhua and Mr. Wei Yongqing were placed under strict control and had their meal times restricted when they refused to write guarantee statements or memorize the prison rules. Mr. Wei, 81, was forced to sit under the sun for long periods of time until his buttocks festered, and shocked with electric batons. He was also pepper sprayed.
Those who were placed on the first level strict control had their meal times limited to seconds. The detainees were given 20 seconds to finish a small bowl of porridge soup per meal, but in actuality, they were allowed only 15 seconds. According to those who experienced it, the fastest that they could eat was four mouthfuls of rice, and those who were slower could only eat two or three mouthfuls. Generally, the guards would apply such torture to prisoners for 3 to 15 days. However, the time period could be extended for practitioners indefinitely until they renounced their faith.
Another torture method is called “riding a motorcycle.” In this torture, the guards placed a helmet over the practitioner’s head before pepper spraying him and closing the helmet cover. This torture caused the victim to choke in the confined space and cough uncontrollably. The victim would then be made to wear straitjackets and exposed under the sun without being given any water. Mr. Wang Anneng was subjected to such torture when he refused to memorize the prison rules.
There are currently five practitioners who are still detained in the No. 8 Division: Mr. Zhang Zhigang (sentenced to 4 years), Mr. Deng Daoheng (8 years), Mr. Wen Xingtai (7 years), Mr. Liang Junhua (6 years), and Mr. Zuo Guocheng (1.5 years).
The prison signed production contracts with some companies and forced the detainees to work to fulfill the orders. A workshop in the prison could earn 2 to 3 million yuan each year.
The detainees are forced to work for 12 hours a day and given 10 minutes to eat lunch at their seats. Those who can't finish their work would be punished. Light punishment includes standing at a specific place after work until 10 p.m. and reflecting on one's actions or walking in the field in various formations. Heavy punishment includes rationing food (being given only a “baby meal” portion). During this time, the victim is not allowed to buy food or any daily necessities.
The practitioners are not allowed to talk to each other, stay in the same room, and cannot work near each other. Their phone calls would also be monitored.
An elderly practitioner in Sichuan who was once imprisoned in Jiazhou Prison detailed his experience to Minghui.org. He recalled that when he first arrived at the prison, a few practitioners helped retrieve daily necessities for him and gave him some food. However, one day, someone saw him and another practitioner sharing their cultivation experience with each other and reported them.
The other practitioner, who was 65 years old, was placed on strict control the next day and prohibited from eating any food that he had previously ordered. He was also forced to eat “baby meals” and became emaciated. The strict control ended after 52 days. As this elderly practitioner was older, he was not punished.
The detainees are given only four hours of break per week and they must undergo security checks before and after work to make sure that they do not bring any prohibited items back to their cells.
One practitioner was still forced to do the intensive labor and not given any break despite having serious physical conditions. He went to the hospital in May 2020 and passed away two days later. He was 67.