(Minghui.org) Mr. Lian Baochang, a Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province resident, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2013 for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. He was incarcerated in Jidong Prison for more than five years and brutally tortured.

Mr. Lian, a man known for his kindness and upright character, was arrested on June 10, 2013. He was later sentenced to seven years and taken to Jidong Prison 4th branch on March 17, 2015. Forty days later, he was taken to the 8th branch, where he was beaten, deprived of sleep, and held in solitary confinement.

Since Mr. Lian remained steadfast in his faith, he was not allowed to participate in any activities or to talk to anyone upon arrival at the prison. The guards often threatened him, “If you do the Falun Gong exercises, we will straighten you out.”

Liu Zhiwei, a prison director, once talked to Mr. Lian and tried to persuade him to give up Falun Gong. Liu said to Mr. Lian, “If you don’t ‘transform,’ we have all kinds of torture methods and instruments to use on you. You will not like it.” Mr. Lian tried to explain to him that one should uphold one’s conscience and not follow the Chinese communist regime in persecuting innocent Falun Gong practitioners. Liu responded that he was paid by the communist regime and would thus do anything possible to “transform” Mr. Lian.

A few days later, Kan Chaoyuan, a deputy section chief, confined Mr. Lian in a small, dark room and ordered nine inmates to watch him in shifts. He was deprived of sleep for nine consecutive days and given only a small bun for each meal.

The torture relaxed for a couple of days but resumed shortly after. This time, Mr. Lian was deprived of sleep for about 19 days. Since he tried to do Falun Gong exercises, he was put in handcuffs and shackles.

Kan once ordered two inmates to take turns beating him for several hours. Mr. Lian was covered with bruises afterwards and unable to walk. Another time, an inmate named Li Jianshuang tortured him by clutching his genitals, poking him all over with a pen, and cursing at him.

Mr. Lian was tortured again in October 2015 for refusing to cooperate with a prison-wide inspection. Li Weiwo, the Education Section chief, became furious at him. Li kicked Mr. Lian and restricted his breathing with a towel.

Unable to let go of his anger, Li took a walkie-talkie and smashed it on Mr. Lian's head and face until it broke. Mr. Lian's face and head had several cuts, and he lost his vision for some time. In order to cover up the torture, they confined Mr. Lian in a solitary cell until he recovered.

At another time, Mr. Lian was not allowed to sleep for 27 days. Liu Zhiwei, another section chief, ordered three shifts of inmates to watch and torture Mr. Lian.

The inmates in one shift twisted and pinched Mr. Lian’s arms, claiming that they were massaging him. Mr. Lian’s arms were swollen and full of black and purple marks as a result. He could not lift them.

In another shift, Liu ordered one inmate to whip Mr. Lian with a thin bamboo strip and another inmate to slap him, sometimes over 30 times. Mr. Lian's scalp oozed blood, and his hands, feet, wrists, head, and neck were swollen. The inmates on the day shift kicked him in the knees, and he had difficulty walking.

Mr. Lian was often held in the small room for strict control and tormented mentally at the same time, often for long stretches of time.

About Jidong Prison

Jidong Prison, established in 1956, is subordinate to the Hebei Prison Administrative Bureau. It is located in Tantang City, Hebei Province, and administers nine prison branches. Many of the prison officials, including Li Keqin, Xiao Yujun, Liu Zhiwei, and Li Weiwo, actively participated in the torture of Falun Gong practitioners for promotions. They also instigated inmates to abuse the practitioners in exchange for term reductions. Over 320 practitioners have been held in Jidong Prison over the past two decades, and at least 20 were tortured to death.

Li Keqin, former head of the prison, eagerly participated in the writing of books slandering Falun Gong in the early stages of the persecution, which led to an intensification of the persecution across many prisons in China.

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Category: Accounts of Persecution