(Minghui.org) The police arrested a man in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, in 2018 after he told people why the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP's) persecution of Falun Gong was wrong. Mr. Zhu Zuoxin was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison on January 8, 2021. He appealed and the intermediate court upheld the lower court’s sentence. Mr. Zhu is now being tortured in Zhejiang Provincial 4th Prison.
Mr. Zhu practices Falun Gong and conducts himself according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. His illnesses were gone after he took up the practice and he strives to be a more considerate and kind person.
After the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Mr. Zhu was incarcerated for a total of 14 years for refusing to renounce his belief. The authorities put him in a forced labor camp 3 times, prison twice, detention centers 3 times, and brainwashing center 3 times and ransacked his home 4 times. The authorities never presented a search warrant or gave a receipt for properties confiscated. He tried to sue the police for the illegal search. No lawyer would take his case knowing that he tried to sue the police. The Wucheng District Procuratorate even kept him from entering the facility.
The torture he suffered over the years permanently damaged his heath: his eyesight deteriorated, he lost almost all his hearing, and his memory declined. He also lost tens of thousands of yuan from the home ransacking.
As part of the persecution, he was fired from his job. The authorities often went to his place to harass him. They monitored him and tapped his phone. The authorities even had his name removed from the official residency register for the past 17 years, which meant he couldn’t get an identification card or work a formal job.
Officers from Jinhua City Police Department arrested Mr. Zhu in October 1999 because he continued to practice Falun Gong with the onset of the persecution. He was arbitrarily given a year of forced labor and transferred to Shiliping Forced Labor Camp in December that year. He was forced to manufacture lighters. Every day he had to attach 2,000 wicks to the nozzles and put on 8,000 lids. He wasn’t given any tool and had to use his fingers to click the lid on the plastic body. Not long after, the skin on his fingertips split and eventually the flesh came off. Despite the excruciating pain, he had to keep working so he did not slow down the assembly line. He worked 13 hours a day for about 5 months.
The guards had 4 to 10 inmates watch each Falun Gong practitioner around the clock. Everything a practitioner wanted to do, he had to report to the inmates and get their approval. This was only done to the practitioners, from the day they arrived until the day they were released.
Torture illustration: Tiger Bench. The guards tie the victim's legs tightly to the bench with belts, then put bricks or other hard objects under the victim's feet. They keep adding layers of bricks until the belts break. Victims often pass out because of the unbearable pain.
Mr. Zhu was tortured on a Tiger Bench for several days before he was put in solitary confinement in April 2000. In July the guards tied his arms to the back of the chair and legs to the chair legs. They played pre-recorded government and police notices defaming Falun Gong over and over through a speaker next to him. When Mr. Zhu became exhausted and fell asleep, the inmates would wake him up or blow cigarette smoke in his face. He was denied toilet use unless he agreed to sign statements to renounce his faith. He eventually had to relieve himself in his pants.
When Mr. Zhu was released in November 2000, he submitted written statements to the Jinhua City government. In the statements, he exposed the crimes against him and other practitioners that took place in the Shiliping Forced Labor Camp.
In retaliation, officers from Wucheng Police Department arrested him on February 7, 2001, and ransacked his place. Without due process, the police put him back in Shiliping Forced Labor Camp for another 3 years.
A guard at the 4th brigade told him that the camp authorities would destroy his will and make him give up his practice this time. Since his last release, the labor camp put all practitioners in solitary confinement. The practitioners were handcuffed to the window frames with the windows open around the clock in the wintertime.
To intensify the tortures, the labor camp custom-made five metal chairs were specifically designed to crush one’s tailbone. With this torture, the victim’s lower legs and chest were locked in between two metal plates sitting on the chair. The arms were tied to the chair arms with belts. There was no seat to support one’s weight but the two metal bars were positioned sideways, one beneath the knee joints and the other right below the tailbone. The victim’s body weight was completely supported by his tailbone pressing against the metal bar, and he could not wiggle out of the position. This quickly resulted in excruciating pain.
The guards put Mr. Zhu in solitary confinement on March 21, 2001. They forced him to stand still all day while giving him little rice (250g, less than 9 oz, each day). While enduring other tortures in the confinement he was on the verge of death four times. On May 20, he fainted after standing for two months with little sleep. The guards woke him up with a bucket of cold water. He passed out again after saying “no” to the guard’s order to give up his faith. The doctor in Longyou County Hospital revived him after injecting him with three shots of a cardiac stimulant.
He was put on a Tiger Bench quickly after he returned to the labor camp. The bench pressed against his bones as he was severely underweight.
A doctor came to take his blood pressure but couldn’t get any reading. The doctor struggled just to draw enough blood from him. As soon as the test result came back, the doctor had him hospitalized. After he recovered, the doctor told him that every index from his blood test result showed that he was dying at the time.
In 2001 he spent over 200 days in solitary confinement. Upon seeing him doing the Falun Gong exercises to stay healthy, the guards handcuffed him to the door. For two months he wasn’t allowed to go to the toilet and had to relieve himself in his pants. At the same time, he wasn’t allowed to clean himself and was given little food.
Immediately after he was out of confinement, he was made to do the unpaid work. He had to sew fine details for a long period of time each day. It took a toll on his vision. One night he was working overtime and all of a sudden his vision went blurry. It got worse. Currently, he can’t focus on objects and his eyes get tired easily. The guards still had him watch propaganda TV programs slandering Falun Gong in May 2002. When he objected and said that the program was falsified, the guards locked him in a special unit, where Falun Gong practitioners were tortured around the clock all year long.
Mr. Zhu’s term was arbitrarily prolonged because he remained steadfast in his faith. His mother tried to visit him many times but was denied without any reason each time she went.
Officers from Jindong District Domestic Security and agents from the 610 Office arrested Mr. Zhu on June 4, 2005. He was quickly transferred to a forced labor camp, where he had to stand still facing a wall for nearly 13 hours a day from July 2005 to July 2006. As a result, his legs and feet were swollen and disfigured, causing intense pain when he tried to walk or stand.
Zhang Kunming, the head of Jinhua City 610 Office, threatened to send Mr. Zhu to prison if he refused to renounce his faith. Zhang mistook his silence as a yes and had an inmate give him copies of pre-written statements to renounce Falun Gong. The inmate told him, “All you have to do is to hand them to a guard.” Mr. Zhu returned the statements to the guards and said, “I did not write these.” In the following two months he was subjected to worse tortures, including slapping, punching, and kicking, all the while being handcuffed.
An inmate named Jin Yang claimed that he at least slapped Mr. Zhu at least 2,000 times during the time he was incarcerated. One time Jin punched him in the kidneys while he was tidying his bed and he couldn’t straighten his back for a while. Another time while he was meditating, Jin grabbed his handcuffs and dragged him on the ground. Jin yanked the handcuffs up so hard that Mr. Zhu was forced to stand up. He would sit down again until Jin came back and tormented him the same way over and over, leaving a mark on his wrists as the cuffs cut into his skin.
Another inmate used Mr. Zhu as a kicking target. He always kicked him from behind while he wasn’t looking and bragged about how he didn’t use full strength.
A guard on duty many times jabbed Mr. Zhu's ears with a bamboo stick to damage his hearing.
At one point the guard wrapped Mr. Zhu's lower legs together with tape. With his hands cuffed, he could no longer walk for he’d fall as soon as he stood up. He was put on a plastic stool. If he needed to use a toilet, he’d have to wait for others to carry him there.
The inmates wrote phrases slandering Falun Gong on pieces of paper and stuck them on his bed, “You have to sleep on them or don’t sleep.” This was a way to deprive him of sleep. Sometimes a captain would tell him straightforward, “I am on duty tonight, don’t sleep.”
A guard claimed that Mr. Zhu went to the toilet too often and stopped giving him water. His urine quickly turned yellow and then red. At the hospital, the doctor told him that he was dehydrated and offered him water. He quickly drank up a pot and asked for more.
A guard named Zhao Yifeng put an electric baton on Mr. Zhu's neck and shocked him until the battery ran out. It severely burned him and left a deep scar on his neck.
The police arrested Mr. Zhu at the end of 2011 when he clarified the facts about Falun Gong to people at a train station. They interrogated him in Zhanqian Police Station and ransacked his place when no one was home. He was locked in Jinhua Detention Center for seven days. The guards had him handcuffed most of the time and often beat him and did not give him food.
Officers from Jindong District Domestic Security arrested him on the morning of May 26, 2012. The Jindong District Court tried him and another practitioner Mr. Cao Baoxian on September 28 without notifying their families. He was given 4.5 years and Mr. Cao 1.5 years. He appealed and Jinhua City Intermediate Court upheld the original sentence. He was transferred to the Zhejiang Province 4th Prison on January 31, 2013.
The prison authorities informed his family that they could visit him the first Saturday of every month. His younger brother traveled 2 hours for over 110 miles from Jinhua to Hangzhou City on March 2 to see him, only to be told that Mr. Zhu was denied any visits because he was “under strict management.”
To protest the persecution, he went on a hunger strike. Xie Xiaojun, a guard of the strict management team, instigated 8 prisoners to waterboard him. They lifted his arms and legs and pushed his face under the water. Every time they brought his head up, they’d ask him if he’d eat. This occurred many times until he agreed.
One time he was deprived of sleep for 15 days. Another time he was not allowed to use the toilet for 11 days because he refused to memorize prison rules. He ended up relieving himself in his pants. The first time they let him wash his pants. The next time they wouldn’t and had him wrap himself in the bedding at night. The next day, because he was put to work, they agreed to let him clean himself. They humiliated him and forced him to crawl on the ground in a circle before letting him use the toilet again.
Someone called the police and reported Mr. Zhu for telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong on August 27, 2018. Officers from Wuliting Police Station arrested him and gave him 15 days of administrative detention. He remained steadfast and the police switched him to criminal detention 7 days later. He was transferred to Jinhua City Detention Center.
Mr. Zhu’s trial was held on August 22, 2019, at Wucheng District Court. The prosecutor accused him of violating the criminal law by promoting Falun Gong and talking about quitting the CCP. His lawyer argued that it was everyone’s constitutional right to have freedom of belief, and hence promoting one’s belief can’t be considered criminal activities. Also, since the CCP’s Constitution stipulates that its members are allowed to quit the Party, he violated no law by urging people to quit.
The lawyer said that it was absurd that one is charged with having a small conversation. Besides, he was already detained for 15 days and now the prosecutor wanted to penalize him again. Regardless, the judge still gave him 3 years and 3 months.
Mr. Zhu appealed on January 8, 2020, and the case went to Jinhua City Intermediate Court. A member of his family several times requested to defend his innocence. The judge denied the requests because “the court already appointed him a legal aid.” The appellate court judge upheld the previous ruling in August. The family was never informed of the hearing of the appeal. Mr. Zhu was transferred to the Zhejiang 4th Prison in September.