(Minghui.org) Mr. Zhao Liang, of Huludao City, Liaoning Province, was 21 when the Chinese Communist Party launched the persecution of Falun Dafa in July 1999. Because he refused to give up his practice, the authorities put him in a forced labor camp in 2000 and 2004 for a total of 4.5 years. He remained a steadfast practitioner, and a judge sentenced him to ten years in prison in 2008. He has been subjected to brutal torture over the years.

Mr. Zhao’s parents, older brother and sister-in-law, and niece, all took up Falun Dafa after they witnessed how he benefited from the practice. Among all the family members, the persecution of Mr. Zhao, now 44, was the most severe. The following is a partial account of what he went through and how he was tortured since 2008.

The Arrest

A dozen officers from Lianshan District Police Department and Gangtun Police Station broke into Mr. Zhao’s home at 6 a.m. on February 25, 2008, to arrest him. The officers handcuffed his niece, a middle school student, behind her back because she tried to stop the police. The police also threatened to arrest her as well.

Mr. Zhao’s mother, who was living with him, fainted out of extreme fear and had convulsions. After they took him away, the remaining officers, without showing any papers, ransacked his place and confiscated his Falun Dafa books, pamphlets, DVDs, and his laptops, printers, a digital camera, music players, and a hard drive, as well as many other office supplies he used to print Falun Dafa materials at home.

Tortures at Huludao Detention Center

The officers took Mr. Zhao to Gangtun Police Station and then to Huludao City Detention Center. Liu Junke, a guard who tortured him four years prior, recognized him and asked to be assigned to manage his cell. Liu instigated the inmates to beat him and hit his face and hands with shoes every day.

The back of Mr. Zhao’s hands turned dark and became swollen. The inmates tied his fingers together and moved a toothbrush back and forth between his fingers, until his flesh was torn and his hands were covered in blood. They also deprived him of sleep.

Mr. Zhao went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. He also refused to answer the roll calls or wear the uniform. Liu and two others took him inside an old bus that was parked far away without any surveillance cameras around it, and started to slap him in the face until his mouth ruptured and bled profusely.

A few days later a doctor was called to force feed Mr. Zhao. The inmates tied him to an iron chair, held his head back, and inserted a tube into his stomach, which caused him tremendous pain. They force-fed him twice a day. One time Wei Guozhong, the detention center director at the time, told the inmates to pour a few bottles of beer into his stomach, and said, “Since Falun Dafa does not allow drinking alcohol, I will force-feed you alcohol.”

The detention center temporarily merged with Suizhong Detention Center in April 2008. Mr. Zhao was transferred there and continued to be force-fed for three months. Judge Wei Aijun at Lianshan District Court sentenced him in late May 2008 to ten years in prison. The authorities did not inform his family of the trial, and simply told them the verdict afterward.

Mr. Zhao appealed with the Huludao City Intermediate Court and his family hired two lawyers to defend him. He told the lawyers that he wanted to plead not guilty, and that he would not renounce his faith. The authorities put pressure on his lawyers and one of them was forced to enter a guilty plea for him. After judge Gao Ensi at the Intermediate Court upheld the original verdict, Mr. Zhao was transferred to the Jinzhou Prison in June 2008.

Denied Visitation and Deprived of Sleep in Panjin Prison

After a month at the Jinzhou Prison, Ms. Zhao was transferred to Panjin Prison, where he was not allowed to call home. According to an inmate who helped the guards persecute practitioners, there was an order from the above that Falun Dafa practitioners were forbidden to make phone calls if they refused to renounce the practice. He was also restricted from buying daily necessities or extra food even though the prison only provided coarse food.

The prison intensified the torture in November 2014, attempting to transform the steadfast practitioners. A dozen guards took Mr. Zhao to a fully enclosed room and tied him to an iron chair torture device. They forced him to keep his eyes open at all times and played videos that slandered Falun Dafa in front of him non-stop. He went on a hunger strike to protest the torture. He was held immobilized in the chair with his eyes open for six days straight. He became disoriented and was barely conscious. When they let him off the chair, his legs were too swollen to walk.

Mr. Zhao was forced to work in a sweatshop sewing the insides of soccer balls from early 2015 until he was released on June 24, 2017.