(Minghui.org) A Hefei City, Anhui Province resident lost the ability to talk after he was given toxic injections, one month before he finished serving a prison term for practicing Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist reigme since 1999.

Mr. Peng Yuxin, a 55-year-old former employee of the Anhui Provincial Statistics Bureau, was arrested in his neighborhood on April 24, 2020, by officers from the Xinlin Police Station. Without showing any IDs, search warrant or revealing their names, four officers raided his place. His laptop, two printers, 50 Falun Gong books and 500 yuan in cash were confiscated. Mr. Peng tried to clarify the facts about Falun Gong to the police and argued that it’s illegal for them to ransack his home, but the officers wouldn’t listen. He was released at around 11 p.m.

Mr. Peng went to the police station in May 2020 to demand the return of his personal items, only to be arrested and held at the Hefei City Detention Center. He was later secretly sentenced to prison, likely with a 1.5-year term. 

One month before he was released, Mr. Peng was taken out of the local detention center for toxic injections, for a total of six times. After he was released, he had lost nearly all his ability to talk or organize coherent speech. He could only occasionally utter a few words. When asked whether he was given toxic injections, he nodded. His overall cognition has also declined significantly. He was unable to write his address. But when others wrote several addresses for him, he was able to recognize the correct one. Due to his overall situation, it’s unclear whether Mr. Peng suffered other torture while in custody.

Although no COVID-19 cases were reported in Hefei, Mr. Peng’s own subdivision is still imposing very strict regulations. Local residents have to scan QR codes and present negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours in order to get in, while most other subdivisions don’t have such requirements. As Mr. Peng is living on his own and both his parents have passed away, his friends are very worried about him.

Previous Persecution

Prior to his latest sentencing, Mr. Peng has been targeted several times for practicing Falun Gong. 

For reading Falun Gong materials while taking a train in September 2008, he was arrested by the train security. After he got off the train, he was taken to a police station and then held at the Hefei City No. 1 Detention Center for a month. He was beaten by the guards and forced to do unpaid labor during that incarceration. The physical abuse caused him to be unable to speak for a lengthy period of time.

When Mr. Peng was detained, the police searched his home and confiscated his Falun Gong books, 5,000 yuan in cash and other personal belongings. When his detention term expired, instead of releasing him, the authorities took Mr. Peng to a brainwashing center and held him there for another two weeks in an attempt to force him to renounce Falun Gong.

While traveling in Huangshan City on January 2, 2010, Mr. Peng was about to check in to a hotel when the police showed up and searched him. Upon finding Falun Gong materials in his luggage, they arrested him and held him at the Yi County Detention Center for eleven months. The guards force-fed him and constantly beat him. A guard once chained Mr. Peng to a metal chair for three days in the winter, without providing any food. Sometimes they hung him up by the wrists. Another guard, after a midnight drinking binge, beat his fingers with a wood stick.

Mr. Peng was later sentenced to four years by the Yi County Court. Because he persisted in doing the Falun Gong exercises at Suzhou Prison, he was forced to stand facing the wall all day long, every day for a few months. Sometimes he wasn’t allowed to sleep until 2 a.m., yet the guards forced him to get up at 5 a.m. to start another day of standing. There was no break in between, except for a few minutes at meal time or when he needed to use the restroom. 

Mr. Peng was held in solitary confinement on three occasions. He was only given two small steamed buns and water for each meal, which left him constantly starved. When he was let out of the confinement two months later, he was skin and bones.

The second solitary confinement also lasted two months. Two inmates took turns slapping him in the face and rubbing his legs with a rubber roller. His skin sloughed off and his legs became bloody. Later, the inmates chained his hands and feet together, rendering him unable to stand up or lie down to sleep at night. Sometimes they also handcuffed him to a metal ring on the wall.

Inmate Pang Jianbing often beat Mr. Peng and once said to him, “I don’t want to beat you myself. But if I don’t, I will be beaten by the guards.” Several other inmates said the same thing to Mr. Peng. Another inmate told him that it wasn’t easy for him to get the managerial position (to monitor him instead of doing forced labor) and he had to pay the guards several thousands yuan for it.

The third time Mr. Peng was held in solitary confinement, the guards kept him there for a month, as his prison term was about to expire. He suspected that the prison didn’t want others to see how badly he was tortured in confinement. 

Shortly after Mr. Peng was released, he was fired by his workplace. He was only in his 40s at that time.