(Minghui.org) The Lanzhou City Third Detention Center (also known as Xiguoyuan Detention Center) in Gansu Province has been one of the main detention facilities to hold male Falun Gong practitioners in the area since the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999. Those who persevere in their faith are tortured while enduring poor living conditions and being deprived of food and daily necessities.

Practitioners Tortured and Ordered to Renounce Falun Gong

When Mr. Han Xu was held here after his arrest in May 2019, guard Pan punched him on the head upon seeing him doing the Falun Gong exercises. Then Pan handcuffed him behind his back and chained the handcuff to the shackles, forcing him to kneel for days.

Torture illustration: Handcuffs and shackles chained behind the back.

Later, the guards moved Mr. Han’s hands to his front, and chained the handcuffs with the shackles again, leaving him in a bending position. The torture lasted a week. Mr. Han was later sentenced to three years and transferred to Lanzhou Prison in October 2021.

Another practitioner currently detained in the detention center, Mr. Jiang Minghui, was ordered by the prosecutor to write a repentance letter during an interrogation. The prosecutor promised to release him if he wrote it. He refused to do it.

Mr. Jia Jianhuai developed high blood pressure due to the abuse. He was forced to take medicine twice a day and not allowed to do Falun Gong exercises. He is now facing trial after Zhang Li and Bai Jun of Chengguan District Procuratorate indicted him and moved his case to Chengguan District Court on November 18, 2021.

Poor Living Environment

Each cell in the detention center is about 750 square feet with a large bunk taking up two-thirds of the space. When the detention center was crowded, more than twenty people squeezed on the bunk, leaving them with barely any space to turn over or move. It was so crowded that some had difficulty breathing. The situation became even more unbearable on summer nights.

Although every detainee has to pay 300 yuan per month for the food, the guards never provided them with the required poultry, eggs, fish, fruits, and vegetables, but sold certain fruits and snacks at more than double the market price.

The drinking water for detainees was turbid water accumulated from rain (a way to save water in Northwest China), while the guards were provided with mineral water and other drinks.

The daily necessities available for the detainees to purchase were low-quality goods (sometimes counterfeit products), which were supplied by contractors with connections to the guards.

The detention regulations require the guards to have periodical dialogs with new detainees, however, it had never been implemented. The cell heads coached the new detainees on what to say when the inspectors approached.

The guards often deprived detainees of basic rights, such as canceling their rest days, not allowing them to watch TV or purchasing daily necessities.

Only medicines for colds and diarrhea were available to sick detainees. The detainees with serious infectious diseases, such as syphilis, AIDS, and hepatitis, were not isolated and lived together with everyone else.

The detainees were ordered to sit neatly on the bench during the days under the supervision of the cell heads and were not allowed to move around. They were given one hour of break in both the morning and the afternoon. Many detainees suffered from hemorrhoids due to long-time sitting.

Bullied by Cell Heads

The cell heads were detainees appointed by the guards to be in charge of all activities in the cell. According to some long-term detainees, most of the cell head positions could be bought with a few thousand yuan. Those who intended to become one would have the guards contact their families to complete the transaction outside the detention center.

The cell heads can enjoy many privileges, such as having a designed servant detainee, enjoying the space of two people on the bunk, and setting up their own cell rules. The guards also turned a blind eye to their behavior.

All detainees had to give all of their remittances from their family to the cell heads right after they were admitted. The pooled money was supposed to be consumed together by all cell members for “the harmony of the cell.” The cell heads had the authority to enjoy the food purchased with the fund by themselves, or allocate them at will.