(Minghui.org) The Weinan Prison in Shaanxi Province used to be just for felons who were mostly on death row or serving life sentences. In November 2005, however, the authorities transferred all the wrongly convicted male Falun Gong practitioners in the province to Weinan Prison, where the guards tortured them with inhumane tactics in an attempt to force them to renounce their faith.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
A 16th ward was set up in the prison in January 2019 to accommodate the growing number of practitioners and other prisoners of conscience. In addition to physical torture, the authorities also limited the practitioners’ purchases of daily necessities to 100 yuan (US$ 14.4) per month.
Prison guard Zhang Zhongqiu often ordered the felons to torture the practitioners. The more practitioners who agreed to quit practicing Falun Gong, the more bonus Zhang would receive. Given his “achievement” in forcing practitioners to stop practicing Falun Dafa, the prison honored him as a “Fighter.” Most of the practitioners were tortured under Zhang’s watch. Several practitioners were tortured to death as a result.
One practitioner who recently died was Mr. Niu Xuedong. Because he refused to sign the statements to renounce Falun Gong, Zhang ordered an inmate to repeatedly strike him with a stick, leaving him in a delirious state. He couldn’t recognize anyone anymore and often relieved himself in his pants. The inmate later cut off his food and didn’t allow anyone to feed him. On February 26, 2022, when he was finally given two steamed buns, he ate so fast that he choked and died on the spot.
The following are some additional cases of persecution that took place since 2019.
1. The police arrested Mr. Zhang Junquan, a resident in Liugu Town, Fuping County, Weinan City, in March 2021 and put him in the County Detention Center. He is now incarcerated in Weinan Prison. This was his third time imprisoned for upholding his faith. He was previously sentenced to eight years in 2004 for talking about the persecution in public. The police arrested him soon after he was released in 2012, and he was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison shortly after.
2. Mr. Cao Huashan, a middle school chemistry teacher in Yan’an City, was forced to leave home and go into hiding to avoid the persecution. The police broke into his rental home and arrested him on December 15, 2019. They confiscated his cash and belongings. Six months later his family found out that he was secretly sentenced and taken to the Weinan Prison.
3. Mr. Song Zhi from Yanliang District, Xi’an City, graduated from Northwestern Polytechnical University and used to work at Chinese Flight Test Establishment. The officers from Xi’an City Police Department arrested him in September 2019. The Yanta District Court sentenced him to four and a half years in prison and put him in Weinan Prison on February 28, 2022. He went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. A guard instigated the inmates to beat him, force feed him, and put him in solitary confinement.
4. The police arrested four college students from their homes in Xianyang City between June and August 2019 because they handed out Falun Gong fliers to the public. Mr. Zhang Peng was sentenced to nine years; Mr. Wang Yuchao, Mr. Zang Jinda, Mr. Ma Haipeng received sentences between five and nine years.
As they refused to renounce Falun Gong, the guards at Weinan Prison forced them to stand under the scorching sun all day. Instigated by the guards, an inmate slapped Mr. Zang over a hundred times and stabbed his eyes dozens of times with a pen. Mr. Zhang was forced to stand still for long hours for about 10 days for talking to other practitioners.
5. The police in Qishan County, Baoji City, arrested Mr. Jiao Bingnan and nine other practitioners on July 10, 2019. The Qishan County Court sentenced Mr. Jiao to three years in Weinan Prison. A guard made him stand still for long hours for eight days because he talked to other practitioners.
6. Mr. Shen Hongqi from Qishan County, Baoji City, ran an appliance repair business. The police arrested him from his shop on July 22, 2019. The Qishan County Court sentenced him to seven years on November 30, 2020 and transferred him to Weinan Prison. An inmate beat him because he did not answer the roll call. His eyes were injured as a result.
7. The agents from Qishan County 610 Office arrested Mr. Liu Hongshu from his home on September 27, 2020. Without a public hearing, the Qishan County Court sentenced him to three years in Weinan Prison. Mr. Liu refused to renounce his faith and went on a hunger strike. A guard shocked him with an electric baton. A few inmates held him down, pried his mouth open with a pair of pliers and screwdrivers and force fed him. One of them stabbed his stomach with a screwdriver, which caused him excruciating pain. The guards later put him in solitary confinement.
8. Mr. Liu Wei used to work at Hanzhong City Grain and Oil Machinery Factory. The police in Xi’an City arrested him on September 28, 2019. His family visited him in Foping County Detention Center in May 2021 and learned that he had already been given four years. He was forced to stand still for hours each day for over a month after he was taken to the Weinan Prison.
9. There is a practitioner from Xi’an City in his 70s currently incarcerated in Weinan Prison.
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