Name: Zhu ZhaojieChinese Name: 朱召杰Gender: MaleAge: 69City: PanzhihuaProvince: SichuanOccupation: Small business ownerDate of Death: February 21, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: November 2, 2002Most Recent Place of Detention: Wumaping Prison

Soon after Mr. Zhu Zhaojie took up Falun Gong in 1994, the small business owner in Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province, was delighted to see his severe tuberculosis gone. He enjoyed good health and lived by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

His peaceful life was turned upside down when the communist regime ordered the eradication of Falun Gong from China in July 1999, upon finding out that over 100 million Chinese citizens had taken up this ancient spiritual and meditation discipline. 

Because Mr. Zhu refused to renounce Falun Gong, he was given one year in a labor camp and was later sentenced to nine years in prison. While he survived the brutal torture in detention, he was dealt a hard blow when his wife divorced him and the social security bureau suspended his pension shortly after he was released. He succumbed to the mental, physical, and financial distress, and passed away on February 21, 2023. He was 69. 

According to information collected by Minghui.org, between July 1999 and 2021, at least 65 Falun Gong practitioners in Panzhihua City died as a result of the persecution. Among the 106 confirmed cases sentenced to prison, 46 practitioners were given prison terms ranging from five to ten years. Another 112 practitioners were given forced labor camp terms ranging from one to three years. Countless more were arrested and harassed. 

Below is Mr. Zhu’s own account of the torture he suffered. 

Hard Labor in the Forced Labor Camp

I was arrested and given a one-year term in the Xiuhua Forced Labor Camp on January 10, 2000. In addition to the brainwashing, I was forced to stand naked in the snow or run for long hours. Even when it was below freezing outdoors, the guards forced me to take off my clothes and clean the pool. They also ordered me to pay exorbitant prices for food and other necessities. 

For the soup made from a 10-yuan duck, they divided it into 30 servings, charging each serving over 30 yuan. Each of us was forced to buy at least three servings. The 1,000 yuan my family deposited for me in my prison account was soon used up.

I was transferred to Division 2 and forced to do hard labor. I started my day by standing from 5 to 7 a.m., followed by working in the brick kiln from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., without any breaks. The temperature in the kiln was so high that I could only wear shorts and no shirt. I also had to tie a towel around my forehead, to prevent the sweat from dripping into my eyes. The towel was soaking wet after a few hours of work. To prevent my feet from being burnt, I padded my rubber shoes with straw. 

Only two hours after the bricks were fired, the guards ordered us to remove them from the kiln, which was still so hot that a cup of water would boil after being left on the bricks for a few minutes. 

No matter how hot the weather was, we had to wear thick clothes and pants, as well as thick gloves, while packing the bricks and removing them from the kiln. The clothes and pants soon became wet from sweat.

Despite the long day of strenuous labor, the guards never gave us enough food or water. There was no protection from breathing the brick dust, either. After returning to the cell in the evening, we weren’t allowed to take a shower, but had to stand until 2 a.m. After sleeping for three hours, another day of hard labor started. For five months, I wasn’t allowed to take one day off. The labor finally ended in October 2000.

Sentenced to Nine Years

I was arrested at my rental place on November 2, 2002. The police kept me in a guesthouse. Two officers came in the evening to beat me. They grabbed my hair and slammed my head against the wall. They also punched me and hit me with handcuffs. My blood splashed onto the wall. After they became tired, they took a break and had some tea, before beating me again. I was covered with bruises and open wounds.

Torture illustration: beating

I was taken to the Miyi County Detention Center the next day. The guards used tin snips to snip my nipples, which caused excruciating pain. Having suffered a concussion when the police hit my head against the wall on the evening of my arrest, I was dizzy after the continued torture in the detention center. I couldn’t stand on my own. I was extremely nauseous after eating and I had to lie in bed to rest. The guards arranged the inmates to monitor me while keeping me handcuffed and shackled.

After 15 months at the detention center, I was sentenced to nine years by the Miyi County Court. 

Tortured in the Prison

I was transferred to the Wumaping Prison, located on a hill, in February 2004. It was very cold there and snow was everywhere. Team leader Fang forced us to recite the prison rules and sing songs to praise the Chinese Communist Party. I refused to do so, so he made me run laps outside or stand in the freezing snow.

The prison’s No. 4 Ward was used to torture Falun Gong practitioners. I was transferred there in 2005. Other practitioners and I were forced to stand for long hours in the scorching sun during summer and in the freezing snow during winter. There were days when the guards refused to give us food. We were also forced to watch propaganda videos smearing Falun Gong while enduring constant beatings, long hours of standing, and verbal abuse.

I started a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The guards retaliated by keeping me in solitary confinement. They once forced me to stand on the burning hot concrete with bare feet under the scorching sun. Then two guards stood on each of my feet wearing leather boots. I fell to the ground. By then, my feet already had many blisters. I was unable to stand anymore and they dragged me around on the ground. I wasn’t allowed to sleep at night either.

When they force-fed me, eight inmates held me down and inserted a rubber tube through one of my nostrils down into my stomach. My mouth and nose were injured during the process.

A guard names He threatened me, “I won’t beat you to death, but I will torture you so you’d rather be dead than alive.”

Another guard, Gao Hu, said to me, “There are 365 days in a year and I have 365 ways to torture you. You’d better watch out.”

After the initial torture, the guards began to arrange for me to do the forced labor making electronic coils. For over six years, I worked day and night without a break and without pay. My vision significantly declined and I often fell while walking without my glasses. Even many young inmates in their 20s had severe vision problems due to the forced labor. The coils we made were sold to vendors in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, the hub of e-commerce.

Related report:

Recounting Ten Years of Torture for Practicing Falun Gong