(Minghui.org) A Huangshi City, Hubei Province resident serving a seven-year prison sentence was finally allowed to see his family for the first time in four years. He said he was tortured and forced to do hard labor every day.

Mr. Chen Dicai, 41, was arrested on July 3, 2019, after his brother-in-law reported him for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. He was sentenced to seven years with a 30,000-yuan fine on September 22, 2020, and had his appeal rejected months later, on December 4. He was then admitted to the Fanjiatai Prison in Shayang County, Hubei Province.

Mr. Chen’s sister (the wife of the brother-in-law who reported him to the police) had repeatedly requested to visit him and was always rejected. She also went to the prison numerous times, only to be turned away. She called the prison’s supervising agency, Shayang Prison Group Administration Bureau, in mid-July 2023 and was finally granted visitation with her brother.

At 3:30 a.m. on July 24, 2023, Mr. Chen’s sister and their father, nearly 80, started their long journey from Huangshi City to the prison. After four hours of a car ride, they arrived at the prison at 7:30 a.m. and were the first visitors on that day.

Under the surveillance of five guards, the father and daughter finally saw their loved one for the first time in four years. Mr. Chen looked haggard and pale. His once full head of dark hair now sported just a few strands of yellow hair. His cheekbones protruded and he was beyond recognition. The three of them all burst into tears upon seeing each other.

Mr. Chen said he had to get up at 5 a.m. every morning to do hard labor all day long until around 10 p.m. While other inmates were allowed to sleep after work, he was subjected to various forms of torture because he refused to renounce Falun Gong. The lighter punishment would include standing still until one or two in the morning. The more severe punishment would include savage beatings in the restroom, where there were no surveillance cameras. He had lost four molars as a result of the repeated beatings. His whole body also hurt badly.

With less than three hours of sleep every night and only a meager amount of food every day, Mr. Chen, a once heavy-build man who weighed around 190 pounds, was soon reduced to skin and bones. He also felt disoriented while walking due to severe sleep deprivation.

The guards also instigated the inmates to stop him from writing home. The inmates either tore up his paper or hid his pen. When he told his sister which guards and inmates were involved, the five guards monitoring the visit suddenly started talking loudly to drown out his voice. As a result, his sister didn’t catch any of the names that he mentioned.

His sister encouraged him to seek justice for himself. Without paper or pen, he could bite his finger and use his blood to write on his clothes. At any rate, he should never hesitate to write complaints about his perpetrators.

The five guards nearby reprimanded Mr. Chen’s sister for having a bad attitude and threatened to not allow any future visits. She shot back, “Do you think you own the prison? What you say counts? Can’t I just file appeals against your decision? What would you do if your loved one is jailed and tortured like my brother?”

The guards became silent. Mr. Chen told his sister and father that the prison had actually twice sent him back to the Huangshi City Detention Center in 2021 on the grounds he was “disobedient.” The detention center refused to take him because he had already been sentenced to prison.

Mr. Chen also revealed that he and other steadfast practitioners in the prison were held by a strict management team and tortured for many months before being assigned to a cell.

The five guards ended the visitation after 30 minutes.

Arrest and Sentencing

Mr. Chen received a call from his sister’s daughter on the evening of July 3, 2019. His niece was seeking help from him because her father, who had lived with his mistress for six years, was beating her mother.

Mr. Chen rushed to his sister’s home. She was in bed, unable to move. Her husband had pulled out some of her hair, which Mr. Chen saw scattered on the floor.

Mr. Chen condemned his brother-in-law, Li Shengshui, for beating his sister. Li called the police and reported Mr. Chen for practicing Falun Gong. The police came at around 11 p.m. and took Mr. Chen and his sister’s family to the police station.

They searched Mr. Chen, found information about Falun Gong on him, and reported him to their supervisor at the Domestic Security Division in charge of persecuting Falun Gong.

Mr. Chen was held at a hotel near the police station for three days. The police interrogated him around the clock, deprived him of sleep, and didn’t give him anything to eat or drink.

Torture illustration: Handcuffed behind the back

Officer Ni Ge suspended Mr. Chen from a window frame, with his arms pulled up behind his back. The officer also tied up his hands behind his back and inserted water bottles between his hands and back to increase the pain.

Unable to bear the torture, Mr. Chen was forced to take the officers to search his residence on July 6. He was given 15 days of administrative detention the next day and put in criminal detention on July 22. The police fabricated evidence and falsely accused him of having 20 printers and several flash drives that had information about Falun Gong.

Mr. Chen was tried by the Xisaishan Court through a video conference on September 22, 2020. His lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for him. The judge sentenced him to seven years at the end of the trial.

Mr. Chen appealed with the Huangshi City Intermediate Court, which ruled on December 4, 2020, to uphold his original verdict and also fine him 30,000 yuan.

Related Reports:

40-year-old Man Serving Seven Years Suffers Medical Conditions—Family Visitation Denied

Hubei Man Reported by His Brother-in-law for Practicing Falun Gong, Sentenced to Seven Years