Mr. Sun Jianzhong from the Fengrun District in Tangshan City has been arrested many times since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. He was previously sentenced to seven years imprisonment and has been subjected to all kinds of torture and abuse. His ribs were broken twice, his eardrums were ruptured twice, and his thigh was injured. While Mr. Sun had his hands cuffed behind his back, he was punched and beaten and slapped in the face.
The following is a personal account of his ordeals.
I began practising Falun Gong in November 1996 and benefited greatly both physically and mentally. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned Falun Gong, I was brutally persecuted.
The police started to monitor us in June 1999 when we did the exercises at our practice site. On July 22nd, it was broadcast on TV that Falun Gong was outlawed, and we were not allowed to practice anymore. I was arrested by officers from Fengrun County Police Department and held overnight. I was told to write a guarantee statement promising not to practise Falun Gong when I was released. From then on, someone would phone every day to ask if I was at home. Sometimes the police got a neighbour to come by and check to see if I was at home.
I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong at the end of 2000. I was arrested, taken to Tiananmen Police Station, then transferred to Shunyi Detention Centre. I was later taken back to my hometown and held in Fengrun Detention Centre. Before the police came to take me back to Fengrun, they went to my house and extorted 10,000 yuan1 from my family. We later managed to get them to return 5,000 yuan. I was held for 18 days in Fengrun Detention Centre before being transferred to the Tawan Division, where I was constantly monitored. I was released several days later. In Fengrun Detention Centre, the guards ordered inmates to make me squat for extended periods of time as they poured cold water over my head. It was winter time and already very cold. The director of the detention centre, Yu Congrui, cuffed my hands behind my back and left me like that for about seven days. My arms and hands swelled after three days, and I was in great pain. Inmates were then ordered to punch me. The pain was unbearable.
A week later, I was held in Xiaobali Brainwashing Centre. Several of us were locked in a small room, approximately 12 square metres. Our only toilet was a bucket in the room. Guards were on patrol outside and we were forbidden to study the Falun Gong teachings or do the exercises. There was a small speaker inside the room that constantly played slanderous information about Falun Gong. We had to attend brainwashing sessions and were pressured to write statements promising not to practise anymore.
Zhou Qiusheng and a police officer called me into an office one afternoon, where a coal fire was burning in the fireplace. They made me put on two layers of thick clothing, handcuffed me to a chair, and then wrapped a large thick blanket around the chair with me inside. I was then placed close to the fireplace. Very soon, I was drenched in sweat. As they added more coal to the fire, the temperature in the room kept rising. They abused me and slandered Falun Gong the entire time. After an hour, they covered my head with a plastic bag and closed the bag tightly around my neck They felt my pulse, and when I could not take it anymore, they loosened the bag a little, but soon closed it tightly again.
On February 8th, 2001, Shi Aicheng slapped me in the face and brutally beat me. After being beaten for more than an hour my face and mouth were bleeding profusely. He was tired and yelled at me, “Are you still going to practise Falun Gong?” When I replied “Yes” he burned my neck with a red hot poker. The smell of burnt flesh was suffocating.
A few of us were shoved into a car around April 2001. My head was stepped on and held down in the car. We were taken to a detention centre. Over a month later, several of us were locked separately in different cells.
I was arrested again in December 2002 and taken to a detention centre again. This time, I went on a hunger strike to protest my arrest. Supervisor Zheng Lijun ordered four inmates to hold me down on a chair and they attempted to force feed me. As I resisted, a dozen inmates and guards restrained me, pinched my nose shut, pried open my mouth open, and force-fed me. On another occasion, several people held me down on a chair and shackled my hands and legs behind the chair. A guard stepped on my handcuffs, as one of them held my head and two held my shoulders. Then someone pinched my nose shut and pried open my mouth. As they were force-feeding me, I kept kicking the chair to try and get them to stop.
When the guards cuffed my hands and legs to the chair another time, they pinched my nose so that I could not breathe. When I opened my mouth to breathe, they forced water down my throat. I choked several times before becoming semi-conscious. They then inserted a tube in my mouth and poured a lot of cold water down the tube into my stomach. One of my teeth broke in the process. Zheng Lijun kept hitting me with a rubber baton before force-feeding me. I was tortured several times, until I had no strength left to resist and then I was force-fed.
After being force-fed another time, they left the tube inserted in my nose. After 1- days, my oesophagus was damaged and I vomited blood. Despite my injuries, they continued to force feed me.
One evening after being force-fed, my stomach hurt so much that the guards were advised to take me to the hospital. On the way there, the driver punched me very hard in the ears. The next day I asked for a checkup. After examining me, the doctor left without saying anything. An inmate later told me that my ear drums had been punctured.
Upon returning from the hospital, I continued my hunger strike. This time, two doctors took part in the forced-feedings. Several inmates held onto me and used a tool to pry open my mouth. They them inserted a tube down to my stomach.
In June 2003, 18 days after I was released, several dozen police came in 12 cars and arrested me. I went on a hunger strike while I was in detention, and just as before, they brutally force-fed me. They then put me on an intravenous drip, which I suspect had unknown drugs in the solution because afterward I had difficulty keeping my mind and thoughts focused. To intensify the torture, the chief prison guard, Yu Congrui, tied me to a death bed. I was not allowed to sleep and inmates took turns monitoring me 24 hours a day. One inmate collected urine and attempted to force feed me with it. I closed my mouth tightly and he poured the urine all over my face. By this time I was nearly unconscious. I only knew afterward that I had lost control of the left side of my body and could barely see, hear or feel anything. There were ulcers on my back, there was a large bruise on the back of my left leg, and both sides of my mouth were putrefied. It took around six months before I started to regain feeling and movement in the left side of my body.
A dozen police officers came to my home again in August 2002 and attempted to take me to a brainwashing centre. When my wife tried to stop them, someone from Fengrun Town Police Department slapped her in the face. Several of them lifted me into the car and took me away. I managed to escape from the brainwashing centre that night, and had to leave home to avoid further persecution.
I was arrested again in December 2002 and taken to the police department. I was tortured non-stop from the night of December 20th to the night of December 23rd. They bound me to an iron chair and slapped and beat me. They stabbed at my veins, dry rubbed my skin, burned my face and legs, force-fed me with a strong salt solution, and shocked me with an electric baton. The flesh on all of my fingers was burned.
In June 2003, I became so weak that I was in critical condition. Because the authorities were afraid of being held responsible if I died in there, they released me and allowed me to go home. Eighteen days later, they came to my home, dragged me down the stairs, and took me straight to the detention centre. I continued on a hunger strike to resist the persecution. I was force-fed and put on an intravenous drip. After being tortured constantly for seven days, I was on the brink of death. They then threw me out of the detention centre. Twenty-one days after I was released, police came to my home in many cars, dismantled the security door to my house, dragged me down the stairs, and took me to the city's No. 1 detention centre.
When I went on a hunger strike to resist the persecution, guards bound me to an iron chair for 24 hours, force-fed me, and did not allow me to go to the toilet for long periods of time. Once I had no choice and soiled myself. Without removing the locks and still bound to the chair, I was lifted onto the toilet, stripped of all my clothes, and inmates poured cold water over me. I kept shivering from the cold.
When I was released from the iron chair, my legs swelled and I had a huge abscess on my buttocks. After a prison doctor told the guards that I was near death, they lifted me onto a bed and cuffed my hands and legs so that I could not move. From Monday to Friday I was bound to the iron chair, and on the weekends I was bound to the bed. After lying on the bed for two days my legs stopped swelling, but as soon as I was transferred back to the iron chair, they started to swell again. I was tortured this way for over 70 days. During that time, my ribs were broken from being beaten by inmates.
In early 2004, I was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. I went on a hunger strike and was tortured on an iron chair and a death bed2. I was taken to Jidong Prison around March or April and put in solitary confinement. I was locked in a small room no more than four square metres. There was no ventilation and it was constantly dark. Six inmates monitored me in three shifts. Because I was on a hunger strike, they force-fed me all the time. I was taken to the prison hospital two weeks later, where I was tied to a bed and force-fed. I was still monitored there.
The guards isolated me from other prisoners on January 8th, 2005, and would not let anyone speak to me. Several inmates monitored me constantly. I was later forced to sit on a small stool and was punched and slapped in the face. One of my ribs broke as a result of the beatings.
I was transferred to a section specialising in “transforming” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] people on January 9th, 2006. Because I refused to do the hard labour there, prison guard Wu Jinyou put me in solitary confinement several times, and guard Yang Bin shocked me with an electric baton for one and a half hours. Blisters appeared on the spots where I had been shocked.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
2. "Death Bed" torture: A practitioner is tied to a bed with his hands handcuffed above his head to the bed rails, and his legs tied with thin nylon ropes. The rope is then tightly wrapped around the practitioner's body and the bed, from his legs to his chest. The rope is wrapped so tightly that the practitioner has difficulty breathing and eventually loses consciousness.
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