Mr. Ma Changyong, 58, Passed Away After Years of Torture

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Summary of Key Persecution Facts:

Name: Ma Changyong
Gender: Male
Age: 58
Address: Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province
Occupation: 3524 Factory of Qinhuangdao
Date of Death: November 18th, 2010
Date of Most Recent Arrest: February 16th, 2000
Most Recent Place of Detention: Gaoyang Labour Camp in Baoding
City: Qinhuangdao
Province: Hebei
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labour, brainwashing, beatings, hung up, imprisonment, torture, extortion, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of toilet use

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Ma Changyong was arrested, detained, and tortured (physically and mentally) numerous times since the Chinese regime started its persecution of Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999. At home, he was closely monitored by the local neighbourhood committee. After he was released from a forced labour camp, Mr. Ma passed away on November 18th, 2010. His funeral was even monitored by plainclothes police.

Initial Arrest

Mr. Ma and his wife, Zhao Ruilan, went to Beijing on February 16th, 2000, to appeal for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. At Tiananmen Square, the police arrested them and took them to Tiananmen Square Police Branch. They were then transferred to the Qinhuangdao City's Liaison Office in Beijing after 2:00 p.m. the same day. Immediately after entering the office, a policeman started punching Mr. Ma in the chest.

Abused in Detention Centre

Mr. Ma was held at Qinhuangdao No. 1 Detention Centre four times and at the No. 2 Detention Centre twice. He was imprisoned at Kaiping Forced Labour Camp for five months before being transferred to Gaoyang Forced Labour Camp, where he was held for more than two years. He was brutally abused in the detention centres and forced labour camps.

Mr. Ma was cruelly tortured in the detention centres. During the cold northern winter months, the guards drenched Mr. Ma with ice-cold water and forced him to stand outside in the cold. He was tied up on the floor with his face pressed to his knees, while someone sat on a wooden plank that was placed on his back. His hands were cuffed behind his back for more than a week at a time, so he couldn't eat or use the toilet by himself. The metal cuffs dug into his flesh, and blood ran down his hands.

On snowy days, he was made to stand outside without a coat. During the hot summer days, he was forced to stand for long periods of time under the blazing sun. His ankles were shackled, with each weighing 55 pounds. He was forced to sit on the tiger bench1 and beaten with wooden boards with sharp nails embedded in them. As a result of the the beatings with the sharp boards, his legs bled and he couldn't bend his knees because his legs were so swollen. His head was shocked with electric batons, and he was strip searched.

Brutal Treatment in Forced Labour Camps

At Kaiping Forced Labour Camp in Tangshan, Mr. Ma was forced to work at a stone mill. Thirty-six prisoners slept on the damp floor in a small room that was a little over 100 square feet. There was no water for washing. Besides doing slave labor, Mr. Ma was also forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong. Furthermore, he was hung upside down for 24 hours. By the time they let him down, the cuffs had dug into his flesh. He was forced to stand for over ten straight days without talking or sleeping. As a result, his legs and feet swelled so badly that he couldn't take off his shoes. Afterwards, Mr. Ma went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution.

At Gaoyang Forced Labour Camp, Mr. Ma was forced to work with toxic chemicals at Anxin Lead Factory. His family wasn't allowed to visit him and the camp officials refused to mail his letters. The buns that were given to him to eat had sand in them, and the vegetables were mixed with grass. He spent Chinese New Year hung up and handcuffed to the upper bunk of the bed. He was taken to an empty wheat field on a cold, dark winter night and stripped of his clothes except a shirt. He was then tied up and several guards shocked him simultaneously with electric batons. The batons gave off blue sparks.

At Gaoyang Forced Labour Camp, Mr. Ma stated that he couldn't recall how many times he was forced to stand outside on cold winter nights or tied up next to a fire pit under the hot summer sun. He was tied outside to anchors on the ground without a coat during the winter for about a month. The guards took turn monitoring him. During the summer, he was tied down the same way, under the sun during the day and bitten by mosquitoes at night. At that time, he wasn't given water to drink or enough food to eat, nor was he allowed to use the toilet. After being tied down on the ground for a month, Mr. Ma couldn't straighten his back or legs.

No Visitors or Phone Calls

During his time in both forced labour camps, his files were seized, and he wasn't allowed to make phone calls or have visitors. He was monitored by criminal inmates, forced to sit on a small stool for long periods of time, hung up, and electric shocked. He was also forced to work with toxic dyes and lead powder without proper protective gear. He was not allowed to wash his hands, shower, or change into clean clothes after handling those chemicals.

His salary was withheld from him from February 13th, 2000, to November 2002. In addition, he was fined 1,300 yuan1.

In the forced labour camp, Mr. Ma's residence identification card was taken away. As a result, he had to go to the local police station to apply for a new identification card in January 2006. Instead of issuing him a new identification card, the police detained him. He was then taken to two forced labour camps in Hehuakeng and Baoding the same day. Mr. Ma clarified the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong to the policemen in the car and was released.

The police went to Mr. Ma's home during the 2008 Beijing Olympic to “check up” on him. He was monitored even when he went to the grocery store.


1. "Tiger Bench": Prisoners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead without movement for long periods of time.

2. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

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