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Issue 03: Torture Used in China  
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Chen Xingtao Died from Torture

Ms. Chen was telling the true about the human rights violations, even with crutches resulted of torture.
As a result of being shocked with electric batons, Ms. Chen had blisters all over her body. She still had scars two months later.
The torture left a big gaping hole in her buttocks.

Ms. Chen Xingtao, female, 40, resident of Guqiao Village, Yanglin Township, Yueyang County, Hunan Province. Since July 20, 1999, Ms. Chen has continuously suffered from the persecution against Falun Gong. Because she practiced Falun Gong, Fang Qinglong from the local government led a group of people to ransack her home, and confiscate her Falun Gong books and personal belongings, including a video tape recorder worth over 1,000 Yuan (About two months' salary for an average urban worker in China ).

In April 2000, the police officers arrested Ms. Chen, extorted 500 Yuan from her and sent her to a detention center. In the detention center, the deputy director Xie Zehua beat her so viciously that her face swelled up and her nose bled. Ms. Chen went on a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment. The guards force-fed her twice, inserting tubes through her nose. As a result, her nose bled profusely. She was handcuffed and shackled for seven days. The police forced her family to pay a 1,500 Yuan fine before they allowed her to go home.

In January 2001, while Ms. Chen was doing housework at home, Fang Qinglong forcibly escorted her to a detention center for "re-education through brainwashing." On January 31, 2001, Ms. Chen was illegally sentenced to one and a half years of forced labor and imprisoned in the Baimalong Female Forced Labor Camp in Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province.

To try to coerce Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief, the police guards in the labor camp adopted all kinds of cruel, and outrageous torture methods, injuring and even disabling many of them. Male police guards, wearing leather boots, violently kicked female practitioners in their private parts and chest. On March 24, 2001, because Ms. Chen practiced the Falun Gong exercises, two male police officers grabbed her hands and pressed her against the wall. Another police guard used an electric baton to shock the centers of her hands and feet and her genital area for more than an hour. In the detention center, when police use an electric baton to shock a victim's most sensitive areas, they apply a special type of skin oil on the area to enhance the conductivity of the electricity. The pain is terrifying and brutal. After this torture, some practitioners go into convulsions, some experience a lot of physical side effects, and some even pass away. Ms. Chen was burned, resulting in blisters all over her body, and a gaping hole in her buttocks.

Eventually the torture caused her lower body to became paralyzed. On May 17, 2001, when she was released, she needed crutches to walk. She never recovered from the torture induced injuries. On May 27, 2002, after more than one year of suffering, Ms. Chen passed away.


Barbaric Torture of Falun Gong Practitioners
at Daqing Labor Camp in Heilongjiang Province

1. "Tying the Ropes" 1
"Tying the ropes" is a type of torture that involves putting a thin nylon rope around a person's neck, then wrapping it around both arms, loop by loop, and then over each hand. The rope is tightened to its limit, cutting into the flesh. Both arms are forced behind the back and raised to the extreme. Often, both thumbs are tied with a rope that is then bound to the rope that has been placed around the neck. The person tortured in this way is then kicked in order to force him to kneel down on the floor. The rope is released about one hour later. Then the person is tied up in this same manner a second time, and then a third time. This torture causes extreme pain, arms can be dislocated or broken, severe nerve damage can occur, and the victim sometimes dies.

In May 2002, immediately after Mr. Liu Fubin was sent to the Daqing Labor Camp, he was locked up in a "small cell." 2  Inside the second brigade, deputy captain Zhang Mingzhu ordered guards to strip Mr. Liu to the waist and torture him by "tying the ropes." Afterwards, Zhang directed four criminal prisoners, including Jiang Yunxi, to monitor Mr. Liu 24 hours a day, deprive him of sleep for seven consecutive days and nights, and not allow him to lie down (permitting only standing or squatting). Mr. Liu was not even allowed to blink his eyes; if he blinked, the inmates were ordered to beat and kick him. After releasing the ropes for a period of time, they used this method to torture him again. To this day his body bears the scars from this torture.

This labor camp uses the torture method of "tying the ropes" on many Falun Gong practitioners, including Mr. Cui Ruhui, Mr. Li Jianlin, Mr. Ma Yuliang, Mr. Huang Yazhong, Mr. Li Zhongfu, and Mr. Ma Zhenyu. In October 2003, Mr. Lu Bingshen, and in August 2002, Mr. Sui Honghai were also tortured using this method. One of his arms was broken leaving him disabled.

2. Tiger Bench
The "tiger bench" torture employs a steel chair with a thick steel plate as the seat. The original armrests of the chair are modified with a rounded metal barrier that gives the chair the appearance of a cage. There are foot shackles underneath each front chair leg, which tightly clamp both feet. A nylon rope is also used to tie the person tightly; the upper arms are tied tightly behind the back, and both lower arms are forced to the front to reach the armrests on both sides. Two hand straps are then used to bind the lower arms to the armrests. The person is tied on the tiger bench in this manner for a long time, while he/she is tortured and brutally beaten.

In June 2002, the second brigade captain, Wang Zhonghe, and other guards tied Mr. Liu Fubin on the tiger bench, where they beat and tortured him. The guards beat Mr. Liu's face and ears with their fists, breaking the soft bones in his ears. As a result, his ears became very swollen and disfigured; they remain in the same disfigured condition today.

3. Rubbing the Skin
The guards instigated the "rubbing the skin" torture of Mr. Liu by ordering inmates to briskly rub his face until it became abraded and raw. In the first brigade, the guards instigated the use of the same torture on Mr. Wang Tairen. They stripped off his clothes and pour cold water on his body while using hard plastic brushes to forcefully scour his skin. As a result of the harsh and vigorous brushing, the skin over Mr. Wang's entire body became raw and severely infected.

4. Pouring Ice-Cold or Boiling Water
In September 2002, the guards instigated criminal inmates Wang Qinglin, Jiang Fa, and others to torture Mr. Liu Fubin in the water room. The inmates stripped him off his clothes and poured ice water on his body. This act was repeated twice, each time for more than one hour. They then poured a cup of boiling water on Mr. Liu's leg, which caused his leg to become scarred from the scalding.

5. Instigating Criminal Inmates to Torture Falun Gong Practitioners
By issuing sentence reductions as incentives, the labor camp directly manipulates prisoners to torture practitioners. Inmate Wang Qinglin participated in torturing Mr. He Huajiang to death in December 2002. Wang followed the guards' orders to torture practitioners. Because of his cooperation and involvement, Wang was rewarded with a prison term reduction of more than one year, which earned his release.

6. Locking in a Small Cell
On October 16, 2003, deputy head Wang Yongxiang of the labor camp, second brigade captain Wang Xichun, deputy captain Zhang Mingzhu, administrative section chief Han Qingshan, and deputy section chief Yang Tao, along with many guards, started a round of persecuting practitioners. They forced Mr. Lu Bingshen, Mr. Hu Hongji, Mr. Liu Fubin, and Mr. Guo Fadong to sit on the tiger bench, where they were beaten. Then they locked these four practitioners in individual small cells for further torture. Mr. Lu Bingshen was tortured to death in the small cell within three days. The authorities also instigated further torture by ordering the inmates to monitor practitioners 24 hours a day even when they walked, used the bathroom, and had meals. They did not allow practitioners to talk to each other. To date, the situation remains the same. The three surviving practitioners are still detained separately in small cells and are still being tortured.

1 "Tying the Ropes" - Thin rope is used to tightly encircle the neck and the rope is wrapped around the victim's arms. Then the police use all the force they can muster to tighten the rope. The rope becomes tighter and tighter around the body of the practitioner, cutting into the flesh and making it more and more difficult for him to breathe. The pain is so intense that the victim sometimes loses control of the bladder. In many cases the rope is tightened to the point of breaking a practitioner's arm. Sometimes the practitioner is hung from a high place with the rope as well. Sometimes there are spikes on the rope. When the rope is tightly fastened, it cuts into the flesh, which is extremely painful. This torture is known to cause death if used twice in a row; however, some practitioners have suffered this up to 10 times in a row.

2 A "small cell" is a room of less than three square meters. It has no window, no bed, no water, and no toilet. A victim is locked in a small cell for months, having to eat, sleep, and excrete in the same small area. Since the height of the room is less than 1.5 meters, one cannot stand straight. To exacerbate the agony, the guards often handcuff the victim in the small cell door so the victim cannot sleep for many days.


Zhang Xiaohong Died from Prolonged Torture

Mr. Zhang before (left) and after (right) suffering torture.

Mr. Zhang Xiaohong, male, 29, a resident of Tianshenqiao Village, Nanbu County, Nanchong City, Sichuan Province. In October 1999, Mr. Zhang went to the Chinese Central Office of Appeals in Beijing to appeal to the government to stop persecuting Falun Gong. Instead of listening to his request, the authorities arrested him. The police escorted him home, held him for 36 days, and fined him 4,000 Yuan (Approximately two years' income for an average Chinese farmer).

Late one night in January 2000, a group of police officers broke into Mr. Zhang's home and arrested him. Several police officers knocked him down to the floor, punched and kicked him, and then sent him to the Nanbu County Detention Center. During his detention, they hit him 30 times with a heavy club for doing the Falun Gong exercises. The beating caused his buttocks to become extremely bruised and swollen. He was also shackled. Later, he was sentenced to one year in the Mianyang Xinhua Forced Labor camp.

In the labor camp, Mr. Zhang protested by going on a hunger strike and refusing to do the forced labor. Police officers force-fed him and dragged him to work, which caused the wounds on his legs and feet to become badly infected. He was released from the camp in November 2000.

In September 2001, Mr. Zhang was found explaining the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong to other passengers on a train, so the police arrested him, and sent him to the Chongqing Railway Station Police Station. The police then escorted him back to Nanbu County. They confiscated his personal belongings and money, and never returned them. While in police custody, Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike for nine days to protest the arrest. The police ignored his protest and illegally sentenced him to two years in the Mianyang Xinhua Forced Labor Camp.

One time, Mr. Zhang refused to cooperate with the arbitrary requirements of the police, so they bound him and hung him up for a whole night in a sports field. On another occasion, he erased some words that defamed the founder of Falun Gong from a blackboard, so the police officers beat him until nearly every part of his body was bleeding. While being tightly bound with ropes, he passed out. Police officers shocked him on his mouth, neck, shoulders, body, and navel, all at the same time, which severely burned his skin. Also, four people monitored him 24 hours per day. Because of such torture and inhumane treatment, Mr. Zhang's health quickly deteriorated. He was unable to drink or eat, yet the police tried to coerce him into writing a statement renouncing the practice of Falun Gong. When the camp staff realized that he was near death, to avoid taking responsibility for his death, they ordered his family to take him home. On May 13, 2003, Mr. Wang was released. Because of the torture, his weight had dropped from over 60 kg to approximately 32 kg. He looked like a skeleton and could barely walk or talk.

He died at 7:00 p.m. on August 4, 2003.

Mr. Zhang's family wanted to seek justice, so they carried his body to the local police station. The police officers became enraged, shouted, and beat and arrested them. His family asked for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but the police took Mr. Zhang's body and had it cremated instead. Then they charged Mr. Zhang's family members with disturbing the stability of society and detained them several times for 10 to15 days each time.


Chen Yuqing Locked up in a
Mental Hospital and Tortured

Ms. Chen Yuqing, fifty-two years old, lived on Hedong Street, Yanling Town, Sichuan Province, and worked at the Self-employed Laborers' Association of Weiyuan County. On January 13, 2000, she went to Beijing to appeal to the government to stop persecuting Falun Gong. Upon her return home police detained her for 14 days.

In February 2000, the police of Chengdong Precinct of Weiyuan County forced her to attend a two-month anti-Falun Gong brainwashing session. In mid-March, during the session, her employers sent her to the Zigong Mental Hospital, but the hospital refused admit her because she had no history of mental illness or related behavior. On April 10, 2000, the authorities deceived her into going to the Ziyang City Mental Hospital, Sichuan Province. Without a doctor's diagnoses, several people in the hospital physically forced her onto a patient's bed, tied her hands and body to the bed, and forced her to take a blood transfusion. She was not untied after the transfusion, even when she needed to go to the bathroom. Ms. Chen had to excrete in bed on a bedpan handled by mentally ill patients.

Every day she was tied up for 16 hours, and forced to consume a handful of drugs three times a day. The drugs and transfusion caused severe vomiting; she felt nauseous and dizzy most of the time. Both her hands and feet felt very weak, and she was unable to walk. She also lost her memory. Once she fainted and collapsed from dizziness. When the mental patients were forcing her to consume the drugs, two of her front teeth were broken, and her lips were injured badly. The medication Ms. Chen was forced to take caused her whole body to suffer from edema and other problems. Her face and her eyes were so swollen that she could barely see. On May 11, 2000 after signing a statement that she would not practice Falun Gong again, Ms. Chen was taken home. By that time, she had not slept for even one minute in an entire week. She was suffering from constipation, both her hands and feet were so stiff, that she could barely move them. She could not even keep up with a little child who had just learned to walk. It took her about 6 months to regain her strength.

On January 19, 2001, her employers and policemen from the Chengdong Police Precinct framed her by planting Falun Gong materials behind the document cabinet in her office. They then sentenced Ms. Chen, without trial, to one and a half years of forced-labor.


Torture Methods Created by the Authorities of Shifu Town

Since July 1999, the local authorities of Shifu Town, Changyi City, Shandong Province have arrested and detained many Falun Gong practitioners. To force them to renounce Falun Gong, they have used various brutal means to torture the practitioners. Listed below are some of their torture methods.

1. Confining a pair of male and female practitioners in a tiny cell
In February 2000, Wei Tiankui, a member of the Party Committee of Shifu Town, confined pairs of the detained male and female practitioners in a small dark cell, one pair at a time. The room is so small that the two practitioners had to sleep foot to face. The practitioners were forced to relieve themselves in the cell. Practitioners who have been confined there include Yu Shenghe, Zhai Xiuhua, Lin Yongshun, Li Xiufen, Wang Hongluo, Yang Meiqin, Wang Lizhen, and Li Xiulian.

2. Forcing to climb stairs
On April 10, 2000, at around 10:00 p.m., Wei Tiankui became drunk and started to beat practitioners. He forced them to climb 49 steps of stairs on their knees, while continuously kicking them from behind. The practitioners' hands and feet bled. Then he forced them to climb a steel ladder to the next floor. When the practitioners reached close to the top, Wei pulled a rope, which was tied around their ankles making them fall all the way back to the second floor. Several practitioners fell five or six times, and many were severely injured. Ms. Zhai Xiuhua lost consciousness when she fell down.

3. Forcing to stand holding ice blocks in both hands
Around February and March of 2000, Shifu Town government officials arrested many Falun Gong practitioners. Those who refused to renounce Falun Gong were forced to stand with ice blocks as big as bowls in their hands. They were also forced to stand on snow and ice.

4. Forcing to carry heavy items on the head
Falun Gong practitioners were forced to carry heavy items on their heads. Wei Tiankui and Gong Zhiqiang forced practitioner Ms. Wang Lizhen to walk down stairs in a squatting position with heavy rocks weighing more than 34 lbs. loaded on top of her head. Ms. Li Xiufen was forced to walk around in a half-squatting position loaded with logs on her head. Mr. Yu Shenghe was forced to stand on gravel with five to six bricks on his head. Once Wei Tiankui placed a coal block weighing about 45 lbs. on Mr. Yu's head. Wei also placed a basin of water on Mr. Yu's head and then whipped him with an electrical cord.

5. Poking with needles
Practitioner Ms. Li Xiufen was forced to kneel on logs while Shifu Town officials poked her feet with needles. One of her feet developed three large wounds that would not stop bleeding. At the same time, Wei Xiankui whipped her face, head, and body with a leather belt. Wei and others also stripped off Mr. Yu Shenghe's clothes, stabbed his body with needles, and struck his genitals.

6. Public humiliation
To humiliate practitioners, Shifu Town officials placed boards, with the words "Evil Element" written on them, around the practitioners' necks and then forced them to parade on the streets for three days.


Husband and Wife Tortured to Death for Their Belief in Falun Gong

Ms. Yuan Hezhen, female, 42, was a practitioner from Hua-Nan County, Heilongjiang Province. She worked for the Hua-Nan Forest Bureau, a branch of Heilongjiang Forestry. In January 2000, Hua-Nan County police arrested a large number of Falun Gong practitioners. Ms. Yuan Hezhen and her husband decided to go to Beijing to appeal to the central government to stop the crackdown on Falun Gong. In May 2000, Ms. Yuan was arrested in Beijing and sent to a detention center. During her detention, she went a hunger strike to protest the illegal treatment; for this, she was handcuffed in a painful position, brutally beaten, and force-fed. This kind of treatment continued until she vomited blood, had bloody stools, and became extremely weak. When she was eventually able to escape from the detention center, she had to live on the streets to avoid further persecution. Because of the severity of her injuries while in police custody, and her unstable living conditions, Ms. Yuan's health deteriorated quickly. In July 2003, she passed away.

On the night of September 25, 2002, Ms. Yuan's husband, Mr. Sun Jihong, was arrested at the Yuquanying Multi-Level Cross Roads in the Fengtai District of Beijing. On September 29, 2002, Mr. Sun was beaten to death while in police custody. When Mr. Sun's relatives were examining his body, they found his face covered with thick white powder and hardly recognized him. Because of their strong requests, the police wiped away the powder. They saw a hole between Mr. Sun's eyebrows, and two deep holes on Mr. Sun's cheeks. His entire body was injured and covered with bruises. On October 2, the police secretly cremated his body.


Falun Gong Practitioners Injected with the Nerve-Damaging Drug
"Winter Sleep" for Their Belief

The authorities of the Baimalong Labor Camp in Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province, including the doctors and nurses at its medical office, have been injecting Falun Gong practitioners with a nerve-damaging drug called "Winter Sleep." After an injection, practitioners suffer severe memory loss and have the strong urge to sleep all the time; some lost clarity of mind and physical balance.

Ms. Chen Chujun, female, 34 years old, is an employee of the South Railway Station in Huaihua County, Hunan Province. Since July 1999 Ms. Chen has been detained and sent for brainwashing several times because she went to Beijing to appeal to the central government to stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. In August 2000, she was sentenced to forced labor at the Baimalong Labor Camp. Because Ms. Chen refused to renounce Falun Gong, she suffered all kinds of torture, including electric shock. In November 2001, police pushed Ms. Chen's face against the floor, tied her hands behind her back, and cut off her hair. To protest the maltreatment, Ms. Chen began a hunger strike. Six days later, she was given intravenous injections. The medical staff injected glucose, along with the nerve-damaging drug "Winter Sleep" into her bloodstream. After several days of injections, Ms. Chen suffered severe memory loss. Later, she was sent to the Employee Medical Center of the Zhuzhou Chemical Plant to be force-fed. By the time she was released, her condition was very critical. In September 2002, Ms. Chen once again went to Beijing to appeal and she was sentenced to three years of forced labor in April 2003.

Ms. Xia Ting, female, 32 years old, is a resident of Hunan Province. In October 2000, Ms. Xia was sentenced to two years of forced labor and detained in the Baimalong Labor Camp. Because she refused to give up the practice of Falun Gong, she was forced to stand for extended periods of time, handcuffed, and shocked with electric batons. In September 2001, she started a hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment. She was sent to the medical office, where she was held for more than one month. During that time, Ms. Xia was injected with "Winter Sleep." As a result, she became sluggish, her back and shoulders were deformed, she lost much of her vision and she was unable to maintain her balance while walking. Ms. Xia's term was then extended for another year without any legal proceedings. By the time of her release, because of damage from "Winter Sleep," she was unable to speak clearly or walk properly, and had lost so much of her memory that she couldn't even keep track of the date.

Ms. Yu Yingzhu, female, 29 years old, is a resident of Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province. Ms. Yu has been detained in the Baimalong Labor Camp for over three years because she is a Falun Gong practitioner. Ms. Yu and Ms. Xia Ting were put in the same team and they went on hunger strike together. Ms. Yu was also sent to the medical office and injected with "Winter Sleep," causing her to feel very weak. After each injection, she found some pink fluid in her stool. After 4 or 5 injections, she knew that something was very wrong, and firmly refused to go to the medical office again. Right now, Ms. Yu is most likely still being held at the Baimalong Labor Camp.


Ligament Torn Apart by "Body-Splitting by Five Horses" 3
at Sanshui Forced Labor Camp

Mr. Huang Zhufeng, male, 36 years old, of Daling Village, Zhenjiang Town of Gaozhou County, Maoming City, Guangdong Province On August 2, 2001, the "610 Office" 4 in Maoming City arrested Mr. Huang Zhufeng for practicing Falun Gong and sentenced him to two years of forced labor at the Sanshui Forced Labor Camp in Guangdong Province. After one month of forced brainwashing, he was sent for more intense torture to the "Strictly Supervised Class," where he was forced to run nonstop for four to five hours under the scorching sun until he was totally exhausted. At night, he was not allowed to sleep, and was forced to squat with his hands cuffed. He was closely guarded day and night and only allowed to go to the bathroom twice a day.

On December 21, 2002, blindfolded and handcuffed, Mr. Huang was taken in a vehicle from the fifth group of the third branch of the labor camp to a place used specifically for torture. Policemen Zhang Wujun, Lu Jinhu, and others surrounded him in an attempt to force him to give up practicing Falun Gong. As Mr. Huang did not give in, they shocked him with four electric batons simultaneously on the lips, ears, armpits, and chest. They pried open his mouth to shock the back of his throat with an electric baton. Mr. Huang's mouth and neck became dangerously swollen, but the police continued to torture him.

The police compressed cotton fiber into a big square package and weighing about 10 Jin (11 lbs.). The police torture practitioners by handcuffing their hands around the square package with both arms stretched, which forces the practitioner to squat down. Sometimes, the police order inmates to torture practitioners by pulling them hard, back and forth, causing the flesh at the wrists to split open, and sometimes exposing the bones. Almost every practitioner has gone through this kind of torture in this labor camp.. On January 2, 2003, policeman Zhang Wujun used this torture method on Mr. Huang and ordered two inmates to pull his arms in opposite directions using extreme force to torture him. The pain of his tendons and flesh ripping was excruciating. His arms were bloody and his skin was torn. Both his shoulders were dislocated in the process.

On January 8, 2003, policeman Lu Jinhu gripped Mr. Huang's lips with steel pliers, tearing his skin, prying his teeth open in order to force-feed him, and then used an electric baton to shock his mouth. Later, Lu Jinhu covered Mr. Huang's head with a black cloth sack, stuffed his mouth with dirty socks, and violently jerked, rubbed, and shook his head until Mr. Huang felt dizzy, vomited, and could not move his head or neck anymore. Mr. Huang's cervical vertebrae were broken. Then the prison guards shocked Mr. Huang with four electric prods for a long time. His face became distorted, his lips swollen, and he had unbearable pain in his shoulders and neck. Another policeman, named Zhang Wujun, ordered several inmates to join him in torturing Mr. Huang using a cruel method called "Body-Splitting by Five Horses" They handcuffed his limbs and stretched them hard in four directions simultaneously. As a result, Mr. Huang's left shoulder was broken and the ligament around it was torn apart, leaving his left arm disabled.

As a result of the torture, Mr. Huang could no longer move his hands, and his deltoid muscles atrophied from the untreated shoulder dislocations. Only when the muscular degeneration and atrophy started to spread further down his arms did the labor camp allow him to have a physical examination. The doctors prescribed immediate surgery but could not repair the damage. Mr. Huang was then transferred to the Sanshui People's Hospital, but doctors there could do nothing for him. In the end, police had to send him to the Foshan Chinese Medical Hospital, in Foshan City, which specialized in orthopedics. He stayed there for seven days and spent more than 20,000 Yuan on medical expenses. He was housed in room 404, building A, of the Hospital of Orthopedics, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City. The original soft tissue around the joint was severely damaged and useless, so the doctors had to replace it with another material. The treatment was not successful at all. Mr. Huang can lift his left arm only to chest height, and only about 30 degrees away from his side. His arm remains disabled.

Mr. Huang Zhufeng has appealed to the court of Foshan City many times, but the court refuses to accept his case.

3 "Body-Splitting by Five Horses" - The perpetrator pulls a victim's head and four limbs in five different directions simultaneously. This causes excruciating pain, damage to the neck, arms, shoulders, legs, and internal organs, and in severe cases, death.

4 The "610 Office" is an agency specifically created to eradicate Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.

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