Torture I Suffered in Chinese Detention Centers and Prison

Oct. 7, 2021 | By Jiang Guobo, a Falun Gong practitioner in Weifang City, Shandong Province, China

( Editor’s note: Mr. Jiang Guobo, a former county-level government official, recalls his experience both before and after practicing Falun Dafa and how he changed from being a corrupt official to living as an honest and upright person who gained respect from his colleagues, supervisors, and the villagers he helped. However, after the communist regime started persecuting the spiritual practice, Mr. Jiang was fired from his position, arrested, detained, sentenced and brutally tortured for his faith in Falun Dafa.


Unimaginable Torture

Since the communist regime in China launched the nationwide persecution against Falun Gong in July 1999, I have been arrested 13 times, incarcerated in a forced labor camp three times, and sentenced to five years in prison for upholding my belief in “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” Besides, the regime extorted more than 30,000 yuan in cash and valuables from me.

While being held in detention centres, forced labor camps and prison, I was subjected to a total of 77 different types of torture, including being electrocuted with batons, chained to an iron chair, cuffed to a death bed in a spread-eagle position, tied to a tiger bench, and force-fed with unknown drugs and chili water. I was pushed to the brink of death 39 times.

The unimaginable cruelty and excruciating pain I experienced at one particular detention centre made life a living hell. I was force-fed acute poison and spicy chili water, which caused me to vomit green pus. I was chained to a cross in a spread-eagle position for 20 days. My cellmate said no one before had lasted more than two days on the cross without begging for mercy. When taken off the cross, I couldn’t stand and had to crawl to my cell.

Three sections of my spine broke after being clamped against a horizontal wooden block. I lost vision in my right eye from the torture, from which I didn’t recover for a long time. I could not urinate and had to use a catheter to relief myself. I didn’t have a bowel movement for 26 consecutive days. After 20 days, I had lost more than 90 pounds, and I passed out countless times during torture sessions.

The following, however, is what I endured during my latest arrest in 2009 and the detention and imprisonment that followed.



It is ironic that just the day before I was arrested in February 2009, my supervisor told me, “Mr. Jiang, working with you is one of the things I look forward to this year. I’m so glad that you’re on my team.”

The next morning, I arrived at work around 7:50 a.m. as usual. As I locked my motorbike to the racks in front of the office building, a medium-sized van appeared behind me.

I heard someone calling my name, turned around and saw six young men walking toward me. The front one put a choke hold on me, two twisted my arms, two held my legs, and one grabbed my waist. They lifted me up and dropped me on my face. My hands were cuffed behind my back, and a black hood was put over my head. I was thrown into a car, which quickly drove off.

The entire process took less than a minute, and I understood that I was being arrested again for practicing Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong).

We arrived at a hospital after about 20 minutes. I was pulled out of the car, carried inside, and thrown to the ground. Someone picked up my foot and pulled me across the hospital floor to different departments for a comprehensive physical examination. I was handcuffed and my head was covered the entire time.

After about 30 minutes, I was again pulled by one foot to a car. My head hit each of the five stone steps as we exited the hospital building. My head buzzed, and I felt dizzy as if the sky was spinning. It was horrible.

The young men laughed, however, as my head rhythmically hit the stairs with a loud “thump.” They dragged me for more than 30 yards on the gravel path in the courtyard. I was again hoisted and thrown into the car.


Torture reenactment: Dragging.


“We Will See to It That You Die This Time”

The black hood finally came off once we were in the guardroom at the Changle County Detention Centre. I recognised the officers arrested me as from the Weifang City and Kuiwen District Domestic Security divisions. One said to me, “We’ve been wanting to get you for a long time but couldn’t gather enough evidence against you. One of the Falun Gong practitioners named Cao placed all the blame on you this time and boy, you’re in a boatload of trouble. We know full well you didn’t commit any crimes, but we for sure will see to it that you die this time.”

The Changle County Detention Centre was out of the public’s eye, so the police could use the most cruel torture methods on me. I was locked to an iron chair the night I arrived and was not given any food or drink for 33 hours, nor was I allowed to use the bathroom.

With directives from the city and district domestic security divisions, I was left on the iron chair for the next six months. The police conducted lengthy interrogations, sometimes all night long. I was locked in a sitting position at all times and could not lie down to rest. I endured extreme cold and sweltering heat during those six months. My feet were swollen and in a lot of pain. I also had heart palpitations.


Splashed with Concentrated Disinfectant

Officer Sun took over the shift one day and asked me something rudely. When I didn’t respond, he jumped up and cursed at me furiously. Completely wrapped up in his anger, Sun grabbed a bottle of disinfectant that was sitting on the window sill. He poured the highly concentrated chemical into the plastic sleeve of a large thermos bottle, put it through a large hole on the wire fence that separated us, and splashed it all over my head and face.

Locked in the iron chair, I couldn’t dodge and got splashed. Sun did not relent—he used the same thermos sleeve to get cold water from the courtyard and splashed me a dozen more times.

My clothes were drenched inside out. The disinfectant and water streamed down my body, filled my shoes, and flooded the floor. It was winter, and it was very cold. I was freezing and shivering. Sun left me locked in the chair.

My clothes, shoes and socks eventually dried. The skin on my body, and my hair and scalp were burnt. I lost 70% of my hair during the next six months, suffered from an itchy scalp, and developed excess dandruff.


Chained to a “Death Bed” for Three Weeks

The “death bed” was a large homemade wooden bed with four iron rings built into its four corners. There was a washbasin-sized hole in the middle of the bed for the person to relieve himself. The hole was usually covered by a wooden board secured in place with metal pins. However, when I was locked into the bed, the metal pins were replaced with bamboo sticks that wore out and broke within a day. My buttocks fell into the hole and were stuck.

Being chained to a death bed is similar to being chained to a cross. My hands and feet were spread out and chained to the four rings in the corners, and I could not move my feet. The metal rings cut into my ankles and caused bleeding. My whole body became stiff after a while and the pain was unbearable. I grit my teeth and counted the minutes. Not being able to move my legs for an extended period of time caused loss of sensation on the outside of my left thigh, which took three years to recover.

Being locked in the death bed made relieving myself a very difficult task. I held it as long as I possible could. When I couldn’t hold any longer, I went in my pants and soiled myself. As a result of always trying to hold it, I became incontinent. At times I couldn’t urinate even though I needed to, which caused my stomach to swell up. The pain was indescribable.


Torture reenactment: Tied to a death bed.


Locked in an Iron Chair for Months

For at least five out of the six months that I was interrogated, I was locked to the iron chair in the interrogation room, with the only exceptions being chained to a “death bed” for three weeks, spending three nights on the bunk bed in my cell, and being administrated IV fluids, seven times and about 10 hours each time, at a hospital.

It snowed three times while I was locked to the chair, and the temperature in the interrogation room often dropped below zero at night. The police took my winter jacket and left me with only two thin pants. I was able to endure it during the day, but during the coldest hours of the night I froze and shivered uncontrollably.

In mid-March, a guard opened the window above the door behind me and left it open so there was a constant draft that chilled me to the bone. I often lost consciousness due to the freezing cold.


Torture enactment: Iron chair.



I spent the entire summer on the iron chair in the interrogation room. Summer time is unbearably hot, and everyone tries to avoid the mosquitoes. All cells at the detention centre had screen doors and windows except for the interrogation room.

The officers in charge of my case spent much time in the courtyard fanning themselves, or they stayed in the guardroom with screen door and windows. Even for the short amount of time they spent in the interrogation room, they sprayed mosquito repellent on themselves. However, the door to the interrogation room was left wide open. I was chained to the iron chair with my hands cuffed to my back and was getting bitten constantly by mosquitoes.


Hands Cuffed Behind My Back

To protest the inhuman treatment, I went on a hunger strike. A feeding tube was inserted into my stomach through my nose and secured to my head with cloth and tape. My hands were cuffed behind my back as the guards reasoned, “You would pull out the tube if we didn’t.”

My hands were cuffed behind my back 24/7. When I dozed off, I’d wake up in just a couple minutes due to the pain. It gradually increased from 5 to 10 minutes before I’d wake up in pain. During the more than five months I was handcuffed behind my back and locked in the iron chair, I did not sleep for more than two hours until I was transferred out of the detention centre in 2010.

After being handcuffed behind one’s back for an extended period of time, one’s arms are usually so numb that he can’t move them when the cuffs are suddenly removed. After a week of being cuffed, one cannot lift the arms for three days. After 10 days of being handcuffed with the hands behind the back, one cannot raise the arms above the shoulder for 5 days.

I was handcuffed with my hands behind my back for 5 months. Many told me that my arms would be disabled permanently.


Torture enactment: Hands cuffed behind the back.


Threats and Intimidation

I was told more than 40 times in the two-month period from mid-May to mid-July in 2009 that the city officials had given directives regarding my case—all it would take was for me to say that I would stop practicing Falun Gong. If I said that, I’d be released the next day and get my job back on the following day as a county-level government official. I’d receive all my salary that was withheld and would be assigned a housing unit. However, I kept silent.

Before I practiced Falun Dafa, I had terminal diseases and was on the verge of death. I was morally corrupt and was heading toward self-destruction. But Dafa changed me from the core and changed me into a considerate and honest person and a good official. How could I give up practicing Dafa? How can an awakened person give up his faith in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance?

Seeing that I was not moved by any of the enticement offered, the police reverted to their true nature. The deputy team lead Sun threatened me five times. The following were his words.

1. “Do you think you’re still the chief? Still in charge of other government officials who always kissed up to you? Let me tell you, you are now worth less than a dog turd. These people can charge you with whatever crime they want to and you can’t do anything about it.”

2. “Don’t think for a second that you won’t be sentenced just because you aren’t talking. Let me tell you, we can easily fabricate evidence against you as long as the officers in charge of this case all sign it. It would be a piece of cake to put you behind bars for 15 or even 18 years.” What he said about “fabricating evidence against you” was exactly what he did.

3. “Killing you is as easy as killing an ant. We won’t face any consequences and may even get promoted.”

4. “Haven’t you realised all these years that Falun Gong cases are handled the same way as the One Child policy? There is no legal basis or consequences whatsoever. We can sentence you to 15 years on the same charges that sent you to the forced labor camp. You can’t do anything about it. Even if you were wrongly accused and died unjustly, nobody dares to help you unless they don’t want to survive under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

5. “You think you’ll be released after just a few days of detention or a few days of forced labor like before? It’s impossible. You may not even get out of the detention centre alive. Even if you get out of here alive, you won’t be able to make it out of the prison. Suppose you are super lucky that your term is up before you die, they’d just sentence you to a few more years, fabricating a random charge.

If you are still alive after that, they’d just extend your term. It is so easy to find faults to extend your term; any random charge would do. All I’m saying is that there is no way you’ll be released alive and be a free person ever again.”

After my sentence of five years of prison was finalised in December 2009, the interrogations stopped and the police officers moved out of the detention centre. I was transferred out of there after eight and a half months.



Due to torture at the detention centre, I was extremely weak when I arrived at the Shandong Men’s Prison and was immediately hospitalised. The prison guards visited and harassed me in the hospital to get me to renounce my belief. When their attempt failed, I was moved back to the prison.

I was then transferred to the Shandong Provincial Prison in March 2020. This prison has held a large number of male Falun Gong practitioners since 2002. Practitioners were sent from all over the province to be imprisoned here.

In stark contrast to being “modern and civilised” as proclaimed by the Ministry of Prisons, all kinds of organised crime were being committed within the four walls of this facility, targeting Falun Gong practitioners. The administrators and guards used violence and brainwashing to get the practitioners to renounce their belief. Twelve Falun Gong practitioners had died while imprisoned there before I arrived.

I told a guard about Dafa the first day I got there. I shared my experience working as a prison guard and explained to him that to become a better person through Dafa cultivation is not wrong—the persecution is wrong. Anyone who participates in the persecution will have to bear the consequences one day, I told him.

However, no one ever listened to me.


Corporal Punishment, Sleep Deprivation, and Beatings

In order to “transform” me and get me to renounce my belief, the guards used a variety of despicable and evil methods, including corporal punishment, beatings, and sexual assaults.

Deputy director Zhang and others made me sit on a small stool or stand for long periods of time. I was made to sit on a small plastic stool every day and not allowed to move, with the longest session being 17 hours straight.

Criminal inmates were assigned to monitor me round the clock. If I moved ever so slightly, I was hit and sometimes beaten. I was beaten more than 60 times while imprisoned there, including being beaten to the ground on the very first day.

Remaining in the sitting position without being able to move took a toll on me. I developed sores on my buttocks that were extremely painful. However. I was forced to continue to sit. As a result, my buttocks rotted in some places.

The guards also made me stand next to my bed for long periods of time, with 11 hours being the longest. I was not allowed to go to bed when my cellmates did at night. It was up to director Zhang to decide when I could go to bed.

My feet never fully recovered from the past injuries, and now the swelling and numbness became more severe. After 40 days of standing or sitting for extended periods of time, my feet turned purple and black, and I slowly lost sensation in my feet. They became swollen and I could not wear any shoes. But, director Zhang didn’t let up, and I was made to sit or stand for longer and longer periods of time.

After standing for 11 hours one night, my feet went completely numb. I couldn’t stand anymore and fell to the ground. However, I was not allowed to go to bed. Inmate Liu propped me up and made me sit on a small stool until 2 o’clock in the morning.

I was verbally assaulted and beaten by inmates Liu and Sun a month after I was imprisoned there. Liu hit me so hard that my right ear went completely deaf. A month later, inmate Yan kicked me in the crotch and injured my genitals. It took more than three years to recover.


Torture reenactment: Sitting for long periods of time.


Beatings and Assaults

Guards from Division No.11 arranged for criminal inmates Wei, Liu, and Sun to humiliate and abuse me. Liu and Sun tried to force-feed me with an unknown substance from a large Sprite bottle. I resisted and they eventually gave up. Liu attempted to pull down my pants and touch my private parts, like he’d done with other Falun Gong practitioners. I said to him sternly, “Liu, you are the same age as my son. I am older than your father. If you insult me, isn’t that the same as insulting your father?” Only then did he stop.

Right when Liu stopped, Sun slapped me hard, deafening my right ear permanently. Sun and Liu took me to the bed. With Sun sitting on my upper body, Liu sat on my knees, stripped off my socks and used a broken plastic stick from a clothes hanger to scratch the centre of my feet with much force. He went back and forth more than 30 times, causing swelling on the soles of my feet. I had a difficult time walking for the next five days.

The division guards assigned another felon Yan–about 36 years old–to beat and torture me in early April 2010. Yan was ruthless and beat me harder than Liu and Sun ever did. A punch or a kick from him would sent me stumbling backward more than three yards. In two week’s time, Yan beat and verbally assaulted me more than 40 times.

Yan kicked me out of the blue one morning in the crotch with pointed toes. I crouched down on the floor, sweating in pain. This caused me to lose my sexual function for three and a half years. My genitals turned black and purple. Inmate Ren, who saw my genitals in the shower, predicted that I didn’t have much longer to live, claiming that he had seen genitalia of dead people and they were the same color.


Torture reenactment: Beatings.


Death Threats

Inmate Zhang and others assigned to monitor me had repeatedly threatened me with death. When Zhang saw that my feet were swollen and black and purple, he said the following things to me on five different occasions.

“There is no cure for your feet—just you wait to be amputated. In fact, you’d be lucky if you were amputated and end up with just a disability. The worst that could happen to you is you don’t get to live. I tell you, the procurator has a box (an urn) and a piece of paper (a death notice) ready for you for when you take your last breath. Once you do, the autopsy report will come right out and say that you died of natural causes. The prison will have nothing to do with it. Nobody is to blame and nobody will be held responsible. Your wife and your son will come to pick up the box, and your father and mother will cry for some time.”

“It’s easy to get you killed, like killing an ant.”

Inmate Teng has also repeatedly told me, “Bro, I’ll tell you the truth. This time the cops sent you here to die—they never planned for you to walk out of here alive. Each prison has a death quota of 5 out of 1,000. If you die here, it’s well within the quota and the prison will not be held responsible.”


Mental Institution

Until May 2012, I was placed in a division dedicated to inmates with mental illnesses. During that time, I was threatened by inmate Jin, a felon in his 50s who suffered from bipolar disorder. On three occasions, when Jin ran into me at the washroom, he shouted in front of everybody and swore that he’d kill me.


Administering Unknown Substance

I was transferred back to a regular division toward the end of May 2012. The guards and inmates started putting an unknown substance in my water and food. I was subjected to the most insidious and cruel poisoning.

Instigated by a division correctional officer, inmate Fengzi force-fed me through a tube inserted in my nose on the sixth day of Chinese New Year in 2013. I did not take any more food or water for the rest of the day. I woke up in the middle of the night to a severe headache, and as I opened my eyes, I felt the world was spinning. I immediately closed my eyes and didn’t dare to open them again for the next three hours. I had a throbbing headache and felt sick. My stomach churned so violently that I poked my head out of the bed and threw up. By 7:10am, I had vomited a dozen times and counted seven times where there was blood in my vomit.

Division head Li came in a little after 9 o’clock and asked, “What’s the matter? Should we go to a hospital?” I told him, “I think someone has put poison in my food. I feel dizzy and have a bad headache. I also found blood in my vomit.”

I was bedridden for the next three days and was not force-fed. I only went to the bathroom once a day, supporting myself by holding on to the bed. My urine was red, indicating that there could be blood in it.

Starting on the third day after being poisoned, I found blood in my feces for nine days in a row. I also experienced intense dizziness. Like an 80-year-old, I sat up, got out of bed, and walked slowly, but after just a few minutes I would start feeling dizzy again.

I experienced recurrences of such episodes every month or so for the next six months, with each lasting about five days. One of them was on March 17, 2013, at around 10:30 at night. I was lying in bed at the time and all of a sudden felt dizzy and vomited. The frequency of the episodes became less and happened every other month for the following six months.

Three days after I was released from prison, I felt so dizzy that I couldn’t get out of bed or eat. I couldn’t open my eyes. It lasted for five days then happened again every five days. Once I was out of town for a training, and two days into it I started feeling extremely dizzy and threw up in the bathroom. I lay down to rest and passed out for five hours.

I’ve lately read many Minghui reports on cases of Falun Gong practitioners being poisoned in detention or prison. One report is about a female practitioner who was poisoned in prison, and after her release, her feet turned black and eventually fell off. It is hard for people to imagine or believe without seeing the photos. However, since I experienced very similar symptoms myself, I know it is real.

My legs and feet became very swollen in March 2016. I noticed one day that the lower section of my legs turned a grayish dark color, as opposed to the normal pale color of the skin on the rest of my leg.

What I have exposed here is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the countless crimes the Chinese communist regime has committed against Falun Gong practitioners. The persecution is still taking place in China to this very day. I hope by sharing what I have gone through, people will see the evil nature of the CCP, and hopefully the Chinese people will separate themselves from the evil Party.

(Written on August 31, 2020. Mr. Jiang Guobo has since passed away on April 29, 2021.)


Chinese version available