(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 1)
Arrested After TV Signal Interception in Gansu
I met a few fellow practitioners from my hometown when I escaped to Shandong Province. We agreed that even though we had become homeless, we should do something to expose the lies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Impressed by the impact of the TV signal interception, we wanted to do the same.
We learned the technical skills. Another practitioner from Heilongjiang Province and I took more than 20 cable TV interception devices from Shandong Province to Lanzhou City in Gansu Province. We originally planned to pass the technical skills to Lanzhou practitioners, but because there was not enough manpower there, I decided to do it myself.
After all the participants had learned the required skills, we agreed to tap into the TV network and broadcast truth-clarification videos at 7 p.m. on August 17, 2002. It was still very bright at 7 p.m. and there were many people on the street. I thought it would be great if it rained. Then indeed, it began to rain. But by the time we were about to start, the rain stopped.
On that day, we successfully intercepted “Xinwen Lianbo—China Central TV Station’s national news program” in some areas in Gansu Province and Xining City in Qinghai Province, as well as four channels of local TV stations in Lanzhou.
After the successful interception, I parted with Lanzhou practitioners and took a bus to Yixing City (under the administration of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province), to visit my relatives before returning to Shandong.
Due to my lack of prudence, my mobile phone was located when I made phone calls to practitioners in Xining. Police from Jiangsu Provincial Public Security Bureau and Wuxi Municipal Public Security Bureau arrested me. I learned later that after the higher-ups heard about the interception, a task force was set up to round up all those involved quickly, at any cost. I was at the top of their wanted list.
Tortured at Yixing Detention Centre
After I was taken to Yixing Detention Centre in Jiangsu Province, I was tied up and shackled. I went on a hunger strike and was force-fed, then cuffed to a ring on the floor for a whole night. I could neither lie down or sit up, in a position that was very painful and awkward, and every second and minute was torturous!
The next day, I was taken to a police guesthouse in Yixing for interrogation. I was not allowed to sleep and was guarded by six officers with martial arts training in three shifts. They tried all kinds of tricks to find out from me who was involved in the cable TV interception and where we got the devices.
Unable to get anything from me, they became very angry. One officer hit my head and my face violently with a dirty mop. Another one slapped me in the face, causing my eardrums to rupture and my hearing to deteriorate severely. They made me sit on a rectangular wooden box for several days with no sleep. It was very hard to endure.
Taken to the No. 2 Detention Centre in Lanzhou
I was transferred a month later to the newly established Lanzhou No. 2 Detention Centre in Gansu Province. Because I refused to do the forced labor there, they handcuffed my hands behind my back and shackled me. They chained the handcuffs and shackles together so that I could not stand up, lie down, or sit up properly. I was cuffed this way for two weeks.
The Extraordinary Power of Falun Gong
In the detention centre, I met a cell leader who was a well-known fraudster in Lanzhou. He had learned some facts about Falun Gong from another practitioner before, so after I was assigned to his cell, he often asked me about cultivation things.
He told me that once he argued with that Falun Gong practitioner about gods and Buddhas, and cultivation. When it was time to go to bed, he lay in bed and his mind was still churning with arguments. Suddenly, he saw a Buddha image emitting white light in front of his eyes. He was so stunned that he sat up right away. Since then, he has believed in gods and Buddhas, and understands why Falun Gong practitioners stick to their faith.
One day during a lunch break, the two of us were chatting. Suddenly he gazed at me intently. “What’s wrong?” I asked him. He didn’t answer, but waved his hand, gesturing me to move away from where I was sitting. After I stepped aside, he called a young prisoner on duty to his side, looked at him for a while, and waved him back to his duty.
“You have completed your cultivation,” he said to me, “When we were chatting just now, I saw some white energy enveloping your body from the lower abdomen, slowly engulfing your entire body. It became whiter and brighter. I was stunned.” He also saw that the young prisoner was covered with some dark energy.
The supernormal phenomenon he saw gave him much confidence to cultivate himself. Earlier, when I encouraged him to read my Falun Gong book, he always said he would, but never did. After he saw the energy around me, he picked up the book Zhuan Falun and started reading attentively. When he finished reading the third lecture, he realised that the chronic enteritis he had suffered for many years was healed and he was able to eat what he had to avoid in the past. He was completely convinced of the supernatural power of Falun Gong.
When I was transferred to Lanzhou Prison on September 4, 2003, to serve a 19-year term, he told others to take care of me so that I would not be abused in the new environment. I heard that he was released not long after and he started a company to do some business.
Persecution at Lanzhou Prison
Lanzhou Prison (also known as Dashaping Prison) is located on the north side of the Yellow River in Lanzhou. The prison had a production zone and a living zone, with a total area of 349,000 square meters. It had more than 4,000 inmates and over 1,000 prison guards. Inmates were forced to do all kinds of free labor, including grinding gems, sewing footballs, making light bulbs and lanterns, weaving carpets, knitting sweaters, and making steel doors and windows. Since 2001, all male Falun Gong practitioners in Gansu Province were detained there.
The prison initially refused to accept me after I failed the physical examination. The police had to take me back to the detention centre. On November 2, 2003, the prison agreed to take me in and I was taken back there. As soon as I got there, I was taken to a confinement room, where I was brutally beaten by a few inmates who were trying to please the guard. They shaved my head, took off my clothes, and forced an old prisoner uniform on me.
The confinement rooms in the prison were initially set up in the production zone. It was a row of about 30 rooms with doors on both sides. Each confinement room was six square meters in size, with no windows. The uneven cement bed was made of stones, with a toilet in front of it, which was only a trough of 30 to 40 centimeters in length.
The confinement room was guarded around the clock by a group of eight to ten inmates in shifts, two at night time. They could handcuff and torture the victims at will. The confinement rooms were later moved to the basement of the living zone. Each confinement room had a death bed and a metal chair. It was insulated with foam walls, so that no sound could be heard from outside.
Because I refused to cooperate with the guards, they put the heaviest set of shackles on my feet, weighing 19 kg (42 pounds). I needed help to use the toilet. Eight days later, I was taken to the Entry Division and forced to recite the prison rules.
The Entry Division was transitional by nature, where in addition to forced labor, newly admitted inmates had to learn how to line up and recite the prison rules. Most people would spend around two months there before being assigned to different production divisions. There were already more than a dozen practitioners in the Entry Division when I was taken there, including six practitioners who were unlawfully sentenced for tapping into TV signals. One other practitioner, Mr. Liu Zhirong, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for TV signal interception, was transferred to Tianshui Prison before my arrival and later tortured to death.
Some prison guards in charge were very vicious. They instigated their subordinates to torture Falun Gong practitioners. When practitioners refused to do forced labor, Wang Changlin, the instructor of the Entry Division, ordered to have them hung up by their handcuffs in the workshop. I personally saw Mr. Bi Wenming (who later died from the persecution) and Mr. Qiang Xiaoyi being hung up in the workshop.
The chief guard for cell #1 was surnamed He. He used to be an instructor, but was demoted to a team leader in the Entry Division for some misconduct. When I was there, I often saw a number of practitioners handcuffed and hung up in the workshop for not cooperating with them.
At that time, most practitioners were first tortured at the Entry Division. After the training period ended, most of them were kept in Lanzhou Prison, and some were taken back to prisons in their local areas.
Lanzhou Prison was also a place where followers of Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution, were keen to inspect. At the beginning of 2004, Luo Gan, then head of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee came to inspect Lanzhou Prison a year after he took the position.
In 2009, Zhou Yongkang (Luo Gan’s successor) did the same thing. Wu Aiying, head of the CCP’s Ministry of Justice, also came to inspect Lanzhou Prison twice. Wu Zhiming, Jiang’s nephew and the CCP secretary of Shanghai Political and Judiciary Committee, paid a visit to the prison as well.
Guard He once beat up a fellow practitioner from Wuwei City. All Falun Gong practitioners in the Entry Division held a hunger strike in protest. After the protest, those of us who had been detained there for some time were sent to various production divisions.
Suffered Concussion from Beating
I was taken to Division 4 of Lanzhou Prison in June 2004, where I met Mr. Chang Jubin, a fellow practitioner who participated in tapping into the TV network in Baiyin City. He used to be a prosecutor in the Baiyin City Procuratorate of Gansu Province. Mr. Zhang Guangli, another practitioner who helped Mr. Chang in the interception, was persecuted in Division 9 of Lanzhou Prison.
The TV interception in Baiyin City was very successful and caused a big sensation in society. People who watched the program all thought that Falun Gong had been redressed. Mr. Chang and Mr. Zhang were sentenced to eleven and twelve years, respectively. Baiyin City is also one of the places where Falun Gong was persecuted most severely.
Almost all practitioners detained in Lanzhou Prison since 2010 were tortured per orders from the Baiyin City 610 Office. Mr. Chang was tortured by Division head Gao Zhendong until he suffered a nervous breakdown. His condition never improved even after he was released, and he often wandered away from home.
I was monitored by cell head Wei Hongwei and three other inmates. Wei, in his 20s, was a native of Lanzhou City. At first, we lived in peace, but two months later, he started picking on me all the time. In September and October 2004, his bullying escalated and he began to beat me and verbally abuse me. I was rather weak at that time. He once covered me with a quilt and beat and kicked me violently. My nose was bleeding and I suffered a mild concussion.
When the other three inmates assigned to monitor me heard about the beating, they reported to the guard in charge, but they didn’t do anything about it. Other inmates also expressed their sympathy to me and suggested that I go to the management section to file a complaint, but I didn’t.
One morning in mid-October 2004, my nose started bleeding before I got up. I knew it was from a hemorrhage in my head from the beating by Wei. I used toilet paper to catch the blood. The bleeding lasted about ten minutes and soaked half a roll of the toilet paper. Afterward, I felt light-headed and my mind also became clearer.
One night, I demanded to be moved to another cell away from Wei. If I continued to stay there, I might be beaten to death by him. Assistant instructor Zhi didn’t seem to care at all, but after a few days, I was suddenly transferred to Squadron 1 of Division 2.
The guards in Division 2 appeared rather polite to me and they arranged a well-known figure in the underworld in Lanzhou to watch over me. His surname was Guan, and his sentence had just been changed from life-imprisonment to fixed-term. He looked after me in every way and refused to please the CCP regime. I lost contact with my family after being unlawfully arrested, so he helped me a lot in our daily lives. I also regarded him as an elder brother.
Confinement, Sleep Deprivation, and Forced Transformation
The number of incarcerated practitioners reached a peak in 2004 and 2005, of more than 120.
The prison launched another round of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners on November 1, 2005. Some practitioners were locked up in solitary confinement, with four inmates taking turns monitoring them. They were not allowed to sleep and they were given only one steamed bun and a small glass of water each day. At the same time, they were subjected to high-pressure brainwashing. Other practitioners were handcuffed and shackled; some were hung up by their wrists in the air and tortured. Many were almost tortured to death.
After the CCP changed leadership in 2003, Wu Aiying became head of the Ministry of Justice. She was a close follower of Wu Guanzheng, the CCP secretary in Shandong Province, and was promoted to leadership of the Ministry of Justice for her cruelty in persecuting Falun Gong.
After taking office in the Ministry of Justice, Wu actively organised coercive brainwashing of Falun Gong practitioners in all prisons across China and tried to transform them by force in an attempt to make all practitioners give up their faith.
Around mid-October 2005, the Gansu Judicial Department of the Ministry of Justice and the 610 Office arranged for a person from a university in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province to give brainwashing speeches to us. After that, each division established a transformation task force team, consisting of two guards and four inmates. They took each practitioner into a dark room for coercive brainwashing.
Yang Wancheng, head of Lanzhou Prison, as well as the prison’s deputy head, a section head, and some others went to Division 2 to exert pressure. Division head Wang Mouzhong talked with me for an hour, but I refused to give up my faith.
I was later locked in a confinement room for a month, from November 8 to December 7, 2005. The room was about six or seven square meters in size, with a small window, a 1.5 meter by 2 meter concrete bed, and a squat toilet next to it. It was very cold. I was monitored by two people on each shift, and given only one steamed bun a day.
I was let out of the confinement room a month later, but was taken to a small dark room right away, where four people took turns monitoring me, two at a time. They tried to transform me by force. I had become very weak by then. I was forced to sit on a small plastic stool and deprived of sleep for nine days straight. When I fainted, they put me on a square stool and allowed me to sleep for over four hours. Then, they forbade me from sleeping for three days. I didn’t know how much longer I could hold on or when it would end. Every minute or a second felt so long!
They played slanderous videos against Falun Gong for 17 to 18 hours a day, especially the Tiananmen Square self-immolation hoax. They also forced us to read books that smeared Falun Gong.
There was a guard surnamed Lu, a Master’s student in engineering from Lanzhou University. He thought he was well-educated, talented, and eloquent. We talked over ten times in the next two weeks, and each time we had a tit-for-tat debate which lasted a few hours. Our debates became very intense from time to time. I reasoned with him rationally. When he was at the end of his rope, he quoted a sentence from Zhuan Falun out of context. I pointed out his trick straight away. Running out of excuses, he only said, “The government has banned Falun Gong, so you are not allowed to practice it.”
My Mother Passed Away with Deep Grievance
On January 4, 2007, the police arranged a family call for me. By then, I had lost contact with my family for nearly five years. I was nervous and a bit anxious about the phone call, thinking that something bad may have happened.
After I exchanged a few words with my younger sister, they put the phone to my mother’s ear, and I could hear her heavy breathing. I called out “Mom! Mom! It’s me!” but there was no response from my mother, who was already in a coma. I felt very heavy.
I later heard that when my mother saw all her children on New Year’s Day except for me and my ex-wife, she felt very upset and suffered a relapse of a stroke. She was hospitalised in critical condition. My family tried their best to have me on the phone. On the night of the phone call, my mother passed away.
I felt very sad, thinking: My mother would still be around had it not been for the persecution! How I wish I could wash my mother’s hair and her feet a few more times! But I have no freedom. My family is broken, simply because I stick to my faith and try to let people know the truth about Falun Gong!
(To be continued in Part 3.)
Chinese version available