By Mr. Zhang Zhikui, a practitioner from Shandong Province
Name: Zhang Zhikui (张致奎)
Address: Dazhuangjia Village, Xinzhuang Town, Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: October 1, 2001
Most Recent Place of Detention: Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp in Changchun (长春朝阳沟劳教所)
Persecution Suffered: Detention, brutal beatings, solitary confinement, denial of restroom use, electric shock
(Clearwisdom.net) Before I practiced Falun Gong I had many illnesses, including hepatitis, diabetes, heart problems, and small tumors on my eyelids and on my head. I had high blood pressure and I was very thin. Just when my health reached a critical condition, I was fortunate enough to attend Teacher Li Hongzhi’s Fa lectures in Harbin City. My life has changed dramatically since then and all my illnesses have disappeared. I truly understand how great our Teacher is and I know the meaning of life, and why we need to be good people and cultivate well.
Many people have witnessed the miraculous changes in me, and by the end of 1994, all of my family members had begun to practice, along with many people from my local area.
Appealing for Falun Gong
When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the persecution of Falun Gong in July 20, 1999, I went to the Jilin Provincial Government to appeal. I was arrested and was allowed to return home on July 22.
I went to Beijing to appeal the following day, and stayed there for over a month. I was arrested by police when I was seen talking to people about Falun Gong, and was taken to Changchun’s public security office in Beijing. Then I, along with over ten other practitioners, was taken to Changchun Erdaohezi District Police Station. The head of the political security section there stripped off my clothes and left me standing there in only my underwear. He then stomped on my feet with his leather shoes and ground my toes with his heels, staring me straight in the eyes as he did it. He then hit me about the head with a belt, and then hit the other practitioners with it. I was later transferred to Tiebei Detention Center, where I was taken into the restroom, stripped again and kicked and severely beaten. I was pushed against the wall and my arms and legs were bleeding. The torture lasted for a month before I was released.
In late October 1999, I went to the Supreme Court in Beijing to appeal. The staff there called the police, who took me to the Zhaoyuan City Beijing Office. I was beaten on the way there and sworn at. Once we got to the office, the officers whipped me with belts and hit my legs with wooden sticks. They were going to pour boiling water over me, but an emergency came up which they had to attend to, so they didn’t do it. I was taken to Zhaoyuan Detention Center the next day, where an officer asked me questions and took notes. He said, “Don’t you know that Falun Gong has been labeled as an evil cult by the Chinese Communist Party?” I replied, “The Communist Party is the biggest evil cult of them all.” They were shocked by my words and didn’t know what to say. After a while the officer said, “You could be given the death penalty, or at least life imprisonment for saying that. Didn’t you know that?” I simply told them the facts about Falun Gong as the officer asked me questions. They looked at each other and didn’t write anything down. When I refused to cooperate with them, they put my head through a small hole in the door, stood on it and punched me in the face. In the following days, I insisted on doing the exercises and clarifying the facts about the persecution to the inmates there. Many inmates later joined me in doing the exercises.
The police then took me and my two sisters to Xinzhang Police Department. We were separated and put in small dark rooms under the stairs. The rooms were so small that I could not even straighten my back. It was completely dark inside once the door was closed, and we were only allowed to use the restroom once at night. I was locked in this room for about ten days at a time, and then I was sent to Zhaoyuan Detention Center for a month. This repeated itself six times before I was released.
Tortured and almost killed
On October 1, 2001, I went to Wenhua Square in Changchun City to display a banner exposing the persecution. I was arrested and handcuffed, my eyes were covered, and I was bundled into a police car.
I was driven for about two hours, before being dragged out of the car and pushed into a building. The cover was removed from my head when I was in a room. The place was very dark and frightening. There was a tiger bench in the room and I guessed we were in the mountains.
Police section leader Liang and others stripped my clothes off and cut my pants open with a pair of scissors. They pushed me onto the tiger bench and tied my hands on both sides of a bar behind me. They put a metal bar on my chest, one on my thighs and one on my shins. The sides of each bar were fixed onto the bench. My feet were locked with metal hoops, which were fixed and tied onto the bench.
Liang shouted at me, “I’ll let you die here today. I’ll kill you and dig a hole in the ground to bury you. No one will know and no one will find you.” Then he added, “But no hurry. A doctor will come to see you in a moment and take care of you. He’s from Changchun Medical School.” Then he left the room. A few moments later, he returned with a tall man who looked like he was in his 30s. Liang said, “He has just graduated from medical school. He will take good care of you.” Then he left. The tall man asked me what illnesses I had before. I began to tell him about Falun Gong and how my illnesses had disappeared through cultivation practice. He suddenly shouted at me and told me to shut up. Then he left.
Three officers immediately came into the room with electric batons. Two of them grabbed my arms, which were tied behind my back, and forced them over my head. I heard my bones cracking again and again as they broke. The pain was unbearable as they thrust my arms back and forth many times, and I lost consciousness.
While I was still tied to the tiger bench, a metal bucket was placed over my head. The officers then hit the bucket very hard with metal bars. I felt that my head was about to explode with the noise and vibrations. After doing it for a long period of time, they stuck a bottle of liquor into my mouth and used a high-voltage electric baton to continually shock me all over my body. They also burned my skin with cigarette butts. When I lost consciousness, they poured cold water over me, and then they put a lit candle by my back and the flame burned my skin. When the candle went out, they dripped the wax all over me. With my flesh badly burned, they began to shock my penis and then hit my penis with metal bars. I passed out again.
Torture re-enactment: Shocked with electric batons
My face was so swollen from the torture that it was noticeably larger than normal and my entire body was covered in blood. When I regained consciousness, they released me from the tiger bench and took me outside, where it was several degrees below zero. They poured several buckets of cold water over me and left me there. About half an hour later, they came to check if I was still alive.
At dawn the next morning, I was bundled into a police car and taken back to the city police department. There were many small rooms there, and in each room there was a female practitioner tied to a tiger bench. They checked each room to see whether there were any practitioners that I knew in there. Many of them were unconscious, and all of them were naked from the waist down, with only a piece of cloth covering them. After going into many of the rooms, I told the officers that I didn’t know any of them.
Detained in a forced labor camp
I was taken to Tiebei Detention Center, where inmates were ordered to torture me. They only stopped torturing me when I went on a hunger strike. I was held in the detention center for 40 days, before being transferred to Chaoyang District Forced Labor Camp. There were at least 700-800 Falun Gong practitioners detained there at the time.
I went on a hunger strike together with other practitioners in the camp. The head of the guards led a number of inmates to brutally beat us. We were then taken to the First Section, which is a place notorious for persecuting practitioners. There was a practitioner who was over 60 years old that refused to wear the prison uniform. He was beaten so badly that he was in critical condition. As I was already severely injured, they did not beat me. But once I recovered a little, they started torturing me again. Inmate Xu Hui often abused practitioners there.
We are forced to get up at 4 a.m., hold our clothes out in front of us and quietly walk into the hallway, put on the clothes and crouch down. Every practitioner had inmates monitoring them and we were not allowed to talk to each other. If we said just one sentence, we would be brutally beaten. We were forced to sit for up to 16 hours every day, looking up at the ceiling, with our bodies completely straight. Xu Hui and several other inmate wore hard-sole shoes and often kicked us with them. If a practitioner moved a little, they would force them to stand up, and lean their bodies 90 degrees with their head against the wall. If the practitioner moved again, they would be severely beaten.
At night, some practitioners were too afraid to sleep because if they made the slightest bit of noise, they would be beaten. The inmates used the hard sole shoes to hit the practitioners’ heads. I coughed a lot one time and was beaten all night long. Practitioners are not allowed to use the restroom, and often practitioners ended up having to relieve themselves in their pants. When inmates found Mr. Sui Songtao to have copies of Teacher’s articles, inmates used a plank of wood to hit his body more than 50 times. He was beaten to death.
I went to use the restroom one night, despite the fact that I wasn’t allowed to, and when I came back, Xu Hui severely kicked me in the kidneys. It was so painful that I couldn’t move afterwards.
In 2002, the guards were instructed to get all of the practitioners to renounce their belief. They instigated Xu Hui and others to torture practitioners in the First Section. We were forced to sit on the ground, facing the wall, with our legs crossed. Several inmates stood behind us, and once in a while they would kick a practitioner from behind or ram the practitioner’s head against the wall. We were then ordered into another room one by one. When I went into the room, Xu Hui was standing there holding a big wooden stick and cursing at our Teacher. I was then ordered to repeat his words. At first I thought that I cannot curse our Teacher, but then I made excuses to myself and convinced myself that it would be OK as long as I didn’t believe what I said. In my heart I was not aiming the words at Teacher. I then felt very guilty at what I had done. How could I face Teacher again? I could not forgive myself.
Before Mr. Sui Futao had died after being beaten to death in the labor camp, three practitioners had already been killed in that room.
We were tortured every day and were also forced to read articles slandering Falun Gong. Everyone had to read it, otherwise they would be brutally beaten. When it was my turn to read, whenever I encountered Teacher’s name and the words Falun Gong, I would skip them and not read them. When the guards noticed that I was doing this, they beat me for a long period of time. Even the day before I was released, they brutally beat me, saying that I didn’t clearly write the guarantee statement.
Sometimes we were forced to eat in the restroom. We would have to hurry to use the toilet and also eat. Just at a point when I had lost hope for my life, one of my family members brought in a copy of one of Teacher’s new articles. I quickly hid it away and read it under my blanket.
My two sisters were sentenced and several practitioners were persecuted to death
Practitioners Wang Shouhui, Liu Boyang, Liu Haibo, Xu Shuxiang, Wang Kefei, Yu Lixin, Deng Shiying and Liu Chengjun were beaten to death. There are some other practitioners also died as a result of torture, but I cannot remember their names.
My eldest sister Zhang Shuqin was sentenced to 11 years in prison and her husband was sentenced to five years. Officials from the 610 Office also ordered the school to expel their nine-year-old daughter.
My second sister Zhang Shuchun, 35, almost died when the police tried to arrest her. She had a broken rib and bones in her back, arms and legs were fractured. When the bystanders asked the police what had happened, they were told that she and her husband had been fighting. She was taken to the police hospital for treatment, but the doctor thought that there was no hope for her, as her injuries were so severe. The police then dumped her on the side of the road. Luckily, some kind people looked after her and through studying the Fa and doing the exercises, she recovered in about a month. She was arrested again in 2009 and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
I would like to formally declare that all the things that I was forced to say that slandered Teacher and Falun Gong are null and void. I will walk well on the path to assist Teacher in Fa rectification.
Zhang Zhikui of Zhaoyuan City Recounts the Tortures He Experienced to the Investigation Committee
Chinese version available at 山东招远市张致奎遭受的非人折磨