Authorities in Binhai Prison have been sued for torture causing bodily injury by a dozen or so Falun Gong practitioners. The named perpetrators included Zhang Shilin, Li Guoyu, Song Xuesen and others.
Mr. Zhou Xiangyang's family was the first of this group to sue Binhai Prison, formerly known as Gangbei Prison. Nie Baoli, Wei Guanghua, Fan Jianming, Cheng Liyan, and Li Xiliang lated followed, suing Binhai Prison for torture causing bodily injury, disability, and mental disorder.
The state-controlled judiciary system has not carried out any investigation of the cases or prosecution of the perpetrators. The Tianjin City Bureau of Prison Administration and the Tianjin City Bureau of Justice are responsible.
Another practitioner, Mr. Wu Dianzhong, has now stepped forward to provide testimony. He demands an investigation into the torture practices at Binhai Prison; that perpetrator Zhang Shilin be brought to justice; and that the government pay reparation for damages.
Mr. Wu Dianzhong's Personal Testimony
Long Term Pain Turned out to Be Fractured Spine
I was released on January 12th, 2013, from Binhai Prison (formerly known as Gangbei Prison). I have experienced severe pain in my upper and lower back as a result of the guards instigating other inmates to torture me.
The first thing I did after getting home was to get a medical examination, which showed:
(1) adverse thoracolumbar spine curvature;
(2) T11 thoracic vertebral compressive fracture which was a direct result of inmate Zhang Suo forcefully pressing my head down;
(3) lumbar disc herniation and hyperostosis;
(4) lumbar degeneration which was a direct result of inmate Zhang Xiaoyue kneeing my lower back. The doctor said, “The fracture can only be caused by excessive external force.”
After I was released, I told Zhang (the director of my local neighbourhood Party committee) about my suffering in the prison. I said, “Since the government claims that our society is ruled by law, I would ask for your help to find legal assistance because I want to hire lawyers to sue the prison.”
Director Zhang initially agreed to help me, but later he kept finding excuses to avoid me. I knew he must have experienced a lot of pressure from his superiors.
So I consulted several law firms on my own. They were all sympathetic after I told them my story. They gave me legal advice but did not dare to take up my case. Some lawyers told me outright that the Procuratorate forbade them to take any cases related to Falun Gong.
I am still now trying to find a lawyer to help with my lawsuit against Binhai Prison.
Zhang Shilin Instigated Four Inmates to Torture Me
I was arrested by the Tianjin municipal 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) on January 13th, 2009, and later sentenced to four years in prison. On September 17th, 2009, I was transferred to the fifth ward of Binhai Prison in Tianjin City. At the time Zhang Shilin, who has since been sued by Falun Gong practitioners, was the captain in the ward.
That afternoon, I was forced to sit on a small bench for long hours while four inmates watched me. I was finally allowed to go to bed at 11:30 that night but had to get up at 5 the next morning to continue sitting on the bench. The entire time I was not allowed to speak or move. I kept requesting to see the prison guards to ask them why I was forced to sit for long hours. The inmates kept finding excuses, while in fact the guards were sitting in the room next door watching a live video of me.
On September 23rd, as I was once again denied seeing the guards, I refused to sit and four inmates Zhang Suo, Zhang Xiaoyue, Zhang Di and Zhang Jianmin forced me down onto a plastic bench, crushing it in the process. I had to sit on the ground while inmate Zhang Suo stomped on my feet and thrust my head downward. Suddenly I heard a loud cracking sound from my back. I could tell that the sound even frightened inmate Zhang.
I could not move and lost sensation in my upper body immediately. I was taken to the prison hospital and they found my blood pressure was 260. The hospital did not carry out any exams other than measuring my blood pressure. I told them, “I will have my family hire lawyers to sue the people who tortured me. You have no right whatsoever to treat me like this.” Without any medical treatment, I was carried back to my cell.
At five o'clock the next morning, the four inmates forced me to get up and sit up on the bench although I could not keep my back straight. They pushed my body from all four directions to prop it up. Inmate Zhang Di then began punching my right ribcage with his fist. After his fist got tired, he switched to a toothbrush, viciously jabbing me and leaving me with severe pain in my right ribs whenever I breathe heavily, even more than a year later.
Inmate Zhang Xiaoyue struck my lower back with his knees until I fainted from the pain. The prison guards had the inmates carry me to the prison hospital again. As my blood pressure was very high, the prison doctor told them that without treatment my life was at risk. I insisted on reporting the torture to the prison guards before receiving any treatment because I knew the purpose of the medical treatment was to get rid of the evidence of their torturing me. Once again the inmates carried me back to the cell. They injected me with a syringe of some drug without telling me what it was.
After that I experienced unbearable pain every day. At the end of March 2010, I demanded the prison authorities check on the pain in my lower back. After doing an X-ray, the authorities told me everything was fine except for a minor hyperostosis.
On July 28th, 2010, I had to be hospitalized in the prison hospital and lie in bed over 20 hours a day. The pain was alleviated a little after that. The prison authorities told me a second time that I would be able to be released on bail for medical treatment if I were to “confess my crime.” I refused and said I committed no crime at all; I had been imprisoned because of my beliefs and nothing more.
I was released after being detained for the full prison term, on January 12th, 2013.
The medical examination report clearly testifies to the injury caused by the Binhai Prison authorities. I hope related government entities will investigate the prison and ensure that justice is served.
In May 2011, practitioner Zhou Xiangyang's family sued the Binhai Prison for the torture inflicted on him during his detention. There were also two more complaint letters, one about the common use of torture in Binhai Prison and the other regarding practitioner Li Xiwang's being tortured to death.
Another practitioner Nie Baoli wrote a letter titled “I want to provide witness account in assistance to the investigation of the torture in Binhai Prison” to various government entities. His letter is further proof for the common deployment of torture against Falun Gong practitioners and specifically provided evidence for the crimes of captain Zhang Shilin.
Afterward, another practitioner Fan Jianming, who was detained and tortured at the prison, also filed complaints against Zhang Shilin. Mr. Fan described in detail the torture he suffered at the order of Zhang Shilin. One torture was called “anchor in the ground,” where the victim's limbs were locked down to certain fixtures in the ground and the victim's body was forced to stay in the same position for long periods of time to inflict pain.
Facing the large amount of evidence and complaints, the law enforcement government entities have turned their backs, kept finding excuses to diffuse the allegations, and continued to employ torturers such as Zhang Shilin.
Over ten practitioners who were detained and tortured at the Binhai Prison signed a document providing eyewitness evidence to the large amount of torture committed by prison authorities and asking the government to investigate and bring the criminals, including Zhang Shilin, Li Guoyu, Song Xuesen and others, to justice.
This document was submitted by practitioner Zhou Xiangyang's two lawyers to the Tianjin Procuratorate and Tianjin Bureau of Prison Administration in December 2012. However, there has been no direct answer from these officials.
Two Other Cases of Torture in Binhai
Practitioner Hua Lianyou was sentenced to seven years in prison for keeping up his practice of Falun Gong and has been detained and tortured at Binhai Prison. Later he was sent to Xinsheng Hospital (located in the prison). He has now been on a hunger strike for over a year to protest. His health is extremely poor.
Practitioner Zhang Ziwen was arrested and taken to Binhai Prison at the end of September 2011. Under deputy captain Gao Peizhi's instigation, inmates Hao Gang and Song Hui led other inmates including Wei Yanhong to torture him. They also wrote slanderous words defaming Falun Gong all over his clothes, shoes, pillow and even underwear. Mr. Zhang suffered hypertension and was taken to a Tianjin hospital for emergency treatment on April 19th, 2013. The prison authorities notified his family that the hospital had issued the critical condition notice. However, the prison authorities demanded his family accept some special conditions in return for his release on bail due to medical reasons.
Official Silence Condones the Crimes and Allows Them to Continue
There has been no investigation into the torture of Falun Gong practitioners at Binhai Prison to date. Despite an overwhelming body of evidence, the deaths of Li Xiwang and Zhu Wenhua have been in vain. Worse, the Binhai Prison authorities are still carrying out the torture against detained practitioners. I am deeply concerned about the situations of Hua Lianyou and Zhang Ziwen and want to do something for them.
Through the over 1000 defences by over 100 righteous attorneys, it has been clarified quite enough that arresting, prosecuting, sentencing and detaining Falun Gong practitioners on the basis of the Criminal Law's 300 Articles constitutes intentional misuse of legal provisions.
I hereby give my witness testimony to the torture in Binhai Prison and request government entities carry out investigation and prosecute the perpetrators, including Zhang Shilin and inmates, who committed the crime against me. I also demand government reparation for the damages.
Please stand on the side of justice and fulfil your responsibilities, even if just for the sake of yourself and your own family!
Declarant: Wu Dianzhong
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