Mr. Guan Changfu, a resident of Shiyan City, Hubei, became disabled while serving in the military. Due to his extremely poor health, he had to retire early from his job at Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
After he and his wife began to practise Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline, in 1996, both of them found their various illnesses cured.
But since the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, Mr. Guan was detained multiple times, sent to brainwashing centers twice and given a forced labour term for a year. He was once beaten to the point of mental breakdown.
His wife wasn’t spared from persecution either. She was detained three times and subjected to physical torture and mental coercion. She passed away in 2014 due to the anxiety and pressure she developed under duress.
Beaten to a Mental Breakdown
Mr. Guan went to Beijing on December 16, 2000, to appeal against the persecution of Falun Gong. He was arrested in Tiananmen Square and sent to Mentougou Police Station.
At the police station, eight policemen beat him for more than 20 minutes because he dared to speak up for other practitioners. His clothes and shoes were torn up from the beating he took.
When he tried to help two female practitioners wipe the floor in the detention center, a section chief became angry and pulled him outside. The chief and several officers beat him with plastic batons for an hour. He had a mental breakdown as a result and could not stop shouting. His body was covered in blood and bruises.
He was sent to a hospital the same night and injected with unknown drugs. His condition worsened afterwards; he lost control, shouting and yelling in a state of hysteria.
A few employees from his workplace, the Dongfeng Motor Corporation, escorted him back home by train on the night of December 20, 2000. He still could not control himself and kept shouting on the train.
They cuffed his hands behind his back and pushed him onto the seat, face-down. One of them sat on his back throughout the night. The handcuffs cut into his flesh to the point that bone was exposed; the scars on his wrists from this incident are still visible today.
When they arrived at Shiyan the next morning, Mr. Guan was taken to the Shiyan City Second Detention Centre. During the first few days, he had fits of hysteria at night and would not stop shouting. He was taken outside and hung from a steel bar. The guards ordered the inmates to beat him until 7:00 a.m. every night.
Later, he was confined in the death row cell while wearing 60 pounds shackles for a whole day, without water or food. He shouted and yelled. His clothes were soaked from sweat and urine when he was finally released from the cell.
Mr. Guan was sent to a brainwashing centre set up by his workplace one month later. He was kept there for seven months. The guards beat and kicked him very often, and forced him to stand facing a wall for long hours at a time.
His workplace withheld 9,310 yuan from his salary as “tuition” for the brainwashing session.
Brutally Tortured in Two Detention Centres
After his release, Mr. Guan recovered his health by doing Falun Gong exercises. He also began to raise awareness of the persecution to people. One year later, in January 2002, he was arrested while telling people about Falun Gong and sent to the Shiyan City First Detention Centre.
Because he refused to recite the detention center rules in protest, the guards handcuffed him to a pole in the restroom and mocked him. The inmates were encouraged to torture him as well. They burnt his face with cigarette butts and stomped on his feet.
Later, he was shackled to 60 pound weights for two days. During break time, the inmates covered his head with a quilt, and then punched and kicked him. He almost passed out.
Mr. Guan held a hunger strike against the mistreatment for 20 days. He was brutally force-fed and tied to a bed in a spread-eagle position.
He was released one month later.
In 2004, Mr. Guan was taken to a brainwashing center. Instead of beating him this time, the guards didn’t allow him to sleep. When his mind was muddled due to the extreme sleep deprivation, the collaborators tricked him into signing a form that renounced Falun Gong. When he saw it the next day, he did not acknowledge it and tore it up. The instructors of the brainwashing session were furious and had him hung up by the wrists from the window bars for several hours.
He was sent to the detention centre after the brainwashing session; a month later, he was given a year of forced labour.
Wife Passes Away from Anxiety and Pressure
Mr. Guan's wife, Ms. Zou Shaoyu, followed in her husband's footsteps. On December 18, 2000, she also set out on her way to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. She was arrested on the train and detained at Shiyan City First Detention Centre. There, she was tortured; the guards also forced her to take showers with ice-cold water.
Only two days after she was released on January 18, 2001, she was taken back into custody and held at the same brainwashing centre with her husband for seven months. She was also tortured and deprived of sleep.
Ms. Zou and Mr. Guan were reported to authorities when they shared facts about Falun Gong while they were riding a train on January 6, 2008. They were detained for a whole day in Yingchuan Rail Road Police Station. After their release, they were forced to live away from home to avoid further persecution for a year.
The long term anxiety and pressure took a toll on Ms. Zou’s health. She passed away in April 2014 as a result.
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