Thirteen Methods of Torture Used in Today's China

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Note: The Xinhua News Agency and China Central TV (CCTV), and other Chinese state-run media outlets have recently attacked Clearwisdom.net for reporting the torture of Falun Dafa practitioners happening widely inside Chinese prisons and labour camps, claiming that such tortures do not exist. The following reference material from Sina.net, a media source inside China, lists thirteen cruel tortures currently existing in China. That such a report can be published in China proves torture absolutely exists within the country. Falun Dafa practitioners are the most severely tortured group, being subjected to ongoing and brutal torture methods. Through the attack on Clearwisdom's torture reports, it can be clearly seen how the Chinese regime uses the media to cover up its crimes and deceive its audience.

There is no need to argue the point that torture exists in China. To what extent is torture used throughout the whole country? For people who have never experienced life in a Chinese prison, it is hard to know the facts.

According to Chen Yunsheng, a famous Chinese legal expert, based on international widely used definitions of state-sponsored torture, its first characteristic is that the torturer must be a government employee. The normal situation is that the person works in one of the Judiciary Departments as a law enforcer.

Sina.net published an article on December 8th, 2003, "Thirteen Cruel Tortures Existing in China," as an "Independent Report Requested by Looking East Weekly." According to the article, there is a worldwide trend condemning the use of torture. China has co-signed the United Nation's Convention Against Torture and other Cruel Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and other relevant documents. In spite of this, the Chinese government has failed to effectively end the use of torture within the country and, according to the article, its use has become a widespread societal disease that not only threatens people's lives and the ruling Party's reputation, but also is ruining China's international image.

Sina.net's exposure of the torture being used in China came as quite a surprise. On December 12th, 2004, after Falun Dafa practitioners had been holding anti-torture displays in Manhattan for five months, www.Kanzhongguo.com (China Watch) began quoting some of the facts that were revealed in this article. As quoted in the article:

" 'Tortures in modern China are often used as a means of extorting confessions,' this is the conclusion based on many years of investigation by 61-year old legal expert, Chen Yunsheng , a PhD degree supervisor at the Institute of Law, China's Academy of Social Sciences. In his book, Towards Human Rights and the Rule of Law -- Anti-torture Analysis, he gives some examples from situations known to have happened in China in the 1990s. They are extremely sad to read but are listed below for those who still try to deny the facts:

1. Brutal Beating. Besides punching and kicking, beatings are often carried out using police batons. Many have been beaten to death. Pregnant women have even lost their babies as the result of being kicked repeatedly.

2. Beating while a person is hung up. The person is hung up by ropes then beaten. Many deaths have occurred from this torture.

3. Handcuffing the hands behind the back. The most painful method is the "finger cuff," in which the hands are tied behind the back with one hand over the shoulder and the other hand against the lower back. The police then apply a great deal of force to pull the two hands toward one another and handcuff the two hands together. Death is caused by heart failure (due to extreme pain).

4. Burning with a hot iron. This used to be an ancient torture method, but unfortunately is still in use now.

5. Burning with cigarettes. This is commonly used on female victims.

6. Electric shocking. Besides electric baton shocks causing deaths, death cases were found from brutal beatings combined with strong ultra-violet ray shocks or electric gun shocks.

7. Strong light flashing in victims' eyes at a close distance, causing damage to the vision.

8. "Horse Stance" or "Riding the Motorcycle" position. This is a Chinese martial arts basic training position, but it is also used as a torture method, as it is very painful after prolonged periods.

9. Biting and tearing by police-trained dogs.

10. False execution by shooting. An empty gun is placed against the victim's head and the trigger is pulled.

11. Sexually deviant methods of torture. These involve stripping the victim's pants off then beating them up, kicking the private parts, poking them with a wooden stick, or applying electric baton shocks to the private parts.

12. Force-feeding human excrement and urine. Victims have committed suicide out of unbearable humiliation.

13. Humiliating interrogations or punishment. Using despicable means to place victims in extreme pain, especially means that insult the victim's dignity. "

Reading Mr. Chen Yunsheng's book, Towards Human Rights and the Rule of Law -- Anti-torture Analysis at the end of 2003 made me aware that there exist so many tragic tortures around us. I greatly admired the author's courage in exposing the ugly truth. In March 2003, a college student, Mr. Sun Zhigang was beaten to death in the Guangzhou City Detention Centre just because he was not carrying his ID with him. His case shocked the whole nation. In fact, many lives had already been ended due to various tortures before Sun's incident occurred.

[Note: Towards Human Rights and the Rule of Law -- Anti-torture Analysis, written by Chen Yunsheng, published by China Social Science Publishing House, September 2003, first edition.]

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