Inhuman Torture in China: the Tip of the Iceberg

With the Chinese regime's round-up of Falun Gong practitioners in anticipation of the Beijing Olympics, the massacre in Lhasa, Tibet, and the clampdown on the media, the spotlight has been shining ever brighter on China's horrendous human rights abuses.

The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FLGHRWG) wishes to announce that it has sent out millions of emails around the world to alert government officials, NGOs, human rights groups, and many individuals of the inhuman torture going on in China. In order to win the Olympics, China made a promise to improve human rights. Far from keeping its promise, the human rights violations have become worse -- much worse.

The following torture cases of Falun Gong practitioners represent just the tip of the iceberg. They are typical of what tens of thousands have experienced, what hundreds of thousands face, and what millions fear if they dare to place their own belief above belief in the Chinese Communist Party.

1. Ms. Zhang Yulan: In 2000, at the Changchun Women's Forced Labour Camp, Ms. Zhang was forced to do slave labour, often until midnight, and was beaten and shocked with electric batons. In 2003, just two years after the Communist regime promised to "improve human rights" in order to get the Olympics, Ms. Zhang's father Zhang Quanfu, 65, died as result of tortures in Chaoyanggou Forced Labour Camp (in Changchun City) on January 8th, 2003, and her brother Zhang Qifa, 38, also died as result of tortures in Chaoyanggou Labour Camp on January 19th, 2003, for practising Falun Gong. On November 28th, 2007, the police arrested Ms. Zhang, and caused her to "disappear." The authorities refuse to give her family any idea of her whereabouts, or even tell them whether she is still alive.

2. Ms. Zhao Zhongling: Ms. Zhao was arrested five times for practising Falun Gong, and suffered injuries due to torture each time. One month after her arrest on March 23rd, 2007, the authorities reported that she was in critical condition. However they refused to release her. They continued to use heavy shackles on her legs, kept her tied to a bed and even sentenced her to three years of forced labour. Ms. Zhao was tortured to death less than six weeks after her arrest. She was only 44. After her death, the local authorities forced her family to sign a statement acknowledging her "guilt."

3. Mr. Liu Hongwei and Ms. Mu Ping: On May 13th, 2003, Mr. Liu's wife was tortured to death at Jilin Province Heizuizi Women's Prison for practising Falun Gong. To avoid capture and further persecution, Mr. Liu had to leave his daughter and lead a homeless existence. Ms. Mu Ping's husband was tortured to death on May 13th, 2002. For practising Falun Gong, she herself had been tortured at a labour camp for close to three years. After she was released, her son never left her side.

The two adults came together, formed a new family, found work and settled down. On October 24th, 2006, the police arrested them again, ransacked their home, and froze the 70,000 yuan1 in their bank account. Their children were left without care, Ms. Mu Ping's mother suffered a heart attack. Both of their elderly mothers are on the brink of mental collapse, and Mr. Liu and Ms. Mu are still in prison for their belief.

4. Ms. Wei Fengju: Ms. Wei was first arrested in 1999. She was jailed for speaking out about the persecution of Falun Gong. She was forced to work 17 to 20 hours per day and was sometimes not allowed to sleep at all. The guards used electric batons to shock her on her chest and in her mouth, which disfigured her mouth. When she was detained in February 2007, the torture left her with abdominal pain and she could not eat. After her release, she could not recover and died on July 12th, 2007. Before her death, she told others, "I won't be able to recover because they injected some unknown drug into me."

5. Mr. Li Hongfu: Mr. Li was repeatedly jailed and tortured for telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong. The torture included the tiger bench2, electric shocks, nailing bamboo shoots under his fingernails and merciless daily beatings by convicted drug addicts. The brutality caused Mr. Li's spleen to rupture and his ribs fractured. He vomited and had difficulty breathing. He weighed less than 40 kg (88 lbs), could no longer walk unaided, and was in constant excruciating pain. Mr. Li never recovered and died on December 8th, 2006, at the age of 31.


1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

2. "Tiger Bench": Prisoners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead without movement for long periods of time.

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