The mouth-opener device is normally used to pry open the mouths of animals. It is made of thick, steel wire. When the device is extended into a full circle, the throat is blocked and the victim can only struggle to breathe through the nose. If the victim has a small mouth, upon the extension of the mouth-opener, his or her lips are torn immediately. Many practitioners' lips are torn as a result of this torture. After the device is removed, their mouths bleed, and they are unable to open their mouths wide to eat for a long time.
Brutal Beatings, Time and Again
I was arrested in 2005 for posting materials exposing the persecution of Falun Gong in public areas. I refused to wear the prisoner's vest when I was held at the detention centre. Prison guards forced me to wear the vest, and shackled my hands. When I held a hunger strike they handcuffed my hands behind my back. My legs were chained and then the cuffs on my hands and chains on legs were joined together and locked to the ground. Consequently I was forced to continually kneel down.
Convicts had to collect my urine and faeces. I was sworn at and abused by them. After a tube was inserted into me to force-feed me, they did not remove it. It remained in my stomach, causing great pain. When the tube was eventually taken out, it was completely black.
I was later taken to Masanjia Forced Labour Camp in Liaoning Province. Every practitioner was monitored around the clock by two convicts. We were not allowed to talk to each other, and had to eat moldy biscuits which had mice droppings in them. We had to get up at 5:00 a.m., and work until 10:00 p.m. If we did not finish our work, we had to take it back to the cell and continue working.
I was slapped in the face by team heads Zhang Xiurong and Xiang Kuili for not complying with their unreasonable demands. I was often sent to the wash room and made to stand in the freezing cold for long hours.
Because I refused to listen to broadcasts slandering Falun Gong, team head Pei Feng locked me in the warehouse for five days. My hands were handcuffed to separate metal chairs. I was not allowed to sleep and had to listen to broadcasts slandering Falun Gong played very loud. Other practitioners imprisoned in the same cell went on a hunger strike collectively and some of them became so weak that they collapsed onto the ground. The team head was afraid that the incident would get worse and I was thus released.
On one occasion I refused to recite the prison rules and guard Wang Shuzhen slapped me hard in the face. I fell down and hit a thermos bottle. A piece of flesh was scraped from my face, revealing raw skin.
Torture Method – Hung Up by Handcuffs, Both Arms Stretched
I refused to do slave labour and was thus frequently tortured by the guards, who were very brutal. A guard once threw me out of the cell into the corridor. Another time, guard Wang Shuzhen ordered prisoners to cuff my hands to both sides of the iron bed. I knelt on the ground, stuck under the metal railings of the bed. I could neither stand nor kneel, and it was extremely painful.
I once refused to denigrate Falun Gong and was slapped by guard Ma Jishan, and political head Ren Huaiping ordered prisoners to beat me.
On another occasion, all practitioners came together to resist the persecution, and refused to wear prison uniforms. We were not given any food for three days and had to relieve ourselves in buckets placed in prison cells. The team head wore a face mask and was afraid to enter the room. In the end, the labour camp hired hooligans from outside to beat all of us and force us to wear the prison uniforms.
Guards Ren Hongzan and Wang Shuzhen once handcuffed me to both ends of a metal bed. Wang Shuzhen then tied my legs with rope. This form of torture was extremely cruel. I could not move my legs, and my back was bent at 90 degrees. I refused to obey her and she pinched my thigh with all her might. I was badly beaten, resulting in bruises all over my body. Finally she tied my legs tightly, locked me in the room, and left.
All practitioners detained in the labour camp decided not to do slave labour. I was hit in the face with a large cup, and another prisoner kicked my leg hard. I could not stand up as a result of the torment, and for more than a month after that I walked dragging my leg along. Other practitioners were beaten so badly that they were forced to resume slave labour. When one prisoner started to kick and beat me, blood oozed out from the corner of my mouth and my arms were bruised. Guard Ma Jishan slapped me in the face, pulled my hair, and banged my head against the wall. At night, I slept with both hands cuffed to the bed.
Brutal Form of Torture – Force-Feeding
I began a hunger strike to protest the persecution to which I was subjected. Team head Zhang Xiurong and a group of guards pressed hard on my hands, which were shackled to the bed, and forced a tube into me every day. I was in excruciating pain. After a while, my nose, eyes, and face became swollen and they could not push the tube into my nose. Instead they inserted the tube directly into my throat. After force-feeding, I was hung up in a slanted position. I was allowed to use the toilet only once per day.
I had to sleep at night with both hands cuffed to the bed, and I could only sleep in a fixed position. Guard Ma Jishan opened all the windows at night. The prison was in a rural area and insects flew into the cell in large swarms throughout the night.
Because I refused to stop my hunger strike, guard Ma Jishan handcuffed my hands and legs to the death bed, and they tied my body with ropes. A dozen officers surrounded me and Ma Jishan pried my mouth wide open with a mouth opener. I nearly suffocated to death and my heartbeat became abnormal. A doctor took my pulse and said, “Take away the mouth opener quickly, we cannot continue to use it.”
I developed heart problems as a result of prolonged periods of physical and mental torture. They stopped using the mouth opener on me temporarily. Several days later, they began using it again. Initially I bit on the mouth opener with all my strength and stopped them from prying my mouth open. I was tormented by the mouth opener for eight hours every day. My hands and legs were shackled to the death bed. Above my bed, a radio blared messages slandering Falun Gong. The windows were covered with newspapers.
I was persecuted using various means. Sometimes I was tied to the bed with a thick rope. When I refused to climb onto the bed, four strong men came in, grabbed my hands and legs, and threw me straight onto the bed. They took away the mouth opener in the evening before they were off duty. I was allowed to sleep only very late at night with both hands handcuffed to the bed. Other times, I was not allowed to sleep, and was suspended by my handcuffs until dawn. When I was finally released and allowed to lie on the bed, I was told to get up again.
Guard Ma Jishan came up with an evil scheme after I had persisted in my hunger strike for over 20 days with the mouth opener in me. She force-fed me with a small bowl of corn gruel four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon. She adjusted the mouth opener so that there was a small opening in my mouth and fed me a spoonful of corn gruel. She then adjusted the device to its maximum capacity. I was left alone in the room with the radio on. The guards returned after a short while and fed me another spoonful. After that, my mouth was pried wide open, and I was tortured like that repeatedly. Four hours went by in the morning and the force-feeding continued for another four hours in the afternoon. The corn gruel eventually turned cold. My teeth became loose as a result of constantly biting the mouth opener, and the metal wire cut into my gums.
One day, Ma Jishan saw that there was no one in the room, and started to adjust the mouth opener to maximum capacity. I shouted out loud. When she heard someone running over, she walked away. When no one was in the room, she manipulated the device again. My mouth was already numb by then. When the guards released me in the evening, the mouth opener was covered in blood. Four of my bottom teeth had been knocked out. They held me so that I could not move and snatched the dislodged teeth. They did not want to leave any evidence of their crimes.
I was forced to wear the mouth-opener again the next day. Another tooth came out and the wire cut into my gums. My gums and tongue were swollen and started to fester. I told the guards I would take them to court. Guard Liu Yong replied, “You can do whatever you like. Nobody cares if you lose one tooth, five teeth, or even ten teeth. That's normal. This is the ruling class.”
I saw with my own eyes a guard punch a practitioner, causing her to lose four teeth in the top row. Another practitioner who had uterine cancer before was pushed onto the ground by guards. They lifted her clothes so that her bare stomach touched the cement ground. It was winter then and two guards kicked her body at will. Two practitioners were hit in the face with handcuffs. They were then beaten with a bamboo clothes rack. Ma Jishan hung a practitioner's hands from the upper bed and one leg attached to the lower bed, leaving one leg standing on the ground.
Practitioner Yuan Shuzhe went on hunger strike for three days. She became deaf as a result of beatings by a guard. She was handcuffed opposite me and guards slapped her hard a dozen times. They made her write statements renouncing her belief. In the end, she could not take the torture anymore and jumped down from upstairs, causing her legs to fracture. Guard Wang Qi stabbed a 58-year-old elderly practitioner in the back with a long needle. The practitioner immediately fainted from the pain.
I was handcuffed to the bottom bed, with another hand cuffed to the steps leading to the upper bunk. As a result my body was bent at 90 degrees. I was stuck in between both beds, and I could not lift my head. Words slandering Master were written on the plank of the bottom bed. After a while, my whole body was covered in sweat from the excruciating pain. Guard Liu Yong even kicked me in the back and the pain was heart wrenching.
Fed with Unknown Drugs
Guards at the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp even added unknown drugs to my food. Before my release, a prisoner secretly told me that a prisoner named Gao Hua, who had been convicted for prostitution, added drugs to my food every day. I was very shocked to hear that. I asked her what drug I was given. She said she didn't know. Team head Wang Shuzhen had ordered Gao Hua to do it. I recalled that every time I took my meal, team head Dai Yuhong would stand in front of us and watch. She also asked me, “How's your food?” They intended to harm me, and the drugs have caused memory loss.
Seven years have gone by, and even now my arms are still swollen and the flesh is hard.
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