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Freezing is one of many torture methods devised by the authorities in their attempts to force practitioners to renounce their beliefs. Practitioners were left to freeze either outdoors or indoors for extended periods of time. This is used in conjunction with other forms of torture to increase practitioners' suffering.
Practitioners subjected to the freezing torture often sustained serious injuries. Some died as a result, while others had toes or legs amputated.
Freezing and humiliation in prisons
Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on February 8th, 2000, guards at the Kaifeng City Detention Centre in Henan Province yelled, "Falun Gong! Come out and practise your exercises!" It was freezing cold, with bone-chilling winds. Policemen poured basins of water on the snow-covered ground and then forced practitioners, barefoot and dressed only in underwear, to meditate on the ground. Some were even forced to sit on the snow bank by a wall. The guards didn't even spare practitioners who were having their periods.
Wearing heavy coats and holding police clubs and torches, the drunken guards shouted, "You want to practise? Then go ahead. Do it!" They had fourteen practitioners, from 20 to 58 years old, on the ground. The guards and their supervisors filled the courtyard and continually threatened practitioners with their clubs.
The practitioners who had been ordered to stay inside recited Falun Dafa's articles in strong voices to encourage the practitioners outside. At the same time, they repeatedly asked the guards to stop their brutality. However, the guards packed ice on the hands and heads of the practitioners, and yelled, "Let's see how you practise! No one is allowed to see doctors!"
Practitioners sat quietly on the frozen ground. The torture lasted until midnight. Fearing that some practitioners would die, the police carried the practitioners inside one by one. The lower bodies of many of them were already numb from the cold. As soon as they were brought in, the practitioners who had been kept inside hurried to warm them with their own bodies.
The next morning, people saw a row of depressions in the ice, marking the places where the practitioners had been tortured. The ice did not melt until several days later. Afraid of having their crimes exposed, officials of the detention centre did not allow any practitioners to go outside for a break the next day (source).