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My brother was tortured to death within ten days at Gangbei Prison


( After being held in prison for 11 years, I was released on medical parole on April 26th, 2013, because of ill health.

On arriving home, I was told that my younger brother, Mr Li Xiwang, died ten days after he was taken to Gangbei Prison. I had to find out how he died.

According to my sister, our brother was in good health when she last saw him, which was before he was taken to Gangbei Prison. He died ten days after arriving there.

Playing word games

The death certificate that was completed by the hospital stated that the cause of death was “sudden death”. Another Falun Gong practitioner from Xingtai was beaten to death and his death certificate stated that the cause of death was “respiratory and heart arrest”.

I consulted a physician who said, “This is not the cause of the death. They are being vague and trying to cover up the cause. They are playing word games.” Sudden death and respiratory and heart arrest are terms that could be used as the cause of every death.

Probably it is just my good fortune that I am alive and able to write this letter. When I was imprisoned at the District No. 5 of Gangbei Prison during October 2005, I was held in solitary confinement because I attempted to stop the propaganda broadcasts that slandered Falun Gong.

Tortured at Gangbei Prison

The guards put handcuffs and shackles on me and guard Zhang Shilin ordered half a dozen criminal inmates to beat me. The beating lasted for several hours and I lost consciousness twice. I recovered consciousness after they had forced drugs down my throat.

The above are just some of the many tortures I suffered at Gangbei Prison. That was eight years ago. If I do not speak up today, how would one know the crimes guards at Gangbei Prison had committed and covered up? Did my brother suffer similar kinds of torture? Or worse? Is it just that I had regained consciousness but he did not?

Cause of death - anchor torture method

I was told that my brother suffered what is called the “anchor torture”. In this torture method the person's legs are kept straight and fixed, held upright by iron pipes, while the hands are shackled to the ground. The back is arched and the legs are immobile. My brother was anchored for over ten hours (the maximum time one can endure this torture method is two hours). He was found dead at midnight.

I was also told that after my brother died, the guards at Gangbei Prison changed the time of his death and staged an attempted rescue to cover up their crime.

6-10 Office gave an order to “torture him to death”

When I was held in Gangbei Prison, I heard that after my brother was transferred there, a member from the Tianjin 6-10 Office had told the prison officials, “This guy, torture him to death!”

This incident indicates clearly that the authorities at the Gangbei Prison follow closely the dictates of the 6-10 Office and even will torture someone to death if ordered.

As the directive was given by the 6-10 Office, my brother's family received 350,000 Yuan (GBP £40,000), with portions being paid by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Bureau of Prisons and Gangbei Prison.

Gangbei Prison notorious for torturing practitioners

I was told that practitioners incarcerated in Gangbei Prison came forward to testify about the torture carried out there. A complaint letter detailing several types of torture, including the anchor torture and beatings, was signed by ten or more victims.

The Tianjin political and legal agencies refused to initiate an investigation despite the many witnesses and evidence. I was told of another letter that reported my brother's death to have been caused by the anchor torture method. Besides, two people, Mr Nie Baoli and Fan Jianming, wrote a letter entitled “I Have the Responsibility to Cooperate with the Criminal Investigation of Gangbei Prison”, which testified to the torture used there.

After my sister-in-law was released from prison, she got involved in the rescue of Mr Zhou Xiangyang, a practitioner who was being tortured at Gangbei Prison. She wrote a letter stating, “Do not let the tragedy of losing a husband happen to another family”, detailing how her husband had died.

Another victim of China's prison system, Mr Zhu Wenhua, was beaten to death at Gangbei Prison. His family did not seek justice.

China's political and legal authorities remain silent

Despite numerous reports detailing torture and testimonies by witnesses, no one in the legal and political establishment initiated a formal investigation of Gangbei Prison. Criminals Zhang Shilin, Song Xuesen and others are not facing punishment.

I, Mr Li Xinwang's elder brother, demand that Gangbei Prison make any video recordings that show everything that has to do with my brother around the time of his death available for viewing.

This letter, like all the others, brings to light another crime committed in the Gangbei Prison.

I ask the respective agencies to investigate suspects Zhang Shilin, Song Xuesen, Huang He and others for torturing and killing my brother.

I want justice to be served.

Mr Li Xiwang's brother, Li Xiliang

July 2013


Mr Li Xiwang was a small business owner in the Hebei District, Tianjin. Because he practised Falun Gong, the police arrested him and his wife Ms Chen Liyan on December 21st, 2010. Mr Li was sentenced and transferred from Binhai Prison to Gangbei Prison on July 18th, 2011. Just ten days into his incarceration he died as a result of the “anchor torture” method.

Mr Li was also previously sentenced to an eight year prison term for practising Falun Gong. He was held in Gangbei Prison, where he was brutally tortured. He lost his hearing due to beatings of his head. The guards handcuffed his hands to a pole and forced him to face the ground. They put very heavy shackles on his feet and tied his feet to two poles. One foot was tied at a higher position than the other. He was tortured this way for 28 days. They didn't expect him to be alive when untying him from the poles.

Mr Li did not survive the “anchor torture” after he was taken to Gangbei Prison in 2011. He is survived by his wife and son.