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Water torture detainee complains about treatment

A BLIND detainee says he became seriously ill after being forced to drink up to 15 liters of tap water a day by another inmate in a north China detention house.

He has accused the detention house of dereliction of its duties.

But officials with the detention house in Zanhuang County of Hebei's provincial capital Shijiazhuang City dismissed the accusation saying the detainee had suffered poor health for a long time, today's Yanzhao Metropolis Daily reported.

Qin Yingwei, 27, said he was held in the detention house in September 2006 after being charged with attempted rape. He was found not guilty and released on April 7, 2008.

But during his detention, he was bullied into regular poker games by an intimidating inmate Yu Zhengrong.

Qin was forced to drink tap water every time he lost a game.

He was forced to drink between 10 and 15 liters of water every day, he said.

This continued for nearly two months.

It was then he started to suffer health problems. He contracted scabies, his stomach lost all sense of feeling and his body swelled.

Later he went blind in both eyes. He was sent to a hospital where his blood pressure was recorded at 210/135. Doctors said the dangerously high blood pressure had caused his blindness.

He was treated over the following nine months, but doctors said he was permanently disabled. The constant large amounts of water he had swallowed had damaged his internal organs.

Qin said he dared not refuse Yu as Yu had threatened to beat him up. Yu often beat up other inmates.

Qin said he always had to wear a leg iron, even in hospital, but he had never seen Yu, who had been given a death sentence, wear a leg iron.

Yu had been sentenced to death for stabbing two people and seriously wounding several police officers with explosives.

Officers of the detention house dismissed Qin's claim.

Qin had suffered health problems long before he was put in the detention house, said an official surnamed Zhao. He said the local police who are in charge of the detention house, had offered compensation.

Qin's parents deny he had suffered poor health.

"My son served in the army," his mother, Zhang Juhua, said. Recruits wanting to join the army must pass strict physical checks.

Qin returned to his hometown in Zanhuang after retiring from the army in 2002.

She added "neither his father nor I have high blood pressure or other heart disease."


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