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Prison Tales

Torture in the Aftermath of the Sentry Incident

Lee Jun Ha's Prison Tales 20.
 |  2009-08-19 12:02
I thought the incident with the sentry was over, but it wasnt. If the Security Department had simply scolded the sentries without taking my side, it would have been fine. However, the young sentry ratted on me to the commander, which brought it to the attention of the warden and the prison as a whole. Some security officials even gossiped that their superior had felt unnecessary sympathy and tried to compromise with a prisoner. The next day, right after breakfast, the general section head came to me, with a frightened look on his face.

Jun Ha! The Security Department Secretary is looking for you.
What? I asked.

The word Security Department Secretary made my heart sink. The cell head immediately got busy dressing me in all the clothes he could lay his hands on.

Jun Ha, he explained, They might beat you up in there so wear everything you can. They might even put you in solitary confinement, so youd better wear these socks too.
Dont worry about it too much, I said, putting a brave face on it, I had to go through it some time anyway. Theyre not going to kill me, are they?

Everyone in the section was feeling sorry for me, so I tried to march out of the cell bravely, but when I arrived in front of the Security Department Secretarys office, my mind was all over the place and my legs were shaking so hard. I slapped my legs to try and regain control, but even my lips had started to quiver. I felt like I was about to pass out. Oh dear! I had to go inside calmly, as if nothing had happened, but in my efforts to do so I forgot to knock.

You brat, the Secretary shouted, How dare you come in without knocking!

He threw a glass at my face. I should have let the glass strike me, but I reacted instantly, ducking down so the glass broke against the door.

Sir, Im number 282 Lee Jun Ha. I came because you called me

He gruffly called me inside. I was about to kneel down, but first he told me to make a selection from a pile of wooden bats and clubs of varying dimensions. From among them, I picked a roughly 4cm thick club about a meter long.

I held it with both hands and kneeled in front of him. I was waiting for the beating to start, only to realize he was still speaking.

Put it behind your knees.

I hesitated, not knowing what he meant. Then he kicked me, hard in the chest. I fell down but quickly kneeled again. He kicked me again. Only after this process had been repeated about 10 times did he start to speak.

Sit down with that thing behind your knees! Dont you understand Korean?

At that moment I knew that this Secretary was completely different from other security officials. Other security officials didnt scare me even when they were cursing, but although this person did not curse, every word he spoke came out with malice.

I sat down, with the club behind my knees as instructed. He tore a page from a notebook, placed it between my butt and calf and told me that the paper should not fall. He went out of the office, returning after about five minutes.

How many times did it fall?
It never did.

Unimpressed, he clubbed me again; I felt faint and my lips started to bleed. He handcuffed me to a chair and went out again. This time he placed the paper between my heels; the slightest movement could cause the paper to fall down. I couldnt do anything, so I just sat like that for a long time. By the end, I had lost the feeling in my legs.

Inevitably the paper kept falling down, and whenever it fell, he kicked me. After four hours of torture, he ordered me to stand up straight. I tried to, but my legs wouldnt cooperate. I collapsed right there, so of course he kicked me again. I put everything into it, and finally succeeded in standing up; my knees made unhealthy clanking sounds. When I had just barely managed to stand up, I felt a strange heat coming right up my legs. For a moment I staggered, and took hold of the desk, so of course he hit my hands with the club.

Despite my repeated shouts of I will correct myself, he didnt listen. My hands turned from an ugly bluish color to black, and then finally started getting cut up.

This is only the start, the official told me menacingly, Its lunch now, so Ill see you later.
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