September 04, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent from Hebei Pro, China
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Zhai Shutian (翟树田)
Age: In her 40s
Address: Lijiazuo Village, Shenxing Town, Mancheng County, Hebei Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: Winter 2001
Most Recent Place of Detention: Zhuozhou Brainwashing Center (涿州洗脑班)
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, beatings, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, force-feedings, extortion, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention
Ms. Zhai Shutian is a farmer from Lijiazuo Village, Shenxing Town, Mancheng County, Hebei Province. Because she persisted in her belief, she has repeatedly suffered persecution, including harassment, torture and brainwashing. The persecutors are from the Mancheng County Detention Center, the county 610 Office, the Domestic Security Division, Shenxing Town Police Station, the town government, and brainwashing centers.
While she was detained in Mancheng Detention Center, Ms. Zhai Shutian was beaten so badly that her head was swollen and she lost all feeling. In Zhuozhou Brainwashing Center, four or five men beat her. They slapped her face and pushed and punched her. Two men held her arms while two others beat her from behind with specially-designed police batons. They beat her legs, her back, and her buttocks until she lost consciousness. They poured water over her to revive her. She wasn’t able to lay on her back and had to lean forward against the bed. Despite her condition they handcuffed her to the bed. By the next morning, her legs and waist swelled up and her pants couldn’t be removed.
I. Gaining a New Life After Practicing Falun Dafa
Ms. Zhai Shutian was a farmer. Because of overwork and a bad temper, she had many physical problems, including high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, severe insomnia, and joint pain all over her body. Just to get through the day, she had to take many pills but still was too weak to do any work.
In September 1997, a relative sent Ms. Zhai Falun Dafa’s main book, Zhuan Falun. She read a few pages and that night she slept very well. She woke up the next morning and told her-mother-in-law, “Last night I forgot to take the pills but I slept very well.”
She began to read the book with her-mother-in-law. They knew Zhuan Falun guided them to be good people and to always think of others first when doing anything. The relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law was greatly improved. Ms. Zhai persisted doing the exercises and studying the Fa every day. Two months later, all her illnesses were gone. She regained her strength and felt happy. She walked faster and was able to do the farm work.
All her family members thanked Master for His salvation, because Ms. Zhai was able to take care of the family again. Ms. Zhai told the villagers, “Falun Gong is really great. It not only teaches a person how to be good but also helps one get healthy.”
The villagers witnessed the amazing changes in her and many came to her to learn Falun Gong. Of 90% of the families in the village, at least one person in each family, began practicing.
II. Repeatedly Suffering Persecution
When the CCP started to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999 and all the government-controlled media slandered Falun Gong and practitioners, Ms. Zhai felt like her heart was stabbed and the sky was falling down. She started to appeal for Falun Gong and has since been arrested and detained several times.
1. Arrested for Appealing
On September 30, 2000, Ms. Zhai Shutian and four other practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. They saw many plainclothes police and police cars at Tiananmen Square. Many practitioners came from all over the country and were being arrested and put into police cars. Police cars filled with the practitioners drove away. One practitioner, Zhang Lianhe, was arrested. The other four managed to get away and returned home.
On October 2 when Ms. Zhai Shutian came home, the village party head Li Guofu was waiting for her. He asked, “Have you been in Beijing?” Ms. Zhai didn’t answer him directly. He left shortly and came back with four officers from Shenxing Town Police Station. They took her to the local police station to interrogate her.
Later she learned that all four practitioners who went to Beijing with her were arrested and interrogated. That night, the four practitioners, Ms. Zhai Shutian, Ms. Yan Guijuan, Ms. Xia Guiting and Ms. Liu Wenping were sent to the county detention center by Zhao Yuxia, head of the county Domestic Security Division.
2. Suffering Brutal Torture in the County Detention Center
Because she remained steadfast in her belief, Ms. Zhai was detained in the county detention center three times. While there she was tortured and humiliated.
She was forced to recite the detention regulations and to do slave labor – picking hot peppers in the field. The hot peppers made practitioners’ faces, hands and feet swell. If they couldn’t finish the quota, they would have to work late at night.
The practitioners were not allowed to practice the exercises. The detention doctor, Jia Ruiqin, walked into the cell one morning and asked each practitioner, “Have you practiced the Falun Gong exercises?” If they answered yes, Jia slapped their faces and forced them to sit facing the wall.
One morning, Jia Ruiqin accompanied Yuan Zhenjiang, deputy head of the county Party Committee, to come to the cell, along with the deputy head of the county Domestic Security Division, Zhao Hongxiang. Jia pointed to Ms. Zhai Shutian and the others and said to Yuan proudly, “They have been transformed successfully.”
Yuan Zhenjiang walked up to Ms. Zhai and said, “Do you have anything to say?” Ms. Zhai said, “Falun Dafa is really great and I have benefited so much.” Zhao Hongxiang slapped her in the face. He beat her so hard that Ms. Zhai fell to the ground.
When she slowly stood back up, Zhao punched her left breast so hard that she couldn’t breathe and fell on the ground again. After she once again slowly stood up, he punched her right breast. He kept berating her while beating her. When he became tired and walked away, Jia Ruiqin came and kept slapping on her face and berating her. Ms. Zhai lost all feeling in her face and her head felt numb and heavy. After a while, Jia Ruiqin forced her to sit on a stool in the hallway. Zhao Hongxiang ordered that a special torture tool be put on her.
It is a brutal torture tool. A normal person would be disabled after wearing it for less than a month. Ms. Zhai was unable to stand up straight. She had to walk in tiny steps and could only move very slowly because she had to bend her back with her head bent down just one foot above the floor and her buttocks high in the air.
To further humiliate and torture her, Jia Ruiqin ordered her to walk around to different cells. When she finally came to a cell filled with practitioners, Jia Ruiqin scolded her and kept slapping her face. Then she ordered Ms. Zhai to go to the next cell, where she forced her to stand like an animal in front of the cell to humiliate her.
Jia Ruiqin would call out, “Come look! This is Zhai Shutian….” Every little step Ms. Zhai took made the heavy metal rings cut into her ankles and caused her extreme pain. Jia slapped her so many times that her face was deformed and her head lost sensitivity after she had gone through all the cells.
At night, Ms. Zhai was unable to fall asleep with the torture device on her. She was in so much pain that she wasn’t able to move at all. Next day, guard Li Gengtian mocked her, “How do you feel today? Are you (Falun Gong) more righteous or is the CCP more unruly?”
On the third day, Chen Chende, head of the county 610 Office and Yuan Zhenjiang, deputy head of the county Party committee, held a public gathering to “Criticize and Expose Falun Gong” in the county theater. The “audience” consisted of students from the county elementary and middle schools. They finally removed the torture tool from Ms. Zhai. She and several other practitioners were taken to the theater in an open truck. Their “crimes” and “arrest” were announced and then they were handcuffed and sent back to the detention center.
Ms. Zhai persisted in practicing the exercises and was put on the torture tool again. On the fifth day, she started a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment. The torture tool was finally removed. On the ninth day of her hunger strike, Ms. Zhai was in danger of dying.
Wang Zenzhi, deputy head of Shenxing Town Party Committee, extorted her husband, “If you give us 13,000 yuan, your wife will be released immediately; otherwise she will be subjected to three years of forced labor.” Her husband told him, “The family only has 6000 yuan and cannot borrow so much money. Take it or not. That’s all I have.” Wang Zenzhi took the money and sent officers Cao Hongshen and Cao Pianzhi to accompany him to pick up Ms. Zhai. She came back home on December 17, 2000.
3. Family Members Are Harassed and Threatened; Ms. Zhai Has to Leave Home
Ms. Zhai was previously sent to a brainwashing center twice in order to force her to give up her belief. The ones who sent her there were officials from the county 610 Office, county Domestic Security Division, Shenxing Town Police Station, and Shenxing Town government.
On December 20, 2000, the third day after Ms. Zhai was released home, Wang Zenzhi and others from the town government came to her home and said, “What are you doing? Don’t you dare leave home!” Even during the Chinese New Year, they continued harassing her, which frightened Ms. Zhai’s parents-in-law and put them under a lot of stress.
At the beginning of February 2001, Ms. Zhai and her husband were working in the field when Kang Chao from Shenxing Town government came and asked her, “Do you still practice Falun Gong?” She answered yes. He said, “Then, come with me, you have to go to the ‘study class’.” She refused. Ten minutes later after he left, several officers from the town police station came to the field and looked for her. She escaped before they found her.
Ms. Zhai left home for more than 100 days. During this period, her husband, Li Dayong, was arrested and sent to Dongma Brainwashing Center in Mancheng County for 15 days.
The town government officials and local police kept harassing her parents, her younger brother and her older sister. They monitored their homes and tried to arrest her. They broke into her sister’s home at night and threatened her, “We will arrest you if we cannot find your younger sister.” Her father was over 70 years old and the daily harassment to his home made his heart beat rise.
Kang Zhao from the town government forced her father-in-law to look for her several times. Once he made him walk two to three miles at night to her parent’s home. He also forced him to search the nearby villages and abandoned sheds.
The town government officials also dispatched two cars to Beijing every other day to look for her. They checked every street and lane in Baiding City. They set up lookouts near the village and told passersby to report her if they saw her. They told them the reward was 10,000 yuan. One farmer in Lijiazhuo Village was told that he would get 5,000 yuan if he reported her whereabouts to police.
4. Taken to Dongma Brainwashing Center
Ms. Zhai Shutian left home and wandered around until autumn. She greatly missed her two children who were eight and eleven years old respectively. But she was afraid to go home. She went to her sister’s home to ask about her family. Just one hour after she got there, several people led by Wang Zenzhi came and she was taken to the town center.
She was cuffed to a thermal pipe overnight. The next morning when a person was going to give her some food, Shi Wei said, “Don’t give her anything! Let her starve to death.” A police officer came that morning and she was taken to the county detention center.
In the detention center, she refused to wear the prisoner’s uniform, refused to report her name during head count and refused to do slave labor. She was cuffed to the metal bar. Zhao Hongxiang berated her and even threatened to beat her.
Ms. Zhai persisted in practicing the Falun Gong exercises. The detention center doctor Jia Ruiqin ordered the inmates to put a torture device on her.
She started a hunger strike. On the sixth day, the guard removed the torture device and tricked her by saying that she would be sent home. Instead, she was sent to Dongma Brainwashing Center by Wang Zenzhi.
In the brainwashing center, Ms. Zhai continued her hunger strike to protest the illegal detention. Her children’s teacher was told to bring them to the detention center. The authorities tried to force her to give up her hunger strike through the tears and pleading of her children.
Ms. Zhai was on a hunger strike for five days in the detention center and five days in the brainwashing center. On the 10th day, her family was told to take her back. She was very thin.
5. Suffering in Zhuozhou Brainwashing Center
One day in the winter of 2001, when Ms. Zhai was cooking dinner, four or five local police led by Zhang Zhenyue, deputy head of the county Domestic Security Division, came to her home. Zhang Zhenyue tried to fool her, “Come with us to the town center! The party head wants to discuss something with you.” After Ms. Zhai said no, he said, “You must go with us whether you want to or not.” They dragged her to the police car. They stopped by the town center first and then sent her to the county detention center.
Ms. Zhai started a hunger strike in the county detention center. She was taken to the hospital for infusion. After Jia Ruiqin learned that she had done the exercises, he ordered that she be tortured. She was put on a torture device for seven or eight days.
She was detained in the detention center until September 2002, and was then sent to Zhuozhou Brainwashing Center.
In the brainwashing center, Gao Xuefei, head of the 610 Office, ordered that Ms. Zhai be handcuffed to a big tree with her arms surrounding the tree trunk. She was cuffed there all night. On the third day, she was forced to watch TV programs that slandered Falun Gong and was forced to write “thought reports”.
That night she was called to an office to have a “talk”. Once she got there she was beaten with a thick rubber police baton until she lost consciousness. The rod they used was specially made with a bunch of steel wires in the center and covered in rubber. It was specifically designed to cause internal injuries but not leave many visible surface injuries.
Four or five men beat her. They slapped her face, shoving and punching her. Then two men held her while two other men stood behind her, beating her with these special batons. They whipped her legs, back and buttocks until she lost consciousness.
When Ms. Zhai finally regained consciousness, her face and hair were wet and cold. Her body was in extreme pain. She was unable to lay down on her back at all and had to lean forward to the bed. She was cuffed to the bed. Her legs, her back and buttocks were dark purple. Her face was swollen and deformed. The next day she was unable to remove her pants because her legs were so swollen.
Once, she was found to have one of Master’s articles. That night, the guard whipped her legs with a leather belt while her legs were still swollen due to the previous beating.
Once, Liu Shuang punished her by making her stand in a corner. Wang Lei kicked her back and then turned around to give her another vicious kick. She punched Ms. Zhai in the face and mouth. Her mouth bled profusely and swelled so much she couldn’t close it. She was not allowed to go outside to prevent her wound from being seen. She started a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment. Gao Xuefei sent her to a hospital for infusion.
On the fourteenth day of her hunger strike, Ms. Zhai escaped from the hospital. Seven days later she came home.
In the spring of 2003, officers from Baoding City Police Department and Mancheng County Police Department, led by Zhao Yuxia, head of the county Domestic Security Division, broke into Ms. Zhai’s home. They first tried to fool her, “We need you to go to the town center to verify something and you won’t be there long.” Ms. Zhai told them, “You are lying. I don’t want to go. You sent me to the detention center and held me there for a year. No one took care of my children at home and no one took care of the farm. Are you trying to fool me again?” They dragged her to the police car.
She was sent to the Baoding Police Department and interrogated. They wanted to know what happened in the Zhuozhou Brainwashing Center and threatened her, “If you don’t say, we will arrest your neighbors.” She was detained for one day and one night without any food and drink.
The next day she was sent to Mancheng County Police Department and then she was let go.
Chinese version available
Category: Accounts of Persecution