August 27, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent from Jilin Province, China
(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist regime banned the spiritual discipline Falun Gong in 1999 and has suppressed its practitioners ever since. In an attempt to force them to give up their beliefs, functionaries of the regime have applied the most brutal methods of torture imaginable. Despite everything, practitioners have remained steadfast, and even as they are suffering unbearable pain, they try to tell their tormentors the truth about Falun Gong.
Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Li Xiuzhen, 60, who lives in Liaoyuan City, Jilin Province, has been arrested and detained twice during the past 13 years. She was sent to a labor camp for two years, with her term extended by a month, simply because she refused to give up her practice. She was tortured and frequently beaten by guards and lost consciousness twice. Her face was shocked three times with electric batons for more than ten hours, yet she still refused to stop practicing Falun Gong, always affirming her faith by saying, “Falun Dafa is good.” Upon returning home, police officers continued to harass and persecute her.
The following is a detailed account of what Ms. Li Xiuzhen has endured.
1. Appealing for Falun Gong in Beijing–Arrested at Home and Persecuted
When the Chinese Communist regime began its suppression of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Li Xiuzhen heard the propaganda on TV that slandered Falun Gong. She told everyone she knew that it was a great practice and that she planned to appeal for justice for Falun Gong and its founder.
Ms. Li boarded a train to Beijing on January 10, 2000. Because this was her first trip to Beijing, she got lost when she got off the train and asked a woman for directions to Tiananmen Square. The woman showed Ms. Li the way. At Tiananmen Square, the woman met a man, and both of them left.
Soon after, this man returned and said to Ms. Li, “You’ve been here for quite some time.” Ms. Li did not utter a word. The man took her to a police vehicle and she was then taken to the police station on Tiananmen Square, where many other practitioners were already being detained.
Ms. Li was later taken to the Liaoyuan Liaison Office in Beijing. A police officer there wanted to know what she was doing in Beijing. She replied that she had come to appeal for Falun Gong. The officer also wanted to know when and why she started the practice. Ms. Li told him that her husband used to fight with her frequently, but when she took up the practice, they stopped fighting. She said she hoped that everyone could learn Falun Gong. The officer said, “Don’t come here again, or I will break your legs!” Three employees from her workplace came to Beijing and took her back to the Dongji Police Station in her hometown.
2. Savagely Beaten by Guards, Bruised Black and Blue
Jiang Yang, head of the Dongji Police Station, reprimanded Ms. Li and slapped her face. He grabbed her hair and banged her head against the wall several times. Another officer, Zheng Hongyu, came in and kicked her into a corner. Before she could steady herself, he gave her another kick and she fell into another corner. He also kept cursing her. She was taken to Liaoyuan Detention Center that day.
One afternoon, a female officer whose last name is Zhang arrived and started to ask practitioners, one by one, if they intended to continue practicing Falun Gong. Those who answered yes were told to stand on one side and those who gave up had to stand on the other side.
When Ms. Li was asked the same question, she replied, “Yes!” This officer said, “Then we will start with you today.” She took off Ms. Li’s pants and, in front of 18 other practitioners, savagely beat her buttocks. When she got tired, another officer took over and continued hitting Ms. Li. They used a rubber hose, which cut deeply into her flesh, and her buttocks were soon bloodied.
The beatings continued until Ms. Li fainted, at which point the two officers began to splash water on her. It took several buckets of cold water before she regained consciousness. Many days afterward, she could not sit or turn over. Her skin had turned black and blue.
3. Head of the criminal police division: “Let’s see if you can remain stubborn after being shocked with electric batons”
Ms. Li went to a female practitioner’s house on September 29, 2001. She did not realize that the police were ransacking the place, and she was seized when she entered the house and searched. They drove to her place afterward and confiscated five stickers with the words “Falun Dafa Is Good” printed on them. Ms. Li was then taken to the Liaoyuan Criminal Police Division.
Police officers there bound Ms. Li Xiuzhen to a tiger bench. Her hands and legs were fastened tightly and she could only move her head. The head of the division interrogated her, wanting to know where she got the Falun Gong brochures. She refused to answer their questions.
The officer lifted an electric baton and bashed her in the head, asking, “Are you going to tell us or not?” Ms. Li answered firmly, “No.” He then shocked her entire body with the baton. She started shaking violently. This went on for a long time. The officer asked her again, “Are you going to tell me what I want to know or not?” She still refused to give in. The division head turned around, grabbed a high-pressure water sprayer, and sprayed her face with maximum pressure. She nearly suffocated.
The division head threw down the sprayer, took the electric baton, and began to shock her all over her wet body. By then, Ms. Li could no longer utter a sound. During the beatings, the officers turned up the television as loud as it would go to cover up her screams. They shocked her with the electric baton for over four hours and left her tied to the tiger bench.
The next day, two other officers came in, and, without saying anything, they started to hit her with the electric baton and asking her, “Are you going to tell us? We will release you if you tell us.” Ms. Li kept shaking her head.
They pushed the tiger bench over, so that its legs were facing up. One of the officers stepped on the left side of her face, and Ms. Li felt her teeth on the left side loosening. They shocked her face, lips, soles of her feet, chest, neck, and other sensitive areas. They then turned the bench over and started to shock her other areas. This continued the entire morning, from 8:00 a.m until 11:00 a.m. Yet, Ms. Li did not submit to them.
The officers were disappointed at not getting anything out of her. The division head filled out a document and detained her for a month at a detention center.
4. Sentenced to Two Years of Forced Labor
A month later, Ms. Li was sentenced to two years of forced labor. During her detention, a guard told her, “If you give up Falun Gong, you will be released!” Her superiors at her workplace also came to the camp and tried to persuade her by saying, “Why don’t you tell a lie? We will bail you out and you won’t be sent to the labor camp.” Ms. Li replied, “I will follow my Master right to the end.”
5. Forever Affirming that “Falun Dafa Is Good”
Ms. Li was arrested and taken to the Changchun Women’s Forced Labor Camp on October 26, 2001. Upon her arrival, the section head ordered four convicts to take turns watching her. She had to do slave labor in the morning and was not allowed to sleep at night.
They tried to force her to write statements renouncing her faith, and she was tormented for seven days and nights. Subsequently, the section head, whose last name is Liu, summoned Ms. Li to her office and asked whether she would continue to practice Falun Gong. She said she would and told her that Falun Dafa was good. The section head then slapped her in the face and told her to go back and re-consider.
One day, that same person went straight to the cell in which Ms. Li was detained and asked her, “Have you thought about it?” She stood up and said, “Indeed, I’ve thought about it. Falun Dafa is good.”
Ms. Li was detained in the labor camp for over a year and had to endure verbal abuse and beatings. The guards made her carry bags of beans weighing 50 kilos (110 lb.), and she eventually could not stand straight. A guard told her if she renounced Falun Gong, she would be given lighter chores.
Guards at the labor camp required every prisoner to write a report each month. Prisoners were instructed to write lies in their report, such as, “Guards treat us very well. They are just like our parents.” These reports had to be signed with the words “Prisoner so and so.”
Ms. Li refused to write anything, instead simply writing the words, “Falun Dafa is good.” At the end of the report, she signed “Dafa disciple Li Xiuzhen.” In the two years of her detention, she continued to write the same words, and each time the guards reprimanded her. She frequently went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse.
6. Section Head Liu Brutally Beat Ms. Li Xiuzhen
In 2002, section head Liu called Ms. Li to her office and asked her, “What’s your decision?” Ms. Li’s reply was always, “Yes, I’ve considered the matter. Falun Dafa is good!” Liu then kicked Ms. Li.
One time she kicked her left ribs, and Ms. Li fell into the corner. She leaned against the wall and tried to get up, but failed. Two inmates came in and carried her into the work room. She was in such pain that sweat poured down her face. She was afraid to take a deep breath because she was in excruciating pain. She could not turn over and needed someone to help her. It took six months for her to recover from the injury.
On another occasion, section head Liu summoned Ms. Li to the office again and asked her repeatedly, “What’s your decision?” Ms. Li gave the same answer, “Falun Dafa is good!” The woman slapped her twice and hit her right eye. This was so painful that Ms. Li cried uncontrollably. She was unable to open her eye for several days.
7. Two Guards Shocked Her for Four Hours
On the afternoon that Ms. Li was due to be released, just over half an hour before lunch time, section leader Liu called her to the office. She placed an electric baton on the table. It had been more than a year and yet she continued to ask Ms. Li, “What’s your decision? I will only give you ten minutes to consider.” Ms. Li answered, “I don’t need more time to consider. Falun Dafa is good.” The section head lifted the electric baton and hit Ms. Li. Her frail body was lifted off the ground by the strong electric current. Wei, another section head, was standing at the other end of the room, holding an electric baton in her hand, waiting to shock Ms. Li. These two officers took turns shocking her for at least two hours.
Ms. Li developed symptoms similar to those when she was shocked by the officer at the Liaoyuan Criminal Police Division. Her whole body shook uncontrollably and her head moved back and forth. Although she was in extreme pain, there was no hatred in her heart. Her mind was calm, because she could feel that her Master was soothing her wounds. She felt great pride and happiness for upholding the dignity of Dafa with her life. After this experience, Ms. Li became even more firm in her belief.
Officials at the labor camp extended her term by another month.
8. Police Continued to Harass Her At Home
In 2003, Ms. Li was released and returned home. Regime officials often went to her house to harass her and threaten to arrest her again. She consequently left home and moved from place to place for two years in order to avoid further persecution. She returned home in 2006.
Through a friend’s recommendation, she found a job as a casual cleaner. Police officer Rong from the local police station wanted her to write a statement promising to stop practicing Falun Gong. He told Ms. Li that if she complied, she could keep her job, otherwise she would be fired. Ms. Li told him she would never write such a statement.
The next day, the same officer came and threatened her, “If you don’t write the statement you will regret it.” The third day, the police sent three women from the local residential committee to get Ms. Li to sign a statement. She took the form and clearly wrote down the characters, “Falun Dafa is good.” The three women were annoyed and told her that they could not do anything to her, so they would tell the police to take over.
The next day, Ms. Li’s supervisor at work said to her, “We know all about you and we are afraid to employ you. You should leave quickly.” Those at her workplace were surprised to learn that she was fired, and said, “This lady does a good job at cleaning. Why does she have to leave?” Police officer Rong had threatened her bosses and made them fire her.
In 2007, police officer Rong ordered two women living on the same street as Ms. Li to go to her place and make her sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong. Ms. Li told them firmly that she would never do it, and one lady said, “If you don’t, your family will be implicated. It will affect your child if he goes to school or gets a job. Your family will not get any benefits, either.” After the two women left, Ms. Li’s daughter-in-law, who was scared of the consequences, asked her to complete the form, but she comforted her daughter-in-law and told her not to be afraid.
After that, Ms. Li left home again and went to her parent’s home to take care of her mother. An officer went to her mother’s and harassed her. Her family told him that Ms. Li had left and gone elsewhere. He refused to believe them and came back the next day with the form. He knocked on the door for more than 20 minutes. Subsequently, when someone knocked on the door, Ms. Li’s mother was so terrified that she no longer opened the door.
Category: Accounts of Persecution