March 31, 2014 | By a Minghui correspondent in Heilongjiang Province, China
(Minghui.org) Ms. Mou Yongxia, 65, a former high school teacher in Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province, has been leading a difficult life since being released from the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison in July 2012. Her workplace has refused to process her long-term care insurance, or pay her housing allowance or bonuses, simply because she perseveres in her practice of Falun Gong.
Having lived during times of major upheaval in contemporary China, including the Cultural Revolution and the 15-year persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Mou has experienced dramatic turns throughout her life. She has endured severe persecution, including torture in prison and a mental hospital; yet more than once, her practice of Falun Gong has brought her through life-threatening injury.
It Couldn’t Get Any Worse
“It couldn’t get any worse.” Such was how Ms. Mou would describe her life before encountering Falun Gong.
As a first-year college student, she was dispatched to rural areas during the Cultural Revolution and labored there for 10 years. Due to the stress and physical hardship, she developed liver and stomach disease and couldn’t walk for over a year. Her situation was certified as “Level Two Disability” by the government welfare program.
Ms. Mou got married at the age of 36. The twins were born a year later in 1985. Her older son had partial brain paralysis, which caused coordination defects on the right side of his body. She had to hand-feed him until he was over 10 years old. He also had developmental issues. The younger son had diabetes.
Ms. Mou’s mother helped take care of the twins. However, she became paralyzed after a natural gas explosion accident. The family lived under a lot of stress and Ms. Mou’s husband finally divorced her when the twins were five years old.
Life was extremely hard. Ms. Mou survived with the support of family and friends.
A Miracle in 40 Days
On October 7, 1998, Mou Yongxia obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Gong teachings. She read the book and tried out the Falun Gong exercises. Within a month, all her diseases were gone! She was so happy. The twins also recovered from their illnesses upon taking up the practice.
Seeing the positive changes in her children, Ms. Mou visited her mother to share the good news about the practice. She hoped to bring her mother home with her so that she too could practice Falun Gong. Her sisters didn’t agree for her to take their mother, especially since she had a high fever at the time. However, firmly believing in the benefits of Falun Gong, Ms. Mou called a taxi and brought her mother home.
After 40 days, the sisters visited Ms. Mou, thinking that their mother’s life would be in danger. When they arrived, they were shocked: they saw an older woman who looked familiar, but was so energetic. They asked, “Is this Mom?”
Ms. Mou invited them to come in. The sisters were surprised again and asked, “You sound like our elder sister, but you don’t look like her.” The amazing changes in Ms. Mou and her mother convinced the sisters. They immediately watched the Falun Gong lecture video with Ms. Mou and their mother.
Ms. Mou’s older son was later admitted to Xiamen University and found a good job after graduation.
Drug Torture in Mental Hospital
After the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999, Ms. Mou was sent to a mental hospital when she talked to her supervisors about the benefits of Falun Gong. There, she was force-fed and injected with unknown drugs.
Concerned that she could be driven insane by these unknown drugs, Ms. Mou often ran to the window and called out: “I’m a Falun Gong practitioner! I’m not mentally ill! Please help me pass a message to my sisters to rescue me from here!”
Torture reenactment: Drug torture
Each time, the doctors would drag her away from the window, drag her into the ward, tie her arms and legs to a bed and inject unknown drugs into her body. They would also pry open her mouth and force pills down her throat.
In less than 10 minutes of the forced drug administration, Ms. Mou developed blurred vision and felt sharp pains in her chest and back. When she stood up, her limbs felt soft. She stumbled and fell to the floor so often that her knees wouldn’t stop bleeding. She could not focus her eyes. Her mind slowed down, and she couldn’t think straight.
The family finally learned of Ms. Mou’s whereabouts after three weeks and managed to rescue her from the mental hospital. However, she couldn’t go home afterwards because of the threat of being arrested again. Neighbors sent messages to her: “Don’t come back. Policemen are stationed outside of the building. They are searching for you everywhere.” Ms. Mou was forced to leave home to avoid further persecution.
Immediately after leaving the mental hospital, Ms. Mou suffered eight days of high fever and non-stop severe headache. Her lips were purple and black. Her body had sores that discharged pus. Her tibia (shinbone) showed as a result of the festering sores. She was in excruciating pain for many days.
However, Ms. Mou did the Falun Gong exercises and studied the teachings every day and fully recovered within six months.
Four Years of Torture in Prison
Ms. Mou was arrested again on July 9, 2008 and detained at the No. 1 Detention Center in Daqing City.
The night of her arrest, policemen took her back to her home. They handcuffed her to the sofa in the living room and ransacked her home. They found a safe with cash, where she had put her 90,000 early retirement bonus.
The policemen took the safe to a different room, counted the money, and said that the total amount was 47,000. In this way, they robbed Ms. Mou of over 50,000 yuan. The police also confiscated a laptop worth over 5,000 yuan and a cell phone worth over 4,000 yuan.
Torture reenactment: Placing burning cigarettes into the nostrils
Back at the detention center, Ms. Mou was shackled to an iron chair, without food, sleep or restroom use for two days and one night. After covering her mouth with duct tape, the policemen put two burning cigarettes into her nostrils.
She was illegally sentenced to four years in prison on September 24, 2008. After a short stay at the Harbin Women’s Prison, Ms. Mou was transferred to the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, where she suffered until her release in July 2012.
At Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, three inmates monitored Ms. Mou closely. She was often forced to sit within a 50-cm title with her mouth sealed with duct tape. She was forced to keep her back straight. As soon as she moved, the inmates would shower her with punches and kicks. Every day, Ms. Mou suffered severe chest, back and pelvic pain. She had difficulty breathing, and experienced dizziness and numbness in her limbs. Her blood pressure shot up to over 240.
The prison guards didn’t allow Ms. Mou to use the bathroom. Once, she stood up anyway because she couldn’t hold it anymore and her abdomen was in much pain. Before she could exit the cell, several inmates knocked her to the ground. Someone’s knees struck her in the left side of her chest. She blacked out and almost lost consciousness. Afterwards, she suffered pain in the left side of her chest for several months, but the prison guards denied her request for medical attention.
Ms. Mou was once detained in solitary confinement. In the freezing cold winter of northeastern China, without any heat, she was allowed nothing but a thin prison uniform and was shackled to a wooden bed. She was given only two spoonfuls of rice porridge per day. She fainted multiple times, yet was detained this way for two weeks.
When Ms. Mou said to the prison guards that they were intentionally killing her, the response was, “Your death will count as a suicide.” Then they taunted her, saying, “We will provide an ash box to your family. The ash box will have zebra stripes (symbol of prisoners).”
Ms. Mou was finally released in July 2012 after four years of intense suffering at the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison. She often experienced dizziness and numbness in her limbs. At the time of her release, her family and neighbors wondered how much longer she would be able to live. She once again recovered in two months by doing the Falun Gong exercises and studying the Fa teachings daily.
Entire Family Suffers
Ms. Mou’s boys were both in high school during the time that their mom was being tortured in the mental hospital. They cried often, afraid that their mother might be tortured to death at any time. They told their friends and family: “Mother is gone. We have no home anymore…” Both boys experienced a sharp decline in their academic performance while their mother was away.
After Ms. Mou’s release, sometimes the twins would rush home just to confirm that their mother was still at home. They spent their youth in fear and anxiety that they might lose their mom at any time.
Even in summer of 2008, when the older son returned home from Xiamen University to prepare for his mom’s 60th birthday celebration, he found the home in a complete mess and his mother gone.
Category: Accounts of Persecution