Ms. Yang Shuqing and her daughter Ms. Li Fangfang, both practitioners from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, were arrested in 2008 and later sentenced to three years in prison. In June 2011, they were released. Below is an account of their ordeal.
Ms. Yang was a retired senior teacher of No. 38 Middle School of Shenyang City. Ms Li Fangfang graduated from the department of foreign languages at Shenyang University. She was the executive manager of McDonald's in the Northeast region before the arrest.
On the afternoon of June 23rd, 2008, mother and daughter were at home when officers from the Shisiwei Road Police Station of Shenyang City broke in and ransacked the place. They confiscated the women's personal computers, printers, computer hard drives, personal items and 5000 yuan1 in cash. The cash was not logged anywhere in the official documentation and was never returned to them. The police took them to the station. On June 24th, they were transferred to Shenyang City Detention Centre.
In the Detention Centre
In the detention centre, they continued to explain the facts about Falun Gong to the police and inmates. Ms. Li shouted “Falun Gong is good," refused to wear the inmate uniform, and did the Falun Gong exercises. The detention police ordered the inmates to curse at her and beat her.
One day, Ms. Li was trying to take off the inmate uniform while two inmates kicked her lower back, causing a fracture and one side of the chest to bulge out. She was not able to walk for two weeks. The following year, she had pain on and off in that area. The detention centre authorities did not give her proper medical attention when she requested it.
Another time when Ms. Li tried to take off the uniform, the head inmate and another inmate held her down on the ground and started to beat her savagely. One of the inmates was about 1.75 m tall and was built like a man. The other one used to practise judo. They were hit Ms. Li in the head and neck for over 10 minutes. The other inmates were very worried that she might die from the beating.
Once she tried to do the Falun Gong exercises, but the inmates would hold her hands down and pinched them, which causing serious bruising.
Mother and daughter were detained in the Shenyang City Detention Centre for 16 months. On April 16th, 2009, the Heping District Court put them on trial and sentenced them to three years in prison, although no legal legal evidence was presented. In the following two rounds of appeals, the court upheld the original sentencing.
On October 13th, 2009, they were transferred to Liaoning Province Women's Prison. At the time, Ms. Yang was 69 years old.
Guards Ordered Inmates to Torture Ms. Li
In the prison, the authorities assign a group of two or three inmates, called an “action team of three” to watch and try to “transform” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] each Falun Gong practitioner. The authorities do everything they can to isolate practitioners from other inmates and forbid practitioners from speaking with anyone else. The assigned inmates all have connections with the prison authorities and have past experience torturing and threatening practitioners. The power behind these assigned inmates is the division heads and captains of each ward. The inmates use all kinds of methods to pressure practitioners to give up their practice of Falun Gong in order to gain trust from the division head and a chance to reduce their prison terms.
In the seventh ward, Ms. Li Fangfang refused to wear the inmate uniform and shouted “Falun Gong is good!” The inmates cursed at her, beat her, sealed her mouth with tape, gagged her with cloth, and deprived her of sleep. In a month starting on October 13th, 2009, she was only allowed to sleep a couple hours a day. She was once deprived of sleep for over three days. Several inmates took turns watching her. Once they saw her falling asleep, they would pour cold water on her to wake her up. Because they didn't want anyone to hear her shout, they sealed her mouth with tape and also tied her hands with tape. After being restrained with tape overnight, her hands, arms, and shoulders were usually bruised and ached constantly. During the day, she was forced to stand up straight. Each meal she was only given a small steamed bun without any vegetables or meat. In the cold winter weather of November and December, the inmates would open all the windows to make her suffer.
When the inmates asked Ms. Li if she would give up her practice of Falun Gong, she answered, “I am a Falun Gong practitioner.” Then three inmates held her down on the ground and started beating her. Once she wrote “Falun Gong is good” and “Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forberance is good” on the wall. Inmate Wang Lihong slapped her face with slippers.
One night, a prison guard went to the cell for inspection, and Ms. Li tried to talk to the guard about how the inmates were mistreating her. The guard censured her instead of the inmates. Once the guard left the cell, inmate Wang Lihong grabbed Ms. Li by the hair and slammed her into the wall. After over a month of such ill treatment, Ms. Li's health deteriorated quickly. She became extremely thin and disfigured, she suffered hallucinations, blood seeped out from her nails, and her feet and legs were all swollen. She also suffered symptoms of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Ms. Yang Shuqing is in her 70s and yet she has been forced to stand up straight for extended periods of time and undergo brainwashing every day.
In addition to the mother and daughter, practitioner Ms. Shi Wei from Anshan City and practitioner Ms. Sun Li from Bayujuan were beaten by the inmates for refusing to give up their practice of Falun Gong. The inmates also would not let them use the toilet and poured cold water on them. When a practitioner went on a hunger strike to protest the ill treatment, the practitioner would be force-fed and taken to the prison hospital.
The inmates of the seventh ward that participated in persecuting practitioners include Zhang Xueqing, Zhu Shizhen (also the head inmate, resident of Heilongjiang Province, serving a ten-year term for illegal fund-raising, released already), Wang Lihong (resident of Beijing, serving a five-year term for forging receipts), Chen Erming (resident of Anshan City, serving a life sentence for drug dealing).
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2011/11/6/248698.html
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