I am Xiaopeng (pseudonym), a 24 year-old female practitioner from the city of Jinzhou, Liaoning Province. The following is my personal experience of persecution.

On August 12, 2001, I went to Tiananmen to validate Dafa. Upon arriving at the gate, I bought a ticket to tour the fort. I waited patiently until about nine o'clock, then followed the first group of tourists from Japan up the castle wall. Security officers and plainclothes police could be seen everywhere. From the wall above, I could see a huge crowd of tourists below. Losing no time, I started to toss the Dafa flyers. When I was just about to unroll the banner "Falun Dafa is the True Law," three plain clothed police, two men and a woman, suddenly appeared. They knocked me down and snatched the banner away. I immediately raised my voice and shouted, "Falun Dafa is good, Falun Dafa is righteous. Return the honor of our Teacher Li." When they heard me scream, they beat me even harder. I felt a pair of hands choking me, trying to stop me from shouting. They then dragged me down the stairway, forced me into a van and drove me to the local police station at Tiananmen.

At the police station, two middle-aged officers started to question me. Seeing that I was uncooperative, they punched and kicked me. One of them slapped me so hard on the ear that I lost my hearing for quite a while. When they got no response from me, they locked me in a room with four other Dafa practitioners.

At about seven that evening, all thirteen of us that were arrested that day were taken by van to the Mentougou Detention Center. On the way, we shouted at the top our voices: "Falun Dafa is good. Return the good name of Teacher Li." Even the passers-by could hear our voices. Some taxi vans stopped to listen to what we had to say.

On arriving at the center, they took our photographs, gave us a routine checkup and then sent us away for questioning, one by one. I was taken to a room where there were three officers waiting. After making sure I was securely fastened to a chair, they took turns interrogating me while slapping me at the same time. But I was not moved. They interrogated me until four o'clock the next morning, but I still did not reveal my name or where I lived. Seeing that I wasn't giving in, they put me in a cell with 19 other female prisoners. They left me sleeping on the concrete floor.

That evening, two more female practitioners were brought into our cell, and four other female practitioners into another cell. The male practitioners were locked in separate rooms. The three of us then decided to protest with a hunger strike. Soon all the others followed suit. Four days after we began our hunger strike, the medical people decided to forced-feed us. First, they tied us to chairs and immobilized our heads. Then they forced our mouths open with pliers while inserting feeding tubes. They did this to me four times. Each time, they doped me with some drug trying to weaken my will power. I felt a bit unsteady afterwards, and my legs did not respond. Without hesitation, I quickly formulated this righteous thought: "No drugs will affect me. No one will move my faith in Dafa." Immediately, the drug lost its effect.

In October 1999, I was arrested when I went to Beijing to appeal. Apparently, they had found my previous record from the internet. On the fifth day, Officer Yao, the head of the persecution movement from my home city, came to take me away. He said to me, "There are so many Falun Gong practitioners on hunger strikes around the country. If one or two of you die it's not going to bother us." Because I protested in Beijing at Tiananmen fort, which is a politically strategic location, Beijing police would not let him take me back.

Fifteen days into our hunger strike, they performed another physical exam. They tried to measure my blood pressure, but found none. Three times they repeated the measurements, but with the same results. Getting worried, they tied me to a chair and injected some fluid into my body. In order to destroy its effect, I quickly formulated this righteous thought: "I reject anything entering my body. I will not accept anything evil into my body."

During this period, we heard that one male practitioner was on the verge of dying from torture. One inmate told us that just three days before we arrived, two other practitioners, one man and one woman, were tortured to death. Because the police could not find their names, they were secretly cremated. On the 18th day, I was just skin-and-bone. Fearing that I might die during captivity, they contacted the officer from my hometown to take me away. After I had arrived home, the local authorities imprisoned me for another three days. Twenty-one days after I started my hunger strike, they finally released me unconditionally.

While I was away, the local authorities put my father in detention, without any legal papers or proceedings or informing his family members. Their excuse was that it was to assist their investigation for 15 days. On the 15th day, they would not release him unless he paid a 3,000 Yuan fine. He is still in detention.

When I left Beijing, the other practitioners in captivity were still on a hunger strike. Their lives are in grave danger and I have no way of finding out their present condition. After my return, I was put under surveillance around the clock by having someone stay fulltime in my house. Is this what the government means by, "The best period in the history of human rights in China?"