Righteous Thoughts Steadfast After More Than 1000 Days in Prison
(Clearwisdom.net) Having suffered brutal torture over the more than 1000 days and nights she was confined in a detention center in Benxi City, Liaoning Province, this 66-year-old lady never gave up her belief in "Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance." She remained steadfast even in the last moments of her life. Her name is Zhang Cuizhen, a retired teacher from Normal Junior College, Benxi City, Liaoning Province.
In China, upon a senior citizen's 66th birthday, relatives and close friends gather together to celebrate and wish them a peaceful and happy life. However, Zhang Cuizhen can no longer enjoy the happy life she was supposed to have. Inside a gloomy and damp prison cell in detention center, with no fresh flowers and no kind blessings, she had only handcuffs, foot shackles, iron bars, and the prison's electric fence with her, as well as the relentless and brutal persecution. After being persecuted for more than three years, this gray-haired woman, at the age of exactly 66, passed away under grave injustice, persecuted to death because she insisted on telling the truth and believing in "Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance."
In 1994, Zhang Cuizhen was fortunate enough to join a Falun Dafa class taught by the Teacher in person. She was happy to learn Falun Dafa and cultivation after searching for the true meaning of life for a long time. Her physical illness of many years gradually vanished; she looked healthier, and her body felt lighter. She had one wish: to let everyone know the greatness of Falun Dafa, to let everyone know that Falun Dafa can lead to good health and to genuinely becoming a good person. She became one of the earliest Falun Gong volunteers in Benxi City, Liaoning Province. She happily taught the Falun Gong exercises to everyone who wished to learn. For many years she stopped by nearly everywhere in Benxi city to teach Falun Gong. There were many moving stories about her heart filled with compassion. One day when she went out of town to teach Falun Gong, her home was broken into and burglarized. After she learned about it, she just smiled: "Anything that truly belongs to me won't be lost. Material possessions come and go. I'm not attached to them." Without paying attention to fame and fortune, she was very clear that money is not important, and that letting people learn about Falun Dafa is most precious. During that period of time, Zhang Cuizhen was very happy.
However, her happy life was smashed by an unprecedented catastrophe. After more than 10,000 practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, Jiang's regime started to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. Benxi area public security personnel started to openly and illegally stop Falun Gong practitioners from doing the exercises, confiscating exercise materials, following and monitoring practitioners, tapping their telephone conversations, and even threatening to kidnap practitioners. In order to let central government leaders know the truth about the persecution, over 1000 Falun Gong practitioners from the Benxi area went to Beijing to appeal on June 19, 1999. Despite a blockade by hundreds of police from Benxi and Shenyang, and the delay of #28 train to Beijing for nearly one hour, more than 500 Falun Gong practitioners still broke through the blockade and arrived in Beijing. Zhang Cuizhen and Jiang Hulin (currently still being persecuted in Dabei prison, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province) were among the practitioners who appealed to officials in the State Council Inquiry Office. Zhang Cuizhen understood very clearly what the consequences would be for speaking out the truth as a representative for tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in her city under China's oppressive totalitarian system.
After this appeal, officials in Benxi City both hated and feared Zhang Cuizhen. They secretly plotted to kidnap her. On July 20, 1999, the nationwide persecution against Falun Gong began and Zhang Cuizhen was illegally detained. At the end of October, she was illegally sentenced to three years in prison. Jiang Hulin and another practitioner were illegally sentenced to four and three years in prison respectively. In addition, 26 Falun Gong practitioners were detained in a forced labor camp. Zhang Cuizhen was brutally persecuted in the detention center of Benxi City for the next three years.
More than 1000 days and nights! With no sunlight in that prison cell of no more than 20 square meters it is ice-cold, dark, and damp. Three meals every day were leavened cakes made of the roughest corn flour and dark-looking, salt water soup. Outside were layers of iron windows and high walls with an electrified fence. The whole prison was filled with guard's ridicule and insults, criminal's vulgar language, and the noise from handcuffs and foot shackles.
Zhang Cuizhen was forced to stay in an area of no more than a half square meter and sit for more than 10 hours every day to work on merchandise for export overseas. This kind of long-term imprisonment can result in huge psychological pressure and make one feel extremely lonely, irritable and hysterical. Under bad conditions like this, Zhang Cuizhen became weaker and weaker and looked more and more pale. But nothing, be it mental anguish or physical suffering, could change her belief in Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance. Without too much speaking, she held her belief in Falun Dafa steadily day after day under inhuman persecution, because she knew very clearly that Falun Dafa is good, that being a good person is not a crime and that there is nothing wrong with it.
Facing her strong will, prison guards could do nothing to change her. Finally they sent her to Dabei prison in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province to step up the persecution. After a prison doctor did a physical examination for Zhang Cuizhen, the doctor said: "Her health is so bad and you still keep her here?" The doctor was unable to help her. By now Zhang Cuizhen was extremely weak. However, officials in Benxi City "610 Office" [an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems] and prison guards still did not stop the persecution, and refused the request by Zhang's family to release her on bail for medical treatment. Obviously, these "610 Office" members were afraid that Zhang Cuizhen would expose the crimes they had committed once she had freedom. They had only one evil goal: to slowly persecute Zhang Cuizhen to death! They thought that this was the only way that they could guarantee their evil crimes would never be exposed.
After Dabei prison refused to admit Zhang Cuizhen, Benxi "610 Office" members and prison guards kept her jailed in Benxi detention center. Day after day, Zhang Cuizhen faced more and more severe persecution. When her family members visited her in prison, she told her son: "Your biggest responsibility is to support my practice of Falun Dafa!" It was just a short speech, without brave words or heavy emotions. When she made this speech under evil persecution, her pure heart was the same as those of all steadfast Falun Gong practitioners in China. No matter how brutal the evil persecution is, it is impossible to change their firm belief in the universal truth of Falun Dafa, even if it means they will lose their precious lives.
At the end of 2002, after suffering brutal persecution in Benxi detention center for more than 1000 days, Zhang Cuizhen's life was approaching its end. Her three year illegal prison term was already over. In order to avoid responsibility and to cover up their persecution, Benxi "610 Office" released her. After being sent to a hospital by her family members, Zhang Cuizhen was diagnosed with late stage diabetes. Both of her feet were gangrenous, with bones visible. After emergency treatment, her life was temporarily saved. But "610 Office" personnel still did not show any conscience to stop the persecution. As soon as they learned Zhang Cuizhen's health conditions had improved a little, they immediately kidnapped her again. This time they sent Zhang Cuizhen to the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp to step up the persecution. The doctors over there did not dare to admit an elderly lady whose life was in such great danger. By using their personal connections, however, the "610 Office" personnel gave Zhang Cuizhen a three-year illegal term of forced labor while releasing her on bail for medical treatment at the same time. Zhang Cuizhen had been sent here and there, back and forth. The plot was to hold Zhang Cuizhen in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp as soon as her health improved enough. If Zhang Cuizhen was persecuted to death, they could claim that other people should take responsibility, thus covering up the persecution crimes they committed.
Everyone was heartbroken upon seeing Zhang Cuizhen lying on her sickbed, with her white hair in disorder. Even so, "610 Office" personnel still did not reduce their persecution. They had Li Yuehua try to brainwash Zhang Cuizhen. Li Yuehua kept harassing and threatening Zhang Cuizhen and told a lot of lies. However, even on her deathbed, Zhang Cuizhen's strong will and firm belief were never shaken.
On January 7, 2003, amid the festive atmosphere of New Year's Day, Zhang Cuizhen slowly closed her eyes and died under grave injustice, after being brutally persecuted both spiritually and physically for more than three years by Jiang's political regime. She never gave up her faith in the universal truth.