A Report on Harbin Women's Prison's Persecution of Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) In recent years, staff of the Harbin Women's Prison in Heilongjiang Province have been brutally and systematically persecuting the illegally-detained Falun Gong practitioners there. Since September 2003, we know of three Falun Dafa practitioners - Ms. Wang Ying, Ms. Guo Meisong and Ms. Qu Jie--who have died in the facility. In March and July 2004, the prison even used the "Carrying a Sword in the Back" (1) torture method. After media outside of China exposed the total disregard for human rights occurring at the prison, Liu Zhijiang, the warden in charge of the persecution, publicly announced, "We will not let you discover any more evidence." Under pressure from the media, both from within China and abroad, those so-called law-enforcing officials have become more cunning in concealing their illegal and inhuman treatment of Falun Dafa practitioners.
For several months, through talking or writing appeal letters, the practitioners in the prison have demanded the release of their fellow practitioners who are confined in isolation chambers. The prison did not allow anyone to see them or to talk to them at all. On the night of August 1, 2004, the twelve practitioners on the 5th Floor of Prison Section 8 (No. 1 Group) did not respond to the nightly roll call. The next day, in protest of their ill-treatment at the prison, they went on a hunger strike, refused to wear the prison uniform, and would not attend the brainwashing session. The prison retaliated by sending Ms. Wang Juyan to the isolation chamber and other practitioners were made to stand back to back for the entire day and then were made to sit on the ground with their hands handcuffed behind their backs for the entire night.
Four days later, after hearing what happened, 18 practitioners on the 4th Floor joined in the hunger strike. On August 11, Ms. Wang Juyan was let out of the isolation chamber, although others still remained.
On August 15, the prison guards started force-feeding the practitioners with heavily salted fluid that also contained an unidentified drug. Next day, many practitioners felt weakness in their arms and legs, dizziness, and stiffness of the tongue. The prison guards even increased the force feeding from twice to three times per day. The practitioners resisted the force feeding by dumping off the powdered milk, used for making the force-feeding solution, at night. At the same time, the practitioners demanded the camp authorities to give an explanation about the use of the drugs that were making them dizzy. After that, to punish practitioners, 12 practitioners were tortured. It took three days for the effects of the drug poisoning to totally wear off.
The detained practitioners demanded that the prison staff explain to the procurator court representative what the legal basis was for tormenting the practitioners in such inhuman ways. Unfortunately, the prison staff would never let the detainees know when the representative was coming. Whenever there were visitors on the premises, the Falun Dafa practitioners were kept out of sight so that the persecution would not be exposed.
After 20 days of hunger striking and force-feeding, it became impossible for the plastic tubing to be inserted, as many of the practitioners' nasal passages had become swollen and oozed pus and dark blood. When the weather turned cooler, the practitioners were forced to squat on the floor, suffering greatly as the cold air blew in from an open window. Many practitioners developed various symptoms of illness, such as fever, lymph node inflammation, and parotid gland inflammation, which required the practitioner to be quarantined. But even so, the remaining practitioners were still handcuffed on the ground and not allowed to sleep on a bed.
Currently the two areas that house the isolation chambers are full of practitioners that have been confined for over six months. They have been on a hunger strike for more than two months. Intravenous injections have made their blood vessels fragile. Due to a health problem, practitioner Ms. Zhang Shizhe was released from the isolation chamber after being confined for 5 months. One month later she was isolated again for "disobedience." The guards in Harbin Women's Prison can randomly confine a practitioner for an unlimited amount of time. A practitioner who does not obey the command to stand at attention, or other orders, will be tied with ropes, handcuffed, and hung from the highest point of a bunk bed by the prison guards.
In May 2004, practitioner Ms. Yang Xiuhua in Prison Section 5 was hung from a bunk bed for refusing to wear the prison uniform, which caused damage to her arms that has still not completely healed. Detained practitioners at Prison Section 7 are also suffering. There are currently seven practitioners confined in a room, being monitored by criminal prisoners. Those seven are always handcuffed and sometimes they are even hung up. The practitioners under torment are hidden away from any visiting investigators and information about their treatment is blocked.
To force the hunger-striking practitioners to eat, the prison guards try to discover the telephone numbers of the practitioners' family members so they can get the relatives to persuade the practitioners to eat. The guards even threaten the practitioners by saying, "If you cause trouble for us we'll cause even more trouble for your family."
When family members come to the prison to visit practitioners, the guards extort up to 300 or 500 yuan (2) out of them and also deceive them into signing certain incriminating documents. The guards try not to let the families actually visit the practitioners, by saying that the practitioners don't want to see their families. Also they would not let the practitioners know that members of their families had tried to visit them. Some family members refused to hand over any money or to sign anything. In these cases the guards were forced to restrain themselves a little bit. Any money given to the guards would never reach the practitioners; it went into the guards' pockets. The cash cards of some practitioners were also taken away. This meant that the detained practitioners could not buy toilet paper or other personal necessities. Even if some prison guards allowed practitioners to keep their cash cards, the criminals monitoring them, such as Zhao Yanhua, would snatch the cards away.
We urge more kind-hearted people to extend a helping hand to stop this persecution that should not be happening.
Appendix: Related Telephone Numbers
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Binjiang Area Procurator Court: 86-451-82359148
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison Procurator Court: 86-451-82030982
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Binjiang Procurator Court: 86-451-86663178
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison: 86-451-86684001
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison Warden Wang Xing 86-451-86684001 ext. 8001
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison Political Commissioner
86-451-86684001 ext. 8002
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison Deputy Warden Cong Xin Liu Zhiciang, in charge of Releases for Medical Treatment
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison Administrative Director Yang
86-451-86684001 ext. 8142
Heilongjiang Province Harbin Women's Prison Director of Discipline Instruction Xiao Lin, 86-45186684001 ext. 8130
(1) "Carrying a Sword in the Back": The practitioner's hands are tied behind her back with one hand over the shoulder and the other hand against the lower back. The police then apply a great deal of force to pull the two hands toward one another and handcuff the two hands together.
(2) Yuan is the currency in China; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income for an urban worker in China.