Memories of Ms. Li Ling, a Practitioner from Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province
(Clearwisdom.net) Due to inhuman and long-term persecution, practitioner Ms. Li Ling died on November 17, 2004, at Liaoning Province Women's Prison (formerly called "Dabei Prison of Shenyang City"). Ms. Li was only 51 years old.
Ms. Li was a director at the Guta District Labor Bureau in Jinzhou City and an assistant director at the district's heating company. On April 5, 1994, she attended Master Li's Fa-teaching lecture in Jinzhou City. This began Li's cultivation path. Not long after she began to cultivate, all her diseases, including myocarditis (a form of heart disease), neuritis (a nervous system disease), and pleurisy disappeared. She adhered strictly to the principles "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." As a result, her mind was purified, and her character improved rapidly. She let go of bad notions and behaviors, and those around her noticed her positive transformation.
She became a diligent cultivator and followed what Teacher taught conscientiously. She was fortunate to be able to attend four more Fa lectures in Jinan City, Changchun City, and Harbin City. Ms. Li understood deep within her heart the perils of illusion and that only Falun Dafa could save people. In order to promote Dafa, she supported the work of the local assistance center, letting practitioners use her home to practice, study the Fa, and distribute materials. There was a constant coming and going of practitioners to and from her home. Practitioners from far away were invited to stay overnight at her home. Ms. Li distributed materials to the practitioners, served tea, and cooked food for them.
After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, Jinzhou City police arrested Ms. Li's husband (also a practitioner) on October 13, 1999, for no legal cause. When she asked the police why her husband' was arrested, they told her, "'On orders from our superiors. We only follow orders and made the arrest. You can appeal wherever you want." In order to clarify the truth to the government, Ms. Li went to Beijing to appeal on October 15, 1999. When she arrived at the National Appeals Office in Beijing, she realized that many practitioners who had gone to appeal had been arrested without being given a chance to have their say. She felt helpless and returned to Jinzhou City, where the Guta District Government forced her to stay at the home of a heating company employee so that she could be supervised around the clock. On October 20, 1999, wearing only a pair of slippers, she found the opportunity to escape from this enforced confinement'. She went to Beijing to appeal again. In Beijing she met many practitioners, who were looking for opportunities to clarify the truth to the government, they were stopped again and again. There was no opportunity to appeal. Around 10 a.m. on October 27, 1999, Ms. Li went to Tiananmen Square with her fellow practitioners and unfurled a banner that read "Falun Dafa." Their great deed shocked everyone. The police arrested them and took them to the Dongcheng District Detention Center. Because Ms. Li persisted in practicing Falun Gong and clarifying the truth to the guards, she was brutally tortured for a long time. A practitioner who was detained with her told of the tortures she suffered. The guards tied 'her arms and legs with ropes for two full days. During that time she was not given any food nor allowed to use the restroom. The inhuman torture failed to make her a non-believer. She continued to practice Falun Gong and clarify the truth. The guards then transferred her to another detention center, where she was put into a death-row cell with male inmates. The guards ordered them to beat and humiliate her. Ms. Li fainted from the torture. Even though the guards would not relent, some of the death-row prisoners shed tears and begged the guards: "Don't force me to beat her again, I'm unable to hurt her any longer."
When the district attorney's office charged Li Ling with "Illegal Protest," she appealed. In her appeal letter she said, "Falun Dafa is a true cultivation system that teaches people to be good. It brings great benefits to the country and its citizen. It does not bring harm. I call on the government to stop its persecution of these good people."
On January 28, 2000, Dongcheng District Court in Beijing sentenced Li Ling to 18 months in prison and charged her with "Illegal Protest." At the trial, Ms. Li was allowed to speak. She talked about the physical and mental changes she experienced from practicing Falun Gong. She explained that Falun Dafa is a high-level cultivation system that teaches people to be good, that Dafa is apolitical and not against the government, and that cultivating Falun Dafa is not a crime. The judge interrupted her several times, yet she was able to talk for close to 30 minutes, eloquently appealing for Dafa.
In April 2000, Ms. Li Ling was transferred to the Liaoning Province Women's Prison. To "reform" her, officials at the prison brought in two collaborators from Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. The two collaborators tried to brainwash Li with arguments from their "enlightenment" on an evil path. They strove hard to disturb her mind and harm her spirit. They wanted to stop her from cultivating. The prison management assumed a fake benevolent demeanor, promising to get her job back, to arrange a job for her son, and to release her in early September 2000, before the end of her 18-month term. While her mind was not clear she succumbed to the pressure and wrote the "Three Statements" because she had come to trust the two collaborators.
Afterward, 'her conscience suffered greatly. She realized that she should not have left Teacher and Dafa. She felt deep pain in her heart, as she remembered the remarkable physical and mental changes she had experienced practicing Dafa and listening to Master Li's words. She realized that she had made a mistake, which she greatly regretted. She returned to her convictions to cultivate and follow Teacher's words. In early August, just before her release, she retracted her so-called "reform," saying she had been under pressure and had been deceived. She declared the "Three Statements" null and void.
Her tormentors were shocked and tortured her again. But Ms. Li had regained her mental focus and held the Fa in her heart. Her determination could not be shaken. In October 2000, Li asked the prison authority to return the "Three Statements" she had signed. The guards claimed that she was mentally ill and forced her to take drugs that destroy the central nervous system. The drugs distressed her and caused her head great pain. During an acute pain attack, she lost control and knocked her head against a heat pipe. The injury left a two-inch long scar on her head. Even under such vicious persecution, she remained firm in her belief. In order to force Ms. Li Ling to give up her belief before her scheduled release date, the guards intensified the persecution. They put her into a small room, about 18 square feet, with six inmates, who took turns monitoring her. The inmates surrounded her daily and did not allow her to sleep or practice. After being tortured like this for over six weeks, Ms. Li lost over 50 pounds (she went from 143 to 100 pounds) and became emaciated. Her body was covered with eczema and her mind became foggy. Her determination to cultivate Dafa, however, remained firm. The perpetrators had no choice but to release her.
Ms. Li was released on April 26, 2001. Once her family members and relatives saw her, they all shed tears. She resumed her Fa study and practicing the exercises. In the care of her family members, she slowly recovered. As soon as she was on her way to recovery, she began to do the three things that practitioners should do. In September 2001, Ms. Li went to a colleague's home, where the police arrested her. When her family members went to the police requesting her release, the police extorted 5,000 yuan from them (without giving them a receipt) before releasing her.
On the evening of May 28, 2002, police guards from the Guta District Police Department arrested Ms. Li again at her home. They sent her to the No. 1 Detention Center of Jinzhou City, where she went on a 17-day hunger strike to protest the persecution. They then force-fed her. Under this brutal torture, 'her mental health deteriorated before she could completely recover. Because the guards thought that she might knock her head against the wall, they put a heavy helmet on her, even during the hot summer. During her detention, the Guta District Government ordered the respective departments (police, procurator, and court) to secretly collect "evidence." They sentenced her to four-year jail term and charged her with "using evil [slanderous term omitted] organizations to harm law enforcement." Because the evidence was procured secretly, Ms. Li's family members were taken by surprise. In fact, they were not told about her two trials or her prison term sentencing. The district government assigned an attorney who followed government's' orders. When Li's family members brought the issue up with the attorney afterwards, the attorney said that the trial was a government action and no defense was allowed on Li's behalf.
On November 15, 2002, Ms. Li was sent again to the Liaoning Province Women's Prison. Her medical exam showed serious heart disease and high blood pressure. Prison rules stipulate that with these conditions she should not be detained. Nonetheless, the prison authorities said that they would detain her as long as she did not have a contagious disease. They again put her in the No. 3 Group, with the same guards and inmates from her prior detention. Under orders from the guards, the inmates taunted her for "ending up in jail for the second time" and tortured her. They used insults to mentally torture her and try to force her to reform. Despite these great tribulations, Ms. Li's determination to cultivate was unshakeable. Sadly, given the long-term persecution, she contracted many diseases. Nevertheless, she was forced to work from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.
In February 2004, to protest the persecution, Li called out, "Falun Dafa is good!" loudly as she entered the workroom. Several inmates and guards jumped on her and pushed her to the floor. Then they monitored her in the workroom until the end of the day, when they took her back to the dorm. After the incident, they escalated her mental and physical persecution. She protested by going on hunger strikes for a total of 26 days. She was then sent to a hospital. When her family members went to visit her on February 22, 2004, the guards told them that she had been unable to eat anything and was in a very serious condition. Yet the perpetrators still did not allow the family members to see Ms. Li until February 26. Because of continued requests by her family members, the prison authorities let them visit her in the prison hospital. By that time, she was emaciated and her hair had turned white and gray. Her mind was not clear, and she could hardly speak. The family members asked the prison to release Ms. Li so that she could receive medical treatment. The authorities agreed at that time. In early March, the prison arranged for the medical exam before releasing her for treatment, and her family members were prepared to take her home.
In March 2004, the thirty-eighth session of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention rendered the following opinion regarding the illegal arrests of Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Li Ling (former director of Guta District Labor Bureau) and Pei Jilin (resident of Jilin City, Jilin Province): "The detention of Li Ping and Pei Jilin is illegal, as it is in breach of Articles 10, 11, 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and falls within category II of the applicable categories under consideration by the working group. The free practice of Falun Gong is protected under Article 18 that addresses freedom of belief and Article 19 that addresses freedom of opinion and expression in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The working group requests the (Chinese) Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of these two individuals, reverse the wrong done and conform to the standards and principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
The Chinese Government perjured themselves to the working group in its response: "On October 27, 1999, Li Ling and others demonstrated illegally in a public place, without requesting a permit, as required by law. On January 17, 2000, the District People's Procuratorate took their complaint before the Eastern District People's Court, charging Li with breaking the law that prohibits illegal demonstrations. The court tried Li, found her conduct to be an 'illegal demonstration' and sentenced her, under article 296 of the Chinese Penal Code, to 18 months in prison. Li appealed and the Intermediate People's Court upheld the original judgment. After her release on serving her sentence, Li again disrupted public order, making use of a [slanderous term omitted] group to undermine law enforcement. The Guta District People's Procuratorate in Jinzhou City filed a complaint, charging Li with the crime of using a [slanderous term omitted] group to undermine law enforcement and sentenced her to four years in prison. Li appealed. On November 4, 2002, the Jinzhou Municipal Intermediate People's Court affirmed the original judgment. They found the evidence to be convincing, the offence correctly identified, the sentence was reasonable and the trial was held as establish under the law. The court upheld the original judgment.
"...In both cases, as the defendants did not hire counsel, the courts appointed defense counsel and adequately safeguarded their procedural rights and interests."
At they were telling these falsehoods to the international community, the persecutors blocked all information about Li Ling. When Ms. Li's family members requested the status of her release for medical treatment, prison officials replied that she did not have any disease. When the family members asked, "Why was she sent to the hospital if she is free of any disease?" they refused an answer. Instead of adhering to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's opinion, the government further escalated the persecution of Li Ling. All visiting rights were denied until September 22, 2004, when her son went to visit her. During the visit, she told her son, "I am under constant supervision by two inmates and the guards, yet I persist in my Fa study and cultivation. You should study the Fa more after you go home."
When Ms. Li's husband visited her at the prison on October 26, 2004, he found 'her hair was very long and almost white. Although her body was very weak, he could tell from her words that she was clear-headed and her belief in Dafa was firm.
On November 17, 2004, the Jinzhou City Political and Judiciary Committee informed Li Ling's family of her death. During discussions with the prison officials, 'her family members clarified the truth. They told the officials that they knew Li was tortured to death, although she had not committed any crime. They told them that the prison should not treat her as an inmate with respect to her funeral. Finally, the prison authorities agreed to make an exception regarding the funeral. They gave in to the family members' request and permitted a proper funeral. Ms. Li's family members and the prison guards attended the funeral. The prison also covered the cost of the funeral and traveling expenses for 'her family members. After interacting with Ms. Li's family members, even the prison guards admitted that she had been persecuted to death.
The persecution of Ms. Li Ling lays bare the horrible crimes of Jiang's regime. We strongly call for all kindhearted people and international organizations to help condemn and stop the persecution of all Falun Dafa practitioners.