A Practitioner and Her Family Endure Five Years of Persecution
(Clearwisdom.net)After my graduation in 1988, I was given a government job in Beijing. I started a family and led an outwardly happy life. But deep down I wasn't really happy. I didn't know what the meaning of life is. I didn't know the meaning of true joy.
Fortunately, in 1995 I started practicing Falun Gong, which benefited me both mentally and physically. My concept of the world changed. I become optimistic and I was able to comprehend and be tolerant of others.
Since my job entailed handling economic issues for our country, accepting gifts from customers in the import/export business was a regular affair. Prior to my practicing Falun Dafa, I always felt that there was nothing wrong with accepting gifts. But after I started to cultivate, I recognized that it was not proper. I was strict with myself and tried to be a truly good person, as taught by Teacher(1).
In July of 1999, the former leader of China Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution and suppression of Falun Gong and those who practice it.
On July the 20th and 21st, I went to Beijing to the Appeal Bureau to tell them the facts about Falun Gong. When I arrived I found that many other practitioners were also there to appeal. Police and police vehicles were everywhere. Before we were able to reach the Appeal Bureau, we were intercepted by police and loaded on a bus and detained in an open gymnasium in the Shijingshan Section. We were released that night after our names, addresses and workplaces had been recorded.
Since then, my workplace stopped me from working. I was forced to watch videos and read newspapers, magazines, and documents slandering Falun Gong in my unit leader's office.
During that period, it felt like each day was as long as a year. Every day I was forced to watch videos slandering Dafa and Teacher. When I told others the truth about Dafa, I was told to shut up. Under this tremendous pressure, I kept silent. To prevent me from getting in touch with other practitioners, my unit leader ordered me not to take any phone calls and sent someone to escort me back and forth from home. My bonus was suspended and now my work and family life was in chaos.
On December 27, 1999 I found out that Falun Dafa practitioners Li Chang and Yao Jie were to be tried in the Beijing City Second Intermediate People Court. I brought my ID with me so that I could sit in the courtroom. Uniformed and plainclothes police surrounded the courtroom. I showed my ID to the police guarding the court door and told them my intention. I was taken to a bus parked beside the court. There were many practitioners the bus. More practitioners who were attempting to sit in the courtroom were continuously taken to the bus. Following this we were imprisoned in the Beijing City Public Security Zhaoyang Branch Station. The reason for our imprisonment was said to be "disturbing social order". On the evening of January the 4th, I was released.
On the morning of January the 5th, a day after I was released, my unit section head (a woman) and another colleague came to my house. Two police claiming to be responsible for the security in my area also came to visit. One of them kept telling me: Why are you practicing Falun Gong? Why not practice something else? While he was talking, he kept searching my household. When I asked for his work ID and search warrant, he suggested that we go to my office. During this time, my husband usually took our child to school and then returned home. I believed what they told me and both my husband and I went with them. I realized I would be arrested when I saw that the road we were taking wasn't the way to my office. They took me to the Third Affiliated Hospital (a mental hospital) of Beijing Medical School. I tried to escape, but they guarded all the car doors. Four men (two police, my colleague and my husband) each took hold of my limbs and carried me into the hospital hallway. I struggled to try to free myself. My long gown slipped from me and my glasses fell off. I cried out: "I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I am not a mental patient."
I was taken to a consulting room. A doctor asked me some questions. I told her my bitter experience. She diagnosed me as clear-headed and refused to accept me. Police weren't going to give up and negotiated with the hospital. I was detained in the hospital that afternoon and was taken to a women's section in the fourth floor. I was ordered to change into a hospital gown. My shoes, belt, outer garments and money were confiscated. I stayed there until January the 13th. I came into contact with all kinds of mental patients for eight sleepless nights. It was an unforgettable experience.
On the evening when I first entered the hospital, because I refused to eat, I was tied to an metal bed by four nurses. I was regarded as a special patient and was forced to accept special treatment. The treatment was: "Don't insist on practicing Falun Gong. If you continue insisting, it will influence your future and your husband's future, destroying your family." I met a male Falun Gong practitioner in the men's section on the second floor. He was a sophomore in college. He went to appeal and was detained. His parents were able to have him released on bail. To preserve his school register and so as not to affect his future, his parents sent him to the mental hospital, under the suggestion by police. He had been there for several months and was forced to take medicine and other drugs by injection.
On February the 4th, my mother, my daughter and I went to Tiananmen Square and unfurled a banner that read "Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Forbearance."(2) My mother and I were arrested for the second time.
In the Zhaoyang Detention Center, police used methods such as sentence reduction and early release to coerce other prisoners to beat and insult practitioners so as to force us to give up our cultivation. Because several practitioners and I were practicing the Falun Gong exercises, the head of the guards instigated several prisoners to beat our faces with a shoe's sole and kicked our chests and backs while using vulgar language to scold us.
In early March, I was sentenced to serve one year in a forced labor camp (2/6/2000 ~ 2/5/2001). Later, a person from my workplace came to the detention center to notify me that I had been expelled from the Communist Party. At the end of March, I was told I could serve my sentence outside the labor camp, thus I was released on probation.
After I came home from the detention center, I found out my husband had sent our 8-year-old daughter to a relative's home that was thousands of miles away from Beijing. My workplace refused to let me go back to work, and my salary and benefits had been stopped since the time of my detainment. On April 20, I was told to choose between: (a) give up the practice of Falun Gong and go back to work, or (b) continue to practice Falun Gong and resign from my job with a government agency.
I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with being a good person, and there is nothing wrong with practicing "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance." I chose the latter and left the job that I had and loved for almost 12 years.
My child was sent away and I lost my job. All the pressure made my husband depressed and unhappy. He said on many occasions that he wanted a divorce. Very often he would get angry with me, and even threw things around. My home had lost the warmth and comfort of its former days.
On December 31, 2000, the police stopped me while I was out shopping. In broad daylight and with many eyewitnesses, three police officers forced me into the back of a police vehicle. I accused them breaking the law while working as law enforcement officers, but they said I was still serving my sentence and they could arrest me anytime. (The real reason was that they were afraid of Falun Gong practitioners going to Beijing to appeal on the first day of the New Year.) They searched my handbags and body searched me. In my bag, they found two pieces of paper with "Falun Dafa is Good" and "Falun Dafa suffers the Biggest Injustice in History." written on them. I was sent to the detention center again.
I was held in the detention center for three and a half months. Other than being interrogated once on January 1, 2001, I did not leave the dark, cold, and damp jail cell. The cell was about 20 square meters (about 210 square feet) large, and there were 20 to 30 prisoners in the cell. In the long three and a half months, we were punished with a method called the "sitting board" (3) for over 10 hours everyday. Several times, I was awakened in the middle of the night and forced to sit on the board. The jail police regularly searched the cell, and they strip-searched us. We had two meals a day, usually steamed cornbread and cabbage boiled in water. There was no hot water to take a shower. I would rinse my head and body under the cold running water when I could not stand the filth anymore. My sentence was extended for another year. On March 15, I was sent to the prison dispatch center.
Anyone who has stayed at a prison dispatch center knows it is one of the darkest places run by the Chinese government. We were forced to work 16 to 17 hours a day. I was forced to carry sacks that weighed over 100 pounds each. The sacks were full of disposable chopsticks that were made by machines. We were told to carry the bags from the courtyard to each room in the female prisoner wing. The room was about 12 to 13 square meters (about 130 square feet) in size, and there were over a dozen prisoners in each room. We were told to package the chopsticks into a small paper bags that had "Disinfected" labels. But none of us even washed our hands. The chopsticks were stepped on, left on the beds, or piled up on the floor. There was no disinfection procedure at all. The police would have us put these chopsticks into cardboard boxes printed with "sanitized disposable chopsticks" on the label. We were slave labor for the prison police. In this filthy place, we packaged disposable chopsticks with our dirty and bleeding hands. The police used our slave labor to deceive the world and make money.
We worked and slept in the same room. We were not allowed to walk around (there was no room to walk around anyway). We could not leave the room without permission. We could use the toilet only twice a day.
One day, I was summoned to the office for refusing to read articles that slandered Falun Gong. We were supposed to take turns in reading them aloud while others were working. A jail guard wearing leather boots punished me by kicking me and stepping on my head. The punishment lasted about half an hour.
On April 6, I was sent to Xin'an Forced Labor Camp in the Daxin District of Beijing. There I lived my life in total absence of justice. There were 50 to 60 people sent to the labor camp on that day, and 90% of them were Falun Dafa practitioners. We were assigned to different brigades upon arriving at the labor camp. I and over a dozen others were assigned to the No. 5 brigade. We were strip-searched by the police. Afterwards, we were assigned to different units. The No. 5 brigade had seven units, with about 120 prisoners in total. Among the prisoners, only 5 or 6 were regular inmates, all the rest were Falun Dafa practitioners.
The moment I arrived at my unit, 3 or 4 people who had already been forced to give up Falun Dafa surrounded me. At first, they tried to convince me to give up the practice. When I refused to listen to them, they started shouting, beating and kicking me. That night, I was summoned to the jail guard office and was forced to stand facing the wall. Time after time, I fell asleep standing and almost fell down. The jail police arranged a few regular inmates to keep an eye on me; they woke me up over and over again. After one night of standing, those people continued to surround me and tried to brainwash me the next day. They arranged people to keep talking to me throughout the next night. I was not allowed to sleep. I was told that if I still refused to write a guarantee statement, no one in my unit would be allowed to sleep. Not everyone in my unit was a Falun Dafa practitioner. My heart was moved knowing that they would be deprived of sleep after a whole day of work because of me. I was confused. Even though I wanted to persevere, I felt more exhausted than I had ever felt before. I thus allowed the evil to take advantage of this gap in my understanding (4).
Every day, besides being forced to perform heavy labor, we were also forced to watch video programs that defamed Falun Gong and slandered Falun Gong practitioners. These programs were skillfully edited to take things out of context for the purpose of brainwashing jailed practitioners.
During my imprisonment, my husband fell ill due to depression and the pressure from everything around him. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with hepatitis-B. When his workplace became aware of my situation, they tried to pressure my husband to divorce me.
Under the persecution, my family was broken up because of my belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. My mother had been detained 14 times because she persisted in practicing Falun Gong. In order to avoid further persecution, she lived without a fixed residence for over half a year.
After serving the two-year sentence, with a lot of help, I was able to find a job. I brought my daughter back to Beijing. But the local police and the neighborhood administrative office still harassed me constantly. To understand my thoughts and emotional state, they called and visited me regularly. My family lived in constant fear because of me.
Right before "10.1" (5) of 2002, the local police, "610 Office" and the neighborhood administrative office again visited me; they wanted me to answer a survey. I refused their request. When they tried to take me away forcefully, I said to the police, "I am no longer a member of the Communist Party, you have no right to know what I think, even less to have me think the same way as the Communist Party! My husband is very ill right now, I cannot go with you!" Their attempt failed that time.
1. Teacher - respectfully referring to the founder of Falun Gong, Mr Li Hongzhi.
2. Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance -- the three principles taught in Falun Gong.
3. Sitting Board - Everyday, practitioners put their hands on top of their laps, with backs straight and sitting on benches 18 hours per day. This continued for over fifty days. The authorities even limited practitioners' restroom use. Because of the long time spent sitting on hard benches, practitioners' buttocks grew big sores that hurt badly. Practitioners could not even urinate normally because of the pain. Because the labor camp was very damp, the police would not allow practitioners to have air ventilation or the chance to get some sunlight, and practitioners were locked up for so long, countless red scabies grew on the entire body of the practitioner; they were incomparably itchy and painful.
4. Solemn declaration will be published separately.
5. "10.1" denotes October 1, which is the National Day of the People's Republic of China.
September 7, 2004