My 28 Days in a Singapore Jail
(Originally from Singapore, Li Ying presently lives in the USA.)
(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of December 31, 2000, I joined a number of other Falun Gong practitioners in the Iris Reservoir Park in Singapore, to mourn the loss of the 107 practitioners who had been persecuted to death in China because of their strong belief in "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance." In the park, ten people sat in a circle. Eight practitioners and I stood beside a display board, hand in hand. The board showed the names and photos of the practitioners who had been persecuted to death. With the music of "Pu Du" and "Ji Shi," practitioners recited a memorial speech and read the names of the victims. We held fluorescent sticks and silently mourned for our fellow practitioners in China. The whole event was serene and peaceful.
Because we attended this activity, 14 practitioners and I were illegally arrested by the police. Seven of us were sentenced to 4 weeks in jail. The others were fined.
I was imprisoned in the Zhang Yi jail for women for 28 difficult days. I went on a 20-day hunger strike and witnessed with my own eyes the severe punishment that we all endured. For the first 20 days, I was imprisoned in a cell with only one small window and a closed door. The window, barricaded with iron bars, was used by the guards to peer at those inside. Facing the door was a window high up on the wall, just high enough for one to look through their cell window and distinguish day from night.
In the 28 days in prison, I was not allowed outdoor activities like the other inmates. The jail not only deprived me of my right to go outdoors, but also prohibited me from doing the Falun Gong exercises. Furthermore, they confiscated the book, Zhuan Falun, which my husband had sent me. The Zhang Yi Jail for Women allows the relatives of inmates to deliver items to them. My husband sent me the book during my first several days in jail, but I never received it. In order to regain my lawful rights of reading and exercising, I started the hunger strike on the afternoon of my seventh day of incarceration.
The days while on the hunger strike were very hard. My body became emaciated day after day. At night it was very difficult to sleep. However, I persisted in doing the exercises, and the guards no longer interfered. Yet they still refused to let me read Zhuan Falun, so I continued the hunger strike. Every day I faced loneliness and punishment from the guards, suffering extreme pressure both physically and mentally.
One time, a prison guard led me to a corridor and tried to force me to eat under the monitoring device. The guard shouted, "Today if you do not eat, you will not be allowed to return to your cell." I told her, "Before I practiced Falun Gong, I was unhealthy. For two years, I persisted in reading Zhuan Falun and doing the exercises, which turned me into a healthy person. Reading and practice is an essential part of my life. Please give me the book." The guard went back to her supervisor. They still decided to not give me the book, so I continued the hunger strike.
While incarcerated, penalties against criminals are severe. Every day I heard guards shouting at people. I saw a guard force one inmate to take off all her clothes and humiliated her by forcing her to stand, and then kneel in front of a number of people. In order to strictly control criminals, they developed some cruel and unusual punishments; for instance they would force the detainees to stand in a fixed position. If they moved, the person would be severely punished. The jail rationed water to its inmates. During my last eight days in jail, I was put in a cell with two others and our water allotment was grossly insufficient. We had no choice but to take the water from the toilet.
Recently, the Singapore court wrongly sentenced two Falun Gong practitioners to prison. These practitioners only tried to tell the true story of Falun Gong and to call attention to the persecution in China. I understood that these two practitioners' family members anxiously wanted to rescue them, but could only do what the court had delineated. They were forced to pay the designated fines to get them out. I appeal to the Singapore government to not follow the Chinese Communist Party and to not persecute good people again.