Dafa Practitioner Ms. Li Hongmei from Acheng City Persecuted for Five Years - Mother and Brother Persecuted to Death
Ms. Li Hongmei, 41, lived on Heping Street, Acheng City, Heilongjiang Province. She was brutally tortured many times after the persecution began on July 20, 1999. She was abducted numerous times, and was twice sent to a forced labor camp. During the past six years her life has been severely disrupted. Her mother, Wen Jingtian, and her brother, Li Hongbin, both Falun Gong practitioners, died as a result of the persecution.
Before Li Hongmei began practicing Falun Dafa, the skin on her hands was cracked and she lived in great pain. She was diagnosed with tinea manuum, a fungal infection. Blood spots appeared on her legs, and then spread to her back, and she gradually lost the ability to take care of herself. Her child was sickly 100 days after he was born, and her husband had protruding discs on his spine and a narrowed spinal column, and he could not do heavy labor. Her entire family was at the brink of destruction.
After Li Hongmei began practicing Falun Dafa in July 1995, miracles took place. She fully recovered her health and so did her child and husband. Her whole family benefited from Dafa.
After July 20, 1999, when Jiang Zemin illegally suppressed Falun Gong, Li Hongmei felt an urgent need to clarify the truth to the government. On September 25, 1999, Li Hongmei went to Beijing to appeal for Dafa and was illegally detained for 115 days. The police extorted 10,000 yuan from her family when they went to pick her up. Her family was having financial difficulties and they borrowed money from relatives and friends to bail out Li Hongmei. Seven days after Li Hongmei was united with her family and they were preparing to celebrate Chinese New Year, she was arrested again and sent to the No. 2 Detention Center in Acheng City. She was held for 113 days and the guards extorted another 1,000 yuan from her family on her release.
In 2000, during the time she was held at Acheng City Detention Center, Li Hongmei refused to provide her fingerprints on a detention warrant in protest of the illegal detention. Nine guards including guard Liu Yi beat and kicked Li Hongmei so savagely that she urinated blood after she returned to her cell. Her mother, Wen Jingtian, who was in her late 60s, was held along with her. She was so frightened upon witnessing this atrocity that she went into convulsions. Wen Jingtian then held a three-day hunger strike and was soon released. After she returned home, lawless officials from the farm machinery factory often went to her home to harass her, and the local police station also put pressure on her. She was weak from the hunger strike but was compelled to leave home to avoid the persecution. Because of the tremendous mental pressure and her poor physical condition she soon passed away.
Li Hongmei's brother, Li Hongbin, was tortured to death at Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp soon afterwards.
Due to the continuous and unjustified persecution, Li Hongmei decided to go to Beijing again to appeal. She was abducted on October 15, 2000, and held at the Acheng City Liaison Office in Beijing. The police, including Wang Jia from the Acheng City Police Department, searched her. Li Hongmei was sent to the No. 2 Detention Center in Acheng City and was released after holding a ten-day hunger strike. However, merely two days after her release, officers from the Heping Police Station again arrested her at her home and sent her to the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp in Harbin City where she was held for one year.
Li Hongmei was detained in solitary confinement the first time she was held at Wanjia Forced Labor Camp. The solitary confinement cell is about one meter wide and two meters long (about 3 feet by 6 feet), with a toilet inside the cell. Li Hongmei had to eat, sleep and relieve herself inside the locked cell. The guards ordered up to a dozen inmates to attack and torture one practitioner. They give the practitioners corn flour cakes with many small stones and dirt in them, and soup made out of rotten carrots and cabbage, with a layer of soil at the bottom of the bowl. Later, Division 12 was established, and Li Hongmei was transferred from Division 7 to Division 12. The single-storey quarters in Division 12 were infested with rats. The rats often bit the practitioners who were held there.
On January 31, 2001, Li Hongmei and several other practitioners were doing the Falun Gong exercises when male guards barged into the cell and yanked the practitioners off the bed. They jerked one practitioner from her upper-bunk bed to the ground. They then dragged the practitioners into the hallway. Li Hongmei was barefooted. At the division head office the persecutors asked if she would still practice, threatening to send her to the male division if she didn't change her mind, and promising to send her home if she complied. Li Hongmei was later sent to the male division. The male division was originally used to hold common male inmates but was later emptied to hold Dafa practitioners.
Practitioners held at the male division were not allowed to change clothes or to brush their teeth. They had limited access to the restroom and were forced to stand during the day. Sometimes they were hung by handcuffs onto the bed and were not allowed to sleep at night. They were tied up while being forced to stay in a standing position until 3:00 a.m. They slept on the bare concrete floor. Because she refused to follow orders, Li Hongmei was forced to sit on a metal chair around the clock for eight days, during which time her mouth was taped shut so she could not talk.
Some practitioners wore only short-sleeved shirts and were not allowed to get clothes from the cell when it was cold. This round of torture lasted 20 days. Guard Zhang Bo ordered some perpetrators to send Li Hongmei to the conference room where Dafa practitioners are often tortured. They tortured her for one hour with a method called the "big hang-up." (1)
On June 18, a conference was held to discuss extending the terms of determined Dafa practitioners. Fully armed guards watched over the conference, with one guard positioned behind each practitioner. There were also doctors present. Li Hongmei, with her hands tied behind her back, was pushed to the front where it was announced that her sentence would be extended by one year. A total of 20 practitioners from Division 12 and Division 7 had their sentences extended, including Xie Jinxian, Zhang Shuzhen, Zhang Shuqin, Zhang Guirong, and Yang Lixia from Acheng City. The police officers quickly took practitioners Li Hongmei, Wang Wenlian, Li Xiaobin and Li Rongqin to the conference room, where 12 guards and 8 inmates monitored the practitioners. They were forced to sit on small stools during the daytime and were not allowed to move. They slept on the concrete floor at night. The 12 guards worked in three shifts, taking turns watching the practitioners. Li Rongqin's stomach swelled and she developed a tumor. She was later released.
On July 30, the guards detained Li Hongmei, Wang Wenlian and Li Xiaobin in solitary confinement at Division 9. Three practitioners were held in a one-meter wide, two-meter long (3 feet by 6 feet) room where they could only sleep on their sides. The cell was right next to the cafeteria stoves, and the sweltering summer heat made it all the more unbearable. The three practitioners were held in these conditions for over two months. Practitioners who were held past their terms demanded release by holding a hunger strike. Li Hongmei asked to be let out of solitary confinement. One week later she could no longer eat or be force-fed. She was hospitalized for a few days and was sent back to her cell. She developed scabies from the terrible conditions in the cell and was released ten days later when her term expired.
Li Hongmei had already lost two members of her family to the persecution, and she was constantly harassed, followed and monitored when she was home. The authorities even followed her child. Once, people from the 610 Office, Heping Police Station and the Street Party Committee, knocked on her door, but Li Hongmei firmly refused to open it. The perpetrators left after a long standoff.
On March 13, 2002, Wang Wenguang and others from the Heping Police Station waited for Li Hongmei in a stairway. They forced their way into her home by following her husband, who had come home for lunch. They took away Li Hongmei, along with some Dafa books and Teacher's pictures, and proceeded to ransack her home. One police officer took a pair of earrings, thinking they were made of white gold. This police office said to Li Hongmei, "Sorry, we now have a new mayor, and he has assigned quotas [of the number of practitioners abducted during a period of time]. We have followed you for four months. Although you've done nothing wrong, we have to take you so we won't lose our job." This was the fourth arrest for Li Hongmei. She was illegally sentenced to three years of forced labor.
In 2002, Li Hongmei was sent to the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp for the second time. Her whole body was swollen and covered with scabies, and her eyes were reduced to slits. In late July, male guards were sent to the women's divisions to brainwash Dafa practitioners. All practitioners were detained in solitary confinement. The guards hung the practitioners up by their handcuffed wrists, with their feet in the air. They then shocked them with electric batons. They shocked Li Hongmei all over her body. Guard Meng Xiangzhi tied her up and a male guard shocked her eyelids, face, lip and the rest of her body. In the end they also shocked the soles of her feet. Her socks were full of holes from the shocking. Her feet immediately swelled. They shocked her for over 30 minutes. She heard another practitioner scream in the cell next door.
The guards also forced the practitioners to get up at 5:00 a.m. to make flax car seats and pick watermelon seeds. Each practitioner was assigned 50 kilograms of seeds to pick. They often worked until 11:00 p.m. or midnight, as they were not allowed to sleep until they finished their work. Practitioners of all ages and physical conditions were forced to work. Their bodies were extremely sore and they had blisters on their fingers, and their skin cracked open and peeled off. Their knuckles swelled, and the swelling did not subside because they worked every single day.
The practitioners wrote a letter exposing the persecution, but division head Chang Shumei intercepted it. To find the author of the letter, she ordered determined practitioners to be sent to the Group Drill Division on the third floor, which is part of Division 13. The practitioners were forced to sit on small stools all day long.
On May 12, 2004, about 30 guards at the Group Drill Division forced the practitioners to renounce their belief in Dafa. They used electric batons, the "big hang-up," metal chairs, and other means to torture the practitioners. Over 20 practitioners were shocked with electric batons. Li Hongmei was tortured with the "big hang-up" because she refused to say slanderous things about Teacher. She was handcuffed between two beds, and then the perpetrators moved the beds apart, forcing her body to stretch. The handcuffs cut into her wrists and caused excruciating pain. In the meantime, guard Li Xiaojie shocked her left hand, guard Wu Hongxun shocked her right hand, and guard Yao Fuchang shocked her face with electric batons. Her face swelled so drastically that it became disfigured, and blisters appeared on her lips. Guard Zhao Yuqing violently slapped Li Hongmei's face. They tortured her for an entire afternoon. At 5:00 p.m. they forced her to squat on a small brick, and if her feet slid outside the brick the guards would beat and kick her. They didn't allow her to sleep until midnight and didn't let her use the restroom during the torture. She was allowed to use the restroom only twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening.
Li Hongmei was forced to squat this way for nearly two months. She suffered extreme pain and torment both physically and mentally from this torture.
Later, practitioner Zhang Hong was sent to the Group Drill Division to be further tortured. He died within 10 days.
Li Hongmei and a few other practitioners were later sent back to their original cells and forced to work. They were forced to make Popsicle sticks, and were not allowed to sleep until they had finished the quota assigned to them. Such slave labor continued until their release.
1. Big Hang Up - There are two forms in this torture: (1) With both hands cuffed behind the back and only toes touching the ground, one is hung by a rope that is tied to the metal window frames; (2) One hand of a practitioner is cuffed to one bunk bed and the other hand to another bed, and the two beds are pulled in the opposite directions. One feels extreme pain as the body is pulled. See illustration on http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/11/17/54624.html