Recently Released Practitioner Recounts Mental and Physical Torture in Yunnan Province No. 2 Women's Prison
I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I was released three months ago from Yunnan Province No. 2 Women's Prison. My so-called sentence was illegally forced upon me by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s court. Recently I heard that some people have questioned the authenticity of the reports of brutality in the prison, specifically, reports of the guards cruelly torturing Falun Gong practitioners. Therefore, I would like to write out what I have experienced and witnessed so that the world's people and fellow practitioners can have a more comprehensive understanding of the facts.
In 2005, people from our local police bureau and the 610 Office forcefully took me to the prison. I was detained in the Strict Monitoring Team of a Concentrated Training Team. This Strict Monitoring Team was set up specifically for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. The team was made up of guards and criminal inmates. Practitioners who were detained here were monitored by two or more criminal inmates and surrounded by collaborators around the clock. Practitioners who were admitted to the prison and refused to be "transformed" would be put in this team. Collaborators detained the practitioners in their cells and made them sit on a very low, hard stool. We were not allowed to move and were restricted to three bathroom visits per day. Our three daily meals were brought to us by the collaborators. We were not allowed to rinse our bowls until our next scheduled bathroom visit. So from the time we got up at 6:40 a.m., until 11:00 p.m., we sat for nearly 16 hours every day.
After a while I developed bedsores on my buttocks. They hurt me so much it was as if I was being stabbed with needles. Once a collaborator slapped me and cursed me because I leaned over a little bit. When I was sitting down, I was not allowed to move my eyes around at all; I could only stare at what was in front of me. Once in the winter I lifted the corner of my clothes to cover my hand on my lap because of the cold. The person watching me from outside saw what I did. He came in and began to push me and swear at me. Even if something as inconsequential as a needle dropped on the floor, if I were to pick it up, I would incur an angry cursing. Because I did not get to see the sun and was not allowed to move, talk, or brush my teeth, I gradually became numb. I was expressionless all the time and sometimes felt that my whole body was deformed.
I heard a Falun Gong practitioner next door to me being cursed by collaborators for doing the exercises after midnight. Guards on duty yelled at her without consideration for others who were sleeping. A guard penalized this practitioner and had her stand the whole night with the lights on in the cells. This meant that other inmates in the same building as she had their sleep disturbed. The inmates in the same cell couldn't sleep at all for the entire night. Collaborators and guards then incited others' hatred by saying that it was because a Falun Gong practitioner purposely disregarded the prison rules that their sleep was disturbed. The hard labor in this prison is very intensive and the working hours are very long. On average we had to work more than 12 hours a day. Therefore, rest time for prisoners is precious, and losing this time made them develop hatred toward Falun Gong practitioners.
Practitioners who were being strictly monitored were placed with 20 to 30 other inmates. We were not allowed to take showers or do laundry, and only allowed to change clothes occasionally. We also were not allowed to buy toothpaste or bathroom tissue. This led to the Falun Gong practitioners' images being undermined and other inmates developing hatred towards us. Because the cells are generally very crowded, after other inmates finished work and returned to the cell, they often tripped over me as I sat in the center of the room. When the collaborators served us meals we always said, "Thank you." After a while, I could only say two sentences: "I am sorry" and "Thank you."
Every other day, the guards took me to their office to make me watch videos defaming Dafa and Teacher. They also forced me to read books and papers criticizing Falun Gong. After I finished watching them, I was forced to write my reflections. If I refused or what I wrote wasn't to their liking, I was penalized by having to stand for a long time. This was referred to as "studying." I was forced to stand from the time I got up until 11p.m. The whole time I was in a military stance and I was not allowed to look outside at all. At any given time, I was liable to be called into the duty room or another office and cursed by several guards at the same time. Sometimes it was a purely personal attack, and they referred to the act of cursing me as "helping me." One practitioner ended up passing out on the steps after being cruelly tortured with such methods. After I was forced to stand for one week, both of my legs became swollen. My knees were so stiff that I couldn't bend them. Every time I went to the bathroom I had to rub my knees for a few minutes before I could walk. Every day I stood until I felt sick and nauseous; I couldn't take in any more food.
I demanded to be allowed to appeal, but guard Zheng Ping said it was not allowed. Only after I argued with her from a legal standpoint did she begrudgingly allow me to sit down and write letters of appeal. Three weeks after I put my letter of appeal into the box, it was still there. After I strongly protested, I heard from the collaborators and guards that my letter of appeal letter was taken away. There was no further mention of my letter of appeal throughout my remaining time there.
The environment was very depressing. I felt I was being destroyed by the mental and physical torture and often wished for death. I heard that, downstairs from where I was detained, one senior practitioner was so depressed that she yelled and screamed and asked a guard to kill her. That mental state was the result of suffering from long-term torture. She was on the brink of a mental collapse!
As a result of clarifying the truth to the guards and other inmates, a Falun Gong practitioner from Kunming Steel Factory was detained separately and then taken to Yunnan Province Mental Hospital to be "diagnosed." Afterward, the distorted "results" of her diagnosis were spread widely among the inmates. As I once passed by the duty room, this fellow practitioner grabbed my hand and asked me, "Do you think I have a mental problem? Am I truly wrong? Please tell me and be honest." I looked at her and said, "You are right; you have no problem. I trust you." Seeing the tears rolling down her face, I truly felt that, in such an evil environment even the most fundamental righteous thoughts and belief would be tarnished.
During the period when I was forced to go through the so-called "study," a family member learned where I was after spending much effort looking for me and he demanded to see me in person. I was allowed to take a shower and change clothes before seeing him. When I finally appeared in front of him, no wounds were visible on my body and I appeared normal to him. He said that I looked like I had gained some weight but actually this was because my body was swollen. There were guards beside us during our visit so we couldn't talk freely. Not to mention the fact that I didn't want to have him truly know my situation and feel sorry for me at that time.
After I was released and returned to society, I was fortunate enough to read a copy of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. I realized that every method that was used in prison to torture Falun Gong practitioners is a traditional means that the CCP has used to control its citizens throughout history. They not only torture practitioners but they also instigate people who are not clear about the truth to be involved in their crimes. They use the repressive environment to destroy a person's normal logic, so as to destroy a person's righteous thoughts and actions.