Ms. Zhang was seen to be emaciated by her family after one month of detention. There are independent reports that she has been tortured in the detention center. On January 15, 2009, Ms. Zhang was seized at the home of a friend as part of the ongoing persecution.
Ms. Zhang Ling is from Gaomi City in the Weifang District of Shandong Province. She has been detained by local police for about a month. During this time, she has been locked in a cell and tortured to the point of unconsciousness.
On the afternoon of January 15, 2009, practitioner Ms. Zhou Ying from Gaomi City invited Ms. Zhang to visit her aunt, Xu Jinying, a practitioner in Xiazhuang Town. A little after 6:00 p.m., Li Shuhan, deputy head of the Xiazhuang Town Police Station, and other officers went to Ms. Xu's home to harass her. They found Falun Gong books so they took the three practitioners to the local police station. In order to find evidence to charge Ms. Zhang and Ms. Zhou, Li went to Ms. Xu's home three times but failed to find anything. Li confiscated 900 yuan from Ms. Zhang's pocket.
After extorting over 10,000 yuan from Ms. Xu's family, the police released her. Then Ms. Zhou and Ms. Zhang were detained in Gaomi Detention Center. After extorting a large amount of money from Ms. Zhou's family, the police released her. Ms. Zhang's family went many times to request her release, but the police refused.
Ms. Zhang is 42 years old. She has been divorced for more than 10 years. Since then, she has lived with her daughter. She used to have severe lower back pain and sometimes had to lie down, unable to do anything. In 2000, Ms. Zhang started to practice Falun Gong and lived by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Both her mind and body improved and all her illnesses disappeared. Her cheeks were rosy and she was brimming with health. She appeared to be about 30 years old although she was actually in her 40s. Because of her good temperament, she is well liked by all.
After Ms. Zhang was arrested, she was kept in an intensified cell. She was bound and chained for three days. She was unconscious when they carried her out of the intensified cell. According to someone who had just been released from the detention center, the police hung Ms. Zhang by her handcuffs in an iron cage.
After many requests, Ms. Zhang's family was finally able to visit her in the detention center. After being tortured for about 20 days, Ms. Zhang appeared very skinny and she had lost almost 15 kilograms. Her family held her hand through the bars of the cage and asked if she was on a hunger strike. She replied, "No."
When asked why she became emaciated, she said she was chained for three days and thus had severe pain in her lower back. When asked how she felt, Ms. Zhang said, "Memory loss, chest congestion, difficulty breathing, and chest pain."
Ms. Zhang's family are afraid she is having heart problems because of the way she is being mistreated, and have not dared tell her elderly parents what has been happening. Ms. Zhang's parents, in their 70s, are worried about their daughter.