Liu Fengmei - 刘凤梅
(Minghui.org) Rushing back from Beijing, Mr. Cheng Hua arrived home at around 3:00 p.m. on December 18, 2014. He cried, facing the body of his wife Ms. Liu Fengmei, who had suffered such terrible persecution by police, the forced labor camp, and the prisons of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). She had passed away at 4:00 a.m. that day.
After so many forced separations from his wife, this time it was permanent.
The Happiness She Once Had
Ms. Liu was born weak and had many illnesses. After giving birth to her child after marriage, her health declined even more. She took sick leave often, and she was unable to earn a full-time salary. Her husband was also a worker at the same factory. With meager salaries, their lives were poor and difficult.
To improve her health, Ms. Liu began practicing Falun Gong in November 1995, and followed its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Her illnesses soon disappeared, and she was able to work full-time. She read Falun Gong books and did exercises every day. She was soon healthy and happy. The small family began living a good life.
Ms. Liu and her husband
Seeing the change after practicing Falun Gong, her husband was very supportive of her practice. He had no complaints whatsoever, even after she was later arrested and detained several times, forcing their separation from each other.
Tortured Even When Her Life Was in Peril
Ms. Liu's life changed drastically after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began persecuting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. In the beginning, she went to Beijing several times to petition to the central government, and to tell people that Falun Gong had done nothing wrong. She was thus jailed, put into prisons and forced labor camps, and tortured.
While serving a 13-year prison sentence, the Shenyang 739 Hospital, in July 2012, diagnosed her with a malignant tumor in her left breast, and ovarian tumors on both sides. The Liaoning Women's Prison notified her husband. When he arrived, he found that Ms. Liu was already in critical condition, with continuous menstrual bleeding and serious anemia. He requested that she be released for medical treatment, but the warden rejected his request, citing that it needed approval by the prison administration.
The Shenyang Tumor Hospital re-affirmed that her breast cancer was late-stage and spreading. Her ovary tumors were also at late-stage. Her anemia was also worsening. She was thus sent to the prison hospital, but the hospital did not treat her, and sent her back to the prison. To release her for medical treatment, the prison demanded that she sign a document pledging not to practice Falun Gong. When she refused, they forced her to the ground and pried her fingers to get the finger prints—despite her fragile state.
A few days later, she was dragged to the directors room to get her fingerprints again, claiming that the previous ones did not work. They grabbed her hair and punched her left breast, which had the tumor, and gagged her—all of which caused her to bleed profusely from her vagina. This treatment lasted for several hours.
Every time she was sent to a hospital for an examination, the prison officials called her husband to demand payment for the examinations. In the process of getting her released for medical treatment, the family spent over 10,000 yuan.
The prison officials indicated that they would no longer bother her after she was released, since she had late-stage cancer. But they called again two months later and wanted her husband to pay 1,500 yuan and take her to Shenyang City to obtain a judicial validation. But she was too weak to go. Members of the prison staff, the justice bureau, the neighborhood association, and the company security department harassed and threatened her and her family.
Officers from the Nuerher Police Station went to her home in March 2013 and demanded her phone number, and her husband's workplace address and phone number. Ms. Liu had recovered some before this, but her health deteriorated quickly after this round of harassment.
Her husband fainted one day at work under the tremendous psychological and financial pressure, and the hospital diagnosed him with coronary disease. Their son was also distressed. “My mother has late stage cancer and the police keep harassing us,” he said. “My dad has coronary disease, and I am only 20 years old. What am I going to do?”
Torture at Masanjia Forced Labor Camp
Ms. Liu went to Beijing in September 1999, to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was sentenced to two-and-half years of forced labor, and taken to the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Shenyang City. She was among the first batch of practitioners taken to the labor camp, and she was often beat by the guards and inmates because she refused to “transform.” She was shocked with electric batons and forced to squat in the snow.
Torture illustration: Shocking with electric batons
According to an article published on the Minghui website: “Falun Dafa practitioners Cui Yaning, Liu Fengmei from Jinzhou City, and Lin Yan from Shenyang City were shocked with electric batons by three guards for a long period of time. The guards also lashed Ms. Liu with steel wires. The practitioners ended up with blisters all over their bodies. Ms. Cui and Ms. Liu were forced to squat in the hallway for 14 days while deprived of sleep.”
Ms. Liu went on a hunger strike for over 20 days. The police once beat her in a small room, and stopped only when other practitioners threatened to go on hunger strikes. She was so weak that she was unable to get into bed, and her blood pressure was only 20 mm Hg. They gave her IV injections and force-fed her in the name of “reviving” her.
As reflected by other practitioners detained with Ms. Liu at the time, Ms. Liu was deemed a major target in June 2000, for refusing to give up her belief. She was tortured repeatedly because the labor camp tried to improve their “transformation” rate. The guards forced her and other targeted practitioners to stand for 18 hours per day, and shocked them with electric batons. Her neck had blisters and turned black, and her hands were covered with blisters.
The police also stripped her of her clothes and tied her legs together. They then used two high-voltage batons to shock her repeatedly. She was then put in solitary confinement.
In April 2001, guards sent Ms. Liu and more than 20 other practitioners to a small cell. They were forced to sit on small stools for nine days, from 6:00 a.m. to midnight. They had to listen to recordings that slandered Falun Gong. In particular, the long-term sitting on small stools injured many practitioners, causing their buttocks' to bleed, and bloody scabs to stick to their clothing.
Ms. Liu was forced to squat for five days while facing a wall, again from 6:00 a.m. to midnight. This was followed by two days of forced standing. Ms. Liu still refused to renounce Falun Gong. Female guards Wang Yanping and Zhou Qian then whipped her with steel wires, and shocked her torso and the soles of her feet. The long-term abuse severely damaged Ms. Liu's physical and mental health.
In protest, she started another hunger strike. As a result, the police force-fed her through a nasal tube. They did not stop, even though her nose was bleeding profusely. At this point, Ms. Liu had reached the limit of her endurance, and she jumped out of a third-floor window. (Editor's comment: Such an act violates Falun Gong's principles)
Her spine was fractured and displaced, and her nerves were damaged. She was let out to seek medical treatment. Doctors put a steel plate in her back.
She later described the situation, “The persecution was too brutal. We were all disfigured after a long period of being shocked with electric batons. Many faces were distorted, and eyes and mouths were swollen. We could not recognize each other, and could only ask with feeble voices to find out who the other person was, to encourage each other. To see that practitioners were no longer tortured like that, I told the guards that if they continued with it, I would jump out the window. A few days later, I heard the screaming of the practitioners, and the tortures were continuing again.”
Ms. Liu studied Falun Gong and did exercises after going home. With the wonder of the practice, she was able to stand and walk again in due time. However, soon enough, the guards called her with more threats, “Don't tell anyone. Don't contact any practitioners. If you do, we will arrest you immediately.”
Forced Away From Home
Ms. Liu was arrested six months later, on April 10, 2002, when she visited a friend's home. The police took her money and keys, and ransacked her home. They seized her Falun Gong books and other personal belongings, including her son's toys.
She was taken to the Jinzhou City No. 1 Detention Center in the afternoon, where she went on a hunger strike. She was force-fed on the sixth day, causing her nose to bleed. The guards used tools to pry open her mouth to force feed her, but the food squirted out, which ceased the force feeding. On the eighth day, they tried unsuccessfully to inject her with liquid via IV. On the twelfth day, she was taken to the hospital for an emergency rescue. On the thirteenth day, the prison was forced to release her.
Ms. Liu then decided to leave home for three years, during which time she didn't see her son or husband. Finally in 2005, she ran the risk of being arrested again and returned home.
Her company helped her receive bail and got her a job sweeping floors.
Arrest on the Eve of the Beijing Olympics
The CCP took the opportunity of the 2008 Olympics to start a new campaign to arrest Falun Gong practitioners. Under the personal direction of Wang Lijun, then-chief of police in Jinzhou City, who later made international news for his involvement with Bo Xilai, over 30 practitioners were arrested, including Ms. Liu.
Below is Ms. Liu's account:
“I went downstairs to get my tools and was ready to go to work on the morning of February 25, 2008. About eight people appeared from different directions and surrounded me. I said, 'What are you doing?' They said they were from the police department. 'Then, show me your identification,' I said. One of them showed it to me. It said 'Li Baoshan from the Taihe Domestic Security Division'. Several officers came up at the same time, cuffed my hands behind my back, and dragged me into a police car.
“They took the key from me and opened my house. My husband and son were still in bed. My son argued with them. They pushed him into the bathroom and ransacked my home. Even the rice bag was turned inside out. They seized my Falun Gong books and DVDs, my cell phone, a DVD player, an MP3 player, bank cards, and 7,900 yuan in cash. They took my husband and son to the Nuerhe Police Station.
“I was taken to the Taihe Police Department, where I was searched again and put in a small room. An hour later, I was put on an iron chair torture device, and a black hood was put over my head. My hands and legs were cuffed and fixed to the chair.
“I heard one guy saying that the captain had arrived. Someone hit my head with something very hard. I was dizzy and heard ringing in my ears. Someone said, 'Take her clothes off.' They took off my overcoat and sweater, leaving only my shirt. One officer came and cranked my right arm, so I yelled, 'Falun Dafa is good!' He cranked it further and pull it upward. With a snapping sound, my arm was dislocated and I fainted.
“I didn't know how much time had passed. My arm was dangling when I woke up. I heard from next door the cracking sounds of electrical batons, the screaming of practitioners, and the cursing of police. At around 11:00 p.m., some people carried me to the Jinzhou No. 1 Detention Center. The warden said, 'Why are they all on stretchers today?' and he refused to accept me. I had not had any food or water all day, and my arm was just dangling there. With the steel plate in me, I was unable to sit.
“They suspected that I had broken bones, and took me to the police hospital for an examination. We arrived at the hospital after midnight. They took an X-ray of me, and took me back to the detention center. The police called his boss on the way, and told him that my hip and arm were both broken. The boss said that they still could not release me.
“At the detention center, I was unable to eat or drink, and I just lay there for a long time. Later, officers from the Taihe Police Department came and interrogated me as I lay there in pain on the ground.
“Several weeks later, Dai Yong from the Taihe Police Department, and Dai Wei from a detention center put me on a stretcher and drove me to the Yaojia Detention Center in Dalian City.
“The real interrogation began the next day, and it continued day after day for more than 40 days. With my bones broken, I just lay on the floor the whole time. They put me on a wheelchair and pushed me to the interrogation room whenever they wanted to interrogate me. They threatened, tricked, and lied to pressure me. One day the director of the Liaoning Province Police Bureau came. He verbally abused me and threatened me while pounding the table. 'We will kill you,' he screamed. 'We will make you talk as you are preparing to die.' After interrogating me for a few hours with no success, he left.”
“I was taken to the Jinzou No. 1 Detention Center in June 2008, where they talked to me many times about becoming one of their 'inside people.' In exchange they would let me out to seek medical treatment if I agreed.”
Unlawfully Sentenced to 13 Years
The Jinzhou City Taihe District Court announced its decision regarding Ms. Liu on August 27, 2008. She was sentenced to 13 years in prison. The Jinzhou City Intermediate Court rejected her appeal and upheld the sentence without holding a trial.
The Jinzhou Detention center took Ms. Liu to the Liaoning Provincial Women's Prison on October 20, 2008. Seeing the report of her physical examination, the director of the prison hospital said, “All examinations have failed. The steel plate in her back has worn out on both sides. She is not suitable to be imprisoned here for 13 years. Perhaps she should be imprisoned after the steel plate is removed.” They consulted with the Liaoning Province Justice Bureau, which denied their request.
She was then taken to Ward II, where two inmates were assigned to watch her while she did hard labor from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. without lunch. She was taken to a dark cell in the evenings. Guards beat her and tried to force her to write the three statements renouncing Falun Gong. During this time, she was not allowed to sit.
To protest the inhumane treatment, she went on a hunger strike. On the third day, she fainted while working, and was force-fed by guards. Her limbs were stretched, and she was tied to a bed, while the feeding tube stayed in her for 14 days.
Torture illustration: Force-feeding
The prison began another round of forced “transformation” in November 2011. Ms. Liu was forced to sit on a small bench and watch videos slandering Falun Gong every day. Her health deteriorated quickly during this time, and she developed blood in her stools and vaginal bleeding.
She was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer and ovarian tumors in July 2012. Moreover, the steel plate at her hip was bent and displaced.
Giving Life to Higher Purpose
Ms. Liu was released in August 2012. However, local authorities continued harassing her. After painfully struggling for 28 months, Ms. Liu passed away on the morning of December 18, 2014.
Ms. Liu right before her death
Ms. Liu is a witness of this historical persecution. For more than ten years, her life epitomized the bloody persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The devotion of many practitioners like Ms. Liu has awakened many people who were deceived by the communist regime in China.
Historic hindsight will provide everyone the best judgment. People will remember the great deeds of Ms. Liu and the many others who used their lives to uphold their beliefs.