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Ms. Ding Yu Continues to be Persecuted in the Heilongjiang Prison for Women Despite Spending More Than 70 Days on a Hunger Strike

May 04, 2005 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Ding Yu. Because I practice Falun Gong, I was sentenced to five years in the Heilongjiang Prison for Women on September 11, 2002.

On September 1, 2002, I was among a group of 18 Falun Gong practitioners who were taken to the Heilongjiang Prison for Women. At 1 p.m., the police separated us. An officer took me to a small room. Guard Lin Guan (male) and two female officers were in charge of "transforming" me. They forced me to squat and talk to them. I refused to be "transformed" and an officer slapped me heavily and kicked me.

Yu Chang from the Concentration Team (now she's with the 9th Prison Ward) ordered me to squat beside her and tried to force me to "transform" and write a Guarantee Statement. I refused and said, "Falun Dafa is so good. What else should I 'transform' into? I won't write the statement!" Yu kicked me and I fell on the ground. She forced me to squat near her again and asked me questions. Every time I refused to cooperate, she would slap, kick and beat me until she got tired and begin again after she had rested up. At around midnight, Lin Guan and several others saw that I still wouldn't "transform," so they dragged and swung me around repeatedly. When I was completely disheveled with tears in my eyes, I was taken to the 3rd floor. Several practitioners (Dong Lin'gui, Liu Kun, Zhao Xin and Sun Guizhi) were there. The minute I saw them, I knew they had gone through the same type of torture that I had.

Lin Guan talked to the officer on duty that night and left. At about 2 a.m., eight of us practitioners with hands cuffed behind our backs slept on our luggage on the floor. The next day, they conducted a full-body search on us and ordered us to take off our clothes in public. If we refused, they threatened to use force. They made us squat three times to check as to whether any of us were smuggling contraband in our vaginas. We were completely robbed of our dignity. A prisoner who participated in the body search, Gao Hongxia (now working as a janitor), officer Wang Yali (now a Vice Director of the Patrol Team), and Yao Jie from the Concentration Team gave us worn prison uniforms and told us to put them on. They ordered a prisoner to cut our hair. The prisoner did such a poor job that our scalps showed through in spots. This was yet another method they employed to rob us of our dignity. The next ten days we endured forced physical training, including marching, standing in formation in a military manner, and physical exercises. Those who failed do the drills were forced to stand under the burning sun for 30 minutes. Liu Kun fainted and was sent to the infirmary. Sun Guizhi (now in the 7th Prison Ward) said to the police, "We are practitioners. We practice Falun Gong exercises, not physical exercises." An elder practitioner over 50 years old was punished by being forced to repeatedly jump frog style (squat and jump with hands on the back of the head). We refused to answer their questions in the manner required of prisoners. Wang Yali and Zheng Jie (Captain of the 8th Prison Ward) slapped us and tortured us by forcing us to stay in the airplane stance (waist bent at 90 degrees with hands above the back). Often we were punched and kicked, and forced to sleep on the ground with hands cuffed behind our backs. During that time, prisoner Wang Dan from the Prison Administration Division and Lu Yingchun from the Concentration Team monitored us. Wang Yali was the captain of the Concentration Team at that time. Zheng Jie and Yao Jie were in charge of persecuting me.

In October 2002, I was sent to the 8th Prison Ward. The prisoners were ordered to monitor the Dafa practitioners' every movement. We were not allowed to speak to each other. Some practitioners didn't have any of the daily necessities and weren't allowed to borrow them from other practitioners. Some weren't even allowed to speak to their roommates or go out and talk to others. I refused to acknowledge myself as a prisoner or let them write "prisoner" on my clothes. Sometimes they wouldn't allow me to see my brother or receive the things he brought for me. The longest time I had to go without a family visit was half a year. My mother's letters to me were often blocked.

Starting in April 2003, practitioners went on strikes to protest the persecution. Ren Shuxian and Wang Hongjie were cuffed to bunk beds in a prison dorm room, secured in the shape of a "T" and suspended with their toes barely touching the ground. Prisoners Wang Fengchun (already released from the prison) and Zhang Mingmei monitored them, and they stayed like that for 20 days. Both of Ren's legs were swollen and the skin was ripped open.

In July 2003, practitioners Zhang Shuzhe and Zhao Xin were locked in a small room because they appealed to the director of the prison when the director showed high level officials around the prison. Later, Zhang Shuqin, Lu Yujun and I went on strike in protest. Prisoners Wang Xiaodong, Li Tieli, Wang Wenjie and Liu Li dragged me from the dorm walkway downstairs and up to the third floor again. My clothes, pants and shoes were worn out from being dragged around. My back was injured and my neck was bloodied. Once I was dragged upstairs with my head pointing down. I almost fainted. During the daytime I was tied up in an office, sitting on the icy cold floor. Later, Wang Aihua was also dragged in. Prisoners Yang Ping and Li Guixiang (now in the 5th Prison Ward) slapped and beat Wang Aihua. Lu Yujun was hung from a heating pipe with her hands over her head and her toes barely touching the floor for the night. They tied me up on a chair and prisoner Li Guihong, who has since been released, used a bamboo strip to hit my legs and body. Prison officials finally agreed to stop trying to make us work, and brought more than 30 practitioners back to the dorm in mid July.

In September 2003, the prison sent prison detectives, political administrators, reform educators and staff from the Clinic Division to "transform" the practitioners of the 8th Prison Ward. Initially, three or four of us in a room had to sit on the concrete floor with our hands tied behind our backs. Prisoner Gu Wenjuan, who has since been released, monitored Tian Guiqing, Jia Shuying, Zhao Xin and me. Sitting on the floor with hands behind our backs, we weren't allowed to sleep, talk, or wash ourselves. In one of the worst episodes during that time, we were cuffed with our hands behind our backs and hung from the bunk beds by our cuffs. Our toes barely touched the floor and our hands were numb after 20 minutes. Our shoulder muscles were severely damaged from the stress put on them. Our sweat mixed with our tears. After an hour, Liu Yanhua issued orders to let us down. Many of the practitioners' hands and shoulders were immobilized.

During that period, female practitioners were taken to the male prison ward for "enforced training." Every morning we could hear the cries of the practitioners as they were dragged across the ground. The leaders included Zheng Jie (Captain) and Zhang Chunhua (Assistant Captain, in charge of the Falun Gong practitioners). Nearly every officer in the 8th Prison Ward participated in the persecution. The prisoners specifically selected to monitor practitioners were Wang Fengchun, Zhao Yan, Guo Shuxian, and Wang Lihong. The director of the Education Reform Division, Xiao Lin, led more than 10 officers from all of the four major divisions and a dozen prisoners from the service team to assist in the persecution. The torture methods used included beating, scolding, kicking, dragging on the ground, squatting, running, hanging from iron bars, shocking and beating with electric batons, and starvation. Wang Shuzhi, who was 68 years old, was not spared.

At night, practitioners were locked in a room and tied onto the two ends of a bamboo rod. If one person moved, it would wake everyone up. We were not allowed to close our eyes, sleep, or bathe. Sometimes we had to use the toilet with our hands cuffed. If we resisted a little, we would be beaten and kicked. Prisoners Wang Fengchun and Huang He hung practitioner Wang Aihua on the iron bar above the window and tortured her until she was bruised and deformed. Practitioner Zhang Yanfang learned Falun Dafa in prison. They took off Zhang's pants and beat her with wooden rods and plastic tubes, and then used salt water to wash the wounds. Wang Aihua and Zhang Yanfeng were sent to a small room for more than 40 days because the prisoners wanted to cover up their crimes. When Wang and Zhang first arrived in the small room, the officers who knew them couldn't even recognize them. The officers told outsiders that Wang and Zhang were injured and recovering in the clinic.

Prisoner Wang Fengchun beat Zhang Shuzhe, Li Yushu, Wang Hongjie and me with a one-inch thick wooden rod on our feet and ankles. Wang Fengchun broke one wooden rod and had to get another. Our feet were constantly in pain for the next year. In the end, they tied us up on a bamboo rod and wouldn't allow us to close our eyes. Prisoner Zhao Yan, who is from Harbin and has since been released, used broken toothpicks to hold our eyelids open and shot water into our eyes with a syringe. If we fell asleep, they would beat us with rods. We sat on a cold concrete floor and were not allowed to use cushions or put on warm clothes. The cold wind in October came in through the gaps around the windows and made it too uncomfortable to sleep.

We started a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The third day into it, they force-fed us. Practitioner Zhang Shuzhe was very weak. They force-fed her and caused her to have a spasm and she lost control of her bowels. After a visit to the emergency room, they put Zhang on a mat and continued to force-feed her. Several of us sat on the floor with our hands cuffed behind our backs. They stuck a 1 meter long, 6 cm wide plastic tube into our stomachs to feed us liquid food. The plastic tubes were left in place for 24 hours and caused nasal and throat inflammation and pain. We could only speak with great difficulty. The sixth day, I lost consciousness and had a 390C (1080F) fever. Shang Xiaomei from the Clinic Division injected me with medicine to reduce my fever and removed the tube. The end of the plastic tube was eaten away by the acidic stomach fluid. From then on, they removed the tubes from our stomachs every 6 days to wash them. This continued for 50 days. During this period they force-fed us twice a day, once with 350ml of milk and once with 350ml of corn porridge. In order to make us drink water, they added a lot of salt to the food. Six practitioners consumed 500 grams of salt in less than a week. Practitioner Liu Liping was force-fed 250 grams of salt at one time. Liu immediately lost control of her bowels and her stool was dark and watery. Her mouth was numb because of the saltiness. Zhao Yanhua said, "This is good for you!" No prison doctor was present at the scene. Prisoners Song Libo and Guo Shuxian were placed in charge of the force-feeding process. This inhumane torture went on until November.

In December 2003, practitioners in the 5th Prison Ward protested being treated as prisoners. They were not allowed to wear warm clothes, hats or gloves. Practitioner Zhao Yalun was buried in the snow wearing thin clothes. To protest the persecution, practitioners in the 8th Prison Ward went on a hunger strike. More than 20 practitioners were hung by their handcuffs in their rooms. At night, they all had to sit on the concrete floor with their hands cuffed behind their backs. They weren't allowed to sleep. Prisoners Guo Shuxian and Gu Wenjuan monitored them. Eleven days later, they decided that Liu Liping, Zhang Shuzhe and I were the ringleaders of the hunger strike and locked us in an isolation room. I sat in the lotus position with my legs double crossed in the room. Officer Cao Jingyun poured cold water all over me and forced me to stand in cold water with bare feet and my hands cuffed to an iron bar for a day. My cotton clothes and pants were soaked and I was shivering. Liu Liping and Zhang Shuzhe sat on the ground, and officers poured water on them as well. We left the isolation room on December 29, 2003.

On March 1, 2004, Zhang Shuzhe, Liu Liping and I refused to be treated like prisoners. We refused to answer their orders or wear prison uniforms. They locked us in a small room for more than 9 months. Practitioners had to be cuffed in the small room (hands cuffed behind our backs and locked to a ring on the ground). Everyday, we had two meals with corn porridge and a few pickled greens. Sometimes the pickled greens were spoiled because they weren't properly stored. We were given no blankets at night. We put our heads on one another's leg and slept in a circle. It was so cold that we couldn't sleep the whole night. We were cuffed at night and our arms and shoulders became numb and painful. We had to change positions all night long. In April, we went on a hunger strike to protest the prolonged imprisonment. Three days later, they force-fed us, but we refused to cooperate. Cheng Li, head of the small room, informed Zhang Chunhua, Captain of the 8th Prison Ward, and Zhang ordered prisoners Song Libo and Zhao Yanhua to handcuff us with our arms behind our backs to iron bars. Our hands were placed over the top of our heads so we couldn't pull out the force-feeding tubes. They put tape all over our faces, including our noses and mouths, leaving only our eyes exposed. We still pulled the plastic tubes out when we could. Prison officials finally decided to insert plastic tubes in us four times a day.

Seven days later, the prison officials asked our family members to persuade us to end our hunger strike. Zheng Jie called her family and passed on the request from the prison directors, Liu Zhiqiang and Xiao Lin. Liu and Xiao wanted the family to bring a certain protein product and sign a "death certificate", which was a waver exonerating the prison from responsibility should the practitioner die during the hunger strike. It stated that in that case the family would be solely responsible for the death. My parents didn't sign the certificate but they bought two tubes of protein for 250 yuan each. This supplement is for patients who are extremely weak and cannot take care of themselves. The protein has to be mixed with lipid that cost 1,000 yuan and delivered via an intravenous drip for more than 7 hours to take effect. We'd been on the hunger strike for only 7 days and weren't weak enough to need it. Without the lipid and delivered by an intravenous drip lasting only 3 or 4 hours, it was a waste of money. This was simply another way to persecute practitioners financially.

Our bodies were dirty and smelly because of our long term isolation in the small rooms and the force-feeding. After 2 months in the small room, they finally allowed us to change underwear and shower once every other week. At our request, they gave us quilts to cover ourselves. Because we didn't follow their orders, they took them away from us after ten days. In July, our hair was dirty and our scalps itched because of the hot weather and our rarely being allowed to shower. Once Wang Hongjie washed her hair in the morning during the morning toilet break, and prisoner Lu Chun'guang slapped Wang twice and handcuffed Wang so tightly that it cut into her flesh.

On July 4, practitioners in the small room, Zhang Shushe, Liu Lihua, Yang Xiuhua, Wang Hongjie, Cai Mi and I again began a hunger strike to protest our long term imprisonment. We were subjected to even more brutal torture. After we had been locked in the small room for five months and were extremely weak, the prisoners cuffed us and hung us from the iron bars. The rope used to tie us up was pulled all the way to the other end of the hallway so that our bodies were totally stretched. Our hands quickly became sore. Our knees and feet were tied to the iron bars and our heads, noses and mouths were covered with tape except for our eyes. The prisoners who tortured us were Lu Chun'guang, Song Shubo, and Ren Xiuli. The person who force-fed us was Shang Xiaomei, who worked in the clinic.

During the hunger strike, they cuffed my legs and my hands behind me because I did the Falun Gong exercises. My body was swollen and my feet were inflamed. They cuffed me and hung me from the iron bars anyway. The director of the clinic diagnosed me with a heart condition, high blood pressure, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiency due to lack of exposure to sunlight. All these conditions combined caused the swelling. Zhang Shuzhe and I refused to cooperate with the force-feeding. Many times, Shang Xiaomei, Song Shubo, and Lu Chunguang injected us with nerve damaging drugs that caused us to be dizzy and unconscious for several days.

On September 16, 70 days into my hunger strike, my body was so weak that I didn't bleed after they gave me several injections. They removed me from the small room and put me in a separate room monitored by four prisoners from the 8th Prison Ward. They were Zhang Chunguang, Shen Xiukun, Wang Wenjie and Jiang Weiping. No one was allowed to talk to me and I was watched 24 hours a day. The loneliness was another form of mental abuse. On October 8, 20 days after I started eating, they again threw me into a small room because I refused to comply with their orders. The room was damp, cold and dark. The water on the floor never dried and two of the four walls were soaked and mold grew on them. Later, the ceiling started to leak and water dripped on the floor I slept on and soaked my comforter. I called Chen Xiulan, who was on duty, and asked to be moved to another part of the room where it was dry. They cuffed me 24 hours a day so I was unable to move freely by myself and needed help. I repeatedly reported this issue to Yang Libin from the prison Political Division, Wang Yali, who was in charge of the small room, and the prison guards who were on duty. They all refused my request to change rooms. On November 30, they again put me in an isolated room, where the prisoners watched me 24 hours a day. This lasted 40 days and ended the 10-month torture.

Now practitioners are persecuted in various ways when they study the Fa, practice the exercises or refuse to wear prison uniforms. In January, about a dozen practitioners in the 5th Prison Ward were locked in the dorm rooms and hung up and tortured. The officers and prisoners frequently beat and verbally abuse them. The persecution is still ongoing.