(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Li Xianglan. I am a 59-year-old woman from Jiamusi City who began Falun Gong practice in 1995. The Jiamusi police illegally arrested me for my belief in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance". The government authorities sentenced me to five years in prison and then forced labor. Below is an account of the persecution I have experienced and witnessed at the labor camp, detention center and prison.

Tricked, Arrested, and Sentenced

One day in April 2002, the police came to my home in the middle of the night and pounded on the door. Before we could get fully dressed, some officers had already climbed onto the roof and shone a flashlight into our room. Another officer opened the double doors with a master key and entered our bedroom. They lied to us and said, "Everyone who used to practice Falun Gong has to attend a conference; you'll come back after 30 minutes."

Several days prior to this incident, local officer Dong Xikui told me that everyone was required to turn in their residential permit and ID card, which I gave to him. He has since been promoted to a position at the suburban police department for persecuting Falun Gong. I found out later that other families' permits and ID cards were soon returned, but those that belonged to Falun Gong practitioners were withheld.

My family confronted the police during the break-in and asked why they had not returned our residence permit and my ID card. They said, "Just go to the meeting, you can get your permit back at the end of the meeting. More than 40 people have already gone to it." The new police chief, Li Wangyi, told me that they would drive me back. My daughter believed them and said, "Mom, just go; they'll bring you back. You can take the key with you, so you can open the door when you come back." Instead, I was taken to a detention center that evening and was held there for ten days, at which point I was sentenced to two years of forced labor. The district police further sentenced me to five years in prison within six months.

Police chief Li Wanyi took me from the labor camp to the detention center and ordered me to sign a document. I refused to sign, and he threatened, "If you don't sign it, you'll regret it."

The guards often beat people at the labor camp, sometimes for no apparent reason. One day we sat in two rows against a wall in the hallway, with the television in the middle. Guard Zhu Tiehong went up to the television to watch a program, and when it ended, she suddenly struck Falun Gong practitioner Li on her head. We all heard the loud blow, but Zhu Tiehong acted like nothing had happened.

Sometimes on my way to the restroom I would see four Falun Gong practitioners in a room with newspaper-plastered walls. They were handcuffed behind their backs to a pole. They could not sit, and when someone slipped a cushion underneath them to alleviate their suffering, the guards kicked it away. They were forced to relieve themselves in a pan inside the room, and the guards ordered others to empty the pan. Other practitioners were held in rooms where the walls were covered with things that resembled plastic sheets, permitting the guards to look into the rooms, but not the other way around. The guards watched us to make sure we did not do the Falun Gong exercises or recite Falun Gong articles. We were not even allowed to move our lips. We could sit on the edge of the bed but could not speak with one another. The guards would tell us to shout Party slogans before meals, but we remained silent. One guard said, "Whoever doesn't shout the slogans, come over here." Everyone except two non-practitioners walked over. We were forbidden to speak with people from other divisions during meals. I was held at the labor camp for about six months.

After I was taken back to the detention center, I refused to sign a receipt. Guard Yuan Hailong struck me until I was covered with bruises. My eyes became bloodshot, my lips and gums bled and swelled up, and both sides of my neck bled from being pinched repeatedly. He kicked me with his boots, and my legs swelled up so severely that I could not fit them in my pants, even after many days. He kicked me in the hips, and I felt as if my hips were exploding. I could not turn over in bed for 20 days. That was five years ago, but the area where he kicked me still feels like bugs are crawling over it.

First Time Seeing My Family in Four Years

Later, I was sent to the Group Drill Division at a prison, where we sat on a long, narrow bench during the day. We were packed against each other and could not even stretch our legs. Our legs and feet swelled up from sitting all day long. Inmates were assigned to monitor every practitioner. After one week, I still did not know anyone except for the inmates who sat next to me. When we used the restroom at night, the inmate on duty would not let two Falun Gong practitioners enter at the same time, as they feared an exchange of ideas.

The telephone service was canceled in early 2004 and reconnected right before the 2007 Chinese New Year. Inmates were allowed to call their families once a week, but not Falun Gong practitioners. We would have to recite, "I'm prisoner x" before we were allowed to make phone calls or meet with family members, and I chose not to comply with the persecution policy.

In the winter of 2003, four members of my family traveled over 500 kilometers [about 410 miles] to see me. The prison authorities would not let me see them because I refused to say the degrading words, although my family was only steps away from me. My family made several more trips in vain. Things didn't change until March 2005, when I finally met with my family for the first time in four years since I left home. My daughter cried so hard that she could not utter a single word.

Another practitioner, Ms. Lin, never saw her family between 2003 up until the time I left prison. Four of her family members once came on a plane from Shenzhen, but the prison officials denied their visitation rights. The family wasted several thousand yuan in plane tickets alone. They came back several times, only to leave disappointed.

Inmate Xu Zhen

Inmate Xu Zhen was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison. She worked in the packaging workshop and was assigned to "reform" Falun Gong practitioners. There were four clocks on the wall. When Xu Zhen saw practitioners looking at the clocks to remind themselves to send forth righteous thoughts, she reported this to the guards, who removed all of the clocks.

Five inmates were assigned to monitor each practitioner. These inmates stay close to the practitioner at all times. They restrict the practitioner's range of mobility by following her to the restroom, the cafeteria and everywhere else. Sometimes they would take certain practitioners away and lock them in solitary confinement. They assigned between three and five inmates to watch every practitioner in solitary confinement. The inmates covered the door and windows with paper and forced the practitioners to watch slanderous videos on a daily basis. They would not let the practitioners sleep at night and hit them if they dozed off. Some inmates even slipped psychotropic drugs into the practitioners' water or soup.

Once we saw practitioner Ms. Dong coming out of a small room, and she carried a small stool. She had a blank look on her face. She did not turn her head, as if it was fixed. Six of us walked by her, and she did not respond at all. Before she used to have a vivacious personality and used to laugh and talk, but the torture she underwent crushed her spirit.

Inmate Xu Zhen deceived many practitioners using lies and violence. She was transferred from the packaging workshop to the Infirmary Division and later to Division 3. She committed wicked deeds wherever she went.

Inmate Wang Xinhua

Inmate Wang Xinhua was also quite vicious. She would not let anyone talk to the practitioners she was assigned to watch. She would stand outside the restroom when the practitioner was inside and sit by the door when the practitioner was taking a shower. If someone tried to ask a question she would start cursing. These "minders" received one to two extra points each month for monitoring Falun Gong practitioners, which was applied toward sentence reduction. This system motivated some inmates to persecute Falun Gong practitioners by all methods.

Wang Xinhua was responsible for watching practitioner Li Yuyu. When Li Yuyu tried to talk to us, Wang Xinhua shoved Li Yuyu back into the cell. Li Yuyu was sentenced to 14 years in prison and refused to wear a prisoner's uniform. She went on hunger strike in 2004

and it left her emaciated. She was transferred from the Infirmary Division to a hospital in October 2006. She was held in isolation and "strictly controlled."

When Wang Xinhua watched practitioner Huang Yanzhen, she pinched Huang Yanzhen's neck until it bled. She also punched Huang Yanzhen in the face, which caused swelling. According to Huang Yanzhen, she almost suffocated, and it took her a long time to catch her breath. Her neck hurt for many days afterwards. Wang Xinhua is a loyal follower of the CCP.

Persecution of other practitioners

Practitioner Liu Dan was very weak. She was around 1.5 meters [4.9 ft] tall and weighed about 30 kg [77 lbs]. When she raised her hand to send forth righteous thoughts on October 2, 2006, five inmates beat her until she could not move. She protested through a hunger strike, but the guards ignored her. She was also transferred to an isolation ward at the hospital.

Practitioner Xiao Shufen had difficulty walking in late May 2006 due to torture and had to enlist the help of other people to keep from falling over. The prison authorities would not let her go to the hospital until it was too late. They didn't tell her family about her death until ten days later. When her family finally arrived, they saw her wearing a pair of old sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and she was barefoot.

Around the 2003 Chinese New Year, the prison authorities confiscated the practitioners' shopping cards. The inmates could make weekly trips to the prison canteen and buy fruits and vegetables with their cards, but the practitioners were forbidden from buying anything for several months. We had to borrow daily necessities from other people. We explained to the guards about the shortage. They ordered two inmates to buy the most basic things [with our money], but not vegetables or fruits. This prohibition lasted more than six months. Practitioners often lost consciousness from malnutrition in the workshops. We ate salty vegetables for breakfast and watery soup for lunch and dinner. We protested, and our cards were eventually returned to us at the end of September. We were still prohibited from buying pen or paper, which we had to borrow from the inmates.

In the winter of 2003, an inmate said he saw a group of practitioners held at Division 8 being handcuffed behind their backs, in pairs of two. They sat on the cold concrete floor. On their backs was painted the word "prisoner" in large letters.

Before the men's division moved away in 2004, the prison authorities often sent women Falun Gong practitioners to the men's division. The practitioners were forced to stand outside during the winter, wearing thin clothes. The male inmates and guards assaulted them, both verbally and physically. The abuse often lasted two weeks or one month, sometimes even longer. They also pulled up the practitioners' sleeves and forced them to stick their hands and feet in the snow. As a result, many practitioners had frostbitten fingers and toes.

When I was confined at the packaging workshop in 2004, my family sent me letters in April and July, but I didn't get them until the end of July. Practitioner Sun Fengling didn't get a letter that was mailed in January until September 30, 2004. Sometimes letters simply got lost. Some families would send money, but one recipient did not get the money more than one year after she signed a document that confirmed her identity.

One practitioner who was tortured at the Group Drill Division was transferred to my division in January 2007. Her arms were swollen, and the backs of her hands were severely bruised. She could barely lift her arms. Someone had to help her get dressed and undressed. Her face was black and blue, and the slightest touch would trigger excruciating pain, so she could not wash her face. When she was held at the Group Drill Division, the prison held a meeting on December 18, 2006. The officials decided that Falun Gong practitioners would no longer be allowed to get vegetables and fruits, or food and water for everyone. Instead, they were to sit on narrow stools all day long, and many other new rules were imposed on us. The new practitioner was tortured starting on this day. She was handcuffed to the railing of an upper bunk bed at 5 a.m., in such a way where her feet could not touch the floor. She was let down only during meals and locked back up afterwards. She was forbidden to use the restroom. She could not sleep until 3 a.m., when she was handcuffed to the bottom railing. Large drops of sweat dripped onto the floor all around her. In addition, the inmates hit her face with brushes until the brushes broke. They also beat her until the rest of her body was covered in cuts and bruises. She was forced to relieve herself in place, and her pants and shoes were soaked in urine. She didn't eat and only took a small amount of water to reduce the need to urinate. She was hung up 22 hours a day between December 18 and December 31, 2006.

Last year some officials attended a sentence reduction meeting, and Liu Zhiqiang said, "The prison head has decided no one can verbally or physically attack another person; whoever violates this rule will be held responsible." Nevertheless, brainwashing was still being carried out at the Group Drill Division and the Fortress Division, where both forms of assault were commonplace. Moreover, Division 13 was established in 2007 with the specific goal of "reforming" Falun Gong practitioners. It is located on the fourth floor, the same as the Infirmary Division. Wang Xiaoli and another guard are in charge of this division.

More practitioners were brought in on March 16, March 18, March 20, and March 22, 2007. On March 18 we saw a guard and six inmates pulling up in a car with a Falun Gong practitioner inside. The practitioner's mouth was taped and he had a wide belt around his waist; his hands and feet were tied. They carried him up to the fourth floor.

The Fortress Division was moved many times to conceal it from inspectors. It eventually settled on the fourth floor in the same building as the cafeteria. Passers-by often heard practitioners' screams. Tao Dan and another guard are in charge of this division.

Right now, the appalling persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is still taking place. We hope that the international community and human rights organizations will help to end this terrible persecution.