Zhang Lianying's Statement at the Hearings on China's Human Rights in the European Parliament (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Zhang Lianying, a Falun Gong practitioner from Beijing, worked as an accountant for Guangda Group Ltd. She has been arrested and detained in detention centers and forced labor camps many times for practicing Falun Dafa and her belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
During her illegal detention, Ms. Zhang was inhumanely tortured. On June 14, 2005, more than ten policemen from Xiangheyuan Police Station in Beijing broke into her home. They arrested her and took her to a forced labor camp. Ms. Zhang was tortured in both the dispatch center and a forced labor camp. She was badly beaten and tortured nine times, so severely that she lost consciousness and suffered bleeding in her brain. Her life hung in the balance many times.
On May 21, 2006, Ms. Zhang's husband, Niu Jinping, told the Vice President of European Parliament, Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, about the tortures his wife was being subjected to and thus made it known to the world. On December 13, 2007, Ms. Zhang managed to leave the forced labor camp. In order to conceal their crimes from the outside world, Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp officials let up on the torture for some time before she was released. Nevertheless,Ms. Zhang was still very pale and thin when she was released, and she had large areas of bruising on her body.
Practitioner Ms. Zhang Lianying one week after she was released from the labor camp
Bruises on Ms. Zhang's legs, a result of being beaten just prior to her release
With her husband and daughter
Zhang Lianying before she was arrested
The following is the letter Zhang Lianying wrote to the Deputy Chairman of the European Parliament, Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, and her testimony at the Hearing on Human Rights in China held on November 26, 2007, by the European Parliament.
Dear Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott and Members of the European Parliament,
I am Zhang Lianying, a Falun Gong practitioner from Mainland China. My husband, Jiu Jinping, and another Falun Gong practitioner, Cao Dong, (still in prison at the moment) met Mr. McMillan-Scott in Beijing on December 13, 2007. With bruises all over my body, I was released from Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp on December 13, 2007.
With the combined effort of Mr. McMillan-Scott and members of the European Parliament, Cao Dong, my husband, and I were invited to attend the Hearing on Human Rights in China held by the Human Rights Commission of the European Parliament on November 26, 2007. But we missed the rare opportunity to present my case to your commission in person due to my imprisonment in the forced labor camp during that time and because my husband, Niu Jinping, didn't receive the invitation letter until the hearings had begun. Because of the CCP's [Chinese Communist Party] strict control over its people in mainland China, the deprivation of their basic human rights, and because the CCP does not want the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners to be exposed to the world, it was extremely difficult for us to leave China to attend this important meeting. I therefore wish to apologize to Mr. McMillan-Scott and all the members of the European Parliament.
Experiences Too Sad To Recall
I was persecuted for two and a half years. Many government departments participated in the persecution. These departments include the 610 Office, police departments, local community government, custodial stations, the labor camp dispatch department, forced labor camps, and hospitals. From the beginning to the end, they didn't follow established legal procedures. Whether they arrested me or released me, they never showed me any legal documents from any department.
During these two and a half years of persecution, I went through the following tortures:
I was strangled nine times. Twice the policemen strangled my neck until I fainted and the other seven times they used ropes to strangle me until I fainted. Neither time was I sent to the hospital for emergency treatment.
Five times I was tortured so severely that I fell into deep comas and was sent to the Beijing Renhe Hospital and the Beijing Tiantanghe Hospital affiliated with the forced labor camp. Once I was so severely beaten that both sides of my brain bled profusely. I was beaten by groups of people until I was unable to move.
Once I was injected with an unknown drug so that I fell into a coma and my eyesight was blurred. Once I was forced to be in the scorching sun until I fainted. In addition, I was in very poor health due to forced sleep deprivation and ongoing protest hunger strikes.
On March 2006 I was beaten so severely that I lost consciousness all of a sudden. A medical examination showed that both sides of my brain bled on a large scale. The Tianhetang Hospital sent me to the Renhe Hospital where I was given emergency treatment for ten days. But the labor camp officials lied to the outside world saying that the injury was "self-inflicted." As a matter of fact, in the small cell there was a video camera, but they would not provide the video footage.
I was injected and forcibly fed unknown drugs for months. (During the two years of illegal detention, most of the time I was on hunger strikes to protest the persecution or was force-fed.) In the women's labor camp, I was force-fed unknown drugs several months in a row. As a result I had diarrhea for a long time. Three months before I was released, I was force-fed unknown drugs every morning and in the afternoon and evening I had loose bowels.
I was beaten countless times, deprived of sleep, and fed human excrement.
Countless times my nose and mouth were covered up and I was unable to breathe, and finally I lost control of my bladder. Within several months I was strangled four or five times every day and was tortured repeatedly with my mouth and nose covered up until I lost control of my bladder. Those tormenting me yelled out to anyone who could hear, "We will torture you to death!"
During 50 days from June 1, 2006 to July 20, 2006, my arms and legs were tied up day and night and my neck was tied tightly to a chair with ropes and a thick, heavy cover was pulled over my head. I had to relieve myself inside my clothes.
They played frightening and high-pitched sounds day and night for more than three months to torture me. I was locked up in a small cell about three square meters for over a year. It was cold and damp in winter and hot, stuffy and smelly in the summer, with a lots of mosquitoes and flies. For one month the windows and doors were tightly covered and not a single ray of light came in so that I didn't know whether it was day or night. Every day water was poured over the bed and floor and on me as well. My feet were soaked in dirty water all the time. The toilet beside the bed was full of maggots and as a result my skin festered.
During the two years of darkness and isolation, I was forced to adopt a peaceful method to protest the persecution - a hunger strike so as to express my determination in my belief. During these two and a half years, I spent two years on hunger strikes but I was force-fed. Many Falun Gong practitioners lost their lives because of this savage force-feeding.
But forced-feeding and being strangled nine times were not the worst part of my two and a half years of dreadful experiences. The most unbearable memory, which still chills me to recall, was that my nose and mouth were covered for long periods of time and repeatedly, so that I was not able to breathe until I lost control of my bladder and bowels. Over a period of months, I repeatedly experienced such torture. They stuffed my nose and mouth with wet towels so that I was unable to breathe for some time. They then removed the towels briefly and then covered my mouth and nose again. The pain was so severe that I felt I would explode and my whole body lost strength and my legs became limp until I was incontinent. Then they inhumanely screamed, "She finally choked up!" After witnessing the whole process of my painful experience on the monitoring screen, a policeman by the surname of Wang, who was sent to the forced labor camp by the Beijing City Forced Labor Camp Bureau, laughed and asked, "How was it? Felt great?"
The pain I experienced was beyond description. One would rather die than experience such pain. In the intentionally-prolonged suffocation before death, time was extended endlessly and space was totally isolated. At such moments, the pain itself was not dreadful. What was dreadful was that you were not able to see the end of the pain. That was a dreadful experience of a life without hope. This was a dreadful despair that could destroy the will to live. At such moments death was no longer a dreadful experience but a release. They maliciously and repeatedly tortured me this way and tried to destroy my will, force me to give up my belief, and be "transformed."
But as our venerable Master Li Hongzhi said in his article "Coercion Cannot Change People's Hearts" published on March 4, 2001:
"The evil has utilized the power in bad people's hands to create turmoil for nearly two years, using the most base actions ever in human history--whether ancient or modern, Chinese or foreign--and employing all the most malicious means to persecute Dafa and its cultivators. Its aim is to use coercive measures to change Dafa cultivators' hearts and have them give up their cultivation practice. This is futile. Never in history has someone who persecuted those with upright faiths ever succeeded."
If I didn't believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, if I didn't have a strong belief in the goodness of life, if I was not determined to live and could not maintain the thought that I shouldn't think of death, I might have died many times and left this world a long time ago.
Higher Up Officials Manipulated My Persecution
The more than 50 terrible physical and spiritual tortures that I experienced are almost too sad to think about. Around 60 inmates called "baojia"--criminals and drug addicts sent to monitor and persecute Falun Gong practitioners in the prison and forced labor camps--and dozens of police officers participated in my torture. This is what the outside world doesn't know. My family was also traumatized. Previous media reports revealed but a tip of the iceberg of what I experienced.
Once when I had barely gained consciousness from the suffocation torture, I overheard a conversation between the torturers. One baojia who had strangled my neck asked other baojias and guards at the site, "Will she die and never come to life?" Somebody replied immediately, "If she dies, we say she died from a heart attack. We have quotas for how many should die. Don't be afraid. It doesn't matter. She will not die easily. If she is only suffocated for a few minutes, she will not die. We surely want her to have a taste of wanting to die but can't, and wanting to live but can't."
Dear Mr. McMillan-Scott and Members of the European Parliament, I don't know whether the torture pressed on people who believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance has ever been fully brought to light, but I will certainly devote myself wholeheartedly to ending this kind of brutal torture in this human world.
However, in Mainland China so many people think that it is due to the brutality of local officials and disregard for law in the forced labor camps. In reality, this is not the case. Take the persecution I have experienced as an example. Though I was in the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp, my persecution was directed from one level above--the Beijing City Forced Labor Camp Bureau. They decided the management fee, arrangement of the managing staff, responsibilities for accidents, torture methods, even family visits. During any visit, police sent by the Forced Labor Camp Bureau must be present. Police and baojia said that they were directly under the management of the Beijing City Forced Labor Camp Bureau. That was why I was subjected to more severe and unscrupulous persecution. This persecution is a nationwide campaign, from top to bottom. It is systematic, comprehensive, and carefully planned. The CCP staged its state terrorism and committed crimes.
During my persecution, I wrote to the court, the Procuratorate, Beijing City Forced Labor Camp Bureau, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, and the Dispatch Department to let them know about the persecution I had experienced. But there were no replies to my letters. Only one official from the Beijing Municipal Bureau, after he learned that I had been strangled nine times and was still alive, came to the small cell I was in with other officials and said meaningfully and repeatedly to me, "You must preserve your life! You must preserve your life." This was all a conscientious prosecutor could do during this persecution of Falun Gong.
The Law Is Merely a Tool in China
In order to reduce my persecution, during the two and a half years of my detention, my husband took our one-year-old child and went to more than 20 government departments including the court, the Procuratorate, Political and Legislative Committee, Women's Association, Police Department, Judicial Bureau, Forced Labor Camp Bureau, the 610 Office in Beijing, and many law offices. But he was refused everywhere. Some people showed their sympathy but no one dared to step forward to uphold justice. Many lawyers said that since there was no legal evidence for putting me in the labor camp, they therefore were not able to take the case.
There was nowhere to go. My husband had no other choice but to post a statement of our being persecuted on his own dilapidated motorcycle. Many people came to look. But he and our three-year-old child were arrested.
During my two and a half years in forced labor camps, the dispatch department, the Forced Labor Camp Bureau, and the hospitals where I once stayed often didn't allow my family to see me. Once they were not allowed to see me for eight months. My husband demanded to see the leader of the forced labor camp to protest this outrage and demanded that his innocent wife be released; he was refused. My two-year-old daughter cried, asking for her mother. My husband shouted loudly at the gate of the forced labor camp, "Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is wronged. Zhang Lianying is wronged." When he said that, a group of policemen rushed out of the labor camp and brandished electric batons emitting blue sparks into the air. They grabbed and dragged my husband and child.
When Mr. McMillan-Scott came to China to investigate the persecution of Falun Gong, my husband and another Falun Gong practitioner, Cao Dong, met him on May 21, 2006. My husband told him the facts about how I was being persecuted. But the evil didn't stop doing evil. I was once again severely beaten so that I was hospitalized due to an extensive bilateral intracranial hemorrhage.
In this unprecedented persecution of people who believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the persecutors resort to every means to cover up their acts of persecution and suppress every effort made to expose this persecution. This is something very different from any previous persecution of people with beliefs.
When my husband tried to go through the legal procedure to secure my release, what he got was excuses and refusals. Under the Communist regime, hospitals--that are responsible for saving people's lives--became its accomplices. In October 2007 my husband wanted to use an attorney to sue the person who beat me. He had to go to Renhe Hospital to get my medical records. The hospital would not give him the records. Instead, they notified the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp immediately.
At once the local police station and the 610 Office got word and went to stop my husband. Then they threatened my husband, saying, "Don't think that because you have a child we couldn't do anything we want." What's more, the Police Department, the 610 Office, and the Street Community Committee went to the forced labor camp and ordered me to persuade my husband not to contact Falun Gong practitioners, not to appeal again, and not to expose what they did. They even threatened me, "If your husband continues to appeal and contact Falun Gong practitioners, he will be arrested and then there will be nobody to care for your child."
My husband, Niu Jinping, was followed, threatened, and intimidated for a long time after he met Mr. McMillan-Scott. Mr. Cao Dong was arrested immediately after he met with Mr. McMillan-Scott and was transferred to a secret place in the western part of China, thousands of miles from Beijing. He was charged with "accepting illegal interviews" and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was detained in Tianshui Third Prison in Gansu Province, which is notorious for its hard labor and torture. He has been doing hard labor and has been tortured. His wife, Yang Xiaojing, tried to look for a lawyer for him. But she was followed, threatened, and even detained. Their home was searched.
I Hope that Justice and Conscience Will Prevail
Due to the efforts of Mr. McMillan-Scott, the Deputy Chairman of the European Parliament, my situation raised some concern in the international society and also let the world's people learn more details of this inhumane persecution of people who believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He played an important role in exposing the CCP's evilness and arousing people's consciences.
After I was released, I learned that Mr. McMillan-Scott had visited more than 40 countries. Wherever he went, he reprimanded the CCP for the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and appealed for people with conscience and justice for support and help. I here express my sincere thanks to and respect for him and all other MPs who expressed their sympathy in my case on behalf of my family.
I hope that Mr. McMillan-Scott and members of the European Parliament will continue to raise concern for the situation of Falun Gong practitioners in China and continue to be with us to help stop the evil, end the persecution, and uphold universal values.
I have one more request: Could you assist us in obtaining legal help to submit a lawsuit in international court? Though I am now relatively free, thousands upon thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are being persecuted. My heart will not rest as long as this persecution continues.
Finally, I wish good health and happiness to you and your family. May God always shed light on you!
Zhang Lianying, Niu Jinping, and family
Following are the over 50 persecution and torture methods used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, all of which I personally experienced:
1. Sleep deprivation: Every day practitioners are only allowed one or two hours of sleep for long periods--sometimes no sleep was allowed.
2. Deprived of using the toilet: reduced the frequency so that practitioners had to relieve themselves in their pants, and they were not allowed to wash or change clothes.
3. Freezing: The dispatch department opened the doors and windows in winter and would not allow practitioners to wear any clothes except underwear. In late autumn I was stripped of my clothes except for panties and was locked up in a small cell in the women's forced labor camp. Even in mid-November, I was only allowed to wear a jacket and not allowed to wear warm shoes. In the forced labor camp, at 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. they intentionally opened the doors to freeze us while the baojia who stayed with us wore warm winter undershirts inside and the military long cotton quilted coat outside.
4. Splashed with cold water: In the dispatch department and the women's forced labor camp, they poured cold water and vegetable soup on practitioners. Because of insufficient sleep, when I fell asleep or when I practiced the exercises, baojia poured the cold and dirty water over me that they had used to wash their shoes. I was often wet all over; they tied me up and not allow me to go to the toilet thus my pants were wet with urine. They then poured basins of water onto my pants to wash out the urine. They also poured water into my cotton-padded shoes.
5. Wearing wet clothes all the time: Every day they poured vegetable soup and rice soup over us and would not allow us to change clothes. We wore wet clothes all the time and attracted lots of flies. We smelled bad. Baojia killed flies and put them inside my clothes. Bruises and other injuries on my body ulcerated.
6. Repeatedly being suffocated and tortured: Wet towels were put into my mouth and over my nose; thus I was unable to breathe until my whole body twitched convulsively and could not move. Then they removed the towels a little bit, then blocked my mouth and nose again until I urinated on myself. They screamed, "Finally you got it" Then they counted one, two and three and told me to get up. If I didn't get up, they would block my mouth and nose again. They continued this torture to the extent that, even if I could stand up, I would be in such pain that it looked like, as they put it, "She was forcibly raped."
7. Exposed to scorching sun: On hot summer days in July, they covered my head and tied me up and put me in the scorching sun many times.
8. Sexual abuse: The torturers' hand would rub, pinch, and pull our nipples and private parts. They would kick our private parts with their knees and feet, pluck out pubic hair and poke our breasts with a pen.
9. Pulling the hair on our head and armpit hair.
10. Being completly tied up for long periods: They set me in a torture chair and wagon and then tied up my four limbs and whole body. They strangled my neck with ropes and placed a heavy cover on my head. I was not allowed to use the toilet, was deprived of sleep, and had my nose and mouth blocked with the cloth head cover every several minutes. The baojia kept saying, "Play with me." I was tied up day and night for 12 consecutive months and hung up for 50 days in a row.
11. Handcuffed for long periods: My hands were cuffed to a bed, a mask covered my head, they strangled my neck, my mouth was blocked, and I was hung up with both arms handcuffed behind my back.
12. Sitting on a small stool in a certain position for a long time: I sat on a small stool or a high plastic stool with a rough surface more than 20 hours a day and not allowed to move. They stuffed my mouth with dirty rags and placed sticky taped over my head; they handcuffed my hands behind my back facing each other; my bottom festered and turned dark purple.
13. In the evening my mouth was tied up with a rope to the leg of the bunk. The rope cut deeply into my flesh and my mouth bled heavily and wet the towel.
14. Piercing the soles of my feet with sharp objects.
15. Put into a water cell: For over a month, I was locked in a small cell with the windows blanketed, without any light. They poured water over me several times a day. My bed was full of water and there was water on the floor; my feet were in the water all the time. In the evening I slept on the wet ground without any sheets and my quilt became wet once it touched the ground. The flesh between my toes ulcerated, and my upper legs were full of red bumps, some of them discharged pus. There was no place to sit and I had to stand all the tim, which resulted in many large varicose veins on my legs.
16. The inside sensitive part of our legs was pinched and twistesd, and the leg became purple and black.
17. My hair was pulled and my head slammed heavily against a wall, causing large bumps on my head
18. They pinched the flesh of my face and legs with their fingernails and then cut into the flesh until it bled.
19. They beat my fingers, toes, face and head with a flyswatter--ten flyswatters were broken.
20. They swathed my head with wide tape and put dirty rags, socks, rags soaked in urine, towels with phlegm, and paper into my mouth.
21.Tied to the death bed: In the dispatch department my four limbs were tied apart, and I was not allowed to use the toilet for a long time. I was tied up all the night and not allowed to go to the toilet.
22. My whole body was tied to a chair with my legs stretched out straight. They put things underneath my heels to hold my feet high and then they sat on my legs. This torture method was like sitting on a tiger bench with bricks put underneath one's feet.
23. My neck was pinched and strangled until I was fainted: They used ropes to strangle my neck many times and I fainted seven times. They strangled my neck using their hands and I fainted twice.
24. Injected with unknown substances and force-fed unknown drugs until I lost consciousness. I had diarrhea for a long time.
25. Savagely beaten in different ways: Eight people beat me while I was standing with each arm held out by someone, while the rest kicked and punched me from the front and the back. I was punched until I fell to the ground and then they stomped on me. Four people beat me, with one person holding my arms, one person sitting on my leg and the other person pinching, twisting, and bashing my face.
26. Tied me with urine-soaked pants: in summer my whole body was tied up and my neck was strangled. Urine-soaked pants were put around my neck and waist. Four pairs of urine-soaked pants were tied around my legs.
27. Torture by force-feeding: the feeding tube was repeatedly inserted and taken out of my nose, and my nose bled profusely. The tube was often inserted into my trachea and stayed there. The nurse force-fed me milk and even the baojia force-fed me. If they were not able to force the food down , they would pour the hot vegetable soup and rice soup onto my body and also poured milk on me. When they force-fed me, seven or eight people pulled my hair and pinched my nose shut. Sometimes more than ten people at a time force fed me. They pinned me down and pinched me and lay on my neck or my body.
28. They put dirty rags into my mouth and left th em there for a long time; they handcuffed my arms behind my back, and tied my head with self-adhesive bandages.
29. In the dispatch department, they used a mouth opener to pry my mouth open and inserted the opener into the back of my mouth until my mouth was full of blood, using a metal spoon to pry open my mouth.
30. Purposefully hitting the tendons in my leg: Then hit and step on my leg tendons with their elbows, fists and feet. As a result, my legs were swollen and as big as my waist but you could not see any bruises on the skin.
31. There was no air in the cell: The small cell was blocked and sealed so that no air could get in , and you would feel breathless. The baojias would have to go out to take fresh air in turn.
32. They force-fed me heavily salted water: After the force feeding, I was extremely thirsty and felt like my body was burning.
33. Two persons bashed my face from the right and left in turn without stopping.
34. They tied me to a chair, then the police beat my breasts with their fists and also pulled my hair.
35. They bashed my face and head with the soles of their shoes so that my whole face became black and purple and my head was swollen.
36. They put pens between my fingers and then squeezed my hand with their whole strength so that my fingers became swollen and the finger bones hurt badly.
37. They force-fed me corn porridge for a long time so that I couldn't have a bowel movement for over 20 days.
38. They stepped on my toes and trampled my bare feet.
39. They let mosquitoes bite me: My whole body and four limbs were tied up. In the summer they opened the door of the small cell, opened my clothes and pants, and let the mosquitoes swarm in to bite me.
40. There was no daylight at any time in the small cell. The floor and the bed were full of water. I could sit nowhere. Maggots were everywhere on the floor. My legs and feet festered.
41. If I became sleepy, two people would drag my arms and they also pushed me and pulled me.
42.They tried to break my fingers and split my fingers apart.
43. They pushed the backs of my hands onto the ground and moved them hard back and forth. The skin was torn off and my hands became red and swollen.
44. My hands were cuffed to the bed. They beat me with bamboo sticks and swept my face with brooms. They hit my face and toes with a flyswatter handle.
45. I was forced to sit on the bed and was beaten by four people with my arms pulled by two people, while one person held and sat onto my head and another sat on my legs. They pinched my breasts, private parts and face. They put their feet against the wash basin in front of them with their back pressing me hard against the person who was behind them. They did it with such strength that I was unable to breathe.
46. They tortured me with foul items: They put excrement into my mouth; put flies into my clothes; stuffed my mouth with dirty rags and dirty paper; poured dirty water on me; soaked towels with urine to wash my face and mouth.
47. Kicked thigh bones: They kicked my thigh bones with hard plastic shoes so that my legs became swollen and black.
Mental Torture and Insults
1. Attacked our Master and insulted my belief.
2. Forcibly took off my clothes down to my underwear and had other inmates to come to see me (in the small cell in the forced labor camp)
3. Swore at me with insulting words.
4. Threatened and intimidated me by saying that they would beat my family members and child.
5. Played obscene high-pitched music.
6. Day and night the [staged] self-immolation scene was played, with the cries of Liu Siying and piercing braking sounds.
7. In meetings with my brothers, husband, and child, they saw my face was bruised, but the police explained to them that it was caused by my own actions.
8. They deducted money from my account without my consent to buy the force-feeding foods and also extorted a force-feeding fee from my family.
9. I was not allowed to buy necessities. In the first two or three months in the small cell, I was not allowed to use toilet paper or sanitary napkins and was forced to wash with cold water.
10. I was not allowed to cut my nails and my nails grew one centimeter long. I had to bite them off with my teeth.
11. I was not allowed to write to or make phone calls to or meet with my family for a long time.
12. I was not allowed to appeal and all documents were illegally kept.
13. Insulting me using dirty and cruel language: When I regained consciousness after the coma, they said to me sarcastically, "How was it? Felt terrific?" They beat me on my face with shoes and my face became swollen and black, then they laughed at me, "If you put on a mine light, you'd look like a miner."
14. Wang Wei, Deputy Director of the Sickness Education Brigade in Tiantanghe Hospital, gave the baojia big brushes and told them to write unpleasant words on my tops, pants, bra, underwear, and socks.