Retired Professor Ms. Zeng Lingwen of Changchun Subjected to Long-term Abuse
Name: Zeng Lingwen (曾令文)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: Mid July 2009
Most recent place of detention: Changjiu Road Police Station (长久路派出所)
Mistreatment Suffered: Home Ransacked, Property and Money Confiscated, Interrogation, Harassment, Sleep Deprivation, Brainwashing, Forced Labor, Torture
Key Persecutors: Unknown
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Zeng Lingwen, 74, is a highly respected retired professor of physics and a Falun Gong practitioner. Because she practices Falun Gong she was arrested repeatedly and taken to detention centers and forced labor camps. She was recently taken to a police station for additional questioning following a police search of her home. Ms. Zeng has returned home, but the police keep monitoring her.
Arrested Four Times
First arrest: Between July 21 and 22, 1999, Zeng Lingwen went to the Jilin Provincial government to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. The local police arrested her the morning of July 23. Professor Zeng was taken to the Changchun Police Department on the evening on July 24, 1999, where several officers threatened her, "Do you know where you are? Murderers were being interrogated here." Ms. Zeng was forced to sit on a bench for the whole night. Two police cars were dispatched to take her home on July 25. The police searched her home and confiscated Falun Gong books and other materials. She was then sent to a drug rehabilitation center run by a suburban police department and remained there until September 4, 1999, for a 44-day detention. While there, the police forced her to undergo so-called "mind education" and tried to force her to give up Falun Gong. Six police officers took turns interrogating Ms. Zeng and deprived her of sleep. One officer said if she refused to abandon Falun Gong she would be sentenced to prison or even death.
Second arrest: On September 23, 1999, Changchun 610 Office agents ordered Professor Zeng arrested without explanation. She was held at the Balibao Detention Center and sent to a drug rehab center on October 2, 1999, where she remained until November 10; total detention time was 49 days.
Third arrest: On February 9, 2002, three days before the Chinese New Year, the Changchun police activated a mass arrest of practitioners under Jiang Zemin's direct order "to kill without mercy." Prior to that, professor Zeng had made donations to fellow practitioners who had become homeless to avoid arrest, so her name was on the donation list. That was the reason for her and others' arrest and incarceration at a Changchun brainwashing center. She strongly refused to accept any brainwashing. Yihe Road Police Station agents picked her up on March 17, 2002. After three days of intense interrogation Ms. Zeng was sent to the Changchun No. 3 Detention Center on March 20 and spent 26 days there. Following that, the police subjected her two years of forced labor, and she was sent to the Heizuizi Women's Labor Camp in Changchun. She resisted the persecution and her term was extended by 10 days. Ms. Zeng's term expired on March 29, 2004. 610 Office agents planned to send her to a brainwashing center after two years of forced labor, but their attempt failed under Professor Zeng's and her family's strong protest. She was eventually released. This time, Professor Zeng had spent 780 days in detention.
Fourth arrest: Recently, the Changchun Police began an "in-home" investigation to collect private information and harass Falun Gong practitioner. In mid July 2009, officers from the Changchun City Changjiu Road Police Station came to Professor Zeng's house, and seeing a computer, they began to search for "evidence." When they found Falun Gong pamphlets they called the police station. Soon, more officers arrived. They searched everything in the house, making a big mess. After a long time they left with a computer, a printer and Falun Gong books and materials. They even confiscated Professor Zeng's pension money (cash). The money has so far not been returned. The police also took Ms. Zeng to the police station for further questioning.
Professor Zeng is now at home but is constantly monitored.
Abuse and Mistreatment at the Detention Center
Professor Zeng was arrested and sent to Changchun No. 3 Detention Center on March 20, 2002. At the time about 5,000 practitioners had been arrested under various false charges.
Ms. Zeng spent her first night at the detention center sleeping on the concrete floor with only a thin overcoat on. More than 100 people slept in the single room where they were kept all day long. They took their meals and had to use the toilet in the same single room. They slept on two big wooden board beds. It was so cramped that no one could sleep on her back. People had to sleep on their sides packed together tightly. If someone used the toilet in the middle of night, she would not be able to find a place lie down again. Their meals were mostly corn meal buns, sometimes only half cooked, and some broth with a little Chinese cabbage and turnips.
Professor Zeng was forced to sit on a hard bench during the day. The guards often beat and insulted her.
Professor Zeng and others, mostly elderly women, had donated money to help children of Falun Gong practitioners who could not care for their families because of the persecution, and were arrested for making donation. To protest the unfair treatment, Ms. Zeng and others practitioners began a hunger strike. Officials sent them to a forced labor camp to serve a two-year term.
Brutality at the Forced Labor Camp
The first form of abuse at the labor camp was a body search. The practitioners were told to take off all their clothes for the search. Their rooms were searched constantly. In a routine room search, the prison guards combed through every one of the practitioners' possessions. The guards found a copy of a lecture by Master Li under Ms. Zeng's bed. The guards sent her to a strictly controlled cell. The Fifth Division leaders assigned several inmates to follow her around all the time. She was forbidden to speak with anyone.
When not doing hard labor, the practitioners had to sit on a small stool: sitting straight, knees together, eyes straight ahead, and they were forbidden to close the eyes or to speak. They often sat there for the whole day except for meals and toilet breaks. If anyone's posture was unsatisfactory, she would be abused, physically and verbally. This was a very painful physical torture. The day officials came to visit the labor camp, the guards sent all practitioners to an old building where they had to sit on the cold concrete floor in this torture position for long hours. As a result of this torture, some practitioners' buttocks suffered from bloody sores.
The labor camp sometimes got contracts from outside that required manual labor. Since the practitioners did not get paid, there were no labor costs and the profit was shared among the prison guards.
The communist regime's main purpose of incarcerating Falun Gong practitioners in the labor camp was to destroy their will by having them perform high intensity labor. Practitioners had to work every waking hour - except for mealtime and toilet breaks, 16 hours a day; sometimes they worked until midnight, and sometimes they had to get up at 3:00 am to work. Their sleep time was brief. The guards dispatched people to monitor their work. Anyone found to have done unsatisfactory work was punished.
The food quality at the labor camp was much worse than even in a regular prison. All inmates suffered from malnutrition. The heavy work was indeed beyond most people's endurance level.
The gross abuse and mistreatment at a forced labor camp is designed to push practitioners to their limit of endurance, physically and mentally. Its goal is to break practitioners' will and force them to compromise their belief. The guards would find any excuse to intensify the abuse. Practitioners suffered from various tortures including high voltage baton shocks, the death bed, forced feeding, solitary confinement, violent beatings, hanging up, being forced to hold painful postures for long periods of time, injections with toxic substances, stabbing needles into finger tips, long-term squatting, bending down, long-term standing, freezing, non-stop running, and other abuses. The guards encouraged criminal inmates to bully the practitioners. Several practitioners suffered a mental collapse; some were permanently injured or even killed. Professor Zeng suffered through long-term squatting, standing and sleep deprivation.
Camp officials from time to time increase the "reform" intensity, what the guards call specially harsh treatment, or "campaigns to conquer." The ultimate goal was to use all means possible to force practitioners to give up their belief. In every such "campaign" practitioners suffered from a wide variety of tortures. During the "off campaign" time, they were routinely forced to watch videos and books that slander Falun Gong. After each so called "study session," practitioners were told to report their thoughts and to endorse the lies. During one "campaign", Professor Zeng distributed Falun Gong lectures among practitioners. Consequently, her forced labor term was extended by 40 days.
The persecution of Ms. Zeng has extended beyond the detention center and labor camp. Her family also suffered for years. Neither she nor her family have any personal freedom. During her time home between detentions the police put her home under constant surveillance. During so-called sensitive dates such as the Olympics and the Chinese Communist Party's anniversary, all Falun Gong practitioners suffered from intensified harassment.
Prior to practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Zeng suffered from multiple illnesses including arthritis, hyperostosis, heart disease and low blood pressure. She tried all kinds of medical procedures, but they had little effect. She took up Falun Gong in 1992, and all her illnesses were cured within a short period of time. Her disposition changed too. Ms. Zeng used to be hot-tempered but after following the principles of Falun Gong she has become an even-tempered person who has peacefully resisted the long-term persecution, all the while only asking for her right to follow her beliefs.