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Recalling the Unimaginable Abuse I Survived Along with Fellow Practitioners in a Detention Center

September 18, 2009 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in China


Resisting the Persecution Together

In July 2000, I was 22. I was illegally arrested by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and put in a detention center for going to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Dafa. The detention center had only one cell for female inmates. More then 30 people, including over a dozen Falun Dafa practitioners, were in that room. The practitioners ranged from 20 to over 60 years old. Some were abducted from home or from work and many of them were taken to the detention center simply because they answered "Yes" when asked whether they would still practice Falun Gong.

In the detention center, we were not allowed to do the exercises. A male practitioner insisted on doing the exercises and was shocked with electric batons, beaten by inmates, burned with cigarettes, and his fingernails were stabbed with needles. Finally, the police and inmates gave up trying to keep him from exercising. But they still would not allow other practitioners to do the exercises.

In the female cell, when the first practitioner started doing the exercises, she was beaten by non-practitioner inmates. Then the second practitioner sat in meditation to follow her, then the third, fourth, and so on. Not able to stop us, the inmates jumped and shouted. Soon the guards came and handcuffed us, about eight practitioners, together. Our right hands were cuffed to the other practitioners' left hands. In that way, we were cuffed in a circle for more than ten days. It was very difficult for us to move around. When eating, if one practitioner tried to put the food into her mouth, the practitioner next to her had to raise her hand up; when a practitioner needed to go to the bathroom, everyone went together. When sleeping, we couldn't lay on our backs; we extended our hands to the other practitioner's side to make it more comfortable for the other person; and we tried to restrain ourselves from moving in order not to wake up others. It was very hot at that time, even laying down freely was not comfortable, not to mention being cuffed together. But we shared our experiences and understandings together and recited Falun Gong teachings every day. More than ten days later, our handcuffs were removed. We started exercising immediately. Then we were handcuffed together again.

Once we were asked to run on the drill grounds. While running, we realized that we should not comply with the evils request. So we sat down to meditate. The guards released a police dog. I closed my eyes for meditation. Later I was told by other practitioners that it was a big dog, but it would not come near us.

I had a dream at that time: we were lined up walking on a dark night; every two persons were linked by a ring; if one person fell down, others would pull her up to continue walking. During that difficult period, we were hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder. We survived the hardship and none of us yielded to the evil persecution.

Enduring Unimaginable Suffering

Since the CCP started persecuting Dafa in 1999, our local detention center kept expanding to hold more practitioners. We were also moved to a newly built detention center.

The center had a lot of modern equipment, but it was even more inhumane. Each room had a video camera installed to monitor our every move, including taking baths and changing clothes. The wall along the corridor was a two way mirror. We could not see through from inside, but people from outside could see us. The so called "bathroom" was a three-foot wide square and ten inches above the ground. When we went to the bathroom, people from outside could see us clearly. There was no dignity for people, no privacy, or basic human rights. Everyone felt suffocated.

Of course, it was more difficult for us to do the exercises. The guards would watch the monitoring video and if they saw someone doing the exercises, they would torture her badly. Once they tied three other practitioners and me to a torture device called the "iron chair." Our hands and feet were fixed to the chair, and we were not able to move. In the middle of the chair bottom, there was a hole for the person sitting on it to go to the bathroom. After sitting on it for a while, our buttocks became very painful and our legs started to swell. The hardest thing to bear was being unable to go to the bathroom. If the guard was in a good mood, she might unlock us for a few minutes to have a bathroom break once a day. But if the guard was unhappy, she would not unlock us at all. Once I could not hold it any more and the guards never showed up though we kept asking them to come, then several practitioners helped me. They used a sheet to surround me and the iron chair, and a near-sixty-year old auntie held a basin under the chair while I relieved myself. I can't find words to describe the agony I was in at that time. We were locked to the chair for eleven days. When we were released, we could not walk. Our legs were terribly swollen.

However, no threat could stop us from doing the exercises. The guard got angry then came up with a more vicious approach. Every morning when she came to work, she beat us with a rubber club. She threatened, "You want to do the exercises! I will beat you several times each day, making you unable to rise up your arms, if it does not break them!" The club was steel with rubber wrapped around it. When it hit someone, there was no external bleeding but there was internal injury. At the worst time, we were all beaten, including a sixty-year-old lady. Two aunties were beaten on their chests and backs. They fainted and their faces turned white, they began vomiting and were unable to stand up. When she beat me, she asked me "Will you still do the exercises?" In the middle of the beating, she was called away by another guard. When she came back, she forgot to bring the rubber club. She sent an inmate to fetch it, but the inmate said she couldn't find it. Then she used a broom to beat me which completely fell apart. After she went home, a criminal inmate noticed blood on my white T-shirt. She held me and cried. All criminal inmates cried that day. We could not eat that day, and the criminal inmates didn't want to eat either. Two days later, over ten practitioners in the cell had bruises, black and purple marks on their arms. A criminal inmate said about me, "See this meek girl? She speaks in a very soft voice, but when she was beaten, she held her back really straight!"

You can hardly imagine how evil the environment is unless you are in it and experience it yourself. What you heard every day were the guards beating and cursing the inmates, the sound of the electronic batons, and the cry of pain from the victims.

One morning, my human attachment popped up. I asked myself when this would end. Then I cried on the bed. I sensed there was another person there and when I looked up, it was a criminal inmate. She used a cigarette to burn a big blister on her arm. I asked her, "Why are you doing this to yourself?" She lowered her head and didn't answer me. After a while, she just asked me, "Why are you crying?" I then realized that she was injuring herself to reduce the pain in her heart.

Recently I heard fellow practitioners talking about their experiences in detention centers. I wrote these based on my memory. There may be some things I can't remember. It has been nine years. I rarely talked to others about that experience. However, it will not be forgotten by history.

Original Article: September 5, 2009