After Being Detained in Forced Labor Camps Three Times, Ms. Chen Xiumei Sues Her Persecutors
Name: Chen Xiumei (陈秀梅)
Address: Baoding City, Hebei Province
Occupation: Employee of Baoding Cotton Mill
Date of Most Recent Arrest: January 8, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp (河北女子劳教所)
Persecution Suffered: Fired from workplace, forced labor, beatings, hung up, torture, denied visitation, forced to stand still for a long period of time, sleep deprivation.
Key Persecutors: Chief Liu Ziwei of the First Division, Deputy Warden Feng Kezhuang, Instructor Wang Weiwei
Ms. Chen Xiumei from Baoding City, Hebei Province used to work at Baoding Cotton Mill. She suffered from muscle atrophy in her left leg, gastric disease, rhinitis, appendicitis, and other illnesses. After starting to practice Falun Gong in 1996, her illnesses disappeared without treatment. She was known as a good person by her peers. However, after the CCP started to persecute Falun Gong nationwide on July 20, 1999, the company fired her due to orders from higher authorities.
Ms. Chen was sent to forced labor camps twice, once in 2002 and once in 2006. She was detained in Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp and in Baoding Forced Labor Camp. On February 6, 2005, Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp sent her home as she was on the verge of death. She could not talk, eat, or recognize her family members. In 2006, when she was sent home from Baoding Forced Labor Camp after the second detention, she was also very weak as a result of abuse.
On January 8, 2009, Ms. Chen Xiumei was taken away by officers from the Jingxiu Police Station in Baoding City. On January 15, 2009, she was sent to the first division of Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp. On January 23, 2010, she was released after having been tortured in the labor camp. Now Ms. Chen has brought forth a lawsuit against Feng Kezhuang (Deputy Warden), Liu Ziwei (Chief of the First Division) and Wang Weiwei (Instructor).
Statement of Case
Accuser: Chen Xiumei
Feng Kezhuang, Deputy Warden of Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp
Liu Ziwei, Chief of the First Division of Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp
Wang Weiwei, Instructor
My name is Chen Xiumei. I am from Baoding, Hebei Province. Between January 15, 2009 and January 23, 2010, I was detained in the First Division of Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp. During this period, Liu Ziwei, Chief of the First Division, tortured me. He ordered guards to pull my hair, and beat and verbally abuse me, which left permanent scars on my body. My right arm was partially disabled. They also spread rumors, saying that I had psychosis.
According to the regulation stipulated in the 248th item in the Criminal Law code: "If a guard from a supervision department such as a prison, lockup center, or detention center, physically punishes, beats, and/or tortures a detainee, and if the circumstances are serious, the guard will be sentenced to up to three years in prison; if the circumstances are extremely serious, the guard will be sentenced to three to ten years in prison. If the detainee becomes disabled or dies, according to the 234th item and the 232th item, the guard will be heavily sentenced." "It should be pointed out that when the crime of abusing detainees is determined, consistent cruelty is not required. A single act of severe physical punishment is determined to be a crime."
According to what the accused persons have done, the accuser submits the following requests:
The accused persons are suspected of harming and abusing detainees deliberately. I request the procuratorial departments to open a case, conduct an investigation, and pursue any criminal conduct of the accused persons according to the law.
The accused persons should compensate the accuser for physical and mental harm, as according to the law.
Detailed facts and evidence:
1. Brutal beatings, verbal abuse, torture, and punishment by forced standing
After I had just arrived in the forced labor camp in January 2009, Liu Ziwei ordered Zhu Liying and other guards on duty to take off my down coat, sweater, woolen underpants, and even my underwear. All of my clothes were torn and tossed into a trash can. They forced me to wear a thin labor camp uniform. I wore just this thin garment in the cold winter for almost one month. One day, clothes sent to me by my family arrived. I took a shower, changed into my own clothes and washed the labor camp uniform. Liu Zongzhen, Wu Haixia, Zhang Yuanyuan, and Liu Juan beat me when they saw that I was not wearing the uniform. They slapped me in the face, pulled my hair, and kicked me. Liu Zongzhen pinched my breast. Wu Haixia kept verbally abusing me. Later on, they stripped me again and tore up all my clothes and tossed them into a trash can. I was forced to wear the uniform again. Liu Ziwei did not stop the guards, but instead ordered them to drag me into an office with my feet scraping the floor. My pants fell down, but they did not allow me to pull them up. The guards beat me with batons and kicked me. Instructor Wang Weiwei assisted the guards. After being brutally beaten for half an hour, I was handcuffed to a heating tube. They opened the window to cause me to freeze while only wearing the thin uniform. I was forced to stand as punishment, and my legs became swollen. I was not allowed to sleep, and received limited use of the bathroom. They did not stop torturing me until noon.
One day in late January 2009, I was sitting on the upper bunk of a bunk bed. Liu Ziwei and guard Zhang Yuanyuan grabbed my hair to pull me down. I held onto the bed rail and would not allow them to drag me down. Liu Ziwei used more force, and a handful of hair was pulled out and I almost fell to the ground. They slapped me in the face, and punched and kicked me. I was dragged into a small storage room. Liu and Zhang took turns to beat me, slap me in the face, and slam my head against the wall. I was beaten to the ground again. Liu ordered Zhang to handcuff me to a heating tube. After I could not move, they did another round of blows and kicks. I felt dizzy and my ears were ringing. I was in extreme pain and kept screaming. Liu was afraid that others would hear my screaming, so they shut the door tightly. Liu took off his shirt, used it to hit my face, and stuffed my mouth with socks. They also pinched my arms and legs. I was beaten for over an hour, until Liu became tired. As a result of the beatings, my body was covered with bruises.
Liu Ziwei and other guards beat and abused me many times.
2. Handcuffed and hung up for one month
In February and March 2009, Liu Ziwei handcuffed my hands to the bed rail of the upper bunk. Sometimes, one of my hands was cuffed to a heating tube and the other was cuffed to the bed rail. They only opened the handcuffs when I used the bathroom or ate. Such torture brought me a lot of pain. I could not stand straight or sit down. My arms felt numb and were swollen. I felt pain all over my body. I was only given 1 to 3 buns each day; there were no vegetables or soup. Under such circumstances, I was only allowed to use the bathroom twice a day. Sometimes, I could not hold it and had to wet my pants. Liu Ziwei ordered on-duty guards Zhu Liying, Liu Juan, Wu Haixia, Liu Zongzhen, Zhang Luyu, and Zhang Yuanyuan to beat and curse me constantly. Zhang Yuanyuan beat me the worst. Once she dug her fingernails into my face, which left scars. She did not stop slapping me in the face until my face was swollen and disfigured. I was handcuffed and then hung up like this for almost one month. Every time I was let down, my arms were very stiff and I had to gradually stretch them out. And, I had difficulty trying to squat down when using the bathroom. As a result of the torture, I still cannot stretch my right arm straight and there are lumps in my legs. Zhang Yanchun from Tangshan and Song Ruixian from Cangzhou witnessed the torture.
3. Officials deprived me of family visitation rights, arbitrarily extended my term, and spread a rumor that I had psychosis
Over more than one year, my family went to the forced labor camp many times. The camp refused all of their requests to visit me. Later on, my family went to the Forced Labor Bureau. With the involvement of the Forced Labor Bureau, the labor camp allowed my family to visit me only once, on April 23, 2009. During the whole visit, I was only able to say two or three sentences to them. In addition, the labor camp forced my family to write a "visiting experience statement" and sign it. Liu Ziwei also spread a rumor, saying I had psychosis. Many detainees fell for the rumor, contributing to the pressure I had to endure in the labor camp.
When my term was over, I asked the on-duty chiefs why I was not being released. None of them gave me a clear reply, only saying that I would be released when they allowed me to leave. In this way, without any reason, my term was extended by two weeks.
All of the above are facts. As a guard, Liu Ziwei violated the law while in a position of responsibility. I strongly urge the procuratorates and the enforcement supervisory departments to investigate her criminal acts immediately, and to deal with her criminal acts according to the law and uphold justice.
The 41th item of the Constitution of our country says: "Chinese citizens have the right to provide criticism and suggestions to any government department and government employee. To any government department and government employee who violates the law or neglects their duties, Chinese citizens have the right to file complaints and lawsuits or report to the higher authorities. However, citizens cannot fabricate or distort the facts to file a false accusation." I am a citizen who follows the law. I am known as a good person in the company where I worked, and by my family and peers. Despite the treatment I received, I did not respond with any violent action. I am simply reporting to the relevant authorities peacefully. Herein, I sincerely request the relevant authorities fulfill your responsibilities, investigate the case, and bring these criminals to justice.