(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Chang Shige, a Falun Gong practitioner in Changchun, has endured inhumane torture countless times during the past ten years of the persecution. Now she has been forced to leave her family and move from place to place to avoid further persecution. The following is her narrative of her ten-year persecution.


It started in the afternoon on September 30, 1999. I was taking a nap at home when someone knocked at the door. My husband answered. The police officer in charge of household registry came in and said that he wanted me to go to the police station to answer some questions. When I got there, the police asked whether I would continue my practice of Falun Gong. If so, they'd send me to the detention center. One officer brought the detention form and told me to sign it. In the column headed "Reason for Detention," it read "disturbing social order." I asked, "How did I disturb the social order while taking a nap at home?" The policeman replied, "Well, why do you practice Falun Gong? If you give up the practice, we'll let you go home right now. If you refuse to sign the paper, we'll have to take you to Balibao for surveillance."

I refused to sign. As a result, I was taken to Balibao. When I arrived, there were about 100 practitioners already detained at Balibao. Within two days, the number rose to four or five hundred. Shortly after, we started a hunger strike to protest the illegal arrest of Falun Gong practitioners.

After a couple of days, we were transferred by our respective local police stations. About seven or eight practitioners and myself were sent to Changchun Film Company's guest house. Everyone in my family who got the news came, including my parents, my sister and her husband, my in-laws, and my husband with our six-year old son. The police exerted pressure on them in order to try to force me to sign the guarantee statement not to practice again. My family all got down on their knees in front of me. One policeman encouraged my husband to beat me, saying, "What's the point of keeping a woman like that? You'll be better off divorcing her." Throughout our marriage, my husband had never argued with or laid a finger on me. But in that situation, in order to save me from the labor camp, he did what the policeman suggested. In front of more than 20 witnesses, he beat me from the bed to the floor and back to the bed. Unable to bear to see it, a young policeman got up and dragged my husband away. Sad and heartbroken, my husband told the policemen, "I don't have any way to convince her. She'd rather die than sign the document. How about I jump off the building? Then would you please let her go?" My heart started to bleed. My husband was cornered and was willing to offer his life for my freedom. I took the pen and wrote: "I give up practice." However, I purposely misspelled the word "practice"("xi lian" instead of "lian xi").

I was released. Due to the hunger strike, I was extremely weak. I felt both physically and mentally exhausted. But before I could catch my breath, the security at my workplace called, demanding my immediate presence. My husband had to call a taxi to accompany me there. Once again the security personnel exerted pressure on my husband. They said that if I didn't give up the practice, it would not only affect my husband's work, but our child's education as well. In other words, my practice of Falun Gong would drag down even my distant relatives. They asked my husband to keep a close eye on me, to report my whereabouts, and to be able to bring me to them whenever they wanted to see me. If we couldn't do the above, I would be fired. If my family didn't monitor me well enough and I escaped, they would hold my family accountable for the consequences.

Arrested for Appealing

I went to Beijing to appeal on October15, 1999. A man in uniform met with us, and I told him what I felt I ought to say as my appeal. As I was getting ready to leave, two men came in. They handcuffed me and said that I had violated the law. I said, "Every citizen has the right to appeal." One man replied, "Not if you practice Falun Gong."

I was sent back to Changchun the next day. No one, including my family, knew my whereabouts. With the rumor that all who went to Beijing to appeal were sent to the Great Northern Wilderness to sift sand till they became exhausted and died, my husband became paranoid. Worrying about my safety, he stayed up all night. Finally he held our child in his arms, cried, and kowtowed toward the four corners of our room. "Good Lord," he prayed, "I beg you please let my wife come home. Please ensure she's safe and sound." My elderly mother happened to see it. Tears streamed down her cheeks like broken pearls. "For heaven's sake," she shrieked, "what a world this is!"

I was transferred to the local police station on October 19. They put me in Teibei Detention Center around 10:00 p.m. the same night. There were about 40 people detained in a room less than 15 square feet. With only two beds, the room (including the floor and the bathroom) was packed. In order to lay down, one had to hold another person's feet on their chest. There was no room to turn, and we were packed in like sardines in a can. When anyone coughed, the vibration rippled to everyone else in the room. One night trying to sleep like that left you completely exhausted and weak. Due to the poor ventilation, many of us developed a contagious eczema-like disease. It first started with tiny red itchy bumps, then festered, and finally decayed. Because there were too many people in the room, it was impossible to walk around or even to stand up. I spent most of the time in a sitting position. After one week, I was hardly able to walk.

In order to force us to "transform," the guards encouraged criminal offenders to beat us. We went on a hunger strike to protest. They put us in heavy fetters and handcuffs, and then tied the fetters and handcuffs together. We were locked in this position for days and nights. When we walked, we had to bend over with our heads down. We had to depend on someone else to feed us or help us out in the bathroom. Even during sleep, our hands and feet were tied together. It was extremely painful to remain in the same position for a long time.

The guards started punishing the criminal offenders in order to instill hatred in them towards Falun Gong. The wicked guards never ran out of tricks to torture us. During the coldest days in northern China, the temperature was below -20 degrees Celsius (- 4 degrees Fahrenheit). They first poured water on the ground, then forced us to sit on it barefoot. This usually lasted for a whole day, and many got sick afterwards. The food was so horrible that it was beyond description. The buns were mostly half-cooked, but still edible. The "dishes" were actually the worst. They were merely mud with flies and a couple slices of unpeeled potatoes and vegetable leaves. We were given only one dish for the whole group. After splitting it among 40 of us, we each ended up with just some muddy soup. If you had no appetite for the "food," you could pay 15 yuan to buy your own meal. Otherwise you starved. They also jacked up the price for necessities by ten times more than the market value and limited the supply even if you had money. I was detained for 31 days in these hell-like conditions. When they finally sent me back to the local police station, as I got out of the car, I saw my son waiting for me at the entrance. He quickly came up, grabbed my hand, and held it tight, without saying a word. Seeing him in so much pain at such a young age pierced my heart. At the station, the police went through the same ritual of threatening and terrifying my family and me.

Other practitioners and I went to Zhongnanhai (the federal appeals office) with a truth-clarification letter on February 2, 2000. We handed the letter to an entrance guard. An officer-like person appeared and took us to a nearby police station. We were then sent to the Changchun Liaison Office in Beijing and back to Changchun the next day. We were illegally detained in Daguang Detention Center for 15 days. All the detainees were Falun Gong practitioners. In fact, the detention center was created for the purpose of persecuting practitioners.

I was arrested again at Culture Square on May 11 of the same year and detained for another 15 days in Daguang Detention Center. During that time my company held a meeting of employee representatives. First, someone read out my so-called "Crime Report." Then the majority of the attendees voted to fire me. There were quite a few practitioners within the company, so many of them knew Falun Gong was good. One non-practitioner firmly voted against the decision to fire me. His outspokenness soon caused him to change jobs.

My Life on the Run

The local police often harassed my immediate family and my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law's physical condition started to worsen after the persecution started in 1999. She had gone from being a healthy person to someone who couldn't even look after herself. Due to the persecution, all the practitioners in my family gave up their practice. Each time the "sensitive" dates drew near, I had to leave the house and hide out for a while. During the time I remained at home, in order to hide me from the monitoring police, my family followed a "No Lights or TV" policy at night. Our son couldn't even do his homework, and nobody dared to talk loudly. Later I purchased some light-blocking curtains. The curtains blocked the lights from inside, and our place appeared completely dark from the outside. No one outside could see anything inside the house. The curtains worked well during the winter time, but they were extremely inconvenient in the summer, as they also blocked fresh air from coming into the house. Because we kept all the windows and doors shut, the room became so hot that no one was able to sleep at night. The three of us suffered together (my husband, our son, and myself). As long as I would not be caught, they were willing to endure whatever hardship was necessary.

On March 5, 2002, in order to expose the truth about Falun Gong and about its being persecuted to the unknowing public, practitioners in Changchun successfully aired the truth-clarification videos about the staged Self-immolation Incident in Tiananmen Square. Many people watched the videos. This act effectively terrified the evil. Consequently, the Central government began massive arrests of Changchun practitioners. Overnight, thousands of practitioners were caught. The night after, we heard someone banging on the door. Since we kept all the lights off, they assumed no one was home and soon left. We found out the next day that they were from the city police department.

I was forced to hide in a remote steel market far away from the city. With no heating, I made fires at night by myself. Although I put layers of covers on me, I still woke up freezing at night. Going to the outdoor bathroom was quite a walk. I had to use a scarf to completely cover myself each time before I went so that nobody could see my face. At the end of each day, when the workers went home, I was left alone in the deserted market. It was scary in the pitch darkness, with the sound of wind piping through the metal boards and the howling of wild dogs in the wilderness. Sometimes I heard the police sirens in the middle of the night. Sometimes dreams of being captured by the police woke me with a start. I finally went home after almost a year of this hardship. Afterward, I did not set my feet outside for more than six months.

I was again arrested on May 9, 2007, and sent to a forced labor camp for a year.

We received a phone call from the head of the neighborhood committee on June 8, 2009, about registering at a brainwashing center. If I did not register, I'd have to submit my statement to renounce Falun Gong in written form. There were no other alternatives. In order to survive and to protect my family, once again I took off and left them behind.

What I have experienced is just a tip of the iceberg. It's fortunate that I have been able to escape and am still alive. Every practitioner in China has had to endure the persecution in some form or other. The crimes of the wicked Chines Communist Party (CCP) are unforgivable. Because the heavenly law states that good will be rewarded and evil will be punished, I believe that the CCP will soon be brought to justice.