For Liu Zhimei, Time Stopped Years Ago at Age 21 (Photos)
Name: Liu Zhimei (柳志梅)
Address: Sanqing Village, Tuanwang Town, Laiyang City, Shandong Province
Occupation: Student in Tsinghua University
Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 16, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Bailinzhuang Town Police Station (莱阳市柏林庄派出所 )
Persecution Suffered: Brainwashing, illegal sentencing, forced injections/drug administration, beatings, hanging, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, rape, sexual assault, expelled from university, home ransacked, interrogation, detention
Key Persecutors: Deng Jixia at Shandong Province Women's Prison and many others whose names are not yet known
(Clearwisdom.net) The spring of 2010 arrived late. Chilly wind blew into the small, ransacked room where Ms. Liu Zhimei lived. A while back, when her mental situation was improving, she often mentioned a few names. She said they were her schoolmates at the Falun Gong practice site in Tsinghua University. When asked how old she was, sometimes she remained silent. Sometimes she answered with seriousness, "Twenty-one." In fact, she is over 30 years old.
Ms. Liu Zhimei before the persecution
Twenty-one, that was her age just before she was imprisoned. She was expelled from Tsinghua University because she practiced Falun Gong. That was her age when she joined several other Tsinghua students in revealing the facts about Falun Gong to the public. Back then, she was brave and steadfast, and confronted torture and death with ease. She had neither doubt nor fear. That must have been the most beautiful and most brilliant episode in her life. That could be why her memory lapses from that moment on, as if all her subsequent miseries had never happened....
Liu Zhimei was born to a peasant family in Sanqing Village, Tuanwang Town, Laiyang City, Shandong Province. Following an academic exam in 1997, 17-year-old Liu Zhimei's grades were found to be highest in all of Shandong Province. She was admitted to the Chemical Engineering Department at Tsinghua University with exempt status, meaning she did not have to take the national college entrance exam. This was during the years when Falun Dafa, known for its principles of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance and effects in improving health and fitness, was spreading rapidly all across China. On the Tsinghua University campus alone, there were about 1,000 practitioners, and this is where she became a serious practitioner.
However, her steadfastness in practicing Falun Dafa and becoming a better person resulted in brutal persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). She was illegally sentenced to 12 years in prison. Right before she was released from the Shandong Province Women's Prison in November 2008, prison officials injected her with a harmful mixture of narcotics and anti-psychotic drugs. The effects of the drugs began to show three days after she returned home, and were followed by a sudden mental collapse. Her mother, who became paralyzed in 2007, was dealt a fatal blow seeing her daughter suffer a mental breakdown before her eyes. Grief-stricken, the mother died three months later at the age of 62. Her father, brother, and sister-in-law neglected her. Neighbors poisoned by CCP propaganda demonizing Falun Gong ridiculed her. She was not able to take care of herself. For some time she unknowingly urinated in the bed.
Local practitioners aware of her situation extended their hands in assistance. They took Ms. Liu to their home and took good care of her. On April 16, 2010, officers from the Bailinzhuang Town Police Station in Laiyang City drove to Nanzanjiatuan Village in Bailinzhuang Town, where Ms. Liu was being looked after. The officers climbed over the wall outside the home to break in at 6 a.m. and arrested Ms. Liu and the four who were taking care of her. They took their Falun Dafa books, TV, bank deposit receipts and some cash, as well as a DVD player, cell phone, motorcycle, bike, etc. One of the four practitioners, Ms. Gao Chunhong, remains in police custody.
Photo taken in 2010: Ms. Liu Zhimei after suffering a mental collapse from the persecution, runs into a corner of her living quarters with clenched fists whenever someone tries to approach her.
"I'm still alive. I've been alive...."
Ms. Liu has often kept saying to herself, "I'm still alive. I'm still alive. I've been alive...." She said this countless times in Chinese and English. She even kept writing it down, but no one knew what she was talking about. Until one day, when she said to herself loudly, "I, Liu Zhimei, was dead! They harvested my organs while I was alive!" Her shout was filled with fear.
What did she experience in prison?
Allegations of the CCP's systematic organ harvesting were published in the Western media in 2006, while Ms. Liu was imprisoned. No one ever talked about organ harvesting with her after her release. Practitioners taking care of her have been especially careful not to mention anything that has the remote possibility of causing her anxiety. How did she learn about live organ harvesting? Was she under such a threat? Or did she escape the fate of having her organs harvested, yet was filled with such terror that she kept saying, "I'm alive"?
Top CCP officials Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan and a clique of their subordinates launched the nationwide persecution of Falun Dafa in July 1999. Ms. Liu was in her sophomore year. School officials told her parents to take her home. The university denied her registration in September and later suspended her without explanation.
She returned to Beijing in early 2000 and joined several other former Tsinghua students in revealing the facts about Falun Gong to the public. She persisted in her belief in spite of several arrests and detentions of short duration. The university officially expelled her in March 2001. Around this time, she returned to her hometown and briefly worked in a game hall to make ends meet.
She was arrested at her temporary apartment in Beijing's Haidian District in May 2001 and was held at several detention centers.
When she was detained at Fengtai Detention Center in Beijing, she suffered brutal torture. A guard put one leg of a chair on her instep and then sat on the chair to crush her foot with all his might. The guards also used hard objects to beat her legs. The torture made her limp for over two months.
Several brawny men hung her up to torture her, as one of them threatened, "If you still refuse to tell us [other practitioners' information], I will strip you naked." She was only 20 years old at the time. She cried and pleaded with them, "You are almost the age of my father, please don't do that to me..."
She was finally detained at the detention center operated by Beijing Police Department Division 7; she suffered head and chest injuries and lost several fingernails from savage torture. During one interrogation the captors blind-folded her and took her to an undisclosed location where she was locked in a two-meter-by-one-meter torture chamber for as long as two months. Such complete isolation in a small confined space is enough to drive anyone insane. She was only 20 years old.
During the more than one year of transfers among different facilities she remained upbeat and optimistic. She taught inmates poems from Hong Yin and explained Falun Gong's principles of how to become a better person. When others did not have enough personal items, she always generously shared the little she had. Her fortitude and compassion warmed the hearts of people detained.
Hope for and despair of getting back to school
Haidian District Court officials charged 22-year-old Liu Zhimei with numerous fabricated crimes and sentenced her to 12 years in prison in November 2002. She was taken to Shandong Province Women's Prison in Jinan City and continued to resist brainwashing.
Officials from Tsinghua University, including her professors, came to the prison and told her she could keep her spot in school as long as she would renounce Falun Gong. They also treated her to dinner at the prison restaurant. Under the huge pressure, she believed them and did as she was told, and she also once worked as a "helper" to "transform" other practitioners. When practitioners with firm beliefs refused to be "transformed," prison guards coerced her to come up with effective ideas. The more cruel the ideas, the more praise she would earn. The guards also forced her to beat practitioners. On occasion she would say in misery, "It was not me who broke the neck of so and so...."
She put her whole heart into reviewing notes to prepare for school; however, there was no more word about returning to school for the next three years. She finally came to the painful realization that she had been deceived. This came as a huge mental blow and she fell into silence and rarely talked to others.
To prevent her from restoring her belief, the guards at the Shandong Province Women's Prison lied to her that her name was now on the List of Falun Gong Persecutors. She once said in despair, "My name is on the List of Falun Gong Persecutors...."
Deputy section head Deng Jixia, a woman in her 40s, took Liu Zhimei to the prison clinic almost daily between the end of 2002 and 2008 where inmates injected her three times a day with 50 ml of drugs. Then in 2003 she began to exhibit signs of mental abnormality. People often heard her cries escape from the prison's so-called "education" section, "I am not sick! I don't want any shots, I don't want to take drugs!"
Ms. Liu once recalled that the drugs she received included the powerful anti-psychotics Clozapine, Sulpiride, Sodium Valproate, and others. She once told her experience after receiving an injection, including dry throat, dizziness, blurred vision, hallucinations, and the loss of urinary and bowel movements.
Photo taken in 2010: The knuckle on the middle finger on her left hand is enlarged and deformed and cannot be straightened
Her left middle finger is deformed. The second knuckle is enlarged and does not straighten [see photo above]. A medical professional stated that it might be caused by the effect of the long-term injection of harmful and unnecessary drugs.
Prison officials called her family between October and November 2005, saying she had fallen ill with symptoms resembling those suffering from brain damage, but they forbade the family to see her. Her father Liu Zuorui arrived at the prison the following day and demanded medical parole on her behalf, but it was turned down because she was labeled a "political prisoner."
Poisonous drug injection immediately before her release from prison
Prison officials called Liu Zhimei's father in October 2008 and told him to pick her up on November 13. He went to the prison and took her home at 2:00 p.m. on November 13, 2008. Ms. Liu told her father that she went through a physical exam three days before her release and was told she had a hole in a molar and needed an injection, supposedly costing 600 yuan, but the prison gave it to her for free.
She behaved normally during the first two days at home. Her father took her to visit relatives who were excited to see her free. On the third day, however, she started to exhibit abnormal mental behavior that got worse each successive day. She grew anxious and said things that no one could understand. She constantly waved her arms in the air as if she were running. She didn't sleep all night and sometimes only slept two hours a day.
She quickly lost her memory and couldn't remember her age. Her words were out of order; she often repeated the same thing three times. She drank a large amount of water daily (six to seven water bottles - about 2 liters per bottle). She would urinate on the bed without knowing it. She slept on the urine-soaked bed without feeling it. Her relatives and friends believed it was the effect of the drugs administered prior to her release. They looked at her teeth and did not find any hole as prison authorities had claimed and suspected that the officials simply lied to create an excuse to poison her.
Ms. Liu's mother was a woman of great intelligence who took pride in her daughter's accomplishments in school. She was dealt a huge blow when she learned Liu Zhimei was sentenced to 12 years in prison. She became paralyzed in 2007. When her mother finally saw her in 2008, her cherished daughter suffered a mental breakdown before her eyes within a matter of days. Grief-stricken, the mother died three months later at the age of 62.
Sometimes when she was in an unfamiliar environment or out on the street, she would put up her palms in front of her chest, as if pushing something away, acting tensely to protect herself in shock and fear. Her actions grieved her relatives and friends. They could not imagine what abuse she had suffered. On one occasion, when changing clothes for her, one of her relatives and friends inadvertently touched her breast, which suddenly reminded her of something. She grabbed the person's hand, pressed it hard on her, while clenching her other hand into a fist and hitting hard on her other breast. She said, "They beat me here, like this, it hurt so much...."
Her breasts droop almost down to her waist. When she sleeps on the bed, facing up, her breasts droop on the side to touch the bed. Numerous lumps were found around her breasts and navel. Medical experts stated that it could be caused by the poison remaining in her body from the poisonous drugs.
Caption: Lumps surrounding Ms. Liu's navel
Caption: Bruises on Ms. Liu's body
Rape Leads to Pregnancy
Ms. Liu suffered a mental breakdown on the third day after being released from the prison. Shortly after that, when she saw a strange young man on a motorcycle stop nearby, she rushed out without putting on clothes. This happened again several times. Sometimes she acted as if she had a crush on men and sometimes she acted as if she were disgusted and repelled by them.
Her relatives and friends recounted this in tears. They could not help but ask how she had been sexually abused.
After Ms. Liu suffered the mental breakdown, several men appeared and took her away on the grounds of "looking after her" and "helping cure her illness." When Ms. Liu returned after a period of time, she sometimes mumbled to herself about an apparent rape. She mumbled about how they stripped her of her clothes, which person did what, and a description of their complexion. Sometimes she was able to mention the details of the names of both the person and place.
No matter who shows up to take her away, Ms. Liu's father Liu Zuorui has never objected. He
has taken his daughter as a burden. Villagers know that Liu Zuorui had been the village Party secretary. He has developed no useful skill, squandered money, gambled, and engaged in promiscuous affairs. Some Falun Gong practitioners, out of sympathy, gave him money to buy food for his daughter. Instead, he bought himself liquor and lost the money through gambling.
Later, though not aware of it, Ms. Liu became pregnant. During the fifth month of pregnancy, her relatives and friends took her to have an abortion.
It also occurred several times that villagers heard Ms. Liu shouting "Help! Help!" Rushing over, they pushed open the door to find her naked, with her father standing next to her. Ms. Liu has also run out from her home naked knocking on a neighbor's door asking for help.
After Ms. Liu's mother passed away, her brother Liu Zhiqing took her to his home to live for some time. However, he and his wife did not want to deal with some of her mental problems. He beat her several times. Late in 2009, he went out to gamble. Ms. Liu might have said some unwelcome words. He viciously beat her and drove her out of his house. Ms. Liu was not able to get off the ground. She crawled back to her father's home and lied in bed for over two months. She stared forward but was not able to see people. Her father asked the doctor in the village to take a look. The doctor declined on the grounds that Ms. Liu's father had no credibility. He had often failed to pay for the doctor's visits.
When Ms. Liu was crawling back from his brother's home to her father's home, no one helped her. After years of brainwashing, the villagers have taken the word of the CCP propaganda. They think the sad situation of Liu's family is caused by practicing Falun Gong instead of the CCP regime. In addition, villagers have been repelled by her father's measure of disrepute.
Arrest and associated shock when recovery was under way
When local practitioners learned about her situation, they took her into their homes. They took turns to look after her when she stayed awake over night. They cleaned her, did her laundry, and never complained when she scratched them or threw dishes to the ground. The practitioners told her stories to calm her down.
Though her condition remained fragile, she started to improve. At first, the least bit unsettling occasion would render her mentally unstable. Then, the recovery from the shock would take a couple of months. She would also easily fall into the unstable state if the same shock took place again. Under meticulous care of several practitioners, she no longer urinated in the bed. She was even able to make dumplings and cook for herself. She also became more amiable.
One day, she wrote down, in large characters, a line of words. It turned out to be a solemn statement renouncing her actions against Dafa and fellow practitioners [see photo below]. She started reading Falun Gong books. Sometimes she was able to read two or three pages. Also, she rarely mumbled to herself anymore. As the period she remained coherent grew longer and longer, it appeared there was hope she would gradually return to normal.
Solemn statement written by Ms. Liu Zhimei when her condition improved a few months ago
On the morning of April 16, 2010, when officers from the Bailinzhuang Town Police Station in Laiyang City suddenly broke in to take her and four practitioners into custody, everyone was in silence. Ms. Liu suddenly appeared to be acting as a completely different person. She said, "Comrade police officers, my name is Liu Zhimei. I am guilty of practicing Falun Gong. I have been sentenced to 12 years in prison. You may also sentence me to death. Or you may also sentence me to death with a reprieve." She made the statement as if reciting from a textbook.
When the police in Laiyang City interrogated her, she recounted everything she knew about the practitioners who took care of her. From her manner and way, it was as if she were still a prisoner back in the Shandong Province Women's Prison. She ingratiated the interrogators with all the energy she could gather. With signs typical of a kind of Stockholm Syndrome under CCP tyranny, she expressed gratitude to the interrogators for debasing her humanity to just such an extent.
When the police learned that she was mentally unstable, they said they were not aware of that. They had taken orders to surveil the place for over three weeks.
Ms. Liu was promptly taken back to her father's home. Thereafter, a man of dubious background showed up, taking her to the farmers' market and to areas downtown. The two appeared intimate, and Ms. Liu acted quite obligingly.
Forever 21 Years Old
After nearly ten years of suffering, Ms. Liu could not remember her name when asked. Yet one day she wrote the words on the wall of her home "Tsinghua University" [see below], a place which brought her honor and joy, yet, misery and despair.
Ms. Liu Zhimei wrote the words "Tsinghua University" on the wall despite her loss of memory
When her mental condition stabilized, she would mention a few people's names. She claimed those were her elder schoolmates from the same Falun Gong practice site in Tsinghua University. She even mentioned Huang Kui and Zhao Ming, two Tsinghua University practitioners who also endured such cruel and inhuman treatment and who now live overseas. When asked how old she was, she would sometimes answer with deliberate seriousness, "Twenty-one."
Twenty-one, that was the age when she was arrested - the day her life figuratively ended. Her memory seems to have stopped there, if only to block out the pain.
After suffering mental and physical abuses beyond imagination, her innocence and dignity have been assaulted until, seemingly, only a shadow of her former self remains. Yet, indelibly ingrained are her memories pursuing truth, and cultivating together with other practitioners on the Tsinghua campus.
Though she cannot recount her sufferings in the prison, her condition has said it all - revealing the atrocity of the persecution more descriptively than any words and more convincingly than any witness.
After reading about Ms. Liu's experience on Clearwisdom.net, former Tsinghua University Ph.D. Candidate, Mr. Huang Kui, states: "It is not hard to imagine how the CCP police, judicial officials, and prison guards would have treated people from other walks of life if they could do this to this brilliant young student in the foremost Chinese university. It grieves us to learn about Ms. Liu's suffering, her loss of memory, and her mental collapse. It broke my heart when I saw the four Chinese characters she wrote on the wall: Tsinghua University. This is truly a shame on the elite university in its 100-year history, a sorrow to all Chinese, and it also serves as an irrefutable witness to the atrocity and wickedness of the CCP."
April 27, 2010