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Ms. Liu Guifu's First-Hand Account of Officially Sanctioned Persecution and Brutal Torture

September 12, 2010 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Liu Guifu. Shortly after I started to practice Falun Gong in 1994, all of my illnesses disappeared and my life was filled with joy. However, my life took a dramatic turn after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Because of my belief, I was subjected to relentless persecution. I was illegally arrested and detained eight times, including five instances of long-term detention. I was imprisoned for a total of four years, during which time I was made to suffer unbearable tortures. I managed to escape and came to the United States. Below is a detailed account of several persecution incidents that I experienced.

1. Haidian District Detention Center Officials Attempted to Kill Me with Drugs

I was sent to Haidian District Detention Center in Beijing in February 2001 for not relinquishing my belief in Falun Gong. Guard Zhan Haiwei beat me, severely injuring me and rupturing one of my eardrums. As a result of his abuse, I had abdominal swelling and incontinence.

At one time, detention center-affiliated doctor Liu noticed that I was losing consciousness on the toilet and ordered the cell head to give me 20 unknown pills when I came to. The cell head thought the pills were some kind of vitamin, so she took 10 of them herself. However, she soon felt dizzy, her tongue and neck became stiff, and she had great difficulty breathing. When she asked for help, another doctor surnamed Wang told the guards throw the other 10 pills away before they could be given to me. The cell head recovered after taking a new medicine that doctor Wang gave her. Shortly after this incident, I was sentenced to one and a half years of forced labor and sent to Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp.

2. Deprived of Sleep for 18 Days and Drugged in Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp

As soon as I arrived at the Beijing Women's Labor Camp, the guards ordered me to curse the founder of Falun Gong and give up my practice. I responded by clarifying the facts at every possible opportunity. Guard Xu Yanling forced me to squat in a military position for long periods until I developed diarrhea. Afterward, she ordered me to stand for 18 days in a row without any sleep. My legs and feet became extremely swollen, and I couldn't bend my knees. The skin on my feet split open and oozed. Even a trip to the restroom became extremely difficult.

To carry out the sleep deprivation, 18 inmates were ordered to keep me awake. As soon as I closed my eyes, they whipped me with hard objects, leaving numerous bumps on my head and broken skin on my legs. My back was injured so badly that I couldn't walk. I had to crawl into the restroom to relieve myself.

They stirred unknown substances into my food and ordered others not to touch or taste it. After each meal, I became extremely dizzy and fatigued, felt nauseous, and began to have hallucinations. The guards and inmates then claimed I had a mental problem.

During my weakest moment, they tried to lure me to jump off a building. Inmate Gong opened a window and said, "What's the point of continuing to live? Why don't you jump? Your death would then be considered a result of your Falun Gong practice." She also spread rumors that I had attempted suicide numerous times. I replied sternly, "I will never kill myself, because I am a Falun Gong practitioner!" In response ,they hit my head with hard objects and verbally abused me. No matter how painful it was, however, I was adamant that I would never yield to their unrighteous demands.

Compared to the effects of other forms of torture, fatigue was the most difficult thing to endure during the 18 days of sleep deprivation. Every minute felt like 10 years. Toward the end, I often suddenly lost consciousness and fell, hitting my head on the bed frame, which resulted in injuries and bleeding. Then the inmates would pour cold water on me to wake me up. Each time I regained consciousness, I was always laying in a pool of water.

After 18 days, the guards allowed me to sleep for only two hours each night. They continued to beat me at will. In the end, they had to release me upon the expiration of my term.

Even after I returned home, however, I still suffered the consequences of the torture. I couldn't fall asleep at night, but often suddenly lost consciousness during the day, even while I was walking, riding a bike, or cooking.

I also learned that the local police had canceled my residential identification, intending to make me disappear. I had to re-apply by presenting the release certificate from the labor camp.

3. Sent to the Beijing Women's Labor Camp for a Second Time

The local police, showing no warrants, broke into my home and arrested me in February 2005. This was my fifth unfounded arrest. I was again sent to the Beijing Women's Labor Camp, where I was incarcerated for two and a half years, during which time I was kept in isolation and tortured. The guards and inmates also forced me to take all kinds of drugs that damage the central nervous system.

Deprived of Sleep and Kept in Deplorable Conditions

As soon as I arrived at the labor camp, the guards deprived me of sleep for 17 days in a row. They then placed me in the section created to torture Falun Gong practitioners who refused to give up their belief and kept me in solitary confinement.

Afterward, the guards forced me to sit on a hard bench for 21 hours every day, from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day, with my toes barely touching the ground. At the same time, they gagged me with a cloth soaked in human waste or with soiled napkins. I was forced to keep my legs together without leaving any room in between, keep my hands on my lap and my back straightened. They ordered me to fix my eyes on one spot. As soon as the monitoring inmates spotted me moving my eyes, they struck my hands with a ruler. The moment I closed my eyes, they poured cold water on me. They also used the ruler to poke my spine and hit my knees with a small stool.

My buttocks started to rot, and my flesh, blood, and other secretions stuck to my pants. In the end, sitting on the bench felt like sitting on broken glass. My legs became swollen, and my back was severely injured.

Even though the guards let me off the bench for the remaining three hours of the day, they forced me to rest in a certain position. During this short period of "rest," the monitoring inmates also used various means to keep me from falling asleep.

The guards only gave me two minutes to clean myself every day. I had to quickly take off my soiled pants that were stuck to my bottom. This often resulted in profuse bleeding and excruciating pain. Even before I was able to finish, the guards turned the water off. They refused to let me change my soiled underwear.

I had to get permission from the monitoring inmates before I could do anything, even to clear my throat, spit out phlegm, or scratch my body. Since they wouldn't allow me to shampoo my hair for several months straight, I had head lice everywhere. Even so, I wasn't allowed to do anything to stop the itch.

The guards kept the doors and windows shut tight during the hot summer. They also forced me to keep my winter coat on. During winter, they turned on the fans to blow cold air on me.

The guards also deliberately kept me hungry. Sometimes they tossed dumpling wrappers on the restroom floor and ordered me to pick them up and eat them. When soup was served, they intentionally spilled it so there was almost nothing left for me. Other times they gave me extremely greasy food to eat to cause diarrhea, and then forbade me from using the toilet. Sometimes they didn't give me any water. I lost a lot of weight as a result and became extremely thin.

Guard Song Lili also tried to persuade my husband, Liu Baoguo, to divorce me. My husband firmly refused, so Song no longer let him visit me.

Drugged with Many Unknown Substances and Subjected to Further Psychological Torture

I was placed in a small cell with the windows closed and covered up. A group of inmates took turns torturing me. After I refused to take an unknown brown pill, guard Song Lili ordered more than 10 inmates to hold down me down so that I couldn't move. Drug offender Niu Yuhong then pinched my nose and cheeks and forced two pills into my mouth. I soon felt dizzy and nauseous. I vomited and my stool was black and green and watery. They wouldn't allow me to use the toilet and forced me to relieve myself in my pants, then forbid me from changing my soiled clothes.

After drugging me with brown pills for more than 20 days, they switched to a white pill. Not long after, Song Lili ordered that I be given two red-and-white capsules at night instead. As soon as the new drug got into me, red acidic fluid shot out of my mouth and nose, staining my pants. When I said I'd keep my pants as evidence, Song Lili forced me to take them off and snatched them away.

I gradually lost hearing in both ears as a result of being drugged with these unknown substances. My mind went blank, I was slow to respond, and had hallucinations. I often suddenly lost consciousness while using the toilet or washing myself. Every time I behaved abnormally, they would give me more drugs, which then led me to have even more symptoms, giving them the excuse to drug me further. When I refused to sign their paperwork, they also increased the dose of the pills.

The guards then claimed that I had gone insane and used that as an excuse to continue to keep me in isolation. During the last four months of my solitary confinement I couldn't fall asleep, even after the guards injected me with unknown substances and had me take four sleeping pills every night. Over the last month of solitary confinement, I lost my ability to eat and vomited whatever I ingested. Despite my condition, the guards kept forcing me to take medications. Each time I vomited, they checked what I had thrown up.

After fellow practitioners exposed the persecution I was being subjected to to the overseas media, I was transferred to a secret section of the labor camp, where the torture continued. One had to pass through the guards' surveillance room to access my new confinement cell, which had a metal door and no windows. Two surveillance cameras were hung on the ceiling. The walls were padded with fabric-covered foam material, soundproofing the whole room. There was no air circulation, and the room remained dark and damp. A single bed and a toilet next to it took up almost all the space. I had no idea whether it was day or night. The cell felt like a freezer in the winter and a sauna in the summer. Monitoring inmates continued to forbid me to sleep at times and forced me to maintain a certain posture for long periods. They also continued to beat and curse me. Over the last five months of my detention, they left me alone in the cell and I saw no one. During the day the guards played very loud music to induce headaches. I was extremely tired, but couldn't fall asleep and was struggling to stay alive.

During the last month of my confinement, the labor camp doctors drew my blood six times in one month. The guards also took me to the prison hospital numerous times to have all kinds of tests done. After the repeated blood draws and examinations I couldn't eat at all. When I did eat, I vomited everything. This lasted until my release.

Labor Camp Officials Covered Up Their Crimes to Deceive Visitors

After the persecution I was subjected to was publicized overseas, officials tried numerous means to cover up their crimes.

Every time higher-ups, my family members, or overseas journalists came to visit, the guards allowed me to take a shower, change my clothes, and sleep a little bit more. Normally they didn't give me much to eat, but on visitation days, they had abundant food for me. Then they photographed and videotaped me to show the outsiders, but their torture routines resumed once the visitors left.

One day they suddenly lifted their restriction on how I should sit and ordered me to read a book while sitting in a chair. They also brought in a table, on which they placed rice and scrambled eggs. I then called them out to expose their persecution and my voice was sent out via the surveillance monitor. They dragged me out of the room right away.

The labor camp also found people from other sections of the prison that resembled me, and these people were ordered to stay with me in order to learn how to imitate how I talked and walked, so that they could be interviewed by outsiders visiting the prison. They also tried to extract from me personal information about myself and my family. Some of these "doubles" got term reductions after they pretended to be me.

One morning the guards suddenly took me to Tianhetang Hospital for a checkup. They removed my handcuffs and helped me walk. When they brought me back to the labor camp, no other inmates were around in my confinement section, and guards were changing the signs on the walls. Later I learned that visitors from the international community had come to investigate my case, so labor camp officials were trying to destroy all evidence of their crimes. Once the visitors left, however, the torture resumed.

4. Escaping Death

After two and a half years of solitary confinement, I was finally released on August 31, 2007. I couldn't even walk at that point. My hair had turned gray and my face was covered with wrinkles and freckles. Even the local police and my neighbors that had known me for a long time couldn't recognize me.

As soon as I stepped out of the labor camp gate, local police officer Wang Haipeng took away my release certificate so that they could arrest me again at will.

I was sent home shortly after noon. My husband wept when he saw that I couldn't eat. The police came to arrest me again at 2 p.m. that same afternoon. They wanted to take me to a brainwashing center, but my husband was able to persuade them to let me go to the hospital for medical treatment.

After I checked out of the hospital, the police kept harassing me. When a group of policemen came to arrest me again, I managed to escape. I went to a foreign country in December 2007 and I received asylum status from the United Nations. Later, I came to the United States.