(Clearwisdom.net) On February 6, 2001, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily published an article that slandered Falun Gong in yet another attempt to justify the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. I was named in the article which twisted various facts about the practice to deceive the public. I currently live in Finland and still practice Falun Gong.

Learning Falun Dafa

My name is Chen Li and I was born in Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province. I was admitted to the College of Art at Shantou University in 1996. Dafa's teachings showed me how to be a good person, leading me to study hard in school. I was awarded scholarships every year and received full points for my moral education.

In July 1999, then-leader Jiang Zemin and the CCP regime launched a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong. I was a senior at the time and refused to give up my practice. As a result, I was deprived of everything a person could possibly have. I also endured wrongful imprisonment and brutal torture, both mental and physical.

Unable to Finish School and Imprisoned

Deng Hui, a first year graduate student at my school, and I, went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in December 1999. We arrived in Tiananmen Square on December 6 to hold up a banner to validate Dafa. We were arrested and taken to the Dongcheng District Detention Center in Beijing. From that day on, I lost all my rights and freedoms as a Chinese citizen and couldn't go back to school.

The Dongcheng District Court secretly sentenced Deng and me to a year and six months in prison for “illegal protesting” on January 13, 2000. We were transferred to a criminal dispatch center in Beijing Prison in March. There, we were forced to do slave labor for more than 12 hours every day.

They attempted to force me to kneel down and “confess” my crimes in front of the guards every day. When I refused, the guards had other prisoners hold me down on the ground. When I did the Falun Dafa exercises, the guards ordered the prisoners to tie me up with a piece of black cloth and step on my hair. Then they pulled my hair out by the handful. If I moved, the prisoners would beat me.

Dark Life with Shackles

Deng and I were transferred the second time on April 8, 2000 to Shaoguan Prison in Guangdong Province. When I did the exercises in my cell, the guards handcuffed me to a barred window in the bathroom to humiliate me publicly. Three days later, they wanted me to write a repentance letter. Instead, I wrote a letter explaining the benefits of practicing Falun Gong. The prison authorities got upset and put 20-pound shackles on my ankles to punish me. The guards didn't want other prisoners to know about how I was being tortured and didn't let me talk to anyone. I was shackled for three months. As a result, the backs of my feet festered and hurt badly whenever the area came in contact with cold water.

Wanting to Return to School, Falling into a Trap

I was supposed to graduate and get my degree from Shantou University in July 2000. The school authorities worked with the prison officials to have three of my classmates “reason with me” because I refused to give up my belief. They told me that once I gave up practicing Falun Gong, I would be able to keep my status as a student and go back to school one day.

By the end of 2000, I was transferred to Wuhan Women's Prison and the torture intensified. I was deprived of sleep because I refused to write letters to renounce Faun Dafa. The prison staff threatened to prolong my sentence and to do other horrible things to me. I was under tremendous pressure and close to suffering a mental breakdown. In desperation, I signed the agreement to renounce Falun Gong.

The Worst Was Yet to Come

After I was released from prison, I wasn't allowed to go back to school. The local 610 Office ordered me to report to a police station every day. To avoid further harassment and persecution, I left home and became destitute. I was still arrested several times and detained in Sanshui Women's Prison and brainwashing centers in Zhanjiang and Sanshui because I continued to talk to people about the illegal persecution of Falun Gong.

When I was imprisoned, I suffered various tortures that included the “flying an airplane” torture, being put in solitary confinement, not allowed to use the restroom, deprived of sleep, and forced to stay in the squatting position for seven straight days. I was also forced to got to the toilet in front of other prisoners with no clothes on. My dignity and integrity were compromised.

I was the first female college student sentenced to prison in Guangdong only because I practice Falun Gong. What I suffered in the prisons is far more than I can describe here.

The Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported things that were absolutely false. It long ago became the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist regime to help it in persecuting Falun Gong.