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Sisters Detained for More than Six Years in Jinan Women's Prison and in Critical Condition

May 14, 2011 |   By a Clearwisdom correspondent in Shandong Province, China

Names: Qu Xiatong, Qu Beibei (瞿晓彤), (瞿贝贝)
Gender: Female
Age: Unknown
Address: Taohuayu No. 4 Village, Tuanlin Town, Lunan County, Shandong Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: June 2004
Most Recent Place of Detention: Jinan Women's Prison (济南女子监狱)
City: Jinan
Province: Shandong
Persecution Suffered: Illegal sentencing, forced injections/drug administration, imprisonment, torture, interrogation

(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioners and sisters Qu Xiaotong and Qu Beibei were illegally arrested in June 2004 by Tai'an City police in Shandong Province. They were later subjected to interrogation, torture, and the administration of unknown drugs. In September 2004, the sisters, along with five other practitioners, were sentenced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled Taishan District Court to terms of eight to twelve years in prison. The sisters were taken to Jinan Women's Prison.

They suffered tremendously, both physically and emotionally, during their six years of imprisonment. During a family visit on April 21, 2011, Ms. Qu Xiaotong was too weak to speak normally and displayed various physical problems, including a difficult time walking, pain from stiffness in her chest, palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, vision problems, difficulty in breathing, and general decline in health from a lack of food for over 20 days.

Ms. Qu Xiaotong told her family that when she laid down in bed at night, she didn't know whether or not she would wake up the next morning. The prison guards monitoring the visit kept interrupting their conversation. Her family asked if she had received a medical examination. Ms. Qu replied that the prison doctor found some problems, but the guard and prison doctor present looked at each other and quickly denied that any health problems existed.

Ms. Qu Xiaotong was detained in the seventh ward, also known as a “strict discipline group”, while her younger sister Qu Beibei was being held in the eighth ward. Ms. Qu Beibei was also in poor health.

The family tried to approach the prison's political division officials in an attempt to reason with them. However, they were kept waiting at the guard's entrance room for about an hour, until an officer spoke to them by phone. The family asked who was responsible for Ms. Qu Xiaotong's serious medical condition, and requested bail so that she could receive medical treatment. The officer replied coldly, “It is not uncommon for people to die in prison from time to time.”

On April 28, the family came to visit the sisters in prison, but were turned away and physically pushed out of the guard's entrance room by prison officials, and into the family visitation registry office.

The family persevered with their appeals, and were finally allowed to see Ms. Qu Xiaotong. Several guards armed with batons surrounded the family in the visitation room. Without the family's awareness or consent, their photos were taken. The family observed that Ms. Qu Xiaotong was in dire condition, with limited visual awareness and having difficulty breathing. It appeared that the prison authorities had pressured her not to say anything. When her family spoke to her, she just shook her head or nodded. The officials kept interrupting her family as they talked.

Relevant prison personnel involved:

Zhao Laichun, warden, Jinan Women's Prison
Li Shuying, deputy warden, Jinan Women's Prison
Ding Wei and Zhang Jin, prison doctors