Ms. Zhao Zhiyun Dies from Years of Torture and Harassment
Ms. Zhao Zhiyun from Baoding City, Hebei Province died on December 26, 2013, as a result of repeated arrests, torture, forced labor, surveillance and harassment in the persecution of Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhao, an ordinary Chinese farmer, couldn't afford medical treatment for the diseases she suffered as a result of the heavy workload of raising a family and taking care of elderly family members. Upon starting to practice Falun Gong in 1996, she regained her health and became a kinder person. However, she became sick with an irregular heartbeat in 2012 and eventually died at the end of 2013.
Forced to Become Homeless for a Year
Since Ms. Zhao was released from the Balizhuang Labor Camp in Baoding City in 2002, she has been under strict surveillance by local police.
Officers from the Chengguan Police Station of Mancheng County broke into her home on August 16, 2010 and said that they wanted to question her at the police station. When she replied that she could answer the questions at home rather than at the police station, they tried to forcibly take her away from her home.
Ms. Zhao fainted as the police rampaged through her home. The officers ransacked her home and tried to confiscate the computer that her son uses for school, but were unsuccessful because of strong objections from the family.
The police officers asked the local 610 Office director what to do, and the director ordered them to stay at her home. When the ambulance arrived, the officers tried to redirect it to go to the Chengguan Police Station. Because of the family members' strong protests, Ms. Zhao was eventually taken to the hospital, followed by three officers.
Ms. Zhao was forced to become homeless that night in order to avoid further persecution by the police.
Several days later, officer Han Yanguo went to Ms. Zhao's apartment complex and asked her neighbors if they had seen her. When no one responded to his question, he destroyed their mahjong table and said, “I'm the deputy chief of the Chengguan Police Station Han Yanguo. If you have a problem with this, come find me there!”
Ms. Zhao was homeless for about a year. She started experiencing heart problems because of the mental pressure and poor living conditions. She finally went home after the birth of her grandchild.
Repeated Harassment and Threats
During the time of the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in March 2012, the community director Wang Sufang started harassing her again.
Under the direction of the local 610 Office, Wang and another woman circled Ms. Zhao's home every day. They then tried to put her under house arrest at the community office so that they didn't have to leave their mahjong tables.
Ms. Zhao's husband ran a firecracker store around 2001. Local authorities often went to the store to take firecrackers for free or demanded that he pay for their meals. He was very disturbed and would give Ms. Zhao a hard time, and often demanded a divorce. The long-term harassment and threats have also put her family members under a lot of pressure.
Wang and others also made repeated harassing phone calls to Ms. Zhao's husband during the spring of 2012.
Ms. Zhao's heart problem further worsened. She also suffered from insomnia and had difficulty eating. Two years of medical treatment didn't help, and she passed away at the end of December.
Torture and Force-feeding
Ms. Zhao Zhiyun was subjected to force-feeding twice a day at the Mancheng County Detention Center in May 2001. Four men restrained her during force-feeding, holding her down and pulling her hair.
Jia Ruiqin, deputy director of the detention center, inserted a rubber pipe of about two feet long into her stomach through her nostril. They force-fed Ms. Zhao with cornmeal, vegetable soup and a lot of salt. They left the pipe in her even after force-feeding. The rubber pipe stayed in her nose and stomach to keep Ms. Zhao in pain. After force-feeding, Ms. Zhao was usually left on the ground or handcuffed to an iron cage.
She suffered such torture for 30 days. On June 5, 2001, Jia Ruiqin told Ms. Zhao that she could go home. Instead, she was directly transferred to the Balizhuang Labor Camp in Baoding City for a year of slave labor.
Prior to the detention in May 2001, Ms. Zhao appealed for Falun Gong in Beijing in April and was arrested by the Tiananmen Garrison division before she could arrive at the National Appeals Office.
She was severely beaten by a group of police officers. They slapped and kicked her with their leather shoes, pulled her hair, and pushed her against the wall. Ms. Zhao was bruised all over and had blurry vision.
She was subjected to a new round of severe beatings after being transferred to the Pinggu Detention Center in Beijing. The officers poured cold water on her after she lost consciousness. Her chest was a frequent target, and her back was violently kicked near her heart. This started her heart problem that she suffered for years until she passed away.
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Zhao Zhiyun (赵志云)
Address: Dongyu Village, Bailong Township, Mancheng County, Baoding City, Hebei Province
Occupation : Farmer
Date of Death: December 26, 2013
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 11, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Balizhuang Labor Camp in Baoding City (八里庄劳教所)
City: Baoding, Hebei Province
Persecution Suffered : surveillance, severe beating, force-feeding, brainwashing