(Minghui.org) According to an eyewitness, Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Lin Xiumei and Ms. Li Haiyan were subjected to freezing torture in the No. 11 Ward of Harbin Women’s Prison on December 6 and 7, 2014.

The women were forced to stand in thin garments in an unheated hallway while the temperature outside was -20C (-4F). Meanwhile, guards drenched them in cold water and periodically poured water over them before their clothes dried.

Freezing is a common form of torture the communist regime uses against Falun Gong practitioners as part of its persecution campaign against the spiritual discipline, as documented in an earlier report.

Ms. Lin Xiumei’s health deteriorated rapidly in early 2014. She lost consciousness frequently, even during family visits. The prison authorities ignored her health condition and insisted on forcing Ms. Lin to remain standing for extended hours. Once, she was deprived of sleep for seven days before she fainted and collapsed, knocking out seven teeth.

According to the eyewitness, prison guards used this freezing torture on the two women to punish them for refusing to give in to extortion. Prisoners usually have money deposited for them by their families for purchasing necessities. However, guards use various tactics to take the money for themselves; when practitioners refuse to cooperate, the guards use anything as an excuse to punish them.

In addition to being mistreated, practitioners are forced to do forced labor. Starting in May 2014, after the prison suspended family visits citing building renovations, prisoners’ work hours were extended. They were forced to work from 5:30 a.m. to midnight. At the end of 2014, prisoners were made to work until 2 a.m. The prisoners were forced to make clothing, packaged food, and paper bags.