Shandong Woman Denied Parole Despite Being in Critical Condition
(Minghui.org) A 50-year-old woman from Shandong province was in critical condition due to abuse suffered in prison. The prison refused to release her until her five-year term was completed in 2015.
Ms. Gao Mingxia, a Falun Gong practitioner, started practicing Falun Gong in March 1999. Many of her illnesses, such as a rare heart disease, headaches, dizziness and difficulty waking up were cured after starting the practice.
After the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999, she was arrested at least twice for telling people about Falun Gong. She gave up practicing in 2000 when she was subjected to two and a half years of forced labor.
Ms. Gao subsequently resumed the practice and wrote to the 610 office and related government departments, stating that all her previous words and actions against Falun Gong were null and void. This led to her arrest in 2002.
She was locked in a solitary confinement cell, hung from a window frame, and deprived of sleep for 17 days.
On July 11, 2010, she was arrested again in front of her home. While detained, her husband fell ill and passed away on March 8, 2011. She was not allowed to see him in his last moments.
About two months later, on May 23, 2011, Ms. Gao was sentenced to five years of prison and imprisoned at Shandong Women's Prison. While detained, she developed severe myocardial ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the heart), as well as kidney and lung problems. She was critically ill, but was not released until her term ended on July 11, 2015.
Below is a detailed description of the persecution that she had suffered while detained:
Deprived of Basic Rights in an Attempt at “Transformation”
On the first day that I was sent to prison, I underwent a medical examination which showed that I was in poor health. However, I was still sent to the prison.
In the subsequent days, I was made to sit on a small stool for extended periods of time while two inmates gave me brainwashing lectures. The prolonged sitting caused ulcers to develop in my anus.
As I refused to be transformed, I was subjected to verbal abuse every day and occasional beatings. I was also forbidden from buying basic necessities for three months after my supplies ran out, because I refused to write guarantee statements. My request to meet with the prosecutor was also denied.
Not Allowed to Sleep or Wash Up
I was not allowed to wash my hands even after I had used the toilet. I was also deprived of sleep. I was allowed to sleep for three hours every day with frequent interruptions, even after I lay down.
I was often deprived of drinking water or restroom privileges. Once, I was not allowed to relieve myself for 14 hours. I had previously heard the inmates discussing how my medical examination results showed that I will be in danger if I continue to hold back my urine due to kidney problems. Despite this, they continued to stop me from using the toilet.
Inadequate Food and Clothing
I often felt hungry, as I was not provided with sufficient food everyday. My portion sizes were half of what the other inmates received. I was given less and less food, the more I asked for bigger portions.
When the weather turned colder, the prison did not allow me to wear my winter clothing. I was hungry and cold during the night. I was also left to freeze in an unheated room during wintertime.
Forced Labor While Critically Ill
My heart disease worsened after a month of abuse. A specialist was shocked when she ran an ECG on me.
I got to know that my blood sugar was very high and my blood pressure was unstable. In addition, my heart and kidney problems were severe, and I was in imminent danger.
When I moved to a new prison in May 2012, I felt a suffocating tightness in my chest. My legs were badly swollen, as well. In one of the CT scans conducted by the director of the hospital, I was informed that I had severed myocardial ischemia (inadequate blood supply to heart muscles).
Despite my deteriorating health, I was still forced to do manual labor.
One day, I woke up feeling dizzy and could not stand. I vomited twice and was wheeled to the hospital.
Later, on May 27, 2012, my mother and daughter visited me. They were forced to sign a notice of critical condition, which in China would shield the prison and hospital from potential liability should I die of my health problems. The guards, however, never gave my family a copy of the notice.
Locked in Solitary Confinement
I was locked in the bathroom for many days after I complained of the abuse. It was a humid summer. The bathroom felt like a sauna. I could not breathe and almost fainted. Some days, I felt disoriented and could not remember where I was.
An inmate was assigned to watch over me while in the bathroom. The inmate later developed high blood pressure and had heart problems.
I was finally released on July 11, 2015, after my term was completed.
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