Accounts of Torture in Detention: Persecution of Ms. Tu Xiaomin and Six Other Falun Gong Practitioners from Beijing
(Minghui.org) On March 8, 2017, when Ms. Tu Xiaomin, Ms. Zhao Ping, Ms. Li Shuyun and four other Falun Gong practitioners returned to Beijing from a trip, they were stopped at the Huairou Tanghekou Inspection Station. Once identified as Falun Gong practitioners, they were arrested and later taken to either Huairou Detention Center or Shunyi District Detention Center.
Ms. Tu, Ms. Zhao, Ms. Li, Ms. Chen Chunhua, and Mr. Tan Shouli have since been released. Ms. Chui Guomei was taken to Jiushen Temple Brainwashing Center in Tianxianyu Villiage, Huairou District, and no further information is available about her subsequent whereabouts. Mr. Wang Rusheng was transferred to Fangshan Detention Center.
Persecution at Huairou Law Enforcement Case Management Center, Beijing
On March 8, police officers arrested these seven Falun Gong practitioners and took them to the Law Enforcement Case Management Center of Beijing Public Bureau Huairou Branch. All their cell phones and personal items were confiscated, including pendants inscribed with words about Falun Gong, USB drives, and 500 yuan in cash.
Each practitioner was interrogated separately. Ms. Tu was taken to a data collection room, where she was forced to have her fingerprints captured, photo taken and blood drawn.
When Ms. Tu refused to cooperate, Li Aifeng and the other policemen grabbed her hair and forcibly held her head to take her photo. Li also held her hand tightly so that another policeman could record her fingerprints and draw her blood. During the struggle, Ms. Tu's fingers, wrists and legs were scratched bloody.
One policeman said, “Well, the policies we follow are better now. If such a thing happened before, you would have been killed!”
Li picked up Ms. Tu's cell phone, grabbed her fingers, and attempted to unlock her cell phone through fingerprint identification, but it did not work.
On the same night, officers Li and Liu interrogated Ms. Tu. She did not answer any of their questions and instead told them about Falun Gong and persuaded them not to participate in the persecution. She told them, “Police officers should focus on real criminals instead of arresting good people who follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance...whoever participates in the persecution would be punished by heaven.”
She was not allowed to take a break in a detention room until two in the morning.
Ms. Zhao and Ms. Li were also taken there after the interrogations. No one was given any food or water.
On the following morning, policemen took Ms. Zhao and Ms. Li to their homes and ransacked them. For Ms. Cui, they confiscated her handbag, found her home key inside, and went straight to ransack her home without her.
In the evening, Li Aifeng and another policeman returned and said, “Here. Take your cell phones.”
The practitioners thought they were going to be released, so each picked up their own phones. However, they were not allowed to keep the phones, but were told to write their names on phones and then put them in envelopes.
At night, the five female practitioners were taken to the building hall, where a policeman announced notice of their three days’ detainment and asked them to sign the notice. The practitioners refused to sign. After three days, their detainment was extended for one month.
At about 10:00pm, Ms. Tu and three other practitioners were taken to Shunyi District Detention Center and Ms. Chen to Huairou Detention Center.
Brainwashing at Shunyi Detention Center
The four practitioners who were taken to the Shunyi Detention Center on the night of March 9 were forcibly given physical examinations upon arrival. Around two in the morning, they were placed in four cells and detained separately: Ms. Cui in Cell 7, Ms. Li in Cell 8, Ms. Tu in Cell 9 and Ms. Zhao in Cell 10.
Shunyi Detention Center took it as a mission to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners. Every practitioner there was forced to sign three statements expressing his/her wish to give up the practice of Falun Gong. If any practitioner refused to sign the documents, their cellmates would be punished and urged to participate in abusing practitioners.
Many methods of torture are used: practitioners are handcuffed or shackled; they are forced to sit on the edge of a plank for extended periods; they have restrictions on restroom use and are not allowed to purchase food, change clothes or take a shower.
Ms. Tu Xiaomin’s Suffering
Ms. Tu, 54, was born in Guizhou Province and earned a college education. She was taken to Cell 9 in the early morning of March 10. At approximately 8pm, when Captain Meng Lu and one jail guard called roll, Ms. Tu didn't report her name as required by regulation. Meng cursed her loudly and announced that, as a punishment, all 16 detainees in Cell 9 would sit on the plank the whole next day.
While sitting on the plank, every detainee had to sit as motionless and straight as a soldier, with legs double-folded and both hands on legs. They were not allowed to speak. There was a surveillance camera in the cell.
It was normal at the detention center for detainees to sit on the plank for one hour after each meal. As punishment, sitting on the plank for an extended time meant they had to do so for the whole day, excluding when they eat or sleep.
After breakfast on March 11, they were ordered to sit on the plank. Ms. Tu told her cellmates, “Please behave normally. Do not accept the physical punishment.”
No one dared to follow her words, and all sat on the plank. As time went by, they couldn't bear the pain and started blaming and cursing Ms. Tu. Some tried to persuade her to give in, some cursed at her, and some cried sadly. They vented all their hurt and anger to her. Ms. Tu didn't want them to hate Dafa, so she agreed to report her name later on.
That night, jail guards removed the punishment order on other detainees, but Ms. Tu had to continue sitting on the plank for 12 hours a day.
One day, female jail guard Xu Hailin took her to the office. When Ms. Tu complained about the physical torture, Xu said, “If I was on duty that day, I would have put you on the ‘death bed’.”
Xu ordered Ms. Tu to write a statement acknowledging guilt. She took out a stack of paper from her drawer and shook it in front of Ms. Tu. “Look at this! All written by Falun Gong practitioners.”
She intimidated Ms. Tu and said, “How long you will be detained here all depends on your performance.”
Ms. Tu explained to the guard, “I've benefited from practicing Falun Gong. The sore throat that bothered me for years disappeared after I practiced Falun Gong. I am now healthy, both physically and spiritually. It's not wrong to practice Falun Gong. We were brought here and detained while passing through a highway inspection station. What crimes did we commit?”
Xu said with great anger, “Do not talk these big words to me! Make it simple: are you going to sign it or not?”
Ms. Tu flatly refused Xu's demand. After she went back to the cell, her cellmates started trying to convince her to sign the statement, escalating their pressure each day.
Finally, when it was time to sit on the plank, all that could be heard were threats, curses, and vulgarities, interspersed with the demand, “Sign it or else!” one after another. A guard asked through a monitor why it was so noisy. They replied that everyone was working on Ms. Tu and persuading her to sign the statement. The jail guard kept was quiet after hearing this.
On the morning of March 16, Xu Hailin and Meng Lu came to Cell 9 and stood at the door. They rebuked Ms. Tu for not memorizing the detention center rules. Detainees Fu Aixia and Yang Hui cursed and insulted her at the same time. Xu and Meng made no move to stop them.
Xu and Meng took Ms. Tu to the office and told her about their decision. They would put handcuffs and shackles on her for 15 days because she talked to others about Falun Gong and practiced the exercises in the cell.
Wearing shackles that weighed more than 10 lbs, Ms. Tu walked back to the cell. The corridor was filled with the sound of chains clanging on the cement floor. Xu ordered Ms. Tu to walk slowly so that all the detainees could see her clearly as she passed by the cells. Xu had previously used this strategy to intimidate other Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Tu continued sitting on the plank while in handcuffs and shackles. One woman from Yunnan Province burst into tears at the scene. Afraid of being noticed, she buried her face between her wrists. The cell head censured her and said, “Let up. It seems you are quite sympathetic to her.”
Since Ms. Tu was handcuffed and shackled, she was not given her half-hour break in the afternoon.
She was also not allowed to drink water or use the restroom without reporting to a guard. One time, Ms. Tu reported that her stomach ached and asked to use the restroom, but the guard denied her request.
Ms. Tu was ordered to sit on the plank immediately after each meal. Her sitting time was increased to 13 hours a day.
A guard monitored her through a video camera all the time. If she moved a little or her legs were not in the right position, the guard would reprimand her.
At lunch time, Ms. Tu would be ordered to be on duty for two hours at the corridor. The shackles made much noise and disturbed others when she moved, so she had to stand motionless in the corridor. Every minute was torture, whether it was spent sitting on the plank or standing in the corridor. She was fatigued, exhausted, and weak.
Xu Hailin asked Ms. Tu several times if she had changed her mind and decided to sign the statement of guilt, but Ms. Tu refused every time. One day, Xu said, “If you do not write a statement of guilt, how about a statement promising to give up practicing Falun Gong?”
Ms. Tu firmly refused. Xu said, “Then you’ll have to wear the handcuffs and shackles until March 31.”
One day, while Ms. Tu was sitting on the plank, the inmates said officials from the local procuratorate were coming for a visit and walking through the corridor. Ms. Tu stood up and called the officials when they appeared in front of her cell door. She complained to one official named Zheng Yubin about what had happened to her. Zheng showed indifference and said arrogantly, “You like keeping busy and looking for trouble, right? Time is not up yet, is it?”
Every night, each detainee had to report to the jail guard separately: “I am in good health. Everything is normal. Thank you, jail guard.”
No one dared to say “Everything is not normal” even if they were not.
Ms. Tu reported her sufferings several times: “My chest and back are not comfortable; my legs and hips are in pain, too, from sitting on the plank for long periods of time.”
Meng Lu became furious and cursed at her, “This is your punishment!”
The nightly reports were recorded, but the recording would be stopped when detainees said unfavorable words or when guards cursed at detainees.
Ms. Tu wasn't released from her handcuffs and shackles until March 31. During her 28 days at the Shunyi Detention Center from March 10 to April 8, she was forced to sit on the plank for 20 days for 12 to 13 hours a day.
One detainee described how painful it was to sit on the plank: “I could not do it even if I were paid 5 million yuan.”
For 15 days, Ms. Tu was handcuffed and shackled while sleeping in cotton clothes. All detainees slept on the same large plank. It was so crowded that most of the time she was assigned a space less than shoulder width. In order not to disturb others at night, she drank little water.
Ms. Tu was not allowed to wash her clothes or take a shower. She was allowed only a couple of minutes, sometimes only one minute, to use the restroom. The time for washing her face was even shorter; she had to wet the towel then clean her face in a hurry. One time, her finger was crushed by the restroom door because she was in such a hurry.
Ms. Tu had dry and hard stools after almost ten days of no stool at all. She had rectal bleeding, and she had to use her fingers to pull out the stool. In the days when she had to sit on the plank, she was not allowed to purchase food.
The month of abuse caused great pain and suffering to Ms. Tu's mind and body. She believes that two inmates who actively abused her have received karmic retribution: Fu Aixia had diarrhea the first day she began to curse at Ms. Tu, and her criminal case was returned for re-investigation. Yang Hui, who also cursed at Ms. Tu loudly, suffered from leg pain and high blood pressure every day.
Yang later asked if Ms. Tu hated her. Ms. Tu replied, “No, I really do not hate you, but your evil behavior gave yourself more karma.”
Ms. Zhao Ping's Suffering
Ms. Zhao Ping, 51, was born in Beijing. As soon as she was taken to the detention center, her physical examination showed high blood pressure. A jail guard asked her to take medicine. Ms. Zhao said, “I am not ill at all. I will be all right as long as I do the Falun Gong exercises.”
However, she was not allowed to practice Falun Gong in the detention center. Moreover, guards cursed at her.
On March 9, Zhao Li, an official from the monitoring office, took her to the office. Ms. Zhao explained, “We went out for a regular tour, but we were arrested and detained without cause. Police officers violated the legal procedures. They violated the law.”
Zhao Li printed out a transcript of their conversation and asked her to sign it. Ms. Zhao noticed that that many words in the statement were not hers, and she refused to sign it.
Several days later, Zhao Li called Ms. Zhao to her office again and asked her to write a letter of repentance. Zhao Li intimidated her. “You've been at a forced labor camp, so you should have seen our methods of transforming Falun Gong practitioners.”
Ms. Zhao said, “Then let's just end this conversation.”
Zhao Li then shackled and handcuffed her.
After Ms. Zhao was taken back to the cell, Zhao Li punished all the inmates and instigated them to pressure Ms. Zhao, and curse Dafa and its founder. One detainee was too excited to control herself and fell ill. The guard threatened Ms. Zhao, “I cannot guarantee that they will not display any aggressive behavior against you.”
Ms. Zhao protested repeatedly to Zhao Li and Captain Meng Lu. She also requested a meeting with prosecutor Zheng Yubin. However, Zhao Li and Meng Lu responded, “Do you think you can see the prosecutor whenever you want to see him?”
Ms. Zhao was handcuffed and shackled 24 hours a day. She was forced to ask for permission from a guard to do anything, including using the restroom and drinking water, excluding eating and sleeping. During this time, she could not purchase food or take breaks.
Ms. Zhao showed more symptoms of high blood pressure. She was released on medical parole on March 18 to free detention center officials of liability in case she fell ill.
Ms. Cui Guomei's Suffering
Ms. Cui Guomei, in her 40s, was born in Liuli Temple Village, Huairou District, Beijing. She was taken to Cell 7 of Shunyi Detention Center on March 10. On the first day, she was tortured on the “death bed” for refusing to be handcuffed when stepping out of the cell.
The guard on duty called three male guards. They held her onto the plank, handcuffed and shackled her, and bound her body onto a cross. They then used nails to affix her limbs to the boards so that she couldn't move even a little. They left her in this posture for three days and nights.
She was not allowed to use the restroom or go anywhere. She had to eat, drink and excrete on the bed board. Her body was manipulated by other detainees. The cell was filled with an awful stench.
The guards told the inmates that all the trouble was caused by Falun Gong practitioners to incite hatred and exert pressure on Ms. Cui.
It was very cold in Beijing during March. They left Ms. Cui uncovered and did not provide any quilts. Three days later, when she was freed from the handcuffs and shackles, she could not move her arms or legs at all. Three detainees carried her off the bed board.
On the morning of April 8, as soon as Ms. Cui was released from Shunyi Detention Center, officials from local 610 Office, Political and Legal Affairs Committee, police station, township government, and village brigade jointly took her to a local brainwashing center in Beijing’s Huairou District 610 Office. She was detained at the brainwashing center for four days, where she was forced to watch propaganda videos defaming Falun Gong. When she refused to watch them, police officers again used the death bed torture on her.
List of perpetrators:Nihe Detention Center, Shunyi District, Beijing CityTel: +86-10-69402535, +86-10-69404075, +86-10-69401575, +86-10-69401364Superintendent: Sun ShoudongDeputy Superintendent: Peng Dahu, Zhao Guoli, Liu Peishan, Tong Xiaodong
Guards at Shunyi Detention CenterMeng Lu, Zhao Li, and Xu Hailin
Wang Jinlong, police officer at Shunyi Detention CenterZhang Yongjun, sergeant at Investigation Center of the Detention Center+86-10-69402007 ext 1101+86-10-69402978