Changchun Practitioner Subjected to ‘Five Horses Splitting the Body’ and Brutal Force-Feeding During 10 Years of Imprisonment
(Minghui.org) Ms. Li Zhixiu from Changchun City started practicing Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) in 1998. She followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and benefited both physically and spiritually from the practice. Her nightmare began when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Jiang regime started the brutal persecution of Falun Dafa in July 1999.
Ms. Li was arrested and detained for 15 days on her first arrest at Tiananmen Square in February 2000 for going to Beijing to speak up for Falun Dafa. She was forced to become homeless in December 2000 and was arrested again by Shenzhen Liantang Police Bureau officers in Shenzhen City in July 2001. For the next ten years she endured inhumane persecution in prison.
Here is Ms. Li Zhixiu's personal account.
Tortured in Shenzhen Detention Center
Bandits broke into my home at noon on July 12, 2001. Without showing any ID, they wrapped some clothes around my head and stuffed me into a van. I didn't have time to put on any shoes.
Eight other Falun Gong practitioners were seized that same day and were in the same van with me. I didn't know where we were taken until I removed the clothing on my head—a sign on the building said, “Shenzhen Liantang Police Bureau.”occupiedOne policeman pushed me down on the floor and handcuffed me to a doorknob, then ignored me until about 2:00 a.m. when they took me to the local detention center.
etention center, they ordered me to sleep between a drug abuser with tattoos all over and a deaf thief. The women bullied me and took my space, so I had nowhere to sleep and sat there the whole night.
I refused to give my name and went on a hunger strike to protest being persecuted. One officer took me to an interrogation room with water dripping from the ceiling and pooling on the ground up to the ankles. I was made to sit on a cement bench. Water dripped on my head and down to my feet for almost six hours with no break.
This occurred several times. Every time they tried to make me to say my name and home address, they promised I could go home if I did. Because I continued to refuse to cooperate, they stopped interrogating me.
The day I went on a hunger strike for a week, a police officer called me to the office and brought in six condemned male prisoners to hold me down.
They found an ox horn and cut off its pointed top to make a funnel, then used it to force feed me. The ragged edge punctured my mouth. I refused to swallow the liquid. They found a hammer to force the funnel into my throat. They didn't take me back to the cell until I was suffocating and couldn't breathe. The insides of my cheeks were cut and swollen for several days.
I went on a hunger strike until I was released from Shenzhen Detention Center, where I was detained for 20 days. Changchun Police Bureau officers then picked me up and took me to the Changchun Tiebei Detention Center. More than a month later, I was transferred to the Changchun No. 3 Detention Center.
Suffering for Two Years in the Changchun No. 3 Detention Center
At Changchun No. 3 Detention Center, Li Xintao and Wang, two officers from the city police bureau, interrogated me. When I refused to answer their questions, they tossed the clipboard and pen at my face and left. They threatened me and said I would be imprisoned forever.
It was a newly-built detention center, and the conditions were extremely harsh. The food and soup at each meal were filled with sand and leaves, sometimes with fish scales. We got the scraps from whatever was left after the food was washed and cooked for the guards.
There was never enough cornbread. If I was sending forth righteous thoughts at mealtime, I had nothing to eat when I got there—a patient who suffered from hyperthyroidism would have eaten it.
The planks we slept on were not big enough to accommodate all the inmates. Each person had to sleep with their head against another’s feet. I had scabies at the time, so I didn't want to pass it on and wasn't able to fall asleep. It was September and very cold at night. I wore a short-sleeve shirt and thin pants and walked back and forth in the cell to keep myself warm.
I wanted to do the exercises, but the inmate on duty pulled my arms and stopped me. When I was tired of walking, I sat down and crossed my legs until dawn. In the daytime, I was forced to sit on the plank. The skin on my buttocks worn thin from sitting on the plank.
Due to insufficient food and sleep, and with the pain of scabies, I became very thin and out of shape in less than a month. When the officers from city police bureau came to interrogate me again, they couldn't recognize me.
I went on a hunger strike to protest not being able to do the exercises. Finally they let me sleep on the floor and do the exercises at night. I collected clothes frmo other practitioners and used them as a quilt. I slept close to the door. It was late autumn and very windy, and some of the inmates worried that I might fall ill from the wind, and they urged me not to sleep on the floor. I told them I would be fine because I was a Falun Gong practitioner.
I had figured out a way to do the exercises, but the evil was not willing to see my peaceful days continue. They tried everything to persecute me. One day they might announce that whoever did the exercises would have to sit on the plank for an extended time. On another day they might announce a search for Falun Dafa articles.On yet another day they might shackle Falun Gong practitioners.
They adopted an implication policy and instigated all the other inmates to hate practitioners and curse us. We were under tremendous pressure and faced insults every day. In the face of such inhumane torture, the most commonly used method to resist was to go on a hunger strike.
The detention center was filled with endless humiliation and pain—it was hell on earth.
One Saturday, I was called to be interrogated. Other inmates were terrified and told me whoever was interrogated on weekends would either be interrogated by outside officials or be beaten. They told me to wear more clothes. I went out only warm-ups. Informants later told me the two officials who interrogated me were called Zhang Zhengzhen and Gao Peng. At the first sight of me, they asked, “We've heard that you refused to sign the arrest warrant.”
Then one of them slapped my face again and again until he was tired. I don't know how many times he slapped me, only that my face felt numb and I lost all feeling. The other officer jumped up and kicked me in the abdomen. I flew back several meters and fell down. My lower abdomen hurt terribly.
They called a guard to take me back to the cell. The jail guard noticed that my face was a mess and I couldn't stand up because of the pain. The guard documented it was outside officials who came to interrogate me that were responsible for my condition.
I went on a hunger strike and asked to be released because I was innocent. When the guards were off duty, three of them—Lao Chen, Su (female), and Han (male)—called me outside and then took me to Shuanyangsheling Hospital to force-feed me.
When I refused to leave the car when we got to the hospital, Lao hit my head. I shouted, “Falun Dafa is good! The Fa rectifies the cosmos! The Evil is completely eliminated!”
They dragged me out of the car and carried me to a bed. Han turned the bed around again and again while saying, “Let me turn your cosmos around.” He did that until I felt dizzy and in a faint.
Then they inserted tubes into my nostrils and force-fed me a corn and salt liquid. They pulled the tube back and forth repeatedly, and the corn powder fell all over my nose, mouth, face, neck, and body. I became incontinent, was in a daze, and looked a mess. When I was taken back to the detention center, an inmate in the corridor looked at me in surprise and asked: “How did you get to be such a mess?”
At the detention center I refused to wear the yellow vest uniform. One day, the guard said that officials were coming for an inspection and asked me to wear the vest. I refused. Other practitioners also refused to wear the vest.
After the inspectors left, guards Chen Xue, Lao Chen, and Su pulled us out of the cell and shackled us. As they were pulling me along the corridor, I shouted while passing each cell, “All Falun Gong practitioners, let's stand up to resist the persecution!”
Su tried to stop me and kicked me.
Several of us were shackled with heavy chains and handcuffed. They connected the handcuffs and shackle, so we were neither able to sit up straight nor lie down.
My wrists and ankles were injured. Such torture is called the Big Shackle. Once it is on, the victim is not able to use the restroom and is either force-fed if on a hunger strike or insulted if she eats and uses the restroom.
The shackle torture lasted a week. I was tortured this way for two years.
Tortured in Jilin Province Women's Prison
I was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2003 and taken to Jilin Province Women's Prison.
My first stop was the Entry Group. Two officers, Zhou Yuan and Han, ordered two condemned prisoners named Zhang Liyan and Jiang Guizhi to keep watch on Faun Gong practitioners. Because we refused to recite the prison rules, we could not take breaks.
When others went to sleep, Zhang and Jiang ordered us to sit on small stools. Because we refused to wear the prisoner name cards, they would not let us see our families or go to the dining hall for meals. We went on hunger strikes to resist the persecution.
One day, they tied us to the beds along the corridor and started to force-feed us. They pulled the tubes back and force fed me the same way as before. The corridor was filled with the sound of evil curses and the cries of Falun Gong practitioners.
The scene broke my heart. I escaped from the force feeders and went to the washroom. They attempted to take me back, but they stopped me when I shouted, “If anyone comes any closer, I will die right here!” Similar things happened often.
I was transferred to Section 13, a special section where prisoners had been sentenced to more than one term. These prisoners often did slave labor until far into the night. I refused to wear a prisoner name card, refused to do slave labor, and told other Falun Gong practitioners that we shouldn't do such labor. One day section head He Zhenguo called me to his office. He slammed his fist on his desk and shouted, “What on earth are we going to do with you?”
I calmly said, “I do not want anything. I just want to go home in peace and good health.”
His attitude changed and he asked, “Do you really think so?”
I responded, “Yes.”
He stopped shouting at me and called in Zhu Bailing, the inmate who was ordered to watch me closely and asked her to purchase two cups of instant noodles for me.
It was close to the Mid-Autumn festival. He purchased two mooncakes and brought them to me. After that, he let me go back to the cell once I finished the evening meal at 4:30 p.m. I no longer had to be with the other inmates in the prison workshop until late into the night.
A month later I was transferred to another special section, where the elderly, weak, sick, and handicapped prisoners were held. Prisoners in that section just stayed there and did have to do any work.
Informants later told me that He Zhenguo, the head of Section 13, offered help to other Falun Gong practitioners during the time when most guards persecuted practitioners severely.
Five Horses Splitting the Body
My dark days in this section started on April 27, 2005. Without notice or warning, Li Jian, the head of the Prison Politics Section, organized Fu Shuping and others to invade my cell. They sealed my mouth with tape and didn't say anything before dragging me away from the first floor to a dark room on the third floor that was used to torture Falun Gong practitioners until they renounced their belief.
My heart beat fast and my hands and feet cramped. They called a doctor to connect me to an oxygen tank. The dark room was damp and cold. Fu Shuping took several former practitioners who had given up their belief and attempted to “transform” me. I refused to listen to them, nor did I open my eyes, but Fu used her fingers to try to open them.
On the third day, when I still refused to listen to them and kept my eyes closed, Fu, several former practitioners, and swindlers Yan Lulu and Sun Yongjing attempted to “transform” me by force.meansYan and Sun held me on the bed, sat on me, and tied my arms and legs to the bed. I refused to listen to them slander Master Li and Falun Dafa, so they used a cruel form of torture—the so-called “five horses splitting the body.”
There were two beds along the wall from the window to the door. I lay flat on the bed next to the window. They tied my hands tightly to the heater pipe above and my feet to the frame of the other bed next to the door. The bed was two meters long, but I was only 160 cm tall, so my hands, body, and feet were stretched to their limit.
When I still didn't give in, they called in four others to pull the other bed away from the wall. The two beds were originally side by side along the wall, but now the beds were 20-30 cm apart.
My hands were tied tightly to the heater pipe. After they stretched my hands, body, and feet this way, my body was suspended in midair. They put a basin underneath my buttocks for when I needed to relieve myself. They said I wouldn't die, then they closed the door and left.
I had my menstrual period at the time, and the torture made me bleed non-stop and I passed out. One former practitioner was a little worried and released the ties. She said she would take me to the restroom so that I could move around. But I was so weak I couldn't walk on my own. She held me up and took me to the restroom. As soon as I squatted down, blood ran out like urine. She was scared and helped me back to the bed, but she tied my feet again to the bed and tied my hands loosely at night.
I kept bleeding and fainted away. Seizing the opportunity, they took out their prepared paper of five statements and told me to press my fingerprints on it. Then they transferred me from the dark room to the second floor.
I had been tortured so seriously for 13 days in that dark room that I was unable to walk from the third floor to the second floor. No one helped me. They told me to walk on my own. I was too weak to open my eyes, so I closed them, held onto the wall all the way, and moved step by step to the cell on the second floor.
Fu and guard Li Haiyan kept a close watch on me. When they saw I was bleeding non-stop, they were scared but dared not take me to the hospital for fear I would say how they tortured me. They brought me brown sugar, Chinese dates, and ginseng and made them into soup, which they said would add nutrition to the food, and forced me to drink it. My nose bled after I drank it. I had to stay in bed because I was so weak that I felt drowsy even going to the restroom. I had difficulty walking and had to lean against the wall for support.
When they saw me recover after a period of time, they assigned prisoner Ju Shufen to watch me while she played DVDs that defamed Falun Gong to try to brainwash me. If I refused to listen, they reported me and put pressure on me.
Due to the extended bleeding, I had anemia and suffered a serious shortage of blood to my heart. They could not even collect enough blood from my ears or fingers for testing. My condition was critical. From time to time, they carried me to the hospital. Once my electrocardiogram was so abnormal that they gave me bottles and bottles of IV fluids. I threw up all night.
Incarcerated in the Evil Education Section
I was on the verge of death but still didn't escape the evil’s claws. In January 2007, they took me to the most evil part of the prison – the Education Section. Guards instigated criminals and former practitioners to persecute Falun Gong practitioners while promising them their terms of incarceration would be shortened.
I couldn't bear the physical torture anymore, so they decided to persecute me spiritually by isolating me. Whoever talked to me or even looked at me would be accused of not being “transformed” and would suffer another round of persecution. As a result, almost everyone stayed far away from me, and some even actively hated me.
Guard Cao Hong and some former practitioners who had been “transformed” continued to persecute me. They used the excuse of giving me a place to recover my health and kept me isolated. They put up a white curtain to block the door window, did not let me leave the room, and ordered swindler Zhong Ximei to keep a close watch on me.
I had no freedom. I was monitored in the restroom and when I ate. One former practitioner said to everyone, “No one should have any contact with her. Just regard her as dog shit!”
They attacked me verbally. I suffered intense spiritual pressure and insults every day. Former practitioners ignored my worsening health and ordered me to get tap water for them at night. (Water was only available at night on the fourth floor. Tap water was only available after midnight.)
I was ordered to get a big barrel of tap water first, then carry another dozen basins of water to the corridor. This tired me and I started bleeding again. The blood soaked my cotton pants. I dared not lie in bed for fear of making the sheet dirty because I had no strength to wash it. I sat next to my bed till morning.
They took me to the hospital and kept close watch over me. Doctors said I had serious anemia and should eat nutritious food. The education section ordered swindler Ma Yan to watch me. Ma Yan used my money to order fat meat, but when I couldn't eat it, she just dumped it. I had no freedom to order food on my own. Ma cursed me every day.
I couldn't tolerate such inhumane torture anymore, so I asked to meet with the prison chief, Wang Lijun. I had a long conversation with her twice and filed complaints about my sufferings of past years both physically and spiritually. I refused to leave her office until she promised to solve my problem. Finally she agreed.
When I returned from the hospital, I was not assigned any forced labor, nor did the guards defame Falun Dafa in my presence. They gave me two bottles of hot water every day. The prison chief criticized Ni Xiaohong, the guard who specialized in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in the education section. Ni promised me that such things would not happen to me again.
Even though I was treated better, the other practitioners were still being tortured, so the conditions were still horrible.
One time section head Zhang Shuling called me to her office and had a long talk with me. As I was standing there, my menstrual blood dripped down my legs and soaked my cotton pants. I couldn't walk on my own. She told a former practitioner to help me back to the cell. The section head agreed to reduce my term of imprisonment.
My ten and a half years of persecution ended on February 1, 2012. I was released and returned home.
My Family Breaks up and My Mother Passes Away
Before I was arrested, from 1994 to 2001, I lived in Nanning, Guangxi Province. I was forced to become homeless in 2000. My family didn't know about my first arrest in 2001. While I was homeless, I used my husband's ID to rent an apartment. When I was arrested again, the police searched through and confiscated many Dafa materials and equipment used for making Dafa materials where I lived.
They found my husband according to the address on his ID and arrested him. They tried to force him to defame Dafa. My husband said that this was an issue of personal belief. One officer said the materials they found could be used as evidence to sentence my husband to seven years in prison.
During that time when the persecution of Falun Gong was gaining momentum, hardly anyone dared to be associated with Falun Gong. No one at my husband's workplace wanted to grant him bail. Finally, through a friend's intervention, my husband's supervisor took him back.
The police ransacked my home several times. My husband lived in fear. He had severe liver disease and was treated coldly at work. It was too much for him. He finally divorced me and announced it in the newspaper.
His health and his reputation were ruined. He quit his job as a government official. The persecution destroyed yet another a happy family and ruined another man's career.
On April 27, 2007, when I was kept in isolation and pressed to give up my belief, my mother tried to visit me but was not allowed to. Prison officials told my mother that I was not allowed family visits until I had given up my belief.
My father was also a Falun Dafa practitioner. The police would often come to arrest him in the middle of the night. My mother lived in fear for a long time. She was restless and constantly worried about me. One day she fainted in the bathroom. Bedridden, my mother passed away two years later.
The persecution launched by Jiang's communist regime not only made me suffer more than ten years of cruel persecution and almost lose my life, but also made me lose my family and my beloved mother. Unfortunately, my story is only a drop in the ocean.