(Minghui.org) Her eyes were dull, her reactions were slow, her body kept shaking, and her memory was slipping. Ms. Tang Tianmin, a once agile and cheerful woman, has become a completely different person when she was released from prison on October 3, 2019, after serving two and half years for her faith in Falun Gong.
This was not the first time that the 64-year-old Luzhou City, Sichuan Province resident had been targeted for her faith. In the past, she had been imprisoned for another three years and twice held at forced labor camps for a total of three and a half years.
Ms. Tang credits Falun Gong, a mind-body practice also known as Falun Dafa, for returning her to health. She felt compelled to share her story after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, only to be arrested repeatedly.
Despite the communist regime's numerous attempts to “transform” Ms. Tang, she refused to give up her faith.
To her, Falun Gong had saved her.
She had been ill since childhood, suffering from a long list of diseases, including congenital heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, uterine tumor, inflammation of her stomach and intestine.
Medical treatment proved no help. But fortunately, after practicing Falun Gong in 1998, all her illnesses were gone. “Not only did I get a healthy body, but my character has also been enhanced and moral level elevated,” she said.
She was working at a restaurant and had taken home about 2,000 yuan through creating inflated invoices. She returned 4,000 yuan back to the restaurant after practicing Falun Gong. Despite her own economic stress, she donated 1,000 yuan to people suffering a big flood in 1999 and wrote “Falun Gong disciple” as the donor's name. When she was held at a forced labor camp in 2009, a big earthquake took place in Sichuan. She still made a donation while in detention.
Ms. Tang held a hunger strike to protest after she was arrested in April 2017. Guards beat her so badly that she lost two teeth.
After being detained for over a month, she was taken to the courtroom inside the detention center one day. It turned out to be her trial, though she had never been given any notification or informed of her rights of legal representation.
During the trial, Ms. Tang told the judge that she did nothing wrong in practicing Falun Gong and following its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
A few days later, she was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. She was given ten days to appeal, but she was not given any paper or pen to write her appeal. Right after the appeal due date was passed, she was transferred to Longquan Women's Prison in Chengdu City, Sichuan and no family visit was allowed.
When she was later released from prison in 2019, the prison confiscated her indictment and verdict documents. They didn't give her the release certificate either.
The prison arranged for several inmates to torture her. They took her to a special room for brainwashing. They forced her to watch and listen to video and audio programs that slandered Falun Gong; they forced her to read slanderous articles and read them themselves when she refused to, and they wrote slanderous words on her bed frame. They also prepared a guarantee statement that she would stop practicing and ordered her to sign it. When she refused, they pushed her head down, held her arm, and grabbed her finger to put her fingerprint on the statement.
Four months passed and Ms. Tang still didn't give in. The guards ordered inmates to insult Falun Gong’s founder to break her will. They put the founder's picture on the ground and forced her to step or sit on it. They also put the picture in a toilet.
To deprive her of sleep, the inmates poured cold water on her face to wake her up at night. They gave her a very thin blanket in cold weather and threatened her, “If you refuse to stop practicing, we'll put your master’s picture in the toilet.”
The brainwashing and torture took their toll on Ms. Tang. Her body shook and she felt dizzy and her heart bothered her. The doctor at the prison clinic didn't find anything wrong but urethritis. Then they claimed that it was caused by high blood pressure, although it wasn't high before she was imprisoned.
The prison gave her three types of pills and forced her to take them every day. She didn't know what they were for. The monitoring inmates brought them to her and watched her take them each day. She began to have slow reactions and started to lose her memory after taking the pills.
Her daughter was angry to see her once active and cheerful mother become so debilitated in just a few months. She went to the prison managers multiple times, requesting better medical treatment for her mother. But the prison ignored her request completely.
Ms. Tang was arrested in October 2004 and tortured at a forced labor camp for two years.
After being arrested again and sentenced without due process in April 2012, she was imprisoned and tortured at the Chengdu Women's Prison for three years.
She was arrested in September 2016 and put in a detention center. She held a hunger strike, which the detention center responded with force-feeding and injecting unknown substances through the back of her hand. She lost consciousness after the second injection. The third injection made her completely unconscious for a long time; she was not even aware that she had been force-fed and her clothes been changed afterward.
She started vomiting and passing blood. Nine days later she was released from the detention center when she was on the verge of death.