High School Teacher Suffers Cruel Torture During Seven Years of Imprisonment for Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Ms. Ma Yanfang, a former high school teacher in Changchun City, Jilin Province, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 for not renouncing her faith in Falun Gong. She was subjected to brutal torture and maltreatment in prison, including constant beatings, forced-feedings, being hung in painful positions, as well as the administration of toxic drugs into her food.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
The following is Ms. Ma's personal account of the torture she suffered for upholding her belief.
Arbitrary Arrests and Financial Extortion
A group of Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun intercepted cable TV signals in March 2002 to broadcast videos about Falun Gong and the facts of the persecution. Within ten days, more than five thousand Falun Gong practitioners were unlawfully arrested for this interception, including me.
I was released thirty-seven days later for health reasons – my family members had also paid the police a lot of money to get me out. Later, I found out that my family members had used all my life savings to bribe the police for my release. On the day I was released, I was ordered to pay another 2,000 yuan to the Changchun Police Department for no stated reason, and no receipt was given to me.
Furthermore, my school suspended my salary from the day I was detained and forbade me from going back to work. I was unlawfully dismissed at the beginning of 2007, and my source of income was thus cut off.
I was arrested again on August 1, 2011 by Gao Peng and Pan Gaofeng from the local 610 Office simply because I mailed a few letters that contained information about Falun Gong.
They also instructed the local police to search my house with no warrant. Like bandits, the police took away my computer, printer, mobile phone and other personal belongings worth over 10,000 yuan. Then, they sent me to the Changchun No. 3 Detention Center.
Brutal Forced-feeding and Torture
I started a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention. Every day, the guards would force-feed me a few tubes of milk power through my nostrils. The process was very rough and my esophagus was often intentionally injured, causing bleeding in my nose and mouth.
They also mixed poison into the milk powder. After each forced-feeding session, I would experience severe stomach pain often had to rush to the restroom. There was always blood and pus in my stool.
I refused to be force-fed with milk powder, so they used corn paste and injected highly concentrated salt water into my veins. My blood vessels soon became hardened as a result.
One day, I pulled the needle out. Guard Liu Ying picked it up and repeatedly stabbed the back of my hand with it. My hand soon swelled up with bloody needle holes.
My hunger strike lasted for over forty days. Two days before I stopped the hunger strike, Guard Liu Ying took me to a small pharmacy room and force-fed me half a bowl of corn paste. My blood pressure went up rapidly and I felt an unbearable discomfort in my heart. I became confused and numb and my whole body became weak. I didn't dare open my eyes, because as soon as I opened my eyes I felt I would pass out.
My health deteriorated, and for the next few months I was largely bedridden. My condition did not get better after I was transferred to a prison.
They also took money from my account, saying it was to cover the cost of the force-feeding.
The guards told me that Jiang Zemin [former Chinese leader who initiated the persecution] had given a direct order: “If a Falun Gong practitioner is beaten to death, the death will be counted as a suicide.” Under his directive, Falun Gong practitioners suffered enormous brutality at the hands of the police and prison guards.
Around twenty days into my hunger strike, guard Liu Ying handcuffed me and took me to a storage room where there was no monitor system. She started beating me and a few other guards soon came to join her. I was covered with bruises all over my body.
Liu Ying pulled out a handful of my hair and stepped on my foot, twisting the heel of her leather shoe as hard as she could. The bones in my instep were almost crushed. My foot was badly injured and swelled up. While they were beating me, the detention head Liu Yingjiu came by. I tried to show her my injuries but she refused to look at them.
While I was detained, Gao Peng and Pan Gaofeng from the local 610 Office filed my case with the Changchun Intermediate Court in an attempt to put me in prison.
The case was returned as the court could not charge me simply for mailing a few letters. Gao and Pan then sent my case to the Erdao District Court. Chief Judge Yan Hongyi sentenced me to seven years in prison despite the lack of evidence of any illegal activity.
They did not inform my family of the trial. On the day of the trial, I was put in handcuffs and shackles around 5:00 a.m. and taken to the court accompanied by over 10 police cars and fully armed policemen. I didn't have any legal representation. The judge read out the fabricated charges and rushed through the motions. I was thus thrown into prison.
Persecution in Prison
I was transferred to Jilin Women's Prison on February 27, 2012, and sent to Ward 8, a section set up especially to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief.
We were forced to sit on small plastic stools from 5:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. After a while, our buttocks began to blister and became infected. My health was already poor from previous maltreatment and after a few days of such torture, I fainted and wet my pants because the “personal monitors” did not allow us to use the toilet.
I was forced to watch propaganda videos of the staged “self-immolation on Tiananmen Square.” When I challenged the loopholes in the video, the guards reported me to the team leader, who then transferred me to the “strictly-controlled” team on the third floor.
It was a very scary place. Practitioners were separated and each one shared a cell with two “personal monitors.” There were no cameras in the cell and all the windows were covered with paper. The “monitors” could torture practitioners however they wanted without being seen.
There was a semi-circle on the floor tiles around the bedposts. The tiles had many scratches left from inserting a metal ring into the ground to shackle Falun Gong practitioners. Many practitioners died or became mentally traumatized, sick or disabled as a result of the tortures aimed to break down their will. I spent six months there and suffered endless misery.
Suffering in Another Prison
I was transferred to a new prison in November 2012 and assigned to make clothes in Division 6. I was in very poor health by then and had developed an ovarian cyst, which was not removed until it grew to 15.8 cm. in diameter.
I was forced to work again just ten days after the operation. We were given cabbage or potatoes as food every day and my health deteriorated quickly due to malnutrition. I had to be helped by others when walking to the workshop and became extremely skinny.
I worked in the workshop for over a year before I was sent back to the “strictly- controlled” ward because the team leader said that I had some “thought problems.”
The guards treated me harshly as I refused to take medication or write their assigned “thought reports.” I was forced to report to the “personal monitors” everything that I did, such as using the toilet or washing myself. They forced me to say that I was a criminal. When I refused, they beat me. Guards Zhang Ying and Team Leader Sha Li handcuffed me to a bedpost for days and forced me to sit on a small stool until I developed hemorrhoids.
I was brutally beaten again by several guards led by Team Leader Ni Xiaohong on October 11, 2014. I had bruises all over my body, and two of my front teeth were knocked out.
On July 18, 2015, I was cuffed on a “dead person's bed,” a form of cruel torture. The reason was because I tried to stop Ni Xiaohong from handcuffing a Falun Gong practitioner who was doing meditation. Several other practitioners were also handcuffed to bedposts until the guards ran out of cuffs.
We were cuffed for three days, with no food or water, and we were not allowed to use the toilet. I pushed my bed to try to press the alarm button, but it was a fake device. When I tried to push my bed back, monitor Liu Guolan dropped to the floor on her own. Three guards came and took Liu to the hospital, where doctors could not find anything wrong with her.
After the guards came back, they tricked me and took me to Room 109 on the ground floor for punishment. They told me to lie on an empty bed and disallowed me to use the toilet even though I had not been allowed to use the toilet for three days. As soon I lay down, the guards cuffed my left foot to the bar at the end of the bed and my right hand to the bar at the head of the bed. My arm was stretched to an extreme point and the pain was excruciating. I was in extreme agony throughout the night, during which time I also soiled my pants because I wasn't allowed to use the restroom. When I was released the next day, my whole arm was severely swollen.
Later, they put me under strict control again and cuffed me to a bedpost 24 hours a day.
This torture went on for a whole month. The food I was given included buns made from moldy cornflour and some salty pickles. I was only allowed half a cup of water a day.
I developed stomach problems and started vomiting out a sour fluid. I felt weak all over as if I was poisoned. I was not allowed family visits or to make phone calls, nor was I allowed to take a shower, have a haircut or cut my fingernails. This situation went on for four months.
In October 2015 when I was still under strict control, Team Leader Ni Xiaohong instructed Monitor Liu Yingli to put poison in my food.
One day Ni Xiaohong called our cell head Liu Yingli to her office and gave her some toxic drugs. Liu started to put the drugs in my food and water. When I noticed the drugs and asked her about them, she said that she knew nothing about the drugs.
A few days later, she put poison in my leftover rice at night. After I had the rice the next morning, I felt extremely dizzy and my heart ached as if something was pulling it downwards. I could not see clearly and felt like vomiting and having diarrhea. I rushed to the toilet, but could not throw up anything. I felt really dizzy as if I was about to pass out. As soon as I laid down in bed I lost consciousness. The monitor woke me up at around lunch time. Since then, my lips turned black and the monitors began to call me “black lips.” I had a feeling that I was poisoned by tetramine, a strong poison for rats.
Seeing that I was still alive, the perpetrators ordered Liu to continue to poison me. One day, we had tomato salad for lunch. Liu came over and poured some tomato juice with some smashed up white tablets into my bowl. I challenged her about the tablets but she denied she did it. So I went to see the team leader, but was pulled back. Soon, team leader Sun Jisheng and guard Zhang Ying came in and cuffed me to the bed. I told her about the drugs in my food, but she refused to listen and said she handcuffed me because I went out of the cell without the permission of the monitors. They also fabricated some other accusations.
I protested the lawless treatment, and because of this, I was put under “strict control” once again.