Ms. Li Haiyan from Yunnan Describes Her Torture That Led to Paralysis
(Minghui.org) Ms. Li Haiyan became paralyzed after being shackled every day for more than a month following her arrest in 2017 for not renouncing her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Li was sentenced to a one-year prison term. After her release, the authorities continued to harass her and her family.
Falun Gong Completely Changed Me
My name is Li Haiyan. I am 61 and a resident of Tonghai County, Yunnan Province.
I was in poor health before I practiced Falun Gong. I could barely do any housework. My eyes were constantly filled with tears, and my whole body was itchy and reddish when it was windy. I often felt nausea and vomited, and my body ached, especially my head, back, stomach, hands and feet. I was also diagnosed with cervical erosion. I visited all the large hospitals in Kunming (the capital of Yunnan Province) and spent a lot of money, but nothing brought true relief.
To improve my health, I began to practice Falun Gong in 1997. After more than a month into this cultivation practice, I recovered from all my illnesses. Not only was I able to do household chores, but I also could work in the fields, from planting seeds to pushing a heavy wheelbarrow.
Besides regaining a healthy body, I followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to become a better person. I returned the extra change people gave me when buying things, as well as the money I found on the ground. Falun Gong completed changed me.
However, after the persecution of Falun Gong began, I lost the group practice environment and did not continue with the practice. But Falun Gong stayed in my heart.
Detention and Harassment
I resumed practicing Falun Gong in 2015. However, officials from the Tonghai County 610 Office arrested me that July. They also ransacked my home and confiscated my Falun Gong books. I was released after 12 hours of detention.
Later in 2015, I filed a criminal complaint with the Supreme People's Court against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution of Falun Gong that led to my detention. Officials from the 610 Office harassed me afterward.
Paralyzed After Prolonged Shackling
For distributing informational materials about Falun Gong on June 16, 2017, I was reported to police and arrested. I was detained at the Police Department of Tonghai County, where I was handcuffed and shackled to a special torture desk overnight and deprived of food.
I was transferred the next day to the Hongta District Detention Center in Yuxi City. By the time I arrived, I was unable to walk and had to be carried on a stretcher.
On June 23, guard Tan Ni punished me for doing the Falun Gong exercises by putting heavy shackles on me for two weeks. However, a week after the shackles were removed, Tan and two other guards put them back on me again.
During the more than 40 days I was shackled, the guards didn't allow me to get food, water or any daily necessities. Any inmate who helped me would be transferred to other cells.
Tan Ni said, “I'm not afraid of receiving retribution. Just let it come at me. You can go ahead and file complaints against me, but I can tell you, I will be just fine in the end.”
My attorney visited me on August 27. 2017. I was unable to walk with the heavy shackles. I cried and tried to crawl to the visitor room with the shackles on. A guard stopped me on the way.
The attorney came back again in the early morning the next day, but he had to wait until 3:00 p.m. This time, the guards took off my shackles and warned me not to mention it to the attorney. I was still unable to walk and crawled all the way to the visitor room. I told the attorney about the torture I had endured.
Another attorney came to visit me in October 2017. I had not recovered and still could not walk. I was taken to the visitors room by wheelchair. Before I talked to him, however, his cell phone rang, and he was removed from the visitor room for bringing his cell phone.
He came back the next day. I had to crawl over to the visitors room again. Our meeting was closely monitored by two guards.
I was tried by the Tongtai Court on November 3, 2017. Since I was still unable to walk, I attended the hearing in a wheelchair. I had tinnitus at the time and was unable to hear people talking. But I stated in court how Falun Gong had returned me to health and saved my life. A week later, the judge sentenced me to one year in prison and fined me 1,000 yuan.
I filed an appeal to the Yuxi City Intermediate Court on November 15, 2017 even though Tan Ni tried to stop me. She was really upset upon hearing that I had submitted the appeal.
She put heavier shackles on me and cuffed my hands behind my back with one hand going over the shoulder on December 15, 2017. After enduring the torture from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 pm and not being given dinner, I decided to report it. The handcuffs and shackles were then removed.
The guards drew two tubes of blood from me on December 22, 2017 without providing an explanation. I suspected that it was related to the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
I received a letter from the Yuxi City Intermediate Court on December 28, 2017 that my appeal was rejected. I was transferred to the Yunnan Province Second Women's Prison to serve my term until January 2, 2018.
Since I refused to renounce Falun Gong, I was tortured in the prison, including being deprived of sleep and drinking water, savagely beaten, and forced to do labor.
My body was swollen. Blisters grew on my buttocks due to long-term sitting. I still could not walk, and the prison guards often dragged me around on the ground.
On the day of my release on June 16. 2018, officials from the Tonghai County 610 Office came to the gate of the prison and tried to take me somewhere else for further persecution. I refused to cooperate, and they failed. But they often came to harass me and my family.
They called my family on April 22, 2019 to harass them. They came to Kunming City the next day and called my daughter to go to the police station, threatening to go to her workplace if she refused to meet with them.
At the police station, they demanded that she provide more information about herself and me. They threatened to hold her accountable if I went out to distribute any Falun Gong materials. Officers from the local police station called my daughter the following day to harass her again.