(Minghui.org) A woman from Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was incarcerated and tortured for a total of nine years for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhang Zhiqin was first sent to a forced labor camp for two years after being reported for giving out Falun Gong fliers in 2001. A drunk guard almost killed her after he viciously beat her, cracked her skull, and ruptured her kidney.
She was arrested again in 2009 and sentenced to seven years in prison. On her return home, her husband divorced her because of the constant pressure by the authorities. Her mother died six months before the end of her term, and her father died shortly after she was released.
The following is Ms. Zhang’s account of the torture she suffered during her nine years of incarceration.
I was arrested on October 30, 2001, for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. The authorities sent me to Wujiabao Forced Labor Camp for two years. I was abused and tortured and narrowly escaped death.
In the beginning of 2002 I was severely underweight after a two-week-long hunger strike. Wu Wei, a division chief, came into my cell drunk. He grabbed my hair and repeatedly slapped my face and kicked me. I fell and he continued to step on my head. He broke a wooden chair after smashing it on me.
Two guards dragged me to a different room, where I noticed that Wu was there. He hit me with wooden boards and threatened to put me in the morgue if I didn’t renounce Falun Gong. I passed out and woke up in Fushun Second Hospital. A female prisoner brought me a shroud, because the doctor was waiting to announce my death. I was so swollen at the time that the intravenous fluid couldn’t be administered.
I was covered in bruises, and it hurt even to breathe. Others had to help me with my needs. I lost my hair, my skull was smashed in, and I had become deaf. My face was disfigured, and my crotch area was so swollen that I couldn’t urinate. A nurse told me that my internal organs were damaged, and one of my kidneys had failed.
I was in so much pain that I tried to end my life by unplugging the IV. A guard found out and kicked me in the face until it was covered in blood. For six months I was bedridden. After that I needed help to get our of bed to relieve myself. I couldn’t straighten my back and leg, because the tendon behind my right knee was ruptured.
Standing Still for Nine Days
In an isolation cell I had to stand still with my arms open, and my body touching a wall. There were always a couple of male prisoners monitoring me. If I moved or dozed off, they would physically assault me. If I was so sleepy that I collapsed, they kicked me until I got up.
When I scolded the male prisoners, who sometimes sexually assaulted me, they covered my mouth, pulled my hair, and slapped my face. I stood in the same position for nine days, during which time I was allowed to squat down for a few minutes at mealtimes and use a toilet twice a day. The food was always a small bun and vegetable broth.
Shocked with Electric Batons and Beaten with a Rubber Bat
One day three guards took me and six other practitioners to a room and began to shock our faces with electric batons. It felt like needles jabbing my face when the batons touched me. Another practitioner’s face was blistered and another one’s face was disfigured.
Later a guard came with a foot-and-a-half-long spiked rubber bat and hit us for hours.
Beaten With a Broomstick
A guard wanted my wristwatch and beat me after I refused to give it up. He grabbed my hair, dragged me down from the upper bunk bed, and hit me with a broomstick until he got tired. I was covered with wounds, and my neck was injured.
Solitary Confinement and Exposure to Heat
I went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was put in a solitary cell about 25 square feet with nothing inside. It was freezing in the winter and steaming hot in the summer. I ate and relieved myself in that space and wasn’t allowed to change clothes or clean myself. I developed scabies. The authorities forced me to strip and expose myself under the sun for hours. A practitioner who suffered the same torture had heatstroke.
Transferred to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp
After the Wujiabao Labor Camp was closed, I was transferred to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Shenyang City, where I was also tortured.
Hung Up by Handcuffs
I was beaten and handcuffed for not giving up Falun Gong. The prisoners, instigated by the guards, hung me by my handcuffs to a pipe in a restroom. They only let me down during the short mealtimes. This lasted two weeks and the flesh on my wrists was torn.
At another time, prisoners tied my legs and shoulders together with my arms behind my back and my legs crossed. They sat me on the wet floor in a restroom. The excruciating pain on my back kept me from sitting up straight, and I sweat profusely. This lasted three days until the prisoners thought that I was dying and took me to the camp clinic. I discarded the medicines given to me and it angered them. They beat and shocked me with electric batons.
Shocked with Electricity
Five guards took me to a room full of torture instruments and had me stand on something that resembled an electronic weighing balance. A sharp pain went through my body! Then, they put me on a big iron chair and tied up my limbs. When the current went through me, I felt excruciating pain. My body spasmed the entire time. I fell on the ground immediately after they loosened the ties.
When I was released after two years of torture, my daughter had a difficult time recognizing me. My eyes were dull and I wasn’t responsive. I was partially deaf and severely underweight. She couldn’t stop crying. My husband burst into tears the minute he saw me.
I was arrested again on the evening of March 31, 2009, for distributing Falun Gong fliers. The police officer pushed my head down the ground and smashed my head with his cell phone while shouting, “Have your family bring 50,000 yuan and I will let you go!”
As soon as I was taken to the Xiaodongmen Police Station, the officers began to interrogate me. They planted all the Falun Gong literature they had, thousands of copies, on me as evidence that I practiced Falun Gong. They beat me, slapped my face, and shocked me with electric batons. They handcuffed me and hung me up by the handcuffs in a metal cage for three days.
I was taken to Shenyang City Detention Center on April 2. I was tried in the Dadong District Court on June 26 and sentenced to seven years in prison.
As soon as I arrived at Liaoning Women’s Prison, a captain told me to write a statement renouncing Falun Gong, which I refused to do. He took me to a solitary cell, where I had to stand, squat down, or sit on a small stool for hours. The flesh on my buttocks began to blister, break open, and ulcerate.
When I was in solitary confinement, someone watched me around the clock to prevent me from falling asleep. If I did, the person would beat me until I woke up. Three months later I still refused to renounce my faith. They finally left me alone.
With strong faith in Falun Gong, I survived the hellish years in the prison. After I was released in 2016, my husband divorced me, as he was tired of living in constant fear and worries.
My mother died six months earlier. According to my father, she waited for me every day sitting on a rock and did not close her eyes when she died.
A year later, my father also passed away.