53 Older Falun Gong Practitioners Still Held in Liaoning Women's Prison for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) According to information compiled by Minghui.org, 53 Falun Gong practitioners aged 60 and older are currently held at the Liaoning Women's Prison for refusing to renounce their faith.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting the practice in July 1999, many practitioners have been subjected to arrest and detention, imprisonment, torture, forced labor, and even organ harvesting.
Among the 53 practitioners, 15 are aged 70 or older, with the eldest being 78. Their sentences range from 18 months to 13 years.
Due to the CCP’s information blockade, the number of Falun Gong practitioners who are currently imprisoned cannot always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.
The following are snapshots of some of those who were imprisoned.
61-Year-Old Shenyang Resident Tortured in Prison
Ms. Zhang Qinghua, 60, of Shenyang City in Liaoning Province, was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was in her thirties. To cure her illness, her family took her to a well-known hospital in Tianjin but was told that there was no hope.
When she was in despair, Ms. Zhang came across Falun Gong and started practicing. Her illnesses were quickly cured.
But because she did not give up the practice after it was banned by the Communist Party, Ms. Zhang has been arrested three times and sentenced to a total of 8.5 years of imprisonment.
Ms. Zhang was first arrested in 2000 when she went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. She was detained in a labor camp for two years.
Ms. Zhang was arrested again on August 10, 2008 and sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment on October 29, 2008. She was then taken to Liaoning Women's Prison on January 13, 2009. As a result of torture, her femoral and cranial nerves were severely damaged, and she was in a hazy state for a long time.
Ms. Zhang was arrested for the third time on November 14, 2016 at her home. She was sentenced to three years in prison on September 29, 2017 and fined 20,000 yuan.
On January 9, 2018, Ms. Zhang was taken to Liaoning Women's Prison. Inmates there deprived her of sleep, poured cold water on her during winter time, and put a plastic bag over her head before hitting her, making it hard for her to breathe. One inmate even inserted needles under her fingernails.
Jinzhou Woman Deprived of Sleep for 24 Hours
Ms. Xu Guixian, in her 60s, from Jinzhou City, was sentenced to four years in early March 2019 and tortured in prison.
Prison officers instigated inmates to punish Ms. Xu by forcing her to stand still and depriving her of sleep for 24 hours. She was also denied the use of a toilet, causing her to forgo her meals to avoid having to use the restroom.
The inmates also took away her coat during the cold weather, leaving her with only a thin layer of the prison uniform. Then, they dragged her to a place that could not be seen by surveillance cameras and forced her to stand in a cold basin before pouring cold water on her. This went on for six days, causing her to lose consciousness.
When she was taken to the hospital for emergency treatment, a doctor said that her life would be in danger if the abuse continued.
After Ms. Xu returned to the prison, guards poured cold water on her bed sheets before telling her to lie on the bed and cover up with a blanket.
Ms. Xu was also denied access to daily necessities, and no one in the prison was allowed to give her anything to eat or use.
Once Tortured in Prison, Jinzhou Woman Sentenced Again to Five Years
Ms. He Tao, 62, is a retired worker from the Nuerhe Paper Mill in Jinzhou City.
Since the persecution of Falun Gong began, she has been arrested and detained many times. She was last arrested on May 18, 2016 while distributing information about Falun Gong at a market.
Ms. He was taken to the Jinzhou Women's Detention Center, where she was beaten and forced to stand for nearly three hours. On September 19, 2016, she was sentenced to five years by Taihe District Court and taken to Liaoning Women's Prison in December 2016.
Ms. He was first arrested in February 2000 after the police lured her to the Taihe Police Department, saying they wanted to talk to her. She was held in a detention center for six months.
On November 11, 2002, Ms. He was arrested again for talking to police officers about Falun Gong and sending a Falun Gong book to the local police station. She was sentenced to four years and subjected to numerous forms of torture in Dabei Prison in Liaoning City.
In order to force her to give up her belief, prison guards deprived her of sleep for over 40 days. She was prevented from drinking water for three months, during which time guards gave her only steamed cornbread to eat.
The prison also forced her to do hard labor for 16 hours a day and restricted her toilet access. At night, guards directed murder convicts to take turns torturing her. On one occasion, an inmate stripped off Ms. He's clothes, stuffed her mouth with a towel, tied her up with rope, and lifted her off the ground.
Ms. He was once again arrested in September 28, 2009, when she returned to Chifeng City to visit her family. Within an hour of her arrival, she was arrested by officers from Chifeng and Nuerhe Police Station in Jinzhou. She was held in a detention center located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region for nearly six months.
Woman Remains Imprisoned After Stroke
Ms. Yong Fang, 63, of Anshan City, was tried on February 28, 2013 by Tiedong District Court and later sentenced to nine years in prison. In July 2015, Ms. Yong suffered from a stroke as a result of torture in Liaoning Women's Prison and was taken to No.739 Hospital for emergency treatment. When her family arrived at the hospital, they noticed that Ms. Yong was still handcuffed to the bed despite being unconscious.
This was Ms. Yong’s third arrest. On October 25, 2012, the day of the arrest, Ms. Yong had gone to Tiedon Court with her sister, Ms. Yong Fangzhi, to attend a hearing of five Falun Gong practitioners. However, the police arrested the two sisters and more than 40 practitioners and their family members who were waiting outside the courthouse for the hearing. Officers later ransacked the sisters' homes and confiscated many of their personal belongings.
The next day, Ms. Yong was taken to Anshan Detention Center but was denied admittance due to her dangerously high blood pressure of 220 mmHg. However, the police still put her in the detention center. The next day, she was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Ms. Yong was first arrested in November 1999 and sentenced to prison in 2000. The second arrest happened in July 2004, after which she was held in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp until 2005.
65-Year-Old Forced to Stand for Long Hours
Ms. Xia Ning, 65, of Huludao City, was arrested at her home on July 15, 2017 and tried on January 31, 2018. She was later sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.
In April 2018, Ms. Xia was taken to the Liaoning Women's Prison. To force her to renounce her faith, the prison did not allow her to wash herself. She could only take some water from the toilet to clean her face and wash her feet when no one was looking. Guards also forced Ms. Xia to stand still every day from morning to nearly midnight.
Ms. Xia was also monitored constantly by two inmates, who were instructed to report Ms. Xia's every move to the police.
This is not the first time that Ms. Xia has been arrested.
On January 1, 2001, Ms. Xia was arrested when she went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was taken to a police station, where she was beaten, had her mouth burned by a lighter and cigarette, and drenched with cold water. The torture lasted for six days.
Ms. Xia was arrested again in April 2001 and taken to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in June 2001 for three years. She was beaten and handcuffed to a bed for more than eight months, forced to stand for four nights, and locked in solitary confinement. She was also made to sit on a metal chair for over 40 days, which caused her skin to rot.
The third arrest happened on September 13, 2004. Ms. Xia was held at a detention center for four days and beaten, handcuffed, hit with a club, and stabbed with a set of keys.
Ms. Xia was again arrested on March 11, 2008 when she was on the streets talking to people about Falun Gong. During her ten days at a detention center, she was beaten and force-fed twice.
Ms. Xia was later taken to Masanjia Labor Camp but was refused admission after failing her physical exam.
However, on May 13, 2008, the police went to her house, arrested her, and took her back to the labor camp. Once there, officers told her that she had been given two years there.
During those two years, she was handcuffed to a bed, beaten, and shocked with electric batons almost every day. She was also deprived of sleep and toilet access. Guards even stripped her and dragged her to a room full of male guards to humiliate her.
A guard would also “stretch” her by cuffing her left hand to a bed and using rope to tie her right hand to another bed pole.
The long-term torture left Ms. Xia unable to straighten her back.
Fushun Woman Sentenced to Prison for Planning to Attend Friends' Trial
Ms. Meng Xiu'e, 67, of Fushun City, was sentenced to three years in prison for intending to attend the trial of two practitioners, Hao Lizhong and Zhao Jing.
As soon as she got off the bus to the Nangou Detention Center where the trial was scheduled to be held on October 14, 2016, a stranger stopped her and asked, “What are you here for?” She replied, “I’m going to attend a trial.”
The stranger seized her right away. She later learned that the man was an officer from the Guchengzi Police Station. Officers ransacked her home that afternoon and confiscated many of her personal belongings.
Ms. Meng was interrogated under torture and deprived of sleep for three consecutive days. The local procuratorate forwarded the case to Shuncheng District Court on January 4, 2017, and Ms. Meng appeared in court on February 28.
In October 2017, Ms. Meng was sentenced to Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, where she was transferred one month later.
Anshan Woman Remains Imprisoned Despite Paralysis in One Leg
Ms. Liu Suhuan, 68, was arrested multiple times and twice sentenced to prison in the past for refusing to give up her practice of Falun Gong. She was incarcerated and tortured in various facilities for a total of 16 years.
Ms. Liu was last arrested on November 13, 2015 while handing out calendars with information about the persecution of Falun Gong. She was subsequently held at Anshan Women's Detention Center.
Ms. Liu appeared in court on June 14, 2016 in a wheelchair, as she was too weak to stand on her own due to abuse that she suffered during detention. The court sentenced her to four years in prison on June 24.
Ms. Liu was first arrested in October 1999 and detained for 15 days when she went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. She was arrested two months later and detained for another 15 days when she returned to Beijing to appeal.
In 2000, Ms. Liu was arrested after police found materials about the persecution of Falun Gong in her bag. She was given three years of forced labor.
Ms. Liu was again arrested in August 2004 and sentenced to three years in prison. Shortly after her release, she was arrested again in October 2007 and taken to Anshan First Detention Center, where she was tortured and had her hands and feet cuffed. She was also tied to a board and not allowed to get up for a week. She was later sentenced to six years in prison.
71-Year-Old Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
Ms. Wang Xiaozhi, now 72 years old, is a Falun Gong practitioner in Chaoyang City. Prior to practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Wang suffered from severe heart disease and liver cancer. She was unable to take care of herself and had to rely on her young son, as her husband had to work. She recovered from her illnesses after practicing Falun Gong.
After the CCP started persecuting Falun Gong, Ms. Wang began telling people about her own experience to clear up the CCP’s defamation of the practice. However, the police arrested Ms. Wang on May 10, 2018 for doing so. She was later sentenced to five years and transferred to the Liaoning Women's Prison on March 18, 2019.
72-Year-Old Sentenced to Prison for Her Faith
Ms. Luo Shuzi, currently 74 years old, from Chaoyang City, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1994. Her family couldn't afford medical treatment, so she tried Chinese medicine but was unsuccessful. To ease the pain, Ms. Luo often chewed on ice cubes. This lasted for two years until a neighbor suggested she try practicing Falun Gong.
She took the suggestion and started practicing. Slowly, her health improved, and she could do household chores and farm work. She credits Falun Gong for curing her leukemia and giving her a second life.
When the CCP began its persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Luo was targeted by the local police, who often went to her home and harassed her.
Police once broke into her home, arrested her, and took her to Longchen Police Department for interrogation. Several policemen slapped her in the face and threatened her.
Ms. Luo told them, “I had leukemia before, and Falun Gong saved my life. I have great health because of Falun Gong. Which one of you can give me that? I was practicing Falun Gong in secret. Now I am going to practice Falun Gong openly!”
On May 21, 2016, Ms. Luo was arrested for putting Falun Gong pamphlets near Xiangyang Police Station. She was taken to Xinhua Police Department and later taken to Chaoyang Detention Center. Police searched her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books.
Ms. Luo was later sentenced to five years in prison and taken to Liaoning Women's Prison on February 28, 2017.
73-Year-Old Former Principal Imprisoned Again After Seven-Year Prison Term
Ms. Li Guirong, 77, is a retired primary school principal from Dadong District, Shenyang City. Police arrested her on February 7, 2015 for handing out Falun Gong materials, and officers ransacked her home. Hunnan District Court later sentenced her to five years in prison and transferred her to Liaoning Women's Prison.
Prior to her latest arrest, Ms. Li had just been released from a seven-year prison term in 2013.
On October 17, 2006, Ms. Li was arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was sentenced on May 14, 2007 to seven years in Liaoning Province Women's Prison. There, Ms. Li was not allowed to eat, sleep, or go to the restroom. She was forced to squat for several days and nights, and guards poured cold water on her feet while she squatted. Her legs hurt unbearably, and she could not stand or sit properly afterward.
The guards ordered prisoners to beat and kick her and stomp on her hands. Her face bled, her hands were swollen, and she was covered in dark bruises. She was then forced to squat for a long time under a work bench.
Ms. Li was emaciated when she was released on October 17, 2013. Her hair had turned gray, all her teeth had fallen out, and she looked very old. However, she quickly recovered by practicing Falun Gong.
73-Year-Old Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison for Her Faith
Ms. Wei Shaomin, 78, was arrested with 16 other practitioners on June 20, 2014. She was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison on March 19, 2015 and later transferred to Liaoning Women's Prison.
A retiree from the Fushun Excavator Factory, Ms. Wei has been repeatedly arrested and detained for refusing to renounce her faith in Falun Gong. She was first arrested in 2001 and held in a brainwashing center for three months.
On November 28, 2007, Ms. Wei was arrested again and given three years at Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, where she was severely beaten. At breakfast on November 28, 2008, she shouted in the dining hall, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are good!” The inmates pushed her down to the ground and taped her mouth shut.
Police officers later took her upstairs. Despite her blood pressure reaching as high as 240 mmHg, the police continued to torture her and forced an unknown liquid into her ear. When the police started slandering Falun Dafa and its founder, Master Li Hongzhi, Ms. Wei shouted “Falun Dafa is good!” Officers taped her mouth shut again, and one officer beat her with Master Li's picture. The beating caused Ms. Wei's mouth to become swollen, and her whole body was soaked in liquid medicine.
On July 31, 2012, Ms. Wei was distributing flyers in a residential area on Gaoli Street in the Lishi Development District when a security guard in the area reported her to the Lishi Development District Police Station. She was subsequently arrested and sentenced to four years in prison. When Ms. Wei’s physical exam revealed high blood pressure, the police extorted 20,000 yuan from her family and released her on medical parole.
Full list of sentenced practitioners
Parties responsible for the persecution:
Jia Fujun, prison chief: +86-2431236001, +86-15698808121Yao Bin, deputy prison chief: +86-2431236007, +86-15698805885Wang Zhi, director of 610 Office: +86-24-31236020, +86-15698800291
(More participants in the persecution contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)