Harbin Woman Recounts Ordeal in Heilongjiang Women's Prison
(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhao Caihong, a resident of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested for distributing Falun Gong materials in 2013. The 59-year-old woman was sentenced to four years and suffered abuse at the Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison.
She recounted her ordeal to expose the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Arrest and Sentencing
I began to practice Falun Gong in 2007. Within a month, all of my long-term illnesses, including stomach problems, lumbar disc herniation, neurosis and hardening of the arteries in the brain, were gone. I became a healthier and better person.
On the evening of June 6, 2013, I was arrested after being reported for distributing DVDs with information about Falun Gong. Yang Ziheng, the deputy director of the Acheng District Domestic Security Division, ransacked my home with several police officers, the second time within a month before I was arrested. Two of my cellphones were confiscated.
I was interrogated at Daling Police Station and sent to the Acheng Second Detention Center on the next day before being transferred to the Harbin City Second Detention Center 12 days later.
While my husband was working hard to rescue me, Yang, the prosecutor, judge and a lawyer deceived him into paying them a total of 23,000 yuan in exchange for my release. But I was still sentenced to four years in Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison nine months later.
Right after I was admitted to the prison, I was forced to sit on a small tool with an uneven surface from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. for 15 days. It was excruciatingly painful.
Later, I was forced to perform labor everyday, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.. My hands were injured. My thumbs were badly swollen. I was not allowed to take breaks.
I was transferred from the 11th ward to the 7th ward on October 8, 2014. As my hands were injured and unable to do the heavy labor there, the division head forced me to do some sewing work for about ten days.
Starting in November 15, 2014, the guards forced me to sit on the small stool without moving for another 43 days because I refused to give up practicing Falun Gong.
I was deprived of my pension during my incarceration. Having spent our savings to pay the police and with no other income, my husband had to do some temporary jobs to support himself and pay for my living expenses in prison.
The mental and physical pressure took a toll on his health, and he soon contracted hepatitis. His weight dropped from 145 to 80 pounds. He was unable to work any longer and couldn’t afford to see a doctor.
After my son graduated from college, he took on extra financial responsibilities to help his father. He was also under a lot of pressure.