(Minghui.org) A Weifang City, Shandong Province resident was arrested several times and tortured shortly after the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution of her faith – Falun Gong – in July 1999.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline with three core principles, Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It was first introduced to the public in May 1992 and spread quickly across China. Due to its immense popularity and revival of traditional values (which run counter to the Chinese regime's values), the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a campaign of persecution in order to eradicate Falun Gong from China.

Because of holding fast to their faith, many Falun Gong practitioners were arrested, detained and tortured. Some were killed for their organs to fuel the lucrative transplant industry in China.

Ms. Chen Xiangfen, 58, is one of the persecuted. Here she recounts her ordeal in the early years of the persecution.

“My family and I began to practice Falun Gong in 1998. I used to be very aggressive and competitive. My hot temper also caused many health issues in me. I had constant pain and numbness in many joints, including my neck, shoulder, as well as my knees and calves. I went to many hospitals, but none were able to provide an effective cure. Shortly after I learned Falun Gong, all of my symptoms disappeared.

“After the persecution began, I went with a fellow practitioner to Beijing on July 20, 1999 to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. We were stopped in Dongying and held in the local government building. The officers verbally abused me and Falun Gong’s founder. They also left me sitting under the baking sun for a day before releasing me.

“I went to Beijing for the second time on February 22, 2000. I made it to Beijing this time, but was arrested on Tiananmen Square. The police locked me to a radiator for two days. They stomped on my thighs and toes, kicked my face, and burnt my hands with cigarettes. My nose and mouth were bleeding. They only stopped after they became tired from the beating.

“I was detained for nearly three months. The police only gave me some left-over steam buns and ordered my family to pay a high price for the food. I couldn’t take showers or change clothes. Sometimes the officers verbally abused me, beat me, slapped me in the face, or grabbed my hair and hit my head against the wall.

“I held a hunger strike to protest the persecution. They sent me to a mental hospital and injected me with unknown drugs. My husband and mother later paid 2,000 yuan in exchange for my release.

“From then on, the police always arrested me and detained me for weeks around sensitive dates. They continued to monitor me after I was released. 

“I couldn’t even remember how many times my home was ransacked. Most of my Falun Gong books and valuable items such as TV or tape recorder were confiscated. 

“At one time, the police snatched the 4,000 yuan we had just received from selling apples. My husband became angry and took the money back. The officers held him on the ground and beat him. They took the money away and split it among themselves, even before leaving my home. They didn’t even spare my son’s watch, calculator and pens.

“I was riding a bike to buy apple insecticide one day, when police officers suddenly showed up and beat me on the street. They then brought me to the government building, verbally abused me and beat me. One officer stomped on my abdomen and caused me to soil my pants.

“To avoid further persecution, I decided to live away from home. The police found my son at school and took him to look for me. They also held him by the neck and forced him to watch videos slandering Falun Gong. The police stayed at my home for four days, and my husband also became scared and didn’t dare to return home. Although my son was a very good student, he didn’t go to high school because of our family's ordeal.

“My son also went out to put up banners about Falun Gong. He was only 14, but the police stripped off his clothes and whipped him with aluminum wires until they were exhausted. His back was injured and he had other injuries all over his body. The police attempted to send him to the detention center, but the guards there refused to accept him. The police left him outside of the detention center and ran away.

“A group of officers scaled the fence and broke into our home at 6 a.m. on February 10, 2002. They dragged me out of my bed, carried me to the police car and took me to their office. They threw me on the ground and beat me. One officer grabbed my hair and hit my head against the ground. I lost consciousness. 

“After I came to, they shocked me with electric batons, until the power ran out. My neck, back and the soles of my feet were severely burnt. Then they dragged me to the back yard, and hung me up by the wrists with my feet barely touching the ground. I was left outside in pajamas and barefooted in the snow for the whole day.

“The police gave me three years at Shandong No. 2 Women’s Labor Camp after 37 days of detention.”