Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners in Shanghai Women’s Prison
(Minghui.org) Shanghai is a major cosmopolitan city in China. It is unimaginable that unbelievable sins have been committed in the prisons of that modern city. Songjiang Women's Prison is one such prison.
The prison looks clean, tidy, and is often visited by foreigners all year round. But, many Falun Gong (aka Falun Dafa) practitioners have been illegally detained here since the onset of the persecution in 1999. They have been physically and mentally persecuted year-round for following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Several of them have died, and others have become disoriented and disabled from the persecution.
If the guards didn’t persecute the practitioners hard enough, they often faced punishment themselves. As a result, many of them often said to each other, “Sympathy for Falun Gong practitioners is being cruel to oneself.”
Below are summaries of torture methods employed against practitioners in this prison.
The basic dignity of life of Falun Gong practitioners is not protected in China, and the prison guards could torture the practitioners at will.
In Shanghai Women’s Prison, the practitioners are often denied food, water, restroom use, and even toilet paper during their menstrual periods. The prison also denied many practitioners’ families from visiting or writing to them if they didn’t give up their faith.
Many practitioners who refused to “transform” were often confined inside a small windowless solitary cell, about 32 square feet in size.
In the summer, when the temperature and humidity were already very high, the guards placed a heater in the small space to increase the practitioners’ suffering.
With the room temperature being above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (F), the guards only gave the practitioners a bottle of water for over 12 hours. Sometimes the guards even deprived practitioners of food and water, as well as not allowing them to use the restroom. They were at risk of heat stress, which can lead to heatstroke or death.
Fabricated Hunger Strike
To force the practitioners to “transform”, prison guards tried to starve the practitioners into submission. They did not let the practitioners eat, and then claimed to their families that the practitioners were on a hunger strike.
In one scenario, the inmates threw the practitioners’ bowl and spoon into a toilet pit or garbage bin, and then put food in the bowl without washing it. When the practitioner refused to eat the dirty food, the prison guards claimed that they had gone on a hunger strike.
Another scenario could be that the guards didn’t allow the practitioners to eat during regular mealtime, and ordered that they have their meal after the inmates finished. The inmates would then eat very slowly, and by the time they finished, the guards would tell the practitioners that the allotted time has run out for them, leaving no time for them to eat.
Denial of Basic Daily necessities
Another torture method against the practitioners is to deprive them of basic daily necessities.
Many practitioners were not allowed to brush their teeth, wash their faces, take showers, or change their underwear. In some cases, the guards didn’t allow them to wash their bedsheets for years. Most practitioners had a strong smell because of the torture, and the guards ordered inmates to insult and laugh at them.
The persecution led many practitioners to go on a hunger strike to protect their dignity. Some hunger strikes lasted as long as four days.
Every practitioner who refused to renounce Falun Gong was monitored every night by four inmates, who took turns to prevent the practitioner from falling asleep.
Some inmates kicked the bed frame or made all kinds of noise to keep the practitioner awake. Others shook the practitioners’ bodies every few minutes, or pulled the quilt off of them in the cold winter.
The practitioners in the prison are often abused by inmates. The inmates would beat or kick them, or hit their heads against the wall. Several inmates often pushed the practitioners against the ground or straddled them like riding a horse.
Ms. Chen Yao was tortured physically and mentally since she arrived at the prison in April 2018. When she went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution, the inmates poked her hands with a pen tip, and the scars looked like a honeycomb.
During her hunger strike, the guards also drew blood from her every week for two months. The inmates would drag her down from the fourth floor, and then threw her on the concrete ground when she resisted. Her clothes were torn and her knees and thighs were injured.
The prison guards ordered inmates to slander Falun Gong using the most derogatory words in front of practitioners. They wrote the name of Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, on the ground and forced the practitioners to step on it. Some guards also held the practitioners’ hands and forced them to write slanderous words about Falun Gong on a renouncing statement.
While some practitioners managed to bear the painful physical torture, the mental suffering is far beyond a person's endurance.
Persons Responsible for the Persecution:
Chen Jianhua (陈建华), head of the Shanghai Women's Prison: +08-021-57615998Zhang Bencai (张本才), prosecutor, the Shanghai Procuratorate: +08-021-24079000