Life Renewed from Practicing Falun Gong, Hubei Woman Repeatedly Persecuted for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A once-disabled woman and victim of domestic violence in Jingshan County, Hubei Province found hope in life again after she took up the practice of Falun Gong. Ms. Shang Qifeng, however, was arrested ten times for upholding her faith. More than once she was sexually assaulted while in detention. She was also imprisoned for four years and suffered various forms of abuse. Below is her story.
Disability Gone and Family Reunited
Ms. Shang broke her right hand at the age of six and continued to suffer from disability in her right arm in her adulthood. Things got even worse after she married a man who often beat and abused her.
She separated from her husband after their daughter was born. It wasn’t easy for her to make a living and care for her daughter all by herself. She held strong grudges against her husband and felt life was unfair to her.
In November 1998, Ms. Shang came across Falun Gong and was drawn to its profound teachings. Its universal principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” lit up her heart. She learned to forgive and love unconditionally. More surprisingly, her disabled arm also regained its functions.
She invited her husband to move back. He was touched by her changes and supported her in practicing Falun Gong. The once broken family was reunited and enjoyed harmony again.
Husband Forced to Divorce Her and Died in Agony
Ms. Shang’s peaceful life didn’t last long before the Chinese Communist Party ordered a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong in July 1999. The regime’s top leader vowed to eradicate the practice from China in three months.
Almost overnight, every sector of the Chinese society was mobilized to persecute Falun Gong. One can enjoy a normal life if they renounce Falun Gong but would face arrest, harassment, unemployment, sentencing, or even torture if they uphold their faith.
After much painstaking struggle, Ms. Shang decided that she would never give up practicing Falun Gong and she will uphold the truth. Had it not been for Falun Gong, she would still have been trapped in the endless suffering from her broken marriage and worldly pursuits and desires.
Twenty-one years have passed since the onset of the persecution, and Ms. Shang has been arrested ten times and served four years in prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. While in detention, she was subjected to many forms of torture, from savage beating to sexual assault, from electric shocks to sleep deprivation. Her body was severely injured from the torture.
Pressured by the police, her husband was forced to divorce her in 2004 and he passed away in 2014 after living in agony for years.
Despite all the unspeakable torment and pain from the persecution, Ms. Shang said she doesn’t regret her choice to continue practicing Falun Gong and she will continue to fight for her right to freedom of belief.
Details of Her 10 Arrests
Six Arrests in Five Years
Ms. Shang was first arrested on September 14, 2001, and detained for 45 days. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books, TV, a speaker, and even her daughter’s toys.
Her second arrest was on April 7, 2002, for talking to people about Falun Gong. The officers at Yongxing Police Station beat and kicked her for hours, leaving bruises and injuries on her body. She was released later that day.
Ms. Shang was arrested again on October 22, 2003. She was detained in a brainwashing center for 30 days. The center’s staff put unknown drugs into her food and onto her face when she refused to renounce Falun Gong. She fainted and had rashes all over her body.
While she was in a delirious state because of the drug, the staff held her hands and signed a prepared statement to renounce Falun Gong. One agent of the 610 Office, an extralegal agency created to persecute Falun Gong, molested her.
Ms. Shang was arrested a fourth time on January 16, 2004, and detained for four hours. Months later, she was arrested again on November 5, 2004. the police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong related materials and other personal items.
Her sixth arrest was on June 30, 2005. She was detained at Jingshan No. 2 Detention Center for 15 days. The police ransacked her home and took away her 3,000 yuan in cash. Her mother in her 80s was terrified by the raid and she lost consciousness and was resuscitated for a few hours.
Two More Arrests Followed by a 4-year Prison Term
Ms. Shang was arrested twice in 2006, in July and November, respectively. After her arrest on November 1, 2006, for distributing Falun Gong materials, the police kicked her lower body and sexually assaulted her. When she demanded to use the restroom, one officer didn’t allow her. Instead, he shocked her with an electric baton and attempted to force her to take off her pants in front of him.
Another officer hit the back of her head and neck and poked her eyes with his finger.
She was then held at Jingshan No. 1 Detention Center for 19 months. She had rectal bleeding for 1.5 years as a result of physical abuse there.
The police ransacked her home while she was detained. All of her valuable belongings, including appliances and jewelry, were confiscated.
Ms. Shang was later sentenced to four years in Wuhan Women’s Prison. The guards took turns beating her, verbally abusing her, and shocking her with electric batons. Many of her basic rights, such as use of the restroom and bathing, were restricted.
In addition to the physical torture, Ms. Shang was forced to do long hours of intensive unpaid labor every day, including packaging clothes and napkins. The guards forced her to stand if she couldn’t finish the quota for the day.
For most of the time she was imprisoned, she was only allowed to sleep for two hours each day and forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong.
She sustained severe injuries in her eyes, hands, and back from the beatings.
Latest Two Arrests
Years after she was released on November 2, 2010, Ms. Shang was arrested one more time on June 30, 2015, for talking to people about Falun Gong. The police kicked her right leg and it took two weeks for the swelling to go away. She was detained for 15 days this time.
Her most recent arrest was in August 2018, also for talking to people about Falun Gong.