Jiangsu Couple Persecuted Repeatedly for Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Mr. Gong Guohua and his wife Ms. Gong Yufen from Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, have been arrested and sent to forced labor camps and brainwashing centers multiple times due to their belief in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1999.
Mr. Gong was sent to a forced labor camp twice for a total of five years and detained in a brainwashing center three times for a total of about 120 days. Ms. Gong was sent to a brainwashing center for over 150 days, held in a detention center twice for a total of two months, and held in a forced labor camp for two years. Their home was ransacked three times, and they suffered significant financial losses.
Ms. Gong Yufen’s Ordeals
Mr. Gong and his wife started to practice Falun Gong after the leaders where Mr. Gong worked praised Falun Gong in a company meeting in 1997. Several people who’d suffered from long-term ailments had recovered after practicing Falun Gong and returned to work. They all worked hard and saved the company a significant amount in medical expenses.
After the persecution started, the couple went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong on September 30, 2000, only to be turned down everywhere they went.
They went to Tiananmen Square on November 16, 2000, and saw uniformed and plainclothes officers arresting and beating Falun Gong practitioners. At around 10:00 a.m., just as the couple made it to the Tiananmen Square Monument, two police officers shouted at Ms. Gong, “Do you practice Falun Gong?” Without waiting for an answer, they pushed her into a police car and drove away.
The police interrogated everyone and demanded to know their names and addresses. Most refused to give out that information, so they were tortured. Some were shocked with electric batons, others confined in metal cages, and still others were stripped naked in the freezing cold. Some went on hunger strikes to protest the persecution and were force-fed. Ms. Gong was one of them. After that, Ms. Gong was taken back to Changzhou. Her company deducted 2,650.50 yuan from her paycheck to reimburse the local police who’d gone to Beijing to bring her back.
Held in Brainwashing Centers Twice
After Ms. Gong was released, the local police continued to harass her. Officer Jiang Wei broke into her home on January 15, 2001, and took her to a brainwashing center. She was not released until a week after the Chinese New Year (January 24). The police revealed that they wanted to prevent Ms. Gong from going to Beijing again.
In April 2001, officer Jiang Wei deceived Ms. Gong, convincing her she would only have to stay in the police station overnight. Ms. Gong was then taken to a brainwashing center and held for a month.
On September 28, 2001, Ms. Gong booked a banquet for her son’s engagement party at the Zhangshengji Hotel in Changzhou. On October 1, when friends and relatives were congratulating the young couple, they could not find Ms. Gong. Her son started to cry and told everyone that his mother had been arrested the prior afternoon.
Held in Detention Centers and a Forced Labor Camp
Ms. Gong was taken to Xilin Detention Center on September 30, 2001. A month later, she was admitted to a forced labor camp for two years. Her home was ransacked, and the police confiscated her Falun Gong books, videotapes, informational materials, and personal belongings. The leather products that she sold in a retail shop were destroyed. She lost tens of thousands of yuan.
At the end of 2005, Ms. Gong was arrested while grocery shopping, and her house was ransacked. This time she was detained for over 80 days.
Ms. Gong was arrested again while grocery shopping in June of 2007. After a month of detention in a hotel, she was sent to Changzhou City Detention Center for one month. Her home was ransacked, and the police took a computer, two MP4 players (worth over 1,000 yuan each), a recorder, and a suitcase.
Mr. Gong Guohua’s Miseries
When Mr. Gong stayed in Beijing after Ms. Gong was arrested in November 2000, the Changzhou police came looking for him. They forced the couple's son to go to Tiananmen Square as “bait” to try to arrest his father. They also harassed their son at work multiple times until he was forced to quit his job and became unemployed. The Changzhou police also showed photos of Mr. Gong to people who knew Mr. Gong in Beijing and defamed him.
Mr. Gong was discovered by his coworkers and the police in a grocery market on the evening of April 23, 2001. They covered his head and handcuffed him. They beat him when he refused to tell them his address and point of contact in Beijing.
They took him back to Changzhou the next day and deprived him of sleep and interrogated him around the clock for the next week.
Fired from Job, Tortured in Forced Labor Camp
Mr. Gong was admitted to Changzhou Detention Center on April 30 and given three years of forced labor on May 30. His employer terminated his contract and fired him the next day.
Mr. Gong was taken to Fangqiang Forced Labor Camp in Jiangsu Province at the end of May 2001. Every practitioner was monitored by four inmates, who tortured their charges by forcing them to run, stand, or squat out in the scorching sun or in the pouring rain.
The guards sometimes instigated the inmates to push Mr. Gong’s head into a toilet. Mr. Gong was forced to read textbooks that slandered Falun Gong and write daily reports. He also had to do unpaid labor. If he could not finish his quota, he would not be allowed to sleep.
When Mr. Gong’s 80-year-old mother and his wife visited him in the labor camp, the guards kept his mother waiting for hours before allowing her to see him. She could barely recognize her son he was so emaciated from the torture. The guards tried to get her to persuade Mr. Gong to give up his belief. When she refused to cooperate, they cut the visit short and ordered her to leave.
During the Chinese New Year holiday in February 2003, Mr. Gong’s elderly father passed away from grief. Fangqiang Detention Center held the news from Mr. Gong for seven weeks and didn’t let him go to the funeral.
Illegally Detained and Tortured, Two More Years of Forced Labor
When Mr. Gong was working a temporary job at the end of 2005, four plainclothes officers broke into the workshop, seized Mr. Gong, and pushed him into a police car. He didn’t even have a chance to turn off the machine he was working on. They illegally detained him in a Changzhou Forest Machinery Factory hotel room for 93 days.
Police officer Jiang Wei and others broke into Mr. Gong’s workplace and arrested him in June 2007, because he was suspected of sending out information about the persecution. They ransacked his home and took his computer and recorder.
One officer threatened to have Mr. Gong’s retirement benefits taken away. They took him to a hotel and tortured him for a month. Domestic security, police department, and 610 Office employees were all involved in torturing him.
Mr. Gong was then transferred to Changzhou Detention Center for a month before being ending up in a forced labor camp for another two years.
At the beginning of September 2010, Mr. Gong and his wife were staying in their hometown in Wujin County, Changzhou, when a dozen plainclothes officers showed up in front of their house.
The officers claimed that they would take the couple to Changzhou to get some information. Mr. Gong was in the yard, where the police could see him. Ms. Gong, who was inside the house, locked the door. The police ordered her to open up so they could search the place. Ms. Gong said, “If you want me to open the door, you first have to give me the names, addresses, and phone numbers of you and your family.” Nobody complied.
Ms. Gong said, “You cannot come in without a search warrant.” After one full day of harassment, the officers could not get into the house or arrest Ms. Gong, so they arrested Mr. Gong and took him to Changzhou. They held Mr. Gong in a small hotel in Qinyexin Village to brainwash him.
The officers continued to harass Ms. Gong, circling her home for 24 hours. To avoid arrest, Ms. Gong jumped from the second floor and injured her head and feet.