65-Year-Old Woman Recalls Abuse in Liaoning Women's Prison for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Shaojun, 65, of Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in January 2019 for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice also known as Falun Dafa that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was imprisoned at Liaoning Women's Prison where she endured brutal abuse that caused her to become frail and have hallucinations.
Below is her personal account of the persecution that she suffered in the prison:
I was arrested on April 23, 2018 and taken to Fushun Detention Center. After nearly a year of doing forced labor, enduring humiliation, and being restricted from using the restroom, I developed high blood pressure.
In January 2019, Wanghua Court sentenced me to 2.5 years and I was taken to the No. 7 Division in Liaoning Women's Prison on April 16. The next day, two inmates took me to a room in the workshop for “study” and tried to brainwash me. When I refused to cooperate, I was forced to stand in military position from 4:40 a.m. to 10 p.m. (except when eating, washing, or using the restroom) and had my freedom restricted.
I was prohibited from speaking to anyone, restricted from using the restroom, and humiliated. The inmates tortured me mentally by forcing me to listen to recordings that slandered Falun Gong and its founder Master Li. I tried to tell the inmates about Falun Gong and that the persecution is wrong. But they refused to listen.
Due to standing for a long time, my legs became extremely swollen and I had difficulties wearing shoes and walking. The inmates tried to help me, when in fact, they purposely dragged me forward while pretending to be assisting me. They also tried to frighten me by saying that my legs would be crippled soon and would have to be amputated and use a wheelchair.
When this tactic didn't work, they told me to sit on a plastic stool for long hours, causing blisters to form on my buttocks. If I dozed off, moved a little, or closed my eyes, I would be sworn at. When I still refused to give up Falun Gong, they increased the standing time from 7 p.m. to 12 midnight, and 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. with only four hours of sleeping on a plank, in addition to the sitting torture.
This persecution stopped when my blood pressure rose to a dangerously high level a few days after I was made to sit for a whole day and stand eight hours at night. The inmates wrote words that slandered Falun Gong and Master Li on all my clothes and toilet paper. I refused to wear shoes and had to walk in the rain between the workshop, the cell, and the restroom.
During the brainwashing classes, the inmates wrote words that slandered Falun Gong and Master on a big piece of paper and pasted it on our bodies before throwing it to the ground. They also restricted our use of the restroom. Because I was denied visits during this period, my family was unable to deposit money for me. I had no money to buy anything and I was not allowed to borrow and others were prohibited from giving me anything. After they used up my very limited toilet paper to smear Falun Gong, I began to use a small piece of cloth taken from the workshop and hide in my underwear. The inmates later discovered it and took it away. I could only use paper that was thrown away by others or in the bin.
I was ordered to do free labor at the end of August and the brainwashing session ended in December.
On April 16, 2020, as part of the so-called evaluation of the “transformation” progress (i.e., where imprisoned practitioners had given up their belief), I was forced to “study” for the second time. This time, four inmates were assigned to monitor me, with two section chiefs leading them. I was ordered to work in the first month. In the subsequent months, I was made to stand, even when eating. I was not allowed to use the restroom and had my freedom restricted. I was cut off from the outside world.
I refused to squat when they ordered me to. They were exasperated and took me to a meeting room that had no surveillance camera and started to beat me, kick me, and pull my hair. I refused to cooperate with them and an inmate kicked below the left side of my chest. Immediately, I felt extreme pain. It only became better after more than a month. I had a headache for a few days when another inmate pulled out a lot of my hair.
The next day, I was not allowed to return to the cell room to rest. Instead, I was sent to stay in a small office that had no surveillance camera for six days. Two inmates monitored me and prohibited me from sleeping. I was forced to squat, stand, and walk and was not allowed to use the restroom.
During the daytime, I was forced to “study” and barred from using the restroom, causing me to wet my pants three times. Yet, I was not allowed to change my pants. Both of my hands were tied up with tape and my arms were tied to the back and handcuffed to the heating pipe. I couldn't squat or stand. The inmates also added unknown drugs into my meals, which was witnessed by another inmate. When I discovered this, I refused to eat and was forced-fed with unknown drugs. When I refused to open my mouth during the force-feeding, the inmate pinched my cheek, causing it to bleed. After failing to force-feed me three times, the inmates kicked and hit me. When I shouted for help, they taped my mouth shut.
My left cheek became swollen, bruised, and deformed but I couldn't see it. When I returned to the cell at night, an inmate got a fright. I only saw my face a few days later when washing up. As the authorities were afraid that their actions would be exposed, they told me to wear a mask and long sleeves when working. However, I refused to wear a mask and rolled up my sleeves so everyone could see my injuries.
“We have ways to deal with you. Don't want to say or write [anything]? We have drugs. You would have to do and talk as we say by that time!” an inmate threatened me. They also deprived me of sleep for six days and six nights. The mental and physical torture resulted in my language and memory loss, and I suffered mental hallucinations. I couldn't straighten my back due to back pain; I was wobbling when walking.
At that time, it was the dragon boat festival but I was not allowed to eat any food that the prison had given me nor those that I had bought myself. I haven't been to the prison supermarket for 1.5 years, and during the period when I was “studying,” I was not allowed to buy any items.
After 1.5 years of abuse, I returned home with a weak body.