Brutality Against Falun Gong in 2020 amidst Ongoing Persecution by Communist Regime
(Minghui.org) Since July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been persecuting Falun Gong, a spiritual practice also known as Falun Dafa, for its popularity and its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which stand in stark contrast to the communist ideology of deceit, violence, and lies.
In the persecution orchestrated by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office, practitioners have suffered massive arrests, harassment, and relentless torture. Many have died as a result.
In 2020 alone, at least 83 practitioners died because of the persecution. Among them, 21 died while in custody. Some passed away as a result of long-term torture in prisons, some died after they were denied medical parole despite their critical condition, and others died in police stations as a result of savage beatings. Both Ms. Li Ling of Shandong Province and Ms. Wang Shukun of Heilongjiang Province were beaten to death just days after their arrests in June.
In addition to the deaths, 5,868 practitioners were arrested and 7,218 were harassed between January and November 2020. Due to the information blockade in China, that is believed to be a very conservative estimate.
The following are cases of brutality against Falun Gong practitioners in 2020.
PART I: Brutality by Local Law Enforcement and Officials
A. Death Cases
Ms. Li Ling of Dazhangjia Village, Penglai City, Shandong Province, was seized by a village official and a group of paramilitary soldiers on June 28, 2020, after being reported for possessing Falun Gong literature.
Ms. Li was taken to an empty house in a mountainous area and viciously beaten and tortured. She died on July 13 as a result of her injuries. The village authorities forced her family to have her remains cremated that same day. According to her family, her face was deformed and she was covered in bruises.
Ms. Li brought home dozens of Falun Gong booklets on the morning of June 28. A fellow villager who happened to see what she was carrying reported her to the village authorities. Xiang Demao, the village’s CCP secretary, and several paramilitary soldiers soon descended on her home and confiscated her booklets.
They took her to an empty house to interrogate her. Ms. Li refused to reveal from whom she got the booklets. Yu Desheng and Yu Deshui, two of the soldiers, tried to beat her into submission. Some of her teeth fell out and her mouth ruptured as a result of the beatings. There was a contusion on her left rib cage and she had bruises all over. According to an elderly villager who was told to watch her, one of the soldiers also poked Ms. Li hard on the chest with a stick.
Ms. Li still refused to give up her practice or answer questions. One of her tormentors took her outside to “fix her up.” He kicked her so hard that she lost her balance and hit her hip on a rock. When it later started to rain, he made her stand in the rain for a long time. She went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse.
Around July 6, 2020, Ms. Li’s husband died and the authorities brought her home to take care of the funeral. She did not talk to her son when they hugged. According to her son, her mouth was ruptured and several of her teeth were missing. She was quickly taken away, and the authorities refused to disclose where she was. After her son’s repeated requests, the authorities agreed to cover his eyes and take him to see his mother at the undisclosed location. That was the last time they saw each other.
Ms. Li was rushed to a private clinic on July 13 for “resuscitation” and pronounced dead. The authorities took her remains to her family immediately afterward. Paramilitary soldiers were stationed outside her house and said they would not leave unless her family had her remains cremated that day. They had no option but to comply with the demand.
While changing her clothes, her relatives noted that Ms. Li’s eyeballs appeared protruding and looked unusually large.
On the day of Ms. Li’s funeral, two of the soldiers who had beaten her during their interrogation showed up in plainclothes to harass her friends and relatives and attempted to keep them from attending the memorial service. When asked who they were, the soldiers lied and said they were relatives of Ms. Li’s.
Ms. Wang Shukun was a doctor of internal medicine at Hailin Town Hospital in Hailin City, Heilongjiang Province. She hadn’t gone to work for months due to the coronavirus epidemic outbreak. In late June 2020, she received a call from Han Yan, the Party secretary of the hospital, and was told that Chen Guangqun, the president of the hospital, was looking for her.
Ms. Wang thought that the hospital was arranging for her to return to work. When she got to the hospital, it turned out it was officers from Hailin City No. 1 Police Station who were looking for her. They attempted to force her to write statements to renounce Falun Gong and to acknowledge that her husband, Mr. Yu Xiaopeng, also practices Falun Gong.
Mr. Yu, a surgeon at the same hospital, was fired 29 years ago for refusing to fabricate medical records as the then-hospital-president had directed him to. He had been petitioning all these years and was considered a primary target by the authorities, who tried to make things worse for him by claiming he also practiced Falun Gong when he never did.
When Ms. Wang refused to sign the statements, the police beat her for hours in the hospital. They threatened that if Ms. Wang didn’t write the statements, they would find others to write them on her behalf.
Ms. Wang suffered a sharp pain in her leg and begged for the officers to let her go. They agreed but warned her that they would find her again in a few days.
Ms. Wang had to crawl up the stairs to get back to her apartment. Her husband noted she had bruises all over, her kneecaps were broken, and she was soaked in sweat.
Ms. Wang suddenly suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in the afternoon on July 1. She was very dizzy and felt like throwing up. She passed away around 4:25 a.m. on July 2 at the age of 66. Her body was cremated on July 4.
After Ms. Wang’s death, the police kept harassing Mr. Yu and ordered him not to report her death to the Minghui website.
B. Severe Injury Cases
A man in Huailai County, Hebei Province, was in serious condition one week after he was arrested for practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Ding Yuming, Ms. He Yurong, and Ms. Ren were out walking on July 14, 2020, when they were arrested and taken straight to a brainwashing center. While Ms. He and Ms. Ren were released shortly after, Mr. Ding remained in custody.
The brainwashing center staff searched Mr. Ding and confiscated his 100 yuan in cash, keys, and cellphone. They didn’t give him any bedding for five days, starved him, and refused to let him take a shower. When he refused to watch propaganda videos that slandered Falun Gong, the staff beat him and hit his head and body with their shoes.
Mr. Ding was put in solitary confinement for shouting “Falun Dafa is good” when the brainwashing center director came for a visit. The staff there threatened to kill him if he "caused more trouble for them." His daughter wasn’t allowed to visit him.
After repeated abuse, Mr. Ding became seriously ill and was hospitalized on July 22. It’s not clear where he is being detained at the time of writing.
Prior to his latest arrest, Mr. Ding was sentenced to seven years in 2003 and released on medical parole in 2008 after he developed a heart condition and high blood pressure. He was arrested again in 2017 and given four more years while working in Beijing. The authorities allowed him to serve time outside of prison due to his condition.
The police arrested three Falun Gong practitioners on February 12, 2020, at a highway checkpoint. The three were traveling from Anshan City to Shenyang City, both in Liaoning Province. Ms. Lou Yan was detained and tortured for 77 days; Mr. Fang Fuqiang and Ms. Zhang Xu were detained for 65 days.
Ms. Lou Yan
Ms. Lou was tortured and developed symptoms of epilepsy after she was arrested on February 12 and later detained at a hotel. When she refused to explain why they were going to Shenyang City, she was slapped in the face and hit on her forehead, resulting in an egg-sized bump on her forehead. Officer Han Ping later slapped Ms. Lou again with such force that she became deaf in her left ear.
Ms. Lou was forced to sit on a metal chair after being detained for about 10 days. The torture only stopped after her buttocks festered and her feet became hardened and could no longer fit into the shackles.
Ms. Lou became emaciated after she was detained for about two months. She coughed every day, sometimes non-stop for four to five hours, coupled with vomiting phlegm, blood, and bile. She eventually went on a hunger strike to demand her release.
During her hunger strike, Ms. Lou was force-fed three times. The police pinched her cheeks while pouring porridge into her mouth. Due to the force-feeding, she vomited blood and the skin on her cheeks was torn.
Ms. Lou was not allowed to bathe for the 78 days that she was detained. Because of the torture, she had difficulty breathing and had to lie on the floor many times. The police on the night shift had to watch her all the time as they were afraid Ms. Lou could die at any time.
On April 29, Ms. Lou, near death, was taken back to Anshan City. The police refused to return the 60,000 yuan in cash confiscated from her during her arrest.
Mr. Fang Fuqiang
Mr. Fang was interrogated, searched, and beaten after he was arrested and taken to the Sujiatun District Police Department. He was taken to Jiefang Police Station that night and had to sleep either on a chair or on the floor.
He was taken to a detention center on February 14 and subsequently transferred to a hotel, where Ms. Lou was detained, on March 16. During the detention, Mr. Fang was forced to sit on a metal chair for four days until his feet and legs became extremely swollen. He had only limited access to drinking water, the bathroom, and a shower. At night, the police handcuffed his right hand to a ring on the floor, and only stopped two days before his release.
Ms. Zhang Xu
Ms. Zhang refused to answer any questions after she was arrested on February 12 and interrogated. Wang Chunyang of the Shenyang Police Department brought in three burly men in an attempt to record her statement. That afternoon, the police took a blank search warrant to her residence and confiscated three printers, printing paper, and a computer after finding her address by searching the internet user database.
Wang came again the next day and hit Ms. Zhang. He tore her winter jacket. On February 14, Wang returned with the three burly men and took Ms. Zhang to a room with no surveillance camera at the Jiefang Police Station and interrogated her.
Ms. Zhang was later transferred to a hotel and made to sit on a metal chair. When the police failed to "transform" her, they forced her to stand for long hours before making her squat. Ms. Zhang was only allowed to sleep after midnight.
On March 8, officer Han Ping started hitting Ms. Zhang in the head, face, and shoulders while trying to force her to renounce her faith. He continued to hit her the next day and threatened to torture her further if she refused to confess.
Han later called for the three officers—Yang Na, Chen Jie, and Liu Wenying—from the brainwashing center and told them to "transform" Ms. Zhang at all costs. Ms. Zhang had her legs bounded tightly together and her hands behind her when she refused to squat. Han ordered Ms. Zhang to squat for two hours. When she couldn't stay in position, an officer held her down.
Ms. Zhang was released on April 16.
A Yishui County, Shandong Province, man was arrested at home around 6:30 p.m. on September 8, 2020, by local officials and police officers who came in three cars.
The police ransacked Mr. Huang Jianguo’s home and searched for items related to Falun Gong.
While trying to force Mr. Huang into a police car, officers tore off his pants and punched him in the head. At the police station, several officers beat Mr. Huang, knocked him down, and stomped on his head. He had multiple injuries and his head and face swelled up.
Earlier in July 2020, the authorities from Longjiaquan Township had tried to force Mr. Huang to defame Falun Gong and its founder, but he refused. A few hours later on his way home, three officers stopped him and ordered him to renounce Falun Gong. When he refused to comply, two of them jumped on him and punched him in the chest. His clothes were torn and his shoes fell off. He ran away barefoot. The bruises on his chest lasted two weeks and his chest still hurt two months later.
4. Jiangxi Man Jailed 18 Months for His Faith, His Face and Hands Burnt
Hongshan Police Station officers arrested Mr. Yang Tingxian, 62, from Pinxiang City, Jiangxi Province, on February 26, 2020. At the station, the officers interrogated him while he was handcuffed. He refused to give information about other practitioners. The officers assaulted him and burnt his face and the backs of his hands with cigarettes. He was released a few hours later. On July 10, 2020, a judge in Luxi County Court sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
Prior to his latest term, Mr. Yang served one year in Nanchang Prison. He was forced to sit on a small stool without moving, held in solitary confinement, deprived of sleep, and forced to stand facing the wall at night, all for his refusing to renounce Falun Gong.
After he was released in October 2019, he received his retirement pension for only one month before the authorities froze his pension account in December.
5. Heilongjiang Woman Suffers Spinal Cord Injury During Interrogation
Police officers broke into Ms. Wen Yufei’s home in Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang Province, on May 1, 2020. They arrested her and ransacked her home. At the local police station, Ms. Wen was handcuffed and shackled to a chair. She was interrogated, insulted, and threatened. Qian Wei, director of the Domestic Security Office, kicked her head and face with boots. Her chair toppled over and her spinal cord was injured when she fell. She was released the next day. To this day she cannot stand properly or bend over.
For writing a complaint citing Qian for his brutality, Ms. Wen was arrested again on June 29 and put in Fuyu County Detention Center.
Ms. Wen, 47, worked as a secretary and office director at the Heilongjiang Chemical Group. Her kidney and nasal infections disappeared after she learned Falun Gong in 1997. She began to teach later in her career. She charged minimal fees and often gave classes for free.
For upholding her faith in Falun Gong, she has been arrested three times and her home ransacked five times prior to her latest arrest.
6. Man’s Elbows and Knees Injured after Police Dragged Him
Four officers from Rongguang Police Station in Changchun City, Jilin Province, broke into Mr. Wang Zhizhong’s home on July 30, 2020, and arrested him.
Mr. Wang refused to cooperate while he was in the local police station. The officers dragged him down a gravel road. As he was wearing short sleeves and pants, the skin on his elbows and knees was rubbed off and he bled profusely.
7. Police Slap Woman’s Face with Shoes
Ms. Ji Shujun and Ms. Peng Xia of Chengde City, Hebei Province, went to Tumu Town in Zhangjiakou City about 180 miles away on September 10, 2020, to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong.
Police officers noticed them at a farmers’ market and arrested them. Ms. Ji and Ms. Peng were handcuffed together and pushed into the police car. The handcuffs cut deeply into Ms. Peng’s wrists and left dark bruises.
At the police station, the women refused to get out of the car. The police dragged them out and into the front yard of the station. Their shoes fell off, their sleeves were torn, and their backs were injured.
When an officer asked Ms. Ji what she was doing at the farmers’ market, she replied that she was there to inform people about the persecution. She urged the police not to assist the communist regime to do the wrong thing or to participate in the persecution.
The police refused to listen and verbally abused Falun Gong and its founder. The practitioners tried to stop them and shouted, “Falun Dafa is good!” As they were shouting, an officer kicked Ms. Ji’s arm, slapped her in the face, and hit her mouth with her shoe. Her mouth swelled up. When it began to rain moments later, the police stopped mistreating Ms. Ji.
Ms. Ji and Ms. Peng were taken to Dahuangzhuang Brainwashing Center later that day. They held a hunger strike to protest. Although Ms. Ji was released on the afternoon of September 12, Ms. Peng is still in the brainwashing center.
8. Husband and Wife Arrested, Husband Viciously Beaten
Five officers from the Jichang Police Station in Xishanbei Township, Yi County, Hebei Province, ransacked Mr. Jia Dong’s home on the morning of November 26, 2020. They took his computer, printer, Falun Gong books, and other personal belongings. Because Mr. Jia wasn’t home when the police came, they arrested his wife and forcibly collected her fingerprints before releasing her in the evening.
Mr. Jia was arrested at work later that day and also taken to the Yi County Detention House. When his wife saw him in the detention house, he was handcuffed, his mouth was bleeding, his hands were cuffed together, and he was covered with dirt.
C. Violence Against Children and Elders
1. Police Beat Elderly Man Until His Face Bleeds
Mr. Teng Yuguo and his wife were harvesting pumpkins in their garden at around 10 a.m. on October 13, 2020, when police officers broke in.
Before Mr. Teng was able to get away, the police grabbed him. With his wife crying nearby, the police beat 66-year-old Mr. Teng and his face bled. Then they handcuffed and shackled him. “Now you have an additional charge on top of the previous one [for practicing Falun Gong],” one officer said to him.
The police took Mr. Teng of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, to the police station. After being held in the Dadong Detention Center for four days, he was taken to the Sujiatun Detention Center on the outskirts of the city. The authorities wouldn’t let his lawyer visit him, using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse. His family is very worried about him.
Mr. Teng’s wife was so traumatized that she is still frightened and having trouble organizing what she wants to say weeks after his arrest, which came less than a month after he returned home from six months in hiding to avoid being arrested.
2. Four Officers Violently Hold Down 80-year-old During Arrest
Six officers broke into 80-year-old Ms. Chen Guifen’s rented home in Pengzhou City, Sichuan Province, and ransacked it on August 14, 2020. Ms. Chen held her copy of Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong, tightly to her chest as four officers tried to grab it and take it from her.
Finally, they grabbed her hands and feet, dragged her to the police car, and took her to the police station. She was released around 6 p.m. Two weeks later, her hands still had marks where the officers pinched her.
3. 74-year-old Retired Teacher Savagely Beaten by Police
Mr. Lei Zhengxia, 74, and his wife Ms. Li Weiqun of Chongqing went to Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, earlier in 2020 to help their daughter care for her newborn baby.
Six officers broke into Mr. Lei’s daughter’s home at around 10:00 a.m. on September 4, 2020. When Mr. Lei resisted the police’s attempt to arrest him, three officers pushed him onto the sofa, handcuffed his hands behind his back, and took off his glasses. Two other officers dragged him outside and shoved him into the police car. One of his shoes fell off during the ordeal.
Because Ms. Li was trying to stop the police from arresting her husband, she was also pushed to the ground. The police handcuffed her right hand and also took her to the police station.
The police took the couple to the interrogation room. Officer Wang handcuffed Mr. Lei and attempted to force him to put his fingerprints on the interrogation record. When Mr. Lei refused to comply, Wang pushed him into a corner of the room, punched him in the chest, hit his neck with the edge of his hand, and slammed his head against the wall. Wang also attempted to strike Mr. Lei’s legs with his knees, but Ms. Li stopped him.
Wang turned around, grabbed Ms. Li’s hair, and attempted to hit her. She shouted at him, “How dare you!” Wang let go of Ms. Li’s hair but grabbed a rubber plate and smacked it against Mr. Lei’s cuffed hands. He left afterward even though Mr. Lei’s wrists were bleeding.
After 35 hours of detention, Mr. Lei was released at around 9:00 p.m. the next day. The police did not remove his handcuffs until then.
4. Police Beat Elderly Woman into Convulsion and Vomiting
Officers from the Sujiatun District Domestic Security Police in Liaoning Province violently beat Ms. Geng Luqing from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, on April 23, 2020. The young officer surnamed Xia handcuffed elderly Ms. Geng's hands to the back of a metal chair, slapped her, and kicked the chair so hard that the handcuffs cut into her wrists. The beating caused sharp pain in her ears and humming in her head. She vomited and had convulsions. Her legs and her body were bruised.
5. Hebei Woman Sustains Severe Back and Leg Strains During Violent Arrest
Ms. Zhang Rufen of Cangzhou City, Hebei Province, sustained injuries on her back and head following her arrest at home on November 16, 2020.
Eight officers carried Ms. Zhang, in her late 60s, out of her home on November 16. She firmly resisted and condemned their violence. While struggling, her clothes were torn off and her back was exposed.
After the officers finally carried Ms. Zhang downstairs and pushed her into the police car, they shut the door while her feet were still outside. She screamed from the pain. Confined in the car, she had significant back pain and wanted to stretch out, but Wang refused to make room for her.
When the car arrived at the police station, Ms. Zhang was in pain all over and unable to move. Several officers came over and dragged her out of the car by her legs. Her head hit the concrete and she passed out.
When she woke up, she was lying on the concrete in the yard of the police station. Her back was exposed. One sleeve of her winter jacket had been torn off. She had difficulty breathing, was shivering, and couldn’t move due to the pain. She also had severe swelling on the back of her head that didn’t go away for days.
Seeing that she had come to, several officers attempted to drag her to the interrogation room. She screamed in pain. The officers then ordered her to stand up, but she almost fainted again. Her chest was very tight, and she felt her back was broken.
Although the police released her that same day, they returned three times in the next few days and harassed her.
6. Police Beat Practitioner and Her Young Child
Ms. Geng Caixia and her son from Tangshan City, Hebei Province, went to the Guzhi District to tell people about the persecution of Falun Gong on January 22, 2020. Officers from Yingezhuang Police Station arrested them. The police beat the child during the arrest.
At the police station, an officer slapped her son several times and struck his legs, knees, and back with an electric baton. The child’s legs swelled up and he could barely walk. He couldn’t straighten his back when he walked.
D. Vicious Beatings
1. Police Violently Kick Teacher for Giving Out Fliers
Mr. Li Yan, a teacher from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, distributed Falun Gong literature on April 9, 2020. The police arrested him and took him to Xinglong Town Police Station. At the station he saw the police slap another practitioner, Mr. Sun Tienong, in the face so hard that Mr. Sun collapsed and felt dizzy. When Mr. Li tried to stop the police from hitting Mr. Sun, the officers dragged Mr. Li to a room without surveillance cameras and beat him. They handcuffed him and held him on the ground. One officer stepped on and twisted his face and head. Another one kicked him on the back.
Mr. Li was in so much pain that he couldn’t sit up. Police chief Yang Chunlai interrogated him and warned him not to tell others about the beatings.
2. Handicapped Practitioner in Changchun City Tortured on Tiger Bench
Mr. Yang Zhanjiu from Changchun City, Jilin Province, was tortured in prison for his faith in Falun Gong and became disabled as a result. He made a living selling shoes in a market with the help of another practitioner, Ms. Yu Aiji. Five plainclothes officers ambushed the two practitioners on September 3, 2020. The officers ransacked Mr. Yang’s home and cuffed him in his chair. They beat him and threw sharp objects at his face.
At the police station the officers chained Mr. Yang on a tiger bench and locked Ms. Yu in solitary confinement that had no window and smelled terrible. The police threatened to beat Ms. Yu’s brains out if she didn’t reveal her name. The two were released the next day on September 4.
Other Instances of Violent Beatings
Three officers in Liaoning Province found Mr. Zhang Yujiang at work on the morning of September 19, 2020, and attempted to force him to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Zhang refused. The police took him to Chaoyangxiang Police Station and handcuffed him to the back of a metal chair and started slapping him. While he was being tortured, the police also tried to force his wife Ms. Ma Chunxia to renounce Falun Gong. She refused to comply as well. Mr. Zhang was released at noon.
A dozen officers from Huanglong Police Station and Debiao Police Station broke into Ms. Zhou Xiujuan’s home in Nong’an County, Jilin Province, on July 15, 2020. They took over 100 of her Falun Gong books and other valuables. Yang Honglin, a police chief, repeatedly slapped her and put her in Weizigou Detention Center in Changchun City for 15 days.
Ms. Cui Xiuqin, of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested on September 5, 2020. Two officers beat her, punched her head, and pulled her hair. She was covered in bruises. Four days later, Ms. Cui saw a person in black wearing a mask monitoring her from the top of the nearby apartment building. She also found herself being followed when she went outside. She was forced to live away from home to avoid being arrested.
Police officer Guo Kaiming broke into Ms. Yin Lanhua’s home in Liaoyuan City, Jilin Province, on July 6, 2020. He ransacked her place and took her to Xiangyang Police Department, where she was handcuffed behind her back and tortured for three days. She was then taken to Liaoyuan City Detention Center.
Mr. Liu Yuecheng, a Linyi City, Shandong Province, resident, was summoned to the office of Wang Qingwei, the local CCP secretary, on June 24, 2020. Wang asked him if he still practiced Falun Gong.
When Mr. Liu said he did, Wang berated him, saying that the CCP gave him food and work and that he should listen to the CCP and give up practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Liu replied that he worked hard to earn his salary and it wasn't something given by the CCP. Wang punched him on the chest repeatedly and threatened him. The abuse lasted from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The police beat and verbally abused him the next day before releasing him.
The police in Changchun City, Jilin Province, arrested Ms. Wang Jinghong on November 17, 2020. They ransacked her home, tortured her, and drew her blood. They dragged her on the ground, kicked and stomped on her face, stepped on her back, handcuffed her behind her back, pushed her arms up, and bent her fingers.
E. Forcible Collection of Blood and Bone Marrow Samples
Falun Gong practitioners in detention are often forced to have physical exams and blood tests, even though they are frequently tortured by the guards and inmates who couldn’t care less about their health.
Numerous investigations since 2006 suggest that Falun Gong practitioners were, and are still, killed for their organs to sustain the massive transplant industry in China, which doesn’t even have an established donation system to date.
Many medical experts suspect that blood samples are collected frequently from Falun Gong practitioners to build an organ bank for Chinese hospitals, as some hospitals advertised on their websites waiting times as short as two weeks for a matching organ.
1. Shanghai Residents Have Their Blood Forcibly Drawn by Police
Since early August 2020, more than ten Falun Gong practitioners in the Pudongxin District in Shanghai have had samples of their blood and biometrics forcibly taken by the police.
Some suspect that the recent collection of biometrics and blood samples from the practitioners is for the authorities to establish a massive DNA and organ matching database, as well as to enhance the surveillance of practitioners through China's extensive monitoring network.
One of the latest victims of blood collection in Shanghai is Mr. Qiu Yinlong, a veteran who now works in the home renovation and real estate business. On September 10, 2020, four police officers went to Mr. Qiu’s home to look for him. Because Mr. Qiu wasn’t home when the officers came the first time, they returned hours later and forcibly took a sample of Mr. Qiu’s blood despite his strong objection.
2. Hubei Man Given Extensive Physical Exam Suspected to Be for Organ Matching
Mr. Zhou Guoqiang, a former employee of Industrial and Commercial Bank from Chibi City, Hubei Province, was arrested at around 5 p.m. on December 26, 2018, while working in Wuhan in the same province.
Mr. Zhou, in his 50s, was first taken to the Yujiatou Police Station. The police restrained him in a metal chair, interrogated him, and beat him. Then they took him to the hospital for a comprehensive physical. His eyes, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs were examined. The nurse also took several hundred milliliters of his blood, much more than for a regular physical. She also collected a sample of his bone marrow.
3. Beijing Woman Harassed for Her Faith, Has Blood Sample and Biometrics Forcibly Taken
Ms. Fan Jirong from Beijing was first arrested on May 26, 2020, at home. The police took Ms. Fan to the hospital, drew her blood, and measured her height and weight. Her arm was injured by the police and covered in bruises.
That evening, Ms. Fan was interrogated in the police station. The police attempted to force her to sign the interrogation record. She wrote “Falun Dafa is good” instead.
The police then took Ms. Fan to the Changping Detention Center, which refused to admit her due to high blood pressure and other health conditions. She was then released on bail.
PART II: Brutalities in Prisons and Detention Centers
The guards in prisons and detention centers often torture the detained Falun Gong practitioners, trying to force them to give up their faith. When the practitioners renounce their faith on paper, the other prisoners often get credits and reduced sentences.
Various tortures used in these facilities include forced-feeding, brainwashing, beatings, sitting on small stools, hanging, standing in military posture or squatting for long periods of time, as well as starving.
Some practitioners are tied on a tiger bench. Some had one hand handcuffed to the top bunk bed and the other to the bottom bunk bed, so that they could not stand up or squat down. Some had their limbs tied to the bed in a spread-eagle position for a long time and were only let loose when they needed to use the restroom. Some were electrically shocked during the tying torture as well.
Ms. Chen Zhilian, 70, of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, suffered severe intracranial hemorrhage after being beaten by the guards in Chengdu Women’s Prison in early 2020.
If the practitioners refused to renounce their faith or protested the illegal imprisonment by refusing to follow orders, they would be punished with solitary confinement and denied visits, phone calls, or letters to their family. Some had their meal times reduced to just several minutes and others were deprived of sleep.
The following are representative cases of the abuses.
Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in 1999, the Jilin Province Women’s Prison, located in Lanjia Township, Changchun City, has been actively participating in the persecution. The perpetrators are very cruel and cause the imprisoned practitioners severe injury or even death.
Since July 12, 2020, the prison started a new campaign with the goal to force practitioners to give up their belief. The guards isolated those who refused to be "transformed” and didn’t allow them to have contact with other practitioners.
Some were forced to wear handcuffs for more than two weeks. Some were forced to sit on the floor all night while the guards sprayed cold water on them. Some practitioners staged hunger strikes to protest. The inmates then force-fed them and pressed them to write guarantee statements to give up their belief. If practitioners refused to be “transformed,” they were not allowed to take breaks in the hallway or outside.
In the eighth prison ward, also known as the “education ward," over 100 practitioners were detained at the time of writing. The head of the ward, Qian Wei, was transferred to the Eighth Ward in 2019. He has been using every tactic imaginable to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. He's forbidden practitioners to eat, sleep, or take a shower and locked them in solitary confinement.
Ms. Jin Yan resisted and refused to sit on a small stool, which is a painful method of torture. She was beaten several times by inmate Wang Shuwen and was held in solitary confinement for over two months.
Ms. Lian Jinhua was also beaten several times by Wang Shuwen. Wang pulled Ms. Lian from the bed one night and ordered her to write a guarantee statement to give up practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Chu Zhanfeng was beaten in July 2020 by inmate Zheng Dan. Ms. Chu was then locked in solitary confinement by team leader Li Xiaolei and was pressured to write the guarantee statement.
Ms. Chi Shuling was locked in confinement for three months in 2020, because she was not “transformed” well enough.
Ms. Che Pingping was locked in solitary confinement in August 2020. She went on a hunger strike to protest and was brutally force-fed. Every time they pulled the feeding tube out, it had blood on it.
The 12th ward in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison is reserved for all incoming Falun Gong practitioners incarcerated for their faith. They are often beaten, deprived of sleep, verbally abused, denied access to showers, and given no toilet paper.
Ms. Zhao Hongmei and Ms. Zhou Yuzhen were forced to stand for several days. The inmates pulled the hair on their heads and their pubic hair. Their screams of pain at night were horrible to hear. To protest the abuse, Ms. Zhao held a hunger strike for four days. Her weight dropped from 70 kilograms (154 pounds) to less than 40 kilograms (88 pounds).
Ms. Lin Mengfen was once forced to stand for four days without moving. She was forced to soil her pants.
Guards in other wards also torture Falun Gong practitioners.
In the 1st ward, Ms. Jiang Wei was sprayed with pepper water and dragged by her feet downstairs, her head hitting the ground.
In the 7th ward, Ms. Zhang Wei was forced to wear handcuffs and beaten and kicked in her back for doing the Falun Gong exercises. One inmate said she’d rather lose her opportunity to have her term reduced if she could beat Ms. Zhang. Ms. Zhang wrote two letters of complaint on March 22, 2020: one about Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong, and the other about the guards for their use of violence. It’s not clear if the guards mailed her letters.
In the 10th ward, Ms. Ye Zhongqiu was beaten and verbally abused by the inmates. She later suffered a stroke because of the torture.
Ms. Zhou Haiyan was forced to do unpaid labor and forced to stand and squat when she refused to comply.
Ms. Bai Ling and Ms. Zhao Hong’e were locked in a room and forced to stand for long hours for not renouncing Falun Gong.
Ms. Xu Guixian, a 60-year-old Falun Gong practitioner in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, was sentenced to four years of imprisonment by the Linghe District Court in early March 2019. She was sent to the sixth division of the fifth prison ward in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison in April 2019 and tortured.
The perpetrators in the prison started to torture Ms. Xu again on June 1, 2020. They beat her with electric batons, denied her use of the restroom, deprived her of sleep, and poured boiling water on her.
During the day when the other detainees went to work, inmate Lou Shuang took Ms. Xu to a warehouse and shocked her with electric batons when no one else was around. Lou would stop and cover the electric batons with a towel when anyone came in.
Between June 1 and 3, Ms. Xu was held in a food storage room in the fifth prison ward and not allowed to use the restroom. She had to soil her pants. She was beaten and verbally abused by criminals in the sixth team during the day. Li Jingchun and Wang Yan were assigned to monitor and torture Ms. Xu at night. Both Li and Wang were transferred from the twelfth ward to the fifth ward a few months ago because of their experience in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. They forced Ms. Xu to stand in a fixed position and beat her when she fell asleep or she moved even slightly.
By June 4, Ms. Xu could not recognize anybody as a result of the torture.
At 8 p.m. on June 4, after taking Ms. Xu back to her cell, inmates Xiao Miao and Song Lanjie burned Ms. Xu’s back with a beverage bottle filled with boiling water, while Li Feifei held Ms. Xu down so that she could not move. Later, many people in the prison ward saw the severely burned area of 4 by 8 inches on Ms. Xu’s back.
Although the prison authorities later took Ms. Xu to the prison hospital to have her burns treated, they forced Ms. Xu to promise not to take legal action against the perpetrators.
In addition to above-mentioned inmates, Niu Jingjing, team lead of the sixth team of the fifth prison ward, and Wang Hongyun, the head of the prison ward, were also involved in the persecution of Ms. Xu.
Another 132 practitioners were sentenced to prison in the first half of 2020 for refusing to renounce their faith.
In the past two decades, Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison, located in the capital city of Harbin, has remained one of the facilities with the most practitioners incarcerated, with over a thousand confirmed so far. Currently, there are about 200 practitioners imprisoned in the facility.
There are three major wards that are specifically designated to torture practitioners into giving up their faith—to “transform” them. They are the 8th, 9th, and hospital wards. The newly-admitted practitioners are placed in the 9th ward before being moved to the 8th ward where the tortures and brainwashing intensify. The practitioners who end up with severe bodily injuries are then sent to the hospital ward.
The guards never get involved in personally abusing the practitioners. They order felons, mostly drug offenders, to do the job and appoint them to be the chiefs of different teams in the wards. These chiefs report directly to the guards.
The following are several ways the prison authorities torture the steadfast practitioners in attempting to get them to submit and renounce their faith.
When the practitioners arrive at the prison, they are placed in the “transforming” team of the 9th ward, where they face collaborators who are professionally-trained in brainwashing. The collaborators work on the practitioners individually based on their lives and families. They then take advantage of the practitioners' fears of losing family, freedom, and health and attempt to make them give up their faith. These collaborators take turns feeding their fears and anxieties.
The collaborators repeatedly play videos that slander Falun Gong and force the practitioners to watch, sometimes for more than 10 hours a day. The repetition even gives the collaborators headaches.
b. Physical Torture
Sitting Still on a Mini Stool
Almost every steadfast practitioner has been forced to sit on a mini stool. The stool is 6” tall and 8” wide with ridges carved into the seat. The practitioner must keep her upper body straight with knees touching and hands on her knees. The stool is so short that the practitioner has to lean forward, and as a result put her body weight on the tailbone. When the tailbone rubs against the ridges on the seat, it starts to hurt in 10 minutes. The practitioner has to sit still on the stool for 15 to 18 hours every day for months.
Ms. Li Xueyan once was tortured this way for 56 days. Ms. Yu Guirong sat on such a stool for over 100 days while her range of activity was restricted to the size of a tile (24” by 24”) during that time.
When Ms. Li Mingfang sat on the stool, the collaborators slapped her constantly. Everyone in her cell was forced to read the propaganda materials with her because she refused to give up her belief. Consequently other inmates held a grudge against her, beat her, and bullied her.
For the practitioners who refuse to give up their faith or cooperate with the prison authorities during health exams or blood tests, the collaborators take turns beating them. These collaborators are never punished even if the practitioners report them.
Ms. Li Erying was tied up and beaten until she was so injured she couldn’t care for herself anymore.
Ten minutes after Ms. Yang Shuqin arrived at the prison, a collaborator punched and kicked her before she told her address. Because she remained steadfast, the collaborator punched her face so hard that her denture flew out of her mouth. She was forced to sit on a small stool and the collaborator used a cloth hanger to whip her. As soon as she started to tremble due to the pain, the collaborator kicked her off the stool and she couldn't get up.
Ms. Yang had been suffering from a severe headache due to a fall in a detention center prior to her prison admission, so the kick only made her condition even worse. She was unable to do intensive labor in the sweatshop of the prison, which resulted in frequent beatings.
Ms. Liang Shurong is in her 70s. Several collaborators picked her up and dropped her on the ground. From then on she couldn't walk or straighten her back. At one point the collaborator threw her food on the floor and forced her to crawl to reach it.
Limited Use of the Toilet
Practitioners are allowed to use the toilet just three times a day. Many practitioners are over 70 years old. At night they often have to wait in line for the toilet, and many end up having accidents. Even the younger practitioners have the same problem. Ms. Ma Cuizhi had to relieve herself in a bucket at one point and the collaborators tried to force her to drink her urine. They ended up dumping it all over her.
Every cell has curtains on the door to prevent the practitioners from seeing one another. The practitioners are isolated and have to take turns using the toilet, doing dishes, and washing up. At night they often have to wait at least half an hour before they are called and allowed to use the toilet. The guards criticize or punish the collaborators if they accidentally let the practitioners see or greet one another. Every movement of the practitioners has to be reported to the guards on paper.
Ms. Gao Xiuzhen was coerced into writing a statement to renounce her faith and later tore it up. To punish her, the authorities injected her with an unknown drug and put her in solitary confinement.
Standing for Long Periods of Time
When a collaborator orders a practitioner to stand for a long time, sometimes all the inmates in that cell have to stand with the practitioner. This stirs up hatred and incites abuse against the practitioner.
The practitioners are told that they will never make it home if they refuse to renounce Falun Gong, even after serving their terms. They are warned to get ready to go to a brainwashing facility or detention center after their terms are up.
In random conversations, the collaborators make sure the practitioners overhear what they say: “So and so was put in a detention center after serving her term and now is back in prison for refusing to ‘transform;’ the only way out is to “be ‘transformed.’”
The Tackling Team Threatens and Terrorizes
According to the guards themselves, there is a strategy to “tackle” the steadfast practitioners in the 9th ward, which is also known as the tackling team. Ge Xuehong, former captain of the 8th ward, said that the collaborators would take on different roles to deceive the practitioner: some are to viciously beat the practitioner, verbally abuse her, or pepper her with deadly threats, while others are to be the “gentle one” who “sympathizes and supports” the practitioner.
The gentle one feeds the practitioner with lies and threats by saying things like, “So and so agreed to ‘transform’ and her sentence was reduced,” “So and so refused to comply and was beaten, and her child was kicked out of school and couldn’t leave the country,” or “So and so was sent back to prison again for refusing to give up the practice.” Practitioners under tremendous mental and physical pressure tend to believe the “gentle” collaborators and appreciate their kind support, and some worry about their families and decide to give up their belief.
When practitioners are first put in the tackling team, they have to sit on the mini stools all day. Some couldn’t stand it anymore and signed the document to renounce Falun Gong. They then could transfer to other teams.
The steadfast practitioners, however, are faced with more severe persecution. Ms. Gao Shuying, 56, from Tahe County, Heilongjiang Province, was placed in the tackling team in May 2018. She sat on a mini stool from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for five months. If she moved, the collaborators stomped on and punched her. At the end of 2019 she refused to write a repentance letter. She was forced to sit on a mini stool for 8 days.
Worse Treatment for Practitioners Who Regret after Renouncing Faith
Some practitioners later regretted signing the statements to renounce their faith when they were incoherent after being tortured. These practitioners tried to void their statements and ended up being treated worse. The 16th team in the 8th ward handles these practitioners especially. One would often hear the team chief screaming and shouting abusive words at them.
Chief Ge Xin was heard bragging about how she abused a practitioner: “I forced her to get down on the ground, then stepped on her head while I force fed-her (unknown) drugs. The next day she volunteered to take the drug, but it wasn’t good enough. I wrestled her down nonetheless and stepped on her head while she took the drug. The third day she wanted to avoid the misery and agreed to sign the statement to renounce her faith. But I told her it wasn’t good enough because I just wanted to torture her.”
Ms. Xue Li was often subjected to such humiliation. A chief often took her to a washroom in the winter and repeatedly poured buckets of cold water over her. The guards encourage the chiefs and collaborators to torture the practitioners to more effectively “transform” them.
There is no workshop in the prison, so the prisoners are forced to do intensive labor in their cells. The work often involves assembling caps for wine or seasoning bottles or folding paper bags. They often have to work till 8 p.m. or 11 p.m. if they don't finish their quota.
The wards often get notices ahead of time when the inspectors are coming. The chiefs then make the prisoners hide all the materials and pretend to be “studying.” The inspectors then go to a meeting room where the inmates put on a performance.
Ms. Cao Shuyun from Yi’an County, Heilongjiang Province, is 68. She worked past 11 p.m. one evening in 2019 and had to wake up at 3 a.m. to finish her quota. She was too exhausted to get up. The chief and another prisoner held her down and beat her.
The collaborators repeatedly pinched and bruised Ms. Tan Rui's face and kicked her because she couldn't work as fast as they wanted her to.
Mr. Huang, a former government land appraiser in Jiedong County, Guangdong Province, was arrested on March 11, 2016, for his faith. His arrest came two weeks after he escaped a group arrest on February 25, as he wasn’t home when the police came. By monitoring his cell phone, the police located him at another practitioner’s home and arrested him there.
Mr. Huang was tried in the Rongcheng District Court on November 1, 2016, and sentenced to a 5.5-year prison term.
After Mr. Huang was taken to Sihui Prison, the guards frequently ordered felons to beat him, which left his nose and mouth bleeding.
Because Mr. Huang often shouted “Falun Dafa is good” to protest the beatings, the guards held him upside down and hit his head against the floor to silence him. To prevent other inmates from seeing the torture, the guards ordered the inmates to stay in their cells and watch TV. Even though the guards turned up the volume on the TV as loud as it would go, many inmates still felt the shaking force of Mr. Huang’s head hitting the floor.
Mr. Huang suffered severe injuries and had to be hospitalized. His family has called on the international community to help rescue him.
After being treated in the hospital for a month, Mr. Lai Zhiqiang was sent back to prison on September 9, 2020, to finish serving a seven-year term for practicing Falun Gong, despite his critical condition.
Mr. Lai, a Tangshan City, Hebei Province resident, was hospitalized in early August 2020, after he began to have difficulty breathing. He has been bedridden and largely unresponsive since suffering a stroke in 2019. The doctor who did a tracheotomy on him suggested that they couldn’t do anything more for Mr. Lai and that he didn’t have much hope of recovery. The prison authorities kept shackles on Mr. Lai during the entire month of his hospitalization.
For the past year, Mr. Lai’s family has repeatedly requested his release on medical parole. The prison authorities alleged that they were willing to release him, but the decision was rejected by the local justice bureau. When Mr. Lai’s family went to the justice bureau at the prison’s suggestion, they were not allowed in.
Mr. Lai, a taxi driver in his 50s, was arrested on March 31, 2016, while visiting another Falun Gong practitioner. His arrest was part of a police sweep of local practitioners during the 2016 International Horticultural Exposition in Tangshan, as the authorities attempted to prevent the practitioners from going to the public to expose the persecution. After six months in detention, he was sentenced to seven years and admitted to Jidong Prison on October 17, 2016.
The prison authorities kept Mr. Lai in the Strict Management Ward for more than three years and denied him family visits. By the time the authorities finally allowed his wife to visit him in mid-January 2020, he had lost all mobility due to the stroke in 2019. He was carried out by several guards. He had no facial expression and appeared not to recognize his wife.
Before sending him to the hospital in August 2020, the authorities held Mr. Lai in the prison clinic. The guards kept a feeding tube in his stomach and fed him through the tube every day. Mr. Lai was not given enough water and his lips were very dry. A few staff members occasionally used a towel to drip some water into his mouth. He often had tears in his eyes when they did that. He also moved his lips but couldn’t talk.