Shanxi Woman Force Fed with Toxic Drugs and Tortured in Custody
(Minghui.org) When Ms. Tian Runhua’s husband was about to pick her up at the prison on November 8, 2020, after she finished serving a term for her faith in Falun Gong, the local government in Yangquan City, Shanxi Province didn’t let him go there alone.
Instead, four people, including one from the justice bureau, one from the local police station, one from the village committee, and a driver, insisted to go with him.
Before allowing Ms. Tian to go home, the four people brought her to the Donghui Town Police Station and ordered her to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. They also collected her fingerprints and forced her to walk in circles and took her picture.
By lunch time, they found a hot-pot restaurant and asked Ms. Tian's husband to cover their lunch bill of 300 yuan. Ms. Tian, who was kept at the police station, wasn't given anything to eat.
Arrest and Drug-administration at the Detention Center
Ms. Tian, 55, was arrested on May 8, 2018, for putting up informational materials about Falun Gong.
On the first day after she was taken to the Yangquan Detention Center, a guard surnamed Huo asked her why she practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Tian said she used to suffer from whole-body scabies and stomach problems since childhood. The scabies often oozed out blood and pus. The disease rendered her unable to go to school and she also had to endure enormous pain. All of her condition disappeared after learning Falun Gong.
Before she finished, Huo slapped her in the face and said, “I just don’t allow you to practice Falun Gong.” Another guard surnamed Gao kicked her twice.
At night, the inmates shook her head and didn’t allow her to sleep. As she developed dangerously high blood pressure due to sleep-deprivation, guard Huo forcibly fed her with an unknown drug.
Ten minutes after she was force-fed the drug, Ms. Tian began to have headaches and dizziness. She felt very weak and was unable to walk. Two inmates carried her to her bed. After she laid down, she began to have excessive cold sweats that soaked her bed sheet and hair. She also had excruciating chest pain. The discomfort didn’t go away when she got up the next morning. She almost fell while washing herself and the sharp chest pain still lingered.
Guards Huo and Gao continued to force-feed her the toxic drug for the next six months. Despite that she had extensive headaches and chest pain, the guards ordered her to clean the floor, six times a day. Other symptoms she had included leg pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and muscle weakness.
Other than the drug administration, the guards also tortured her by not allowing her to buy daily necessities, including toilet paper, toothpaste and a toothbrush.
Tortured in Prison
Ms. Tian was later sentenced to 2.5 years and fined 20,000 yuan by the Pingding Court. On November 26, 2018, wearing heavy handcuffs and shackles meant for male death prisoners, Ms. Tian was taken to the Shanxi Women’s Prison and assigned to the Fifth Ward.
An inmate named Yang Haiying ordered Ms. Tian to carry a big bucket of water to clean the restroom. As Ms. Tian still struggled with chest pain and pain in her feet, she was unable to lift the bucket. Yang hit her in the chest and verbally abused her. Yang also forbade her from drinking hot water (a traditional Chinese custom) and threw away the sweater, pants, bedsheet and quilt cover she just washed.
Another inmate, Zhang Hongxia, once ordered Ms. Tian to clean the wall, window and floor for her, saying, “Since you are Falun Gong, I will have you do more.”
The inmates also tortured Ms. Tian by not allowing her to eat or forcing her to sleep in a cot in the hallway. Due to the abuse and poor sleep quality, her feet became severely swollen and she had to cut open her shoes in order to wear them. Meanwhile, she was also forced to watch propaganda videos slandering Falun Gong.
One day in the summer of 2019, a guard surnamed Ren ordered to body-search all inmates. When Ms. Tian refused to comply, Ren ordered her to hand-copy prison rules ten times. Ms. Tian still refused to comply. She was then forced to dump the trash for ten days.
On another occasion, Ms. Tian refused to do the goose-step ordered by the guards. A guard surnamed Gao grabbed her hair, took her to the lobby and forced her to stand from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., without having lunch. Ms. Tian’s feet became severely swollen and she almost collapsed while walking back to her cell. Then the symptoms she had after being fed with the toxic drugs recurred, including sharp headaches, chest pain and muscle weakness. She also had pain in her eyes and an overflow of tears.
Ms. Tian didn’t have dinner that night and went straight to bed. But the pain kept her awake. On the next morning, before she got up, inmates from her own cell and nearby cells gathered at the entrance of her cell and verbally abused her. They said the guards would punish them if Ms. Tian didn’t go to work that day. Inmate Zhang Hongxia pulled her up and forced her to go to the workshop. Some other inmates also attempted to beat her.
Due to her health condition, she was unable to eat or drink for two days, yet the inmates still forced her to work.
During her term, the prison authorities withheld a part of the money her husband and son sent her. When she asked for the transaction records of their deposits and her own purchases in the prison to verify the costs, a guard surnamed Jin rejected her request, saying she never saw anyone making such a request before. The prison also forced Ms. Tian to pay 40 yuan for a phone bill, but they never allowed her to call her family with the excuse that she didn’t write a thought report.
Meanwhile, the prison refused to give Ms. Tian her verdict and said as long as she continued to practice Falun Gong, they wouldn’t give it to her. The prison also used the same reason to block her family visits. Both her husband and son went there four times separately, but each of them was only allowed to visit Ms. Tian once. A guard once promised her son that she would allow him to visit her on Wednesday, but when he went there on Wednesday, the guard rejected him.
A month before Ms. Tian was released, she was forced to work for half a day and then spend the remaining time watching brainwashing videos. The inmates continued to take turns verbally abusing her.
After she returned home, she was devastated to find that all of her bank accounts had been frozen and her savings wasconfiscated by the court to pay for her fine.