(Minghui.org) Editor’s note: Ms. Chen Jing, a talented college graduate, was subjected to persecution in her early 20s, simply for upholding her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was placed under house arrest in college and threatened with expulsion and imprisonment. After she graduated she was fired from her good job in a hospital. She was forced to move around to avoid persecution and lived in fear for years. When she was 37, she was arrested, then sentenced to five years in prison. She was subjected to various kinds of brutal torture in detention centers and prison.
Ms. Chen recounts in detail how she was persecuted both physically and mentally.
(Continued from Part 1)
Transferred to a Detention Center
Under my strong protest, they did not take me to the police station on February 4. I had no appetite and I also had loose bowels. Li Zhongyi came to the detention center early in the morning and threatened me all day. He said that I could be given a heavy sentence, and an even heavier one if I sought help from a human rights lawyer, whom he labeled liars. He said if I continued being so stubborn, I may not be able to see my elderly parents again. On the other hand, if I cooperated with them, they could immediately release me.
They took me to the hospital for a checkup around 5:00 p.m., and then took me to the Jiamusi City Detention Center at 7:00 p.m. for criminal detention with the charge of “insulting the national flag.”
The environment in the detention center was very bad, with one cell holding more than 20 people. The bedding was so old that the filling was bunched up and lying on the uneven surface was unbearable. It stank and smelled like rotten fish. Bad-quality cornmeal buns and watery soup which contained sand were the staple food. There was no hot water to drink. If I wanted to eat something better, I had to pay for it, and the price was much higher than at a restaurant.
The detention center used the detainees as slaves and forced them to do labor work for profit. One of the jobs was to wrap toothpick ends with bright-colored paper which was used to eat fruit or finger food. Each detainee had to finish 10,000 toothpicks per day. Anyone who could not complete their quota had to work overtime, sometimes all night.
Some detainees were only allowed to sleep two or three hours a night. Others were punished by being made to sit on wooden boards and were not allowed to use the restroom or have meals. The detainees’ work quota was reduced if their families bribed the guards.
I refused to do the forced labor because I did not commit any crime. But the mental torture I endured was far more damaging than the physical punishment.
Li Zhongyi came to the detention center on February 8, Chinese New Year’s Day, and interrogated me. He wanted to check whether my spirit was crushed by the poor living conditions in the detention center. He asked me why I traveled to Hong Kong. I thought that he wanted to accuse me of colluding with foreign forces. But he did not get anything out of me.
He told the detention center officials to pay special attention to monitoring me, as it was ordered by the Ministry of Public Security in the central government and the Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Department. He said I was an important person among Falun Gong practitioners. He also asked them to transfer me to a cell without Falun Gong practitioners and arrange for someone to monitor me and persuade me to cooperate.
Family Affection Trick
Yang Bo and two other officers from the Heilongjiang Provincial Police studied my case for a long time. They researched all the files on my family and me. They investigated my sister and even looked into her marriage. Li Zhongyi contacted my college classmates and colleagues to find out about my personal interests and hobbies.
One day around the end of February, a group of police from the Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Department brought my parents, sister, and brother-in-law to the detention center. My parents, in their 70s, wept nonstop. My mother was forced to kneel in front of me to pressure me to renounce Falun Gong. She was under so much pressure herself, that she had trouble breathing. My entire family was coerced to be against me.
On March 5 and 6, Li Zhongyi brought my parents and sister to the police station again to meet me and persuade me to cooperate. My parents traveled thousands of miles to Jiamusi and had difficulty adjusting themselves to the unfamiliar environment in the cold winter. Every time they came, my sister had to take off from work. She was very busy, so it was not easy for her to arrange time off. My brother-in-law didn’t have paid time off and he also had elderly parents and a young child to take care of.
Li repeatedly brought my parents back to the police station in March and April. My parents always wept when they saw me. I was really sad for my family’s suffering and even sadder to see them being deceived and cooperating with the police.
Li hypocritically treated them nicely, picking them up in cars, but at the same time, he kept them away from my practitioner friends. He used my family’s affection for me, against me. He told them, “You care so much about Chen Jing, but she doesn’t care about you at all. It only takes one sentence from her for us to release her, but she obviously doesn’t want to go back home. She doesn’t want to see you.”
While it pained me so much to see my family’s suffering, I knew I couldn’t compromise and give in to the regime. When Li realized that they couldn’t use my family to achieve their goal, he dropped his hypocrisy and no longer answered my parents’ phone calls.
More Interrogation Before Trial
During one interrogation session, Li Zhongyi and others used the confessions of previously arrested Falun Gong practitioners to trick me and they wrote whatever they wanted in the transcript. Li Qiang asked me, “There was no beating or verbal abuse during interrogation, right?” I had just been hung up and tortured and I was in great pain. I looked straight at him and refused to answer. He laughed loudly and then wrote “No” on the computer form. He forced me to sign and read the statement while recording it. The video was later played during my trial.
During the interrogation sessions in March and April, Yang Bo and Li Zhongyi kept smoking in the closed interrogation room every day, knowing Falun Gong suggests practitioners not smoke. They took turns continuously brainwashing me. They slandered Falun Gong, the Minghui website, and the media that Falun Gong practitioners founded to bring uncensored news about China to the world. They also slandered the human rights lawyers who defend Falun Gong practitioners.
One day Li came to the detention center to meet me. I kindly told him to stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. He responded by threatening me and said that he would arrest more practitioners if I did not give in. He also told me that a practitioner I knew, Chuan Jing, died to weaken my willpower. He was disappointed that it did not work on me.
As a result of the torture and frequent interrogation, I was very weak. I was unable to move my arms due to severe pain. I had difficulty speaking. I had no bowel movement for two weeks and no period for five months.
Seeing that I refused to directly answer their questions, they tried to chat with me and asked about my personal information, such as when I started to practice Falun Gong, and which practitioners I knew. They also asked why I hadn’t married, where I got the money to buy my house and where my main source of income came from. I only told them how I benefited from practicing Falun Gong, but I didn’t answer any other questions.
Sometimes they pretended to care for me to get my cooperation and said they weren’t against my practicing Falun Gong. But when I truly needed something, even something as small as a rubber band to tie my hair, they were unwilling to give me one or even let me buy one. They laughed at me, “You are here. Why do you still care about how you look?” Sometimes they threatened me and said that I may not be able to keep my long hair or wear colorful clothes anymore, as what awaited me might be endless prison life.
No matter how arrogant and superior they behaved in front of me, they were afraid that people would know what they did to me. Yang Bo and Li Zhongyi tightly closed the door every day. One day, I could not breathe because of their cigarette smoke. They finally opened the door slightly after I repeatedly asked. A man who was lost in the police station accidentally opened the door and stuck his head in to look for someone. Yang and Li immediately became nervous and closed the door. Li ran out and checked who the man was.
Every time they came to the detention center to bring me to the police station, they always pulled the hood of my down jacket over my head when they escorted me out, even though I asked them not to since I felt suffocated. They always parked right outside of the police station building. As soon as they stepped out of the car, they lowered their hats and looked around. As we entered the building, one always walked in front of me and the other walked behind me.
One day while Zhang Jia was interrogating me, his cellphone rang. It was his son. Zhang’s voice and demeanor suddenly changed from furious to very gentle. He chatted with his little boy for a long time. After his call, I said to him, “From your conversation with your son, I can tell you must really love him and I see you are a good dad. But have you thought about it, if one day, your son knows you tortured a woman who isn’t much older than his mother, what will he think of you? Sometimes when I recall how you beat me, I think that you also have a wife and sister. I’m just a woman. I haven’t done anything to you. I don’t have any grudge against you. How can you torture me and beat me like this?”
After I said this, Zhang paused for a long time. His voice became soft and he said, “Do you think this is something I want to do? This is my job. I will do whatever my supervisor tells me to do. Why do I have to torture you? In fact, we are neighbors. I live in the building next to yours. I can see your home from my window on the north side.”
I was happy to meet with my defense lawyer one day in mid-May. Li Zhongyi learned about it the next day and became angry. He threatened me and told me not to tell my lawyer how I was abused. Afterward, they stopped interrogating me.
Prosecutors Yang Jingjuan and Liu Wenjing from the Jiamusi City Jiao District Prosecutor's Office came to the detention center on June 17 to talk to me. I told Yang how the police tortured me and confiscated my belongings. She was very impatient and did not record anything I told her. When I asked her about it, she replied, “Why do I have to write down everything you say? How do I know whether what you say is true or not?”
I met my second defense attorney, lawyer Huang, on August 26. Only then did I learn that the previous attorney who represented me was framed and imprisoned as well.
My indictment from the Jiamusi Jiao District Court was delivered to the detention center on October 19 for my signature. I requested to go downstairs to meet the delivery person from the court. The delivery person was the presiding judge of my case, Pu Xuemei, who told me the hearing date was not decided yet. I asked her to make sure to notify my family and lawyer. She agreed without hesitation, so I signed the document. But when lawyer Huang came to visit me at the end of November, he had not been told that I was indicted.
(To be continued.)
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