The case of Hong Kong residents Ms. Li Yaohua and her daughter, Zhang Yibo, has attracted international attention as the authorities in Shanghai neither release nor try them.
Ms. Li Zhimin, just released from a labor camp, describes some of her experiences and observations after two years of torture.
On June 4, 2009, Hong Kong residents Ms. Li Yaohua and her daughter, Zhang Yibo, were arrested in Xuhui District, Shanghai by Tianlin Police Station and the local 610 Office. They have been detained ever since, for a total of nearly nine months. Their case files have been sitting in the District Court for over four months. They are still being detained in Xuhui District Detention Center along with other practitioners Zhang Qin, Lu Yuzhi, and Ye Ying and her daughter.
Since the practitioners' arrest and detention, the local police authorities have been to Ms. Li's husband's workplace to harass him. In mid-November of last year during U.S. President Obama's visit to Shanghai, the local police assigned several policemen to watch the husband 24 hours a day. His workplace terminated his work contract at the end of last year.
Ms. Li Yaohua's father, Li Shanzhen, is 91 years old. In order to try to secure the release of his daughter and granddaughter, Mr. Li visited the Tianlin Police Station, Xuhui District Police Branch, the Shanghai City Police Department, the local Procuratorate, and the local People's Congress Standing Committee. He was unsuccessful each time.
Ms. Li's son, Zhang Yiyuan, teaches at the University of California at Los Angeles in United States. He initiated a rescue effort overseas and gained attention from the international community. California State Assemblymen Chuck Devore and Van Tran wrote to Han Zheng, Mayor of Shanghai, and U. S. President Obama and requested that the Chinese Communist regime immediately release Li Yaohua and Zhang Yibo.
In November 2009, Mr. Li Shanzhen and Mr. Zhang Yiyuan flew to Taiwan from Shanghai and Los Angeles, respectively. They appealed to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), and the Ministry of Justice.
Due to pressure from the international community, Shanghai authorities have repeatedly delayed the proceedings. Reportedly, in early February of 2010, the District Prosecutor Xu Zhenhui attempted to persuade Ms. Li Yaohua to plea guilty in return for a lenient sentence, but she rejected.
Name: Li Zhimin
Address: Yutian County, Hebei Province
Occupation: Retired public school teacher
Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 11, 2008
Most Recent Place of Detention: Kaiping City Forced Labor Camp
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, beatings, hung up, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention
Ms. Li Zhimin was arrested by officers from Yutian Township Police Station on March 21, 2008, and jailed in Yutian County Jail for 15 days. She was then taken to Kaiping Forced Labor Camp and persecuted there for two years. Below is her description of what she experienced:
In Kaiping Forced Labor Camp, the guards locked me in the library, where I slept on the floor and had to use a blood-stained quilt. I was not allowed to leave the room, wash my face, brush my teeth, or use the bathroom. Two inmates watched me around the clock. I was switched to another room after 47 days.
On June 17, 2008, guard Wang dragged me to a solitary confinement room. Several guards took turns torturing me, forcing me to stand and depriving me of sleep. On June 21, the director and Party director of the camp threatened me with electric batons. In July, I was forced to make chopsticks. Guard Lu Haicun threatened me with an electric baton.
In the camp, the guards often used the excuse of sanitary checks to persecute practitioners. One guard dragged me to the lineup while I resisted. Guard Wang dragged me by the collar of my sweater, pulled it off, and left a large bruise my left arm. They dragged me all the way up the stairs and across the floor.
Beginning July 11, 2008, the guards forced us practitioners to wear uniforms. On July 13, two female guards, surnames Wang and Yan, brutally dragged and pulled me by my arms. This torture lasted until 1:00 a.m..
On September 6, 2008, guard Wang Y brought me to the office and asked me if I did Falun Gong exercises in the cell while three guards pushed me around. Then Wang took me to the cell for solitary confinement, along with Yan Hongli, guard Yang, and guard Wang C pushed me and tied me to a chair. Yan, with one leg kneeling on my belly, pulled my hair and hit my head against the chair seven or eight times. Guard Lu Haicen hit my head viciously, and so did Yan Hongli. I was unable to raise my head afterward.
On January 4, 2009, about a dozen practitioners refused to respond to roll call. Guang Wang X pulled practitioner Ms. Wang Weiyue out and slapped her, and then tied her to a chair for two days and nights.
On January 7, five people, including my husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, came to visit me. Guards Wang and Lu would not allow them to see me. At around 9:00 a.m., guard Liu took me to the office. Guard Lu pinched my face very hard and scolded me, "How come you don't want to see your mother-in-law?" It was they who had prohibited me from seeing my relatives, but they turned it around and blamed me. Then they tied me to a chair for three days and nights, not letting me go to the the restroom and freezing me by leaving the windows open.
On February 6, Lu Haicun led eight to nine other guards to inspect the sanitary conditions. I spoke out about his hitting me. Guard Yang grabbed my hair, and Lu threw me to the ground and kicked me on my hips. It left a huge bruise. They tied me up afterwards.
In January 2009, practitioners Ho Fang, Zhen Baohua, Bai Fengyu, Liu Shuge, Yang Niao, and Liu Xiaojun did the exercises. Guards handcuffed them to their beds so that they could neither sit nor stand for four days and nights. After they were released, they did the exercises again the next day. The guards handcuffed them for another four days and nights. This went on and on. In the process, guard Wang Ying pulled me off the bed and threw me to the ground. The next day, Guard Wang Y tricked me into going to the activity room. When I got there, Lu Haicun, Yan Hongli, Wang X, and several other guards handcuffed me to a chair and tied up both of my legs. Zhen Baohua was also handcuffed to the chair with both legs tied up. Lu Haicun opened the windows and someone else took my jacket off. At around 8:00 p.m., the chair I was handcuffed to tumbled over, crushing and bruising my hand. They refused to loosen the constraints and kept me tied to it for seven more days.
Ding Xiaoguang twice taped my mouth shut. He let inmate Hu Xuyang and guard Wang Y tie me to the chair. They then shocked me with an electric baton for about 20 minutes, and then slapped me 25 times.
For 305 days in the camp, I refused to eat the meals there. I was released on February 1, 2010.