Ms. Liu Xiangfen Escaped to the U.S. and Described Her Persecution Suffered in Beijing
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner who came to the US from Beijing, China. Starting in 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong, I was illegally detained four times. Two times I was held in a detention center and the other two times in a forced labor camp. Please find below a synopsis of what I have suffered.
The Beginning of the Persecution
Soon after April 25, the CCP announced in the newspaper that it wouldn't persecute Falun Gong. Yet, it covertly persecuted Dafa practitioners who appealed to the government. Since April 27, police officers monitored me daily for two hours when I was at home. They also began to harass me with the excuse of checking my identity card or that they wanted to discuss Falun Gong issues with me. Even though they understood that we were the best people in the world, due to pressure from "the Top" and their mind having been poisoned by the CCP culture, they carried out their task without a second thought. Their conscience did not bother them. Plainclothes police hid under vehicle covers to watch when we were doing the exercises. After we finished the exercises, they followed those they didn't really know that well to find out more about them. They also followed the assistants during the daytime.
On the morning of July 20, after we did the exercises, the head of the police station asked us to go to a practitioner's home [for an announcement]. They told us that the government would persecute Falun Gong and forbid us to practice Falun Gong. At that time, we didn't expect that the government would go back on its earlier promises.
On July 21, a few practitioners and I learned that every assistant was arrested clandestinely in the early morning of July 20. At 3 a.m., to escape arrest, we hid somewhere close to Zhongnanhai. We were hoping to appeal to the government as soon as the appeals office opened doors in the morning. At that time, the entire street swam with police. Police officers began to interrogate us. One police officer revealed accidentally the pre-planned secret. They hadn't taken off their clothes when going to bed during the past five days. They were waiting for us. We understand now that the arrest of the assistance was a trap. After a few practitioners who went together to appeal were arrested and taken away, I was fortunate to escape arrest by taking side roads. It took me until 10 a.m. to reach the Appeals Office. That day, a few million practitioners came to Beijing, but not many were able to get through the police check points. Only 1,000 practitioners reached the Appeals Office. Everyone stood peacefully on the sidewalks, without littering the area. Police and military police stood in front of us.
At 12 p.m., many soldiers arrived and put us into their vehicles. Those who refused to get into the vehicles were dragged to the vehicles by their hair and necks. We were taken to Fengtai Sports Center. To reduce our collective strength, we were separated into sections. Police officers and soldiers were surrounding each section. Then they began to arrest young Dafa practitioners. At 6 p.m., the arrest accelerated and more and more people were arrested. Some women's clothes were ripped, when they were carried to the vehicles and their private parts were exposed. Their shoes fell off, and some were beaten black and blue.
At 5 a.m. on July 22, a few practitioners and I wanted to appeal again. When we arrived at Xidan (a busy commercial area downtown Beijing), we realized that we couldn't reach our destination. There were buses and plainclothes police at each intersection, waiting to arrest people. All of us had to stand on sidewalks. At about 11 a.m., the mass arrest began again. We were transported to a school and left in the baking sun. Later, police from the Haidian District Police Bureau took us somewhere else. They showed videotapes defaming Dafa and our Teacher. We were forced to watch the fabricated announcement by the CCP Ministry of Civic Politics and Police concerning the crackdown of Falun Gong. Then we were taken back to the police station.
Police officers interrogated me until 3 a.m. I was not to be released until I wrote the guarantee statement, promising not to plot against the government. The following morning, when I was doing the exercises in a residential area, the head from Yuxin Police Station in Haidian District arrived with a group of police officers and confiscated my tape recorder. They arrested me and another Dafa practitioner and took us to the police station.
On July 28, police forced my landlord to kick me out of my home. They claimed that my home was a Fa study center, and they threatened my landlord that they would confiscate his house, dismiss him from his job and stop his pay if he wouldn't comply. My landlord understood clearly that we were good people, and therefore I could move to another place of his. As soon as I arrived at my new residence I realized that the police were going to arrest me. Police were searching for me everywhere. I was confused, so I called the head of the police station to appeal to his compassion. Now, they quickly found me. In the evening, there were people watching outside the apartment building. At the same time, my landlord also gave us inside information. The next morning, we quickly moved, and we managed to escape. We left for Chaoyang District.
Arrested and Taken to Hainan Province for Persecution
At 9 a.m. on September 21, 1999, I was on the way to pay the telephone bill with my babysitter, holding my wallet in my hand. Suddenly, a heavyset man ran toward me. Three vehicles without license plates drove towards me. They carried me to the car and put me into the vehicle. I was covered with a blanket and forced under the car seats. I thought they were robbers, but they were plainclothes police. They had been following me for quite a while.
All detention centers were filled to the brink with Dafa practitioners. They waited until 5 p.m. to take me to the Beijing Security Bureau for videotaping. Then, they detained me there, a place where they generally held high level political criminals, such as spies.
After being detained for three days, they took me to Hainan for further persecution. They did not interrogate me nor follow legal procedures at the time. After I was detained for 100 days, I wrote a letter to the head of the police bureau. I said that my right to be a good and healthy person was infringed upon, and therefore life had turned meaningless. I told him that I was going on a hunger strike until I was released. Later the head of the police bureau told me that they had forgotten all about me. He suggested that if I hadn't written this letter, I wouldn't have been released until this prison was closed. Later they released me, but not before I wrote a guarantee statement promising not to appeal to the government, although this was a violation of the Chinese Constitution.
After my release, I was not allowed to return to Beijing. I had no other choice but to write a letter advising not to equate my forbearance with fear, and thus would willingly accept whatever they handed out. I reminded them that the duty of police was to protect and uphold the law of the land, instead of violating it. During that time, my husband searched everywhere for me, but no detention center admitted that they detained Falun Gong practitioners. As they were unable to find me, my in-laws and my father became sick, my daughter had nobody to take her to daycare, and my son had nobody to look after him. Their life was interfered with, and they were mentally and physically affected by this.
Suffering When Detained at Dongbeiwang Police Station in Haidian District
On June 11, 2000, a few practitioners went to a park [to test if we would be arrested]. A few police officers from Dongbeiwang Police Station in Haidian District arrested and then took us to Dongbeiwang Police Station. Because we refused to renounce our belief in Falun Dafa, they handcuffed us against a large tree and left us in the baking sun for a long time. Another practitioner by the last name of Zhang, because he resisted the persecution, was hung by handcuffs to a door, with only the tip of one foot touching the ground. They forbid us to use the restroom. I was having my period, and the discharge soiled my white pants.
After some time, they took me to Haidian Detention Center for further persecution. After15 days, they took me to Hainan Province No.2 Detention Center where I was also persecuted and illegally detained for 110 days. At that time, I asked the head of the detention center why they didn't release me. He responded that since he didn't know where I was from, he couldn't release me.
In January 2001, two months after my release, I was trying to comfort my family who were upset about the persecution I suffered. I thought that even if the government didn't care about people, I couldn't disregard my family's feeling. My son was about to have his birthday, so I refused to go to the brainwashing center. Therefore, police from Dongbeiwang Police Station chained me with an iron chain, and a few police officers in plainclothes carried me from the sixth to the ground floor, and took me to Haidian Detention Center.
As I did not give in to their demands, some inmates were ordered by the guards to put me into a very windy place. It was the coldest season of the year in Beijing. They wanted to strip me and pour cold water over me. They brought the rubber tube and helmet, which were usually used by police officers to beat practitioners. They wanted to torture me. As I shouted loudly, guards arrived. They didn't punish the people who were beating me, instead, they tied my hands and feet together, put a helmet on my head, and made me sit on the cold floor. They also prepared a filthy cloth to stuff my mouth, so I could no longer be heard. Furthermore, they wrote a fake report about my intending to commit suicide. The wanted to deceive the people who were running the detention center.
Later Wang Qin, head of this ward, began to treat practitioners with fake kindness, learned from other forced labor camps. She wanted to put handcuffs and foot shackles on me to force me to stop the hunger strike. I firmly refused. Then she took me to a ward with my hands and feet tied together with an iron chain. I could only look down [in embarrassment], so she held my jaw up in front of over 20 people in the ward, in an effort to humiliate me. At that time, I held one thought, "I sincerely hoped that my suffering would bring out their kind thoughts." Some of these people had tears rolling down their face. Later some prisoners told me secretly that two days ago a practitioner was beaten until her waist was injured. Then, she was taken to a forced labor camp. Over the next days, because I refused to strip and demanded to be released, guard Wang Qing beat and kicked me. This young lady who was fat and short was severely poisoned by the CCP. Because she wounded many and even killed Falun Gong practitioners, she was promoted by the CCP a total of three levels in one shot.
Detained at a Dispatch Center for Future Detention at a Forced Labor Camp
One month later, I was taken to a Dispatch Center, where people were held until taken to a forced labor camp. The building was built in August 2000 solely for the inhuman persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. People refer to this place as the butcher's field.
After we got out of the vehicle, a dark skinned heavy built big man, waving his police baton, started swearing at us irrationally. Guards, holding police batons and electric batons, were on both of his sides. They charged towards practitioners who didn't follow their humiliating orders and beat them.
A male practitioner Xue Hongjun, a manager of an import and export company, was beaten by guards until he fell to the ground. They beat him with police batons and electric batons until he no longer could move. Then, he was dragged inside. Another few practitioners were tortured just like Mr. Xue. A female guard pulled practitioners hair very hard towards their chests, so that heads were positioned so low that one could only see the tips of ones feet. Finally, two guards escorted one Dafa practitioner at a time to a room, where they tried to force them to copy the guarantee statement. Whoever did not cooperate was subjected to cruel beating.
I wanted to reason with them, but before I could begin to talk, a guard with the surname of Fu pulled my hair so hard that I lost my balance and fell to the ground. She proceeded to beat me cruelly with two police batons. She kept shocking me with an electric baton until she couldn't move her hands. My head was severely injured and I had fainted. Unconsciously, I felt that she had brought a lot of snow from outdoors and put on my head. After I woke up, the area around me was wet with dark water, my clothes were wet, and almost all of my long hair had been pulled out and was lying on the ground. (This guard, surnamed Fu, received awards for beating up Dafa practitioners, and was later promoted to divisional manager).
Practitioner Liu Xiuping, brought from Haidian Detention Center at the same time as I, refused to write the guarantee statement. That night, she was striped and forced to stand in the icy cold weather the entire night. (Later, she suffered a mental collapse, due to the torture in the forced labor camp).
Despite mental and physical torture, they still forced us to do hard labor. We made much that was sold cheaply in the market.
For example, we had to wrap disposable chopsticks. We put chopsticks on the dirty ground, even nearby toilets, because we were only allowed to use the bathroom once a day. There were six toilets for a dozen people. We were only allowed two minutes for a bathroom visit, not enough to brush teeth and wash our faces. We often didn't have time for a bowel movements. One elderly lady, because of extreme stress, was only done half with her bowel movement, yet she was forced to get up or she would be beaten.
We had no other choice then to use a wooden barrel in our room. Every morning practitioners had bowel movement into the barrel. It was full in a day. If we were not careful, the stuff inside would squirt on our clothes. Unfortunately, there wasn't any place for us to wash our hands or faces. We weren't allowed to take a shower or wash our clothes during hot weather. We smelled awful! The so-called "hygienic" chopsticks were wrapped in such a filthy environment. It was a joke that the words on the wrapping paper or plastic bags said "sanitized." Guards also shocked inmates who monitored us with electric batons, to make them bully us.
Detained at Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp
On March 21, 2001, I was detained at Beijing Xin'an Forced Labor Camp. Later, the name was changed to Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp. This is an evil place, filled with lies, violence and fake kindness. As soon as we were admitted, guards with a wicked smile on their face said that we were terribly dirty. They said, "Make yourselves at home! Hurry and take a shower!"
After taking a shower, while monitored by prisoners who were considered trustworthy, we were taken to a room to write the guarantee statement, saying that we would renounce Falun Gong, the repentance statement and another statement cursing Falun Dafa and Teacher. Whoever didn't write these statements was surrounded by four people who attempted to brainwash them. Those who did not cooperate would be cruelly beaten, forced to squat in a military position or squat with both arms holding hands, standing for a long time, "riding an airplane," had their hair pulled and hit against the wall by holding onto their hair, or stuck with a needle in the private parts. There were many classic CCP torture methods.
If we didn't write the three statements, we suffered sleep deprivation. Some practitioners were deprived of sleep for six months, and after six months, they were allowed to sleep only for a couple of hours daily. I mentioned earlier about Liu Xiuping being tortured mentally and physically until she suffered a mental collapse. The truth is that in such an evil environment, nobody sympathized with people like Liu Xiuping, people who were mistreated by guards and inmates because of not having succumbed to "transformation." A person's kindness and conscience disappeared because of intensive fear and pressure. No one dared to sympathize with the weak, or uphold justice, because of the fear of being tortured inhumanly.
Because I was not loosing my conscience and feeling of injustice, I was criticized, threatened, besieged and taken for brainwashing many times. I had to continuously write reports about my thoughts, until I became a cunning, secretive and silent person. That torture that made you wish you be dead could completely destroy a person's will, make the person give up, or change into a person who capitulates. At the same time, they brought in trusted people to monitor me secretly. They wanted to find fault, attempting to destroy my peaceful and calm countenance. They wanted to take me to an intensive training group and extend my term. Practitioners are tortured and persecuted inhumanly in this place.
I personally witnessed Du Rongfeng shouting "Falun Dafa is good" at the flag-raising ceremony and as a result was beaten. She fainted, fell to the ground, and was then dragged to the intensive training group for further persecution. A few days later, when she was released no one could recognize her.
Zhao Xiaohua's hands were handcuffed behind her back. She was pressed to the ground into a kneeling position, and a towel stuffed into her mouth to silence her. She only shouted because she couldn't take the pain any more. Some elderly ladies were terrified by her shouting and had a heart attack.
Liu Guifang's private parts and armpits were stabbed with needles. But, she didn't dare to speak about it. She admitted this to me when we found the opportunity. Liu Guifu had to stand for 18 days, stare at one place - straight ahead, and if she moved to a different place or blink her eyes, she was cursed at viciously. At the same time, they hit her with a mosquito pad on the head. Then, thugs beat her and kicked her, and her waist was injured.
Even if one was "transformed", one was not rewarded with a good life. At first, one had to work about 18 hours daily, followed by two hours of sleep. They called this "people having breaks, whereas needles don't stop." Later, after released practitioners reported to supervisory levels and some still detained practitioners publicized this information. So, they had to work only for 12 hours. The main products were handicrafts for exportation, such as delicate tea mats, handmade sweaters, and cashmere shirts and so on.
We were also required to write something against our will, until we saw lies as the truth, completely lost our conscience, and no longer were bothered by the shame from speaking lies and committing evil deeds. Everything had to be in tune with that evil environment. Only then did our perceived behavior bring us ease or even praise. It was an environment where everything was reversed, were wrong became right, good turned into evil and many considered lies to be the truth.
That's a place full of lies and deceit. When certain federal government controlled TV station reporters came to do an interview, we were told a few days before the interview to clean thoroughly and make the forced labor camp look spotless. They also bought a large-sized trash bin and put it in the cafeteria. On the afternoon before the interview, they asked us to hide our day-to-day production products, raw materials and tools, in a remote place. On that day, we were told to sing songs, dance, play basketball, play chess, play lion dance, read the books, watch TV, and even those who were not transformed and being tortured, were allowed to join in. That day, everyone was free of torture and being persecuted. At lunch, we had a much improved lunch, which included two dishes and rice. Before the reporters arrived, they told those who would participate in the activities not to accept any reporters' interview. When the reporter were setting up the video camera and were readying the interview, they shouted "All of us turn around and run in a steady pace." They took us back to our wards in a hurry. Therefore they gave the reporters the impression that no persecution was perpetrated in this camp, rather the Chinese government voluntarily supported obedient "students" of various ages.
In October 2002, after I was released from the forced labor camp, staff from the police station and local community management committee came to our home to harass us. My children's and my identity cards were canceled. If I were beaten to death at the forced labor camp, there wouldn't been any way to find the truth, even if the international community were to investigate my death. They would have said that Falun Gong created such a rumor, and that there was no such person.
Arrested and Taken to Haidian Detention Center
On February 28, 2005, because the CCP was going to hold the "Two Meetings", they began to arrest people again. To meet their objective, they arrested me and then took me to Haidian Detention Center. At that time, my son was preparing for the senior high school entrance exam, and my daughter was only 18 months old. I was so worried, because I had suffered cruel persecution over the past years and I brought great harm to my family.
When my son was getting ready for the junior high entrance exam, I was detained at a forced labor camp. His academic record and growth were impacted by this. After I returned from the forced labor camp, I wanted to bring all back to normality and put everything right again. It was quite an effort to bring them back on track. The admission test for senior high school was in a little more than two months, and here I was arrested again. Therefore, I went on hunger strike to resist being persecuted.
They took me to Beijing Police Hospital, a very evil place. It is located in a very damp and dark basement. All patients are chained with iron chains to the beds. They were only released from the chains for brushing their teeth and washing themselves. Generally they urinated and had their bowel movement right beside the bed. Even if were not ill before, they would have developed diseases.
Detained at Hebei Tangshan Forced Labor Camp
They injected me with an unknown medicine at Beijing Police Hospital and I fell into a deep sleep. Later, someone told me that they wanted to kill our mind. That medicine contained a certain element that destroyed the central nervous system. I couldn't do anything else but stop the hunger strike. On June 17, they took me back to Hebei Province Tangshan Forced Labor Camp for detention, where they continued their effort to brainwash me.
After looking within I came to the conclusion that I could no longer allow them to persecute me. It was irresponsible when thinking of us, children, or our conscience. In this extremely vicious place, any opposition would become an excuse for them to escalate their persecution. Even if I chose to go on hunger strike and water strike. After two and half month of being tempted and threatened, and surviving the life and death test, I returned home to my family again.
My younger daughter had already turned two and half years old. She didn't recognize me any more and saw her babysitter as her mother. She called me "Auntie" and refused to let me hug her. My elder daughter (10 years old) couldn't take the pressure of my being persecuted again, and thus became obsessed with food. She had changed. My husband had a child with his mistress when I was detained at the forced labor camp and asked for a divorce. A harmonic family life was destroyed.
Of course, compared with the majority of persecuted Falun Gong practitioner, I am very lucky. I survived my ordeal, even though I suffered mentally, physically and economically, and although my three computers and printers were still confiscated.
Even though fear brought about by the persecution of the past few years stays with me, I realize clearly that I am in a free country and living in a peaceful environment. Alas, there are many of my fellow practitioners still suffering from the persecution under the evil CCP. It is my greatest wish that people from all around the world give us their helping hands, and help save fellow practitioners. My hope is that the world's people will stand up and uphold justice.