Name: Feng Xiaomei (冯晓梅)
Gender: Female
Age: 46
Address: Kuaibei Road Post office Dormitory, Shijiazhuang City
Occupation: Engineer for a joint venture company
Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 5, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Hebei Provincial Women's Forced Labor Camp (河北省女子劳教所 )
Province: Hebei
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, beatings, solitary confinement, torture, denial of restroom use

( Ms. Feng Xiaomei has experienced all sorts of injustices and persecution over the past 10 years. She was fired from her job and so were her beloved husband, father, and younger sister. As a result, she had to support the family all by herself. She needed to support an aging mother, a young child, and the five-year-old son of her late sister. In addition to this hardship she was illegally arrested and put in detention. She had no way to formally complain about the detention, the unconstitutional physical abuse, the illegal detention, or even the heinous violence she suffered. As a result of the physical abuse, there was blood in her stool for over a year and she became extremely weak.

Ms. Feng Xiaomei

Ms. Feng Xiaomei's family

Ms. Feng Xiaomei was released on November 27, 2010. She sent letters to the appropriate government departments asking that the law be upheld and that those responsible for persecuting her be held legally accountable.

The following is an excerpt from Ms. Feng's open letter:

1. My abduction

I was at work on April 27, 2009, when officers from the Gaocheng City Police Department suddenly appeared and took me away by force.

I was secretly transferred to Hebei Provincial Legal Training Center (a brainwashing center) on May 2. After being held there for 20 days, I was sentenced to 18 months of forced labor although no legal procedures were followed. I was then escorted to the Provincial Women's Detention Center. The “evidence” cited in the deposition that resulted in a forced labor sentence included:

Testimony: There was “personally signed transcript,” as well as testimony by a person with the surname of Deng. The transcript doesn't exist because when I was abducted and interrogated I did not prepare a “written statement.”

Material Evidence 1: There were SMS messages between lawyers in Beijing and me in my mobile phone.

Materials Evidence 2: There were records of browsing Falun Gong websites in my laptop computer.

During the whole process the authorities did not abide by the rules of a legal hearing, did not allow me to hire a lawyer, and did not notify my family of my whereabouts.

I was the mainstay in my family. The very fact of sending me to the forced labor camp was disastrous for the elderly and the young in my family. My mother, who was over 70, had to take care of two school-age children. She had no income, and, on several occasions she was on the verge of collapse. She even thought about sending her six-year-old nephew to an orphanage.

I came back home from the forced labor 19 months later and was totally exhausted. Since I had blood in my stool for more than a year I was extremely weak and was unable even to do any housework. My mother was so worried about me that all her hair fell out. My son was forced to drop out of school and work as a laborer wherever he could find a job. My nephew was very dark and skinny. He did not want to go to school.

The subsistence allowances I applied for to support the children still haven't been approved, so we have had to ask relatives and friends for help or borrow money elsewhere to stay alive.

2. Torture

I was confined in an isolation ward and put under “strict control” for more than 100 days. I was monitored and followed 24 hours a day. The time allotted for using the toilet was also limited. Sometimes I was not allowed to use the toilet for the entire day. Several times I had to use the basin I used to wash my face as a toilet. The inmate monitors forced me to use the cup I used to brush my teeth as a scoop to empty the urine outside the iron bars one cup at a time, because they did not want the guards to know that I had urinated in the basin. They were afraid that their term of forced labor would be extended. I was not allowed to wash my face or brush my teeth. I was not allowed to buy daily necessities like toilet paper. Whenever I had a bowel movement, I had to use the water in the toilet to clean myself. The guards and officers could be heard yelling and swearing every day. Sometimes these sounds would be mixed with the sounds of beatings and pitiful cries.

Qiao Xiaoxia from the provincial 610 Office and several of the education assistants participated in swearing at, insulting, and attacking me. They used “harassing warfare,” as well as the tactic of having several persons take turns attacking me to wear me down. Qiao Xiaoxia ordered her people to force me to stand still day and night. During the day I was forced to listen to the propaganda that slandered Falun Gong as I stood. In the evening the guards would force me to stand in front of the monitoring device. If I slumped the slightest bit, the guards would order the inmates to drag and push me back to the standing position. They also threatened to handcuff me to the headboard of my bed to keep me in a standing position.

When I was really sleepy and my legs and thighs had become swollen from impaired circulation, Qiao Xiaoxia would employ a torture method that she often used. She would order four inmates to push me onto a bed and force me to sit in the double lotus position, both legs are crossed over each other. Inmate Liu Zongzhen twisted my arms behind my back, pulled them upwards, and pressed her knees into my torso, while inmates Zhu Liying and Qi Xiaolu forced my legs down with their knees. Zhao Jianli was their helper. The pain was so severe that several times I was on the verge of going into shock. I screamed repeatedly.

Qiao Xiaoxia seemed to think that this wasn't severe enough, so she called in a doctor who listened to my heart and took my pulse, and then she ordered the inmates to intensify the torture. Her intention was to make me feel so much pain that I would want to die. I endured the torture for 40 days and was on the verge of physical collapse. I did not want to die because I had my mother and two children to look after. In these severe circumstances, I signed a statement promising to give up my belief, but I did it against my conscience.

I later wrote a solemn statement that declared null and void the statement in which I renounced Falun Gong and that was signed under extreme duress and after relentless torture. When I handed in the statement, I was locked up in an isolation ward and placed under strict control. Feng Kezhuang drove to Qiao Xiaoxia's home and brought her back to begin a new round of torture.

The depression I felt was beyond description. Under such relentless physical torture, blood showed up in my stool at the beginning of August. After that, I saw blood in my stool whenever I was physically attacked. This still occurs.

3. “The Provincial Leaders Really Hate You”

During a conversation with Yuan Shuqian, deputy director of the “Legal Education Center” (Shijiazhuang City 610 Office), he said, “You found defense lawyers for Wang Bo and you found the lawyers in Shijiazhuang. Because you did that, the provincial leaders really hate you. They were determined to find an excuse to arrest you and “transform” you. Of course, finding a lawyer should not be considered a violation of the law. However, it set a bad precedent [meaning it would serve as an example and encourage more people to seek lawyers' help]. How many Beijing lawyers do you actually know? What did you talk about with a certain lawyer in a taxi one day?”

In Shijiazhuang, people who had heard about Wang Bo were sympathetic to the suffering of her family. When people learned that six Beijing lawyers, including Li Heping, Deng Biao, and Li Xionbing, wanted to work with the family, they were relieved. When one lawyer said in court, “The Constitution is above anything else and following a belief is not illegal,” it meant that, from the legal point of view, practicing Falun Gong is not illegal. The practitioners clarifying the truth, distributing fliers, and browsing the Falun Gong website are absolutely legally allowed to do such things. It was really refreshing and stirring to hear. Their defense caused a sensation at home and abroad.

I finally understand the real meaning of what Yuan Shuqian said to me. The reason that I was sentenced to forced labor and suffered terrorist-type retaliation was because the provincial leaders wanted to get revenge. This was because they “really hated me” for finding the lawyers to defend Wang Bo.

The harm the retaliation caused proves that government departments will make vindictive attacks on those who help others to find a lawyer. This matter gives society much food for thought. I, however, feel saddened.

Submitted to the leaders and departments involved.

Chinese citizen: Feng Xiaomei