(Minghui.org) Of the hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in China who had been illegally detained for their belief in the past 16 years, many were tortured beyond recognition, even to their loved ones.

Mr. Geng Chunlong from Dashiqiao City, Liaoning Province

While on his way to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong, Mr. Geng was arrested by local police in October 1999, along with his mother, sister, brother-in-law, and their daughter. He was beaten by police officer Zhang Haishen for several hours the night of the arrest, which resulted in severe swelling in the face. When he was taken to see his family the next day, they were all stunned. His 7-year-old niece didn't recognize him until he tried to smile and said, “I'm okay.”

Ms. Wu Lijun from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province

While serving a nine-year prison term at the Heilongjiang Women's Prison, Ms. Wu suffered various forms of physical abuse and torture. She was beaten, shocked with electric batons, hung up, confined to a small cell, chained to an iron chair, and given injections of unknown substances. Her appearance changed so dramatically that her sister didn't recognize the gray-haired old lady she had become.

Ms. Liu Shufen from Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province

Ms. Liu was sentenced to 11 years at the Heilongjiang Women's Prison, where she was beaten, hung up for long periods of time, deprived of sleep, and denied bathroom use. To protest her ill treatment, she went on a seven-month hunger strike and was forced fed. Her own mother didn't recognize her when visiting her at the prison. At that point Ms. Liu was skin and bones.

Torture method: Hanging

Ms. Zhang Yi from Shanghai

Ms. Zhang was illegally detained for a month in 2013. She was subjected to physical abuse by inmates assigned to monitor her. To protest, she went on a hunger strike, but was force-fed and beaten. Her six-year-old daughter didn't recognize her during visit and refused to call her “mom.”

Ms. Zhu Yifang from Guangyuan City, Sichuan Province

While incarcerated at the Chengdu Women's Prison, Ms. Zhu was kept in a small cell a full year and not given adequate food. She experienced severe edema and couldn't walk. Ms. Zhu's belly swelled from water retention and she developed big bump on her back. She was given injections of an unknown substance. When her grown son visited her in June 2009, he cried at the sight of her.

A big bump had developed on Ms. Zhu's back.

Mr. Zhang Changjiu from Fushun City, Liaoning Province

Mr. Zhang was subjected to brutal torture and injections of an unknown substance while serving a four-year term at the Dongling Prison in Shenyang City. His daughter couldn't recognize him when she visited.

Mr. Yu Huaicai from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province

Mr. Yu was sent to a forced labor camp after an illegal arrest. In just four months, his weight dropped from 220 lbs to about 100 lbs. He suffered from incontinence and lost his voice. His face had become deformed to the point that it scared his own daughter during a visit—she screamed and ran out of the visitation room.

Ms. Li Xiuzhen from Anqiu City, Shandong Province

While incarcerated at the Jinan Prison, Ms. Li was subjected to various forms of torture. She went on a hunger strike to protest and was force fed. She was not allowed to sleep for four weeks in a row and was beaten daily. When she was released on medical parole in late 2002, she was emaciated and on the verge of death. Her then 13-year-old daughter fainted when she saw her mother.

Ms. Wei Xinrong from Mian County, Shaanxi Province

While illegally detained at the Xi'an Women's Forced Labor Camp, Ms. Wei found out the soup she was given had been poisoned. After that, she avoided eating the soup. The guards then grabbed her hair to pull her head back and dumped the soup down her throat. They used her clothes to clean spilled soup off the floor and then threw them away. At the onset of winter, Ms. Wei only had a dirty sweater to wear. Her husband couldn't believe his eyes when he visited her, as she was skinny and filthy.

Ms. Zhao Shuxiang from Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province

Ms. Zhao was arrested for appealing for her right to practice Falun Gong, and was illegally detained at the Luobei County Detention Center. She was force fed after eight days on a hunger strike. The guards inserted a big tube down her throat and fed her with a salt solution. She once threw up a large amount of blood and was on the verge of death. When her husband received a phone call from the detention center, he rushed to see her, but didn't recognize her until the director assured him that it was Ms. Zhao.

Ms. Yang Junying from Ningxiang County, Hunan Province

After being arrested in 2005, Ms. Yang was detained at the Baimalong Women's Forced Labor Camp in Zhuzhou City. She was forced to watch TV programs slandering Falun Gong, deprived of sleep, and denied bathroom use. She was beaten and made to sit on a small stool for 18 hours a day because she refused to renounce her belief. Later, she was forced to work for long hours each day for two years. She was physically and verbally abused until she developed high blood pressure and chronic numbness in her feet. When she was released on medical parole in late 2006, she looked so old that her own husband couldn't tell who she was.