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Force-Feeding as Torture—The Experience of a Detained Tianjin Woman

October 14, 2018 |   By a Minghui correspondent in Tianjin

(Minghui.org) To protest their illegal detention and safeguard their freedom of belief, Falun Gong practitioners sometimes go on hunger strikes after they are arrested for their faith by the Chinese communist regime. Prison officials use this opportunity to torture these practitioners with force-feeding.

Below is what happened to a practitioner in Tianjin.

Ms. Gao Yanhong, a resident of the Wuqing District of Tianjin, used to suffer from various illnesses. She credits the practice of Falun Gong for improving her health and lifting her character. She began to take good care of her husband and the elderly.

But when she talked to someone in a neighboring village about Falun Gong, the village party secretary reported her to police. She was arrested on May 7, 2018, and kept at Wuqing Detention Center for 15 days.

To appeal her innocence, Ms. Gao refused to eat during detention. Guards brought soybean milk powder and instructed inmates to force-feed her. For two days, Ms. Gao spat out the food forced on her.

Mo Shuyu, one of the inmates, came up with an idea to stop the food from coming out. “One of us will pinch her nose while others insert the mixture of milk power and water into her mouth using a spoon. Then we cover her mouth with a towel and hold it tight.”

Following her advice, the inmates sometimes held Ms. Gao down on the floor and sometimes held her against a bed during the force-feeding. Meanwhile, other inmates sat on her legs, and some held her hands tightly to keep them from moving.

The powdered milk mixture was sometimes very sticky, and Ms. Gao was unable to swallow it or spit it out. When inmates covered her mouth with a towel, they did not remove it until she stopped struggling.

Guards also took Ms. Gao to a hospital twice for medical examinations. She was transported in a metal cage, and her feet were shackled.

On her return to the detention center the first time, Ms. Gao called out, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”

One officer pepper-sprayed her in the face, making her unable to open her eyes. Inmates then dragged her back to the cell.

Coming back from the hospital the second time, Ms. Gao did the same, and the officer applied pepper spray again. Back in the cell, head inmate Chen Yuhua instructed other inmates to strip Ms. Gao, force her to sit on a “small stool,” and pour cold water on her one bucket after another.

On the 12th day of her hunger strike, guards handcuffed Ms. Gao to a chair and gave her intravenous injections for over two hours. She continued the hunger strike afterward.

On the 14th day, inmates changed to a larger spoon for force-feeding. They inserted the spoon into her mouth and moved it around frantically, leaving her mouth bloodied inside and out.

Already emaciated, Ms. Gao received another physical examination, which showed high blood pressure, dark spots on her chest, and an egg-sized lump on her neck.

On the 15th day, an officer said she had been diagnosed with late-stage lymphoma. To avoid Ms. Gao dying at the detention center, officials released her on a 10,000-yuan bail.

Ms. Gao's family took her home, where she resumed her practice of Falun Gong. She recovered in about two weeks.

Seeing Ms. Gao’s renewed health, officials began to harass her again. They called her to the detention center twice, one time in July and another time in September. They also threatened to put her in prison.