(Minghui.org) When 17-year-old Yin Jun started to practice Falun Gong in 1997, she was happy to see all the positive changes it brought about in her life. Life was great for her, her future was bright, and she was full of aspiration.

Two years later, however, even before she attended college, her dreams were crushed by the persecution of Falun Gong launched by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Yin was expelled from school and spent the most important time in her life behind bars as a result of standing up against the totalitarian regime for her faith.

She developed severe heart problems in her early twenties, and her lower spine was deformed after suffering constant, intense torture during detention.

Nineteen years have passed, yet the persecution continues. The teenage girl has grown into a 37-year-old woman. Even though her prison days were long over, she chose not to go back home to her parents so as not to implicate them in the persecution. Bearing the fear and pressure of being arrested again at any time, she kept wandering about, doing odd jobs to making a living.

In this article, Ms. Yin recounts the persecution that she has endured over the years. She hopes that, by doing so, more people will understand just how horrible the persecution is so that they can work together to stop it.

Expelled from School

I was in my senior year of high school preparing for the college entrance exam when the Chinese Communist Party suddenly began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999. Propaganda blanketed all of society, falsely decrying us as immoral degenerates.

Knowing that I practice Falun Gong, the police went to my school to find me. They forced the principal and my teachers to pressure me into giving up the practice. When I refused to comply, the principal expelled me from school and forbade me from taking the college entrance exam.

Arrested for Appealing for Falun Gong

I went to Beijing in November 2000 to appeal for Falun Gong. I was arrested at Tiananmen Square. The police beat and verbally abused me. They kept me in a metal cage and then took me to a detention facility in suburban Beijing.

Twelve police officers took turn interrogating me and attempted to find out my name and my address. They didn't allow me to sleep and forced me to squat for an extended period of time.

Two days later, as I didn't tell them anything, they lied to me and said that they would send me back home. I believed them and told them my address. But instead of sending me home, they sent me to the Fengtai District Detention Center in Beijing.

After a few days of detention, I was taken back to my hometown in Baishan City, Jilin Province by the local police and then detained at Fusong County Detention Center.

In order to force me and other Falun Gong practitioners into renouncing our faith, the police kept us outside for six hours barefoot in thin clothing when the temperature was far below freezing. But none of us wavered.

I was released in late January of 2001 after the Chinese New Year. But shortly thereafter, the police arrested me again and sent me to a ten-day brainwashing session to continue their efforts to transform me.

Heart Problem from Torture

I was at my grandmother's home with my mother one night in June of 2001. After we went to bed, we heard loud, rapid knocking at the door. When my mother opened it, more than 20 officers broke in and began to search every corner of the house. They confiscated my Falun Gong books and posters.

Torture reenactment: Handcuffed behind the back

I was taken to the detention center, where the police secured my hands tightly behind my back for more than an hour. I was sweating all over. When they finally unlocked the cuffs, I had lost all feeling in my arms.

At the detention center, I was only given clear soup and rotten bread and barred from buying extra food. The guards didn't allow me to sleep at night: if I dozed off, they would begin making noise to wake me up.

Because of the poor conditions and tremendous physical and mental torment, I began to develop heart problems.

Without due process, the police sent me to the Changchun Forced Labor Camp. When the labor camp doctor found my severe heart problem, he refused to admit me. And yet the detention center still wouldn't let me go. They argued that I couldn't possibly have a heart problem when I was only in my twenties. They held me in custody for another three months and finally released me after they confirmed my heart problem at several local hospitals.

But I wasn't free even after I was released: the police continued to monitor me at home. I was forced to leave home and started to move from place to place.

Arrested for Making Informational Materials About the Persecution

I stayed at Songjianghe Town in Fusong County and began to make informational materials to expose the persecution at my home. After the police found out, I was arrested again after they confiscated my computers, printers and other materials.

The police detained me at Linyeju Detention Center. They tied me to a chair and handcuffed me. During interrogation, they slapped my face, shocked me with electric batons, and beat me.

Torture illustration: Force-feeding

They locked me in solitary confinement, where I started a hunger strike to protest the persecution. Several guards and inmates force-fed me with a feeding tube. Without an understanding of human anatomy, they carelessly rammed the tube into my throat, causing heavy bleeding. They fed me cornmeal with a large amount of salt. I was extremely thirsty after the forced feeding, and my lips had cracked.

During a force-feeding session, I began to have difficulty breathing, and my heart rate dropped to a very low level. I was unable to open my eyes, but I was still slightly conscious. I asked the teacher of Falun Gong for help–“Master, I can't die.” Then, I felt a shock in my heart; afterward, I was able to breathe again. I was grateful that Master had saved my life.

Sent to Forced Labor Camp

I was sentenced to three years at Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp in Changchun in 2002. I was forced to work 16 hours every day and often until midnight. My body was in pain all the time because of the long hours.

The time for us to have meals, take showers or use the restroom was strictly controlled to within a few minutes. If we couldn't finish in time, the guards would stop us no matter what. In the winter, we were allowed only cold water to wash.

Emaciation and Heart Failure After Brainwashing and Torture

I was subjected to intensive brainwashing during the first few months at the labor camp. The guards didn't allow me to sleep at night but still forced me to work long hours during the day.

In a “thought report” required by the labor camp, I wrote stories about how practicing Falun Gong had benefited me. As a result, the guards beat me until I was black and blue. I limped while walking. They also shocked me with electric batons, leaving much swelling and many burns on my body. Despite the enormous pain, they still forced me to continue working.

I protested the persecution with hunger strikes several times. But they force-fed me. They used a mouth opener and dumped cornmeal into my mouth. If I didn't swallow it, they would pinch my nose and not let me breathe. Sometimes the guards would kick my legs during force-feeding. I often kept vomiting and coughing after the torture.

In the persecution of Falun Gong, force-feeding is routinely used to torture practitioners. Many practitioners have died as a result.

While I was 5'6” in height, I weighed less than 110 pounds while I was at the labor camp. When the guards took me to do a physical checkup, they found I had signs of heart failure and my blood pressure was extremely low.

From then on, the guards took my blood pressure twice a day and forced me to take an unknown medicine. If I refused, they shocked me with electric batons.

All the Falun Gong practitioners detained there were subjected to similar or even more severe torture. Some were tortured to death.

Two years later, I began to have a lasting high fever that couldn't be brought down even with injections. I stopped doing hard labor, but the guards continued to torture me by forcing me to sit on a very small stool without moving. They eventually sent me to a military hospital for an exam, where the doctor found that I had gallstones and severe inflammation in my gallbladder.

Fearing that I would die in the labor camp, the guards released me on medical parole.

Prison Sentence

Upon returning home, I continued my efforts to raise awareness of the persecution. I was reported to the police; soon after, they raided my home and confiscated my computer and printer once again.

As I was on medical parole, the police demanded the labor camp take me back to finish my term, but the labor camp refused.

I was detained at the Fusong County Detention Center. I started a hunger strike and yelled out, “Falun Dafa is good!”

The guards tied me to a bed in a spread-eagle position and force-fed me. They left the feeding tube in my nose and stomach. By the time they uncuffed me from the bed, I had lost consciousness and was unable to walk for a long time.

Torture reenactment: Tied in a spread-eagle position

The police submitted my case to the court, and I was given another three-year prison sentence. When they sent me to Heizuizi Women's Prison in Changchun, I failed the physical exam. The police didn't give up, however. They bribed the prison doctor, who eventually manipulated my test results and accepted me.

I was kept in the prison hospital and injected with an unknown medicine every day. Sometimes they handed pills to me, but I would throw them away into the toilet and never took them.

As soon as my health condition stabilized, I was transferred to the “education” ward in the prison, where the guards brainwashed and tortured me in order to force me to renounce Falun Gong.

The “Stretching” Torture

Torture illustration: Stretching

After the prison guards found that many practitioners and I were reading Falun Gong lectures in the prison in November of 2006, they detained some practitioners in solitary rooms and tied their four limbs to the corners of a bed frame. The pain was nearly unbearable.

Although we were detained on different floors, I could hear the screaming by those practitioners suffering the torture.

At night, I could also hear them waking up from nightmares, screaming. It was hard for me to fall asleep as well.

During the day, many elderly practitioners and I were forced to stand facing the wall for a long time without moving or talking. Some were forced to sit on a small stool. When I felt weak and was about to faint away, the guards fed me medicine and said, “If you didn't have a heart problem, we would also have tied you to the bed.”

After those practitioners were put down, many of them couldn't move for days. The rope binding them had cut into their wrists and ankles, which wouldn't heal even after a few months.

Meanwhile, the guards continued to torture us by forcing us to sit on a small stool and subjected us to constant brainwashing. Those who resisted the brainwashing faced even more severe torture.

By the time I was released from prison in 2007, as a result of the small stool torture, my whole body was swollen and my lumbar spine was so severely deformed that I had extreme pain whenever I bent my body even just a little bit.

It took a long time for my spine and legs to recover and for me to be able to walk normally. But compared to the physical damage, the mental trauma from the persecution was even harder to get over.

The persecution also caused tremendous pain for my parents. My grandmother was horrified by the persecution and passed away under great emotional duress.

Second Labor Camp Term

After my body recovered, I found a job and continued to talk to people about the persecution. But as the police continued to monitor me, I was arrested again, and the police confiscated all my Falun Gong-related items for the third time.

This time, I was given a one-and-a-half-year sentence and taken to Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp in March 2010.

The labor camp barely had any heating despite the freezing winter of northeastern China. Frost remained on our bathroom wall the entire winter and never melted.

We were forced to work long hours to make paper bags every day. The glue had a strong odor, and we all had intense headaches after using the glue.

After my term expired, the labor camp detained me for another 20 days before releasing me in September 2011.

I began to move frequently to avoid further arrests. The police frequently harassed my parents and attempted to find out where I was.

When I went home to visit my parents in July 2015, the police detained my mother for 10 days and me for 20 days. They told my father that I was arrested for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.