(Minghui.org)  woman from Chaoyang City was taken into police custody on March 16, 2015, for adhering to her faith in Falun Gong, a self-improvement system persecuted in China. She was given a prison sentence of three years after an unlawful trial. 

Ms. Li Yan suffered unspeakable tortures while being imprisoned and was near death when released, according to her husband. The following is her account of what happened to her.

Imprisoned and Tortured in Detention

I was in a village telling people why the persecution of Falun Gong was wrong when the police arrested me and imprisoned me in Chaoyang City Detention Center on the night of March 16, 2015. Everyone at the detention center was forced to do excessive amounts of labor and punished for not finishing the assignment.

A Falun Gong practitioner was put in the same cell as me. It was cold and I lent her a warm piece of clothing. For that kindness, I was put in a strict management room, because the guards wouldn’t allow anyone to help a Falun Gong practitioner.

I refused to memorize the detention rules so the guards took my warm clothes and left me sitting on the freezing ground for a month. The food was inedible and I developed a severe stomachache.

Tortured in Prison

I was given three years in prison in December 2015 after a show trial and put in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison in May 2016. I was put in a cell used specifically to torture Falun Gong practitioners to try to forcr them to renounce their faith.

Ways to Break a Practitioner

I had to work every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to manufacture an unreasonable number of clothes. It was non-stop, and no one was allowed to talk. The detainees often had to skip meals to make the quota; we were punished if we lifted our heads up, because it was considered to be not working hard.

Everyone was mentally and physically exhausted from overwork and constantly beaten and yelled at. The food was often undercooked and inedible.

After 7:00 p.m. the guards would try to force me to give up my faith. I had to stand or squat while they took turns beating me. I was given little water and hardly any bathroom breaks until 10:00 p.m.

During the days off, I had to squat or stand still from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Two inmates were ordered to watch me and blamed me for their loss of holidays. They wouldn’t allow me to purchase food items and my stomach pain worsened.

The captain used an electric baton to try to force me to write statements to renounce Falun Gong. In the summer she wouldn’t let me shower, wash, or do laundry. I smelled terrible and was humiliated by other detainees.

After six months of torment I developed a perforation in my stomach; in December 2016 I was rushed to an emergency room.

Forced to Pay Medical Expenses

The prison was supposed to pay for my medical expenses but the authorities forced me to pay for it, which cost me over 15,000 yuan (~USD 2,206). I had to go back and work in the prison three weeks after the surgery before my wound could heal. I had to hold the incision tightly while doing the same work as other detainees.

I could only ingest liquid food after the surgery but the prison wouldn’t offer it. I had to go hungry after returning to the prison. The surgery took a toll on me and I didn’t have the right environment to recover. Soon my stomach pain returned and my hair turned grey; my arm hurt terribly and I couldn’t sleep at night.

When I was released in March 2018, my physical health was at its worst. I could barely walk or take in food.