(Minghui.org) In autumn a few years back, I was arrested by local police officers and illegally locked up in a detention center for my belief in Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
More than 20 people, sometimes as many as 29 people, were crammed into my cell. There were four to five female inmates to a plank-bed which measured 1.5 by 2 meters. Everyone had to sleep on their side, packed like sardines. If you had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, you would not be able to squeeze back to your sleeping space without the help of the guards. They had to forcefully push two bodies to the side to create a little gap for you to squeeze in.
The inmates there were mostly drug addicts, drug dealers, or prostitutes in their twenties or thirties. They were quite an unpleasant and devious bunch who used the foulest language, schemed and fought over the tiniest things such as an extra inch of sleeping space or an extra steamed bun. They would feign kindness to curry favor with the cell leader, but were extremely nasty to one another with their sneers and sarcasm, and sometimes fights broke out. What I had witnessed was a display of the ugliest and the most malevolent side of humanity.
I was an excellent student at school and a respectable professional at work. Most of my family members or those in my social circle are teachers, doctors or other similar professionals, so I rarely mixed with people who worked in less respectable professions. Of course after I started practicing Falun Dafa, I mixed mostly with fellow practitioners who were virtuous, kind and considerate people. Naturally, it was a huge shock to my system having landed myself in that vile environment of the prison cell.
“Imprisoned as you are,don’t be sorrowful or sadCarry on with righteous thoughts and actions,and the Fa is with youCalmly reflect on the attachments you haveRemove your human thoughtsand evil will naturally die out.”(“Don’t Be Sad,” Hong Yin Volume II)
Master’s words awoke the Dafa disciple in me: what I needed to do was to get rid of my human thoughts, send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all evil elements and to clarify the truth about Dafa so as to save people.
I took every opportunity to get closer to the other inmates by getting to know their backgrounds and how they ended up in jail. I discovered that these young people were invariably a product of a society that had gone wrong as a result of declining morality. Regardless, I found they still retained that innate goodness that we have in all of us. I took it upon myself to tell them about Falun Dafa via my own experience, to help them understand right from wrong and to explain to them the importance of quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. Generally, they were quite receptive to my advice.
Since my arrival at the cell, the cell leader had always been asking me all sorts of questions such as what my name was, my age, the cause of my incarceration and whether I suffered from any contagious diseases. She was surprised to find out that I ended up there because I practiced Falun Dafa. I told her I used to suffer from Hepatitis B but had been completely cured since I started practicing Falun Dafa. But she appeared unconvinced and said that from now on I must be isolated from the others.
I was ostracized from then on. My things were kept separate from the other inmates’. I was the last person to be served at meal time and often I only got that last tiny bit of soup. I was only allowed a tiny ration of boiled water daily and my shower time was restricted to three to four minutes while the others had a full five minutes.
Still, I was unmoved and always had a smile on my face. I noticed the young inmates could not get used to eating the steamed cornmeal buns so I saved my wheat flour steamed buns for them if I was given any. Hot water was quite scarce, so I washed myself and my hair with cold water and saved the hot water for the others. Whenever anyone felt emotional or depressed after their interrogation session, I tried my best to console them and calm them down.
One day, about 20 days into my detention, the cell leader announced: “I have been observing her. She is not sick at all, and moreover, she has never complained. The imposed isolation on her is hereby canceled.” I smiled as usual and thanked her.
I became the third person to be served at meal time, behind the cell leader and the second cell leader. My plate was usually filled to more than half full; I had to ask to be given less so others could have more.
A few days later while scolding the drug addicts for fighting, the cell leader said,“Look at yourselves, look at your despicable antics! My respect goes to the Falun Gong person here. Look at her, what an elegant and graceful lady! She never fought over anything and is always very considerate of others, not like you lot...”
I had been illegally detained for 34 days when a lawyer appointed by my family came to see me. My lawyer had already been to the police station to get an understanding of my situation. He told me the local 610 Office had already designated me as a Falun Dafa leader and they said that I had not been very cooperative. My lawyer warned me to be prepared for bad news as they might authorize my arrest, to be followed by a prison sentence.
The day after my lawyer visited me, I was taken from my cell to be examined by the public prosecutors. Waiting for me in the interrogation room were two prosecutors who appeared to be in their early thirties. I felt a tinge of sadness when I saw the two young, but tense faces. They have been manipulated and used by the CCP to persecute Falun Dafa, yet they themselves were oblivious to the consequences of their own actions. How sad that was! They would each have their own parents, wife and children which meant altogether two families would be implicated. I had to tell them the facts about Falun Dafa and save them!
I felt Master was there giving me strength because my heart was filled with compassion. At that moment, I forgot all about my own predicament, my impending arrest, prison sentence and everything else. I sat down quietly, lifted my head towards the two young men and found their facial expressions softened and a friendly smile was slowly settling on their faces.
After asking for my name, age and other personal details, one of the prosecutors asked me, “Where did you get that divine portrait of Grand Master Li Hongzhi?” I was stunned but responded cheerily, “Oh yes. It is indeed Grand Master Li Hongzhi. Years ago, all Master’s divine portraits and Dafa books were officially published and the publications were sold in massive quantities.”
After breaking the ice, I went on to clarify the truth to them. I explained to them that people who know the truth were breaking away from the CCP, and many officials in the provincial level Procuratorate and Judiciary were refraining from getting involved; some police officers only carried out orders in a roundabout manner and stopped actively participating in the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners because they wanted to save themselves from going down with the CCP. I urged them to refrain from taking part in the persecution so as to save themselves and their young families from dire consequences.
The so-called examination ended when both prosecutors stood up while smiling.
On the night of the 36th day of my detention, I was released because the prosecutors had ruled out arrest in my case. I maintained my serene and calm self when I heard the news about my release, but in my heart I gave thanks to Master and delighted in the knowledge that those two young prosecutors had made the right choice for themselves.