(Minghui.org) Ms. Li Ya, a 52-year-old native of Huating County, Gansu Province, was arrested in the province's capital city of Lanzhou on May 8, 2019, for telling people about Falun Gong. She was given 15 days of detention, but she hasn't returned to work or home at the time of writing.

Falun Gong, also known as a Falun Dafa, is a cultivation practice that consists of gentle exercises and living by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Since the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong in July 1999, a large number of practitioners have been arrested, detained, and tortured.

According to insiders, agents from the local 610 Office, an extralegal agency tasked with persecuting Falun Gong, once showed up at Qilihe Detention Center to interrogate Ms. Li. On May 19, 2019, she was seen being taken out of the detention center; her whereabouts since remain to be investigated.

This is at least the third time Ms. Li has been detained for her belief in Falun Gong. In January 2010, she was arrested and later sentenced to five years in prison. She was beaten, waterboarded, and mentally abused during her imprisonment. Her second arrest took place on July 5, 2018, when she was seized for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was released 15 days later.

Torture and Waterboarding

Ms. Li used to work for a coal mining company in Huating County. She'd suffered from many ailments from the time she was young. Bronchitis, in particular, made her life miserable. At age 25, she developed a liver problem that was so painful that she could barely breathe. After having a baby in 1992, her health deteriorated further. All that changed in September 1997 after she began to practice Falun Gong. Her ailments vanished and the improvement of her moral standards earned her respect at work as well as in the neighborhood.

Huating police arrested Ms. Li on January 26, 2010, and Huating Court sentenced her to five years. Her employer fired her immediately.

In December 2010, Ms. Li was sent to Gansu Women's Prison where she suffered severe physical and mental abuse. Guards instructed inmates to beat practitioners and to deprive them of sleep and access to the toilet. In addition, practitioners were forced to watch propaganda that slandered Falun Gong every day and then write statements denouncing their belief. Anyone who refused to comply was beaten and shocked with electric batons.

Torture illustration: Waterboarding

Ms. Li was no exception. Yang Jing and other inmates deprived her of sleep for three days and nights. On the second night, inmates took her to the bathroom, grabbed her hair, and slammed her head against the wall before dunking her head in a large container of water. They also limited her access to the toilet and spat on her.

Psychiatric Abuse and Electric Shocking

When physical torture didn't make Ms. Li give in, the inmates came up with another plan. For several days they didn't let her drink anything and then gave her water with unknown drugs in it. Unaware of the drugs, Ms. Li drank the adulterated water, which made her confused.

The inmates sometimes refused to let her eat anything, while at other times they forced her to eat a large amount of food in one sitting. When Ms. Li had difficulty eating, inmate Yang Jing occasionally dragged her into the bathroom and forced her to eat while Yang used the toilet. Yang mistreated Ms. Li on a regular basis.

On freezing winter days, Ms. Li was forced to work without winter shoes. When she stomped her feet to get them warm, Yang poured cold water on them. After Yang did this many times, Ms. Li's feet got frostbitten.

Yang then stomped on her feet and left bruises that are visible even today. Although Ms. Li was clear-minded, Yang and others figured out ways to make her take unknown drugs.

Seeing that Ms. Li still refused to give up her belief, guard Sun Liwei ordered four inmates to grab Ms. Li by the arms. Sun then shocked Ms. Li on her chest and back with electric batons. To make it even more painful, Sun ordered Yang to pour a basin of cold water over Ms. Li as Sun continued to shock her neck and head. When Ms. Li called out “Falun Dafa is good” to protest, inmates stuffed her mouth with rags and twisted her arms behind her back, causing injuries that are still visible.

Sun shocked her for half an hour. A one-inch-wide burn around her neck left a scar that can be seen even today.

Because her employer had fired her, Ms. Li had no income. She and her daughter had to share her elderly father's 200-square-foot apartment.

Another Detention

Ms. Li later moved to Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu, to work temporary jobs. When she talked with someone in a park about Falun Gong on July 5, 2018, plainclothes officers took her to the Xiaoxihu Police Station. They ransacked her rental place and threatened both her daughter and the landlord. They ordered her daughter to move out immediately and fined the landlord.

At the police station, Ms. Li was tied up tightly on a tiger bench and tortured for over six hours. Six men grabbed her arms, forcing her to sign paperwork to renounce her belief. She had bruises on her arms. At 11 p.m., officers took her to the Hanjiahe Detention Center for 15 days.