Liaoning Woman Detained a Total of Almost 12 Years for Her Belief
(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhang Shuxia, a practitioner from Liaoning Province, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment on May 19, 2017. The Tieling Intermediate Court upheld the verdict, after which she was taken to the Liaoning Women’s Prison on September 26, 2017.
This was the sixth time that Ms. Zhang has been detained for practicing Falun Gong. By the time of her release in December 2019, she had been detained a total of 11 years and 9 months.
Falun Gong is a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to suppress the group in July 1999, a large number of practitioners have been detained, imprisoned, and tortured.
Ms. Zhang, 55, lives in Qinghe District of Tieling City. By following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, she has become a better person and earned the respect of her family, people from her neighborhood, and coworkers. She also gets along very well with her mother-in-law.
Deprived of Physical Freedom
Because of practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Zhang was deprived of her freedom and persecuted numerous times between 1999 and 2013.
Her home was ransacked, and she has been arrested and detained. She was imprisoned for five years and detained three times at a labor camp, amounting to 8 years and 275 days in total. While Ms. Zhang was tortured for her belief, her husband could not withstand the huge pressure and was forced to divorce her. When her grieving mother died, Ms. Zhang was not allowed to visit her.
Because of distributing Minghui calendars, Ms. Zhang was arrested again on December 14, 2016. After the Qinghe Court sentenced her to three years of imprisonment, officials took her to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison.
After Ms. Zhang arrived at the Fourth Division of Liaoning Women’s Prison, officials attempted to force her to write statements renouncing her belief.
She had to perform unpaid labor during the day, and was brainwashed in the evening. Two inmates were assigned to watch her. At night, she was made to sleep on the cold floor.
Wang Mei, one of the inmates said to Ms. Zhang, “I am a criminal and I have lost my hope in life. If you do not want to write those statements [renouncing Falun Gong], I will kneel before you and kowtow to you until my head bleeds.” Ms. Zhang was swayed and transcribed a copy of such statements.
When Ms. Zhang regretted it later, several inmates beat and swore at her. Jiang Xiuhua hit her in the face and forced her to do a martial arts squatting stance, while Zhang Wenying grabbed her by the hair and hit her head hard against a metal frame while pinching her. When an officer from the Prison Administration Division came for inspection, Ms. Zhang reported the incident. Another officer, Zhang Lulu, was infuriated and yelled at Ms. Zhang for this.
As Ms. Zhang complained about the beating to supervisor Bai Xu, Bai denied it, claiming that it could not be confirmed by surveillance video recording. When Ms. Zhang requested to replace the two inmates assigned to watch her, Bai replied, “You know, the new ones could only be worse—that is the rule here.”
Since then Bai has applied more pressure on Ms. Zhang, ordering an inmate to watch her all the time. The inmate forced her to stand or squat. She was not allowed to return to the cell until after 9 p.m.
She was deprived of cleaning herself or brushing her teeth. When she went to the bathroom, inmate Zhang Wenying beat her. She beat Ms. Zhang in the hallway or inside the cell. She was also denied access to the toilet at night.
Ms. Zhang suffered from diarrhea in January 2017. Inmate Zhang Wenying told her to defecate in her wash basin. “Our supervisor has said that you will use the same basin for food and waste,” she said.
Ms. Zhang had no choice but to follow the instruction. When she had no wash basin to use later on, someone gave her one. Once again, Zhang Wenying took the new basin—which carried Ms. Zhang’s name—and assigned it for flushing the toilet. Despite Zhang Wenying’s humiliation, Ms. Zhang treated her kindly and the situation later improved.
Inmate Wang Mei often swore at Ms. Zhang and demanded that she say vulgar things about Falun Gong’s founder. This inmate slapped her in the face with shoes. Another time, she prohibited Ms. Zhang from covering herself with a blanket while sleeping. When Ms. Zhang wrote documents to report the humiliation, Wang stopped her from doing so.
The physical torture and mental stress led to the deterioration of Ms. Zhang’s health. She was diagnosed with heart disease and extremely high blood pressure.
On the morning of December 6, 2018, the right side of her face was deformed, and she could not close her left eye. A medical examination diagnosed her with facial paralysis caused by high blood pressure.
When Ms. Zhang told officer Zhang how inmate Wang Mei had mistreated her, the officer replaced Wang with another inmate Sun Tongchun. Sun swore at Ms. Zhang all the time, for no apparent reason.
Four months before Ms. Zhang’s term expired, she refused to perform labor. Division Manager Tang Yan asked her to the office and ordered her to squat while talking to her. Ms. Zhang refused and as a result, Tang ordered her to sit in front of all the detainees to humiliate her.
She was also held in a storage room on the second floor for brainwashing. As collective punishment, over 10 detainees in her cell were stopped from buying food. In addition, guards also restricted them from watching television and ordered them to sit for a long time.
When Ms. Zhang refused to attend the brainwashing session the next day, inmates forcibly took her there. It was August, and the storage room was hot and humid. On the following day, Ms. Zhang was not allowed to clean herself.