After Nearly 10 Years of Incarceration, Guangdong Woman Arrested Again for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) Ms. Xue Aimei, a Falun Gong practitioner from Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, was arrested from home on the evening of June 11, 2020. Shenzhen City Police Department officers ransacked her home without a warrant, confiscating her Falun Gong books, computer, mobile phone, bank card, credit card, ID card, and driver's license, without providing a list for documentation. They also forced her to reveal her bank card password.
Another practitioner, Ms. Huang Yali, a resident of Anlu of Hubei Province, who happened to be visiting Ms. Xue, was also arrested.
According to insider information, Ms. Xue was targeted after being reported for handing out information on a bus about how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) covered up the coronavirus pandemic, using tactics similar to those used in the persecution of Falun Gong. The police tracked her down based on surveillance cameras in the bus. Each city bus in Shenzhen has nearly ten surveillance cameras inside.
Ms. Xue and Ms. Huang were taken to the Bao'an District Detention Center in Shenzhen City on the evening of June 13. Ms. Xue refused to cooperate with the interrogation. The police obtained her fingerprint on a document by force. Her thigh was injured when the police forced her to sit on a metal chair. Her arrest was approved on July 18.
The women were transferred to the Nanshan District Detention Center on September 8. Ms. Xue lost around 20 pounds in custody.
Ms. Xue, who is nearly 50, worked in finance. Before the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, she was a graduate student in economics at Southern Illinois University in the United States. Returning to China during a school break, she started distributing Falun Gong materials in an effort to raise awareness of the persecution. She was arrested and has never been able to return to the U.S. to finish her degree.
After turning 30 years old, she was arrested three more times, given two labor camp terms, once for two years and three months and the second time for three years; detained in a brainwashing center for three months; and sentenced to four years in prison. She has been detained for a total of nine years and six months. The best years of her life were spent in damp and dingy cells.
Ms. Xue’s latest arrest and detention left her elderly parents, who have been living with her in Shenzhen, deeply distressed. Her 83-year-old father is paralyzed and bedridden. Because her 80-year-old mother cannot care for her father alone, her younger brother had to quit his job and moved from Yantai City, Shandong Province, to Shenzhen to take care of their parents.
Below is Ms. Xue's own account of her second labor camp term.
When I returned to my hometown in Shandong Province in November 2002, my family and friends, the police, and the society in general were all against my practicing Falun Gong. Because of the intense mental pressure, my health quickly went downhill. All of my joints were cold, and I could not touch anything even slightly cold. My memory deteriorated. My body felt like a thousand-pound rock. I did not do anything, yet I was tired all the time and suffered from insomnia. The pressure made me unable to focus on practicing Falun Gong. I followed my mother's suggestion and went to the hospital for a checkup, but they did not find anything wrong. I also followed her advice to try traditional Chinese medicine, jogging, and sauna. Nothing worked, and my health just got worse.
When I returned to Shenzhen City after the Chinese New Year in 2003, the situation was the same. Many times I looked down from the rooftop of my building and thought to myself that all the pain would end if I jumped off. But deep down inside, I knew that Falun Gong is against killing and suicide, and, had I done it, the government-controlled media would claim Falun Gong was responsible for my death. I got rid of my suicidal thoughts and, with fellow practitioners' help, I gradually resumed reading Falun Gong books and doing the exercises. My health recovered by the day.
Right around the time of my recovery, I was arrested along with several fellow practitioners in October 2003 and detained at the Nanshan District's No.1 Detention Center. I still remember the names of two officers, Fu Zhansheng and Zhao Hui. Fu had a dirty mouth and cursed all the time. I could not believe that he had a college degree. He stuffed my mouth with a dishrag and punched me in the chest.
The police confiscated many things from us, including two computers, two printers, a disc burner, and a dozen electronic books and USB drives, and many Falun Gong books and materials, along with 14,000 yuan in cash. We refused to cooperate with the arrest. I was later given three years of forced labor while the other two practitioners were each sentenced to three years in prison. I asked Zhao to return the cash confiscated from me. He refused and would not give me a receipt either.
I went on a hunger strike in the detention center for over 40 days. The guards force-fed and beat me in response. A female guard was sympathetic to me and told me that she did not want to see me suffering and hoped I would be released early. The Nanshan District 610 Office later had me transferred to Sanshui Women's Forced Labor Camp without informing the labor camp authorities that I was on a hunger strike, fearing they would not agree to admit me due to my dire condition.
The labor camp guards locked me in a dark room specially designed to hold Falun Gong practitioners. All the windows were covered with thick cloth. Five guards and two drug offender inmates took turns trying to brainwash me. The walls were covered with posters slandering Falun Gong and I was forced to sleep in the middle of the room on a plank on the floor.
I continued my hunger strike to protest the ill-treatment. Since the labor camp authorities were not aware of my previous hunger strike in the detention center, they did not force-feed me right away and waited a week before taking me to their clinic. During the force-feeding there, the doctor put the feeding tube in the wrong way and blood gushed out of my nose. Realizing that I was near death, they took me to the Sanshui City Hospital.
The labor camp authorities notified my mother, who traveled over a thousand miles from Yantai City, Shandong Province, to Shanshui City, Guangdong Province, to see me in the hospital. The guards told her to first pay for my hospitalization. To this day I cannot forget seeing my gray-haired mother silently turn around and take out the cash carefully stashed in a pouch under her belt. Worried about me, she asked for permission to stay and sleep on a makeshift bed next to me. Because of the nonstop noise in the hospital, she could not get any sleep. I could not bear the thought of her suffering because of me and eventually agreed to start eating and go back to the labor camp.
Back in the same dark room, the guards continued to try to brainwash me with my mother by my side. I pointed to scenes in the video about the staged self-immolation that defamed Falun Gong and started to tell my mother why it was obvious that it was fabricated. The guards verbally abused me.
Since I would not ask for permission to use the restroom the way the labor camp authorities ordered, they did not let me go. Seeing the terrible conditions, my mother’s heart disease relapsed while she was in the dormitory next door to the labor camp. Fortunately, a female guard took her to the hospital.
When the guards transferred me to another team to do hard labor in the workshop, I refused to cooperate, so they did not let me shower. I started another protest hunger strike that lasted about four months. My mother was notified again by the camp authorities, and she traveled from my hometown to the labor camp to see me in 2003. After a long journey in the heat of late June, her mind filled with worries, she passed out while she was talking to me and was hospitalized again.
After that the camp authorities stopped trying to brainwash me or force me to do hard labor. Instead, they locked me up in my cell and assigned two inmates to watch me day and night. In November 2006, I was transferred from the labor camp to a brainwashing center in Shenzhen City. During the three months I was there, I learned about Falun Gong practitioners’ promoting the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and persuading people to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. At the time I mistook these efforts as participating in everyday people's politics and, due to the brainwashing, I gave up my practice of Falun Gong.
However, I was uneasy about my decision as I had been isolated from the outside world for years and had no access to accurate information. After I was released, I sought out the Nine Commentaries and read it. Initially, I could not believe all the evil deeds committed by the CCP that are listed in the book, because I was taught how great and glorious the CCP was and how I was supposed to love it more than anything else. I consulted with others who were knowledgeable about whether what the book said was true. I finally realized I’d been deceived and fooled all these years, ever since I was a child.