Three Hebei Residents on Trial for Their Faith, Two Previously Tortured in Labor Camps
(Minghui.org) Three Baoding City, Hebei Province residents were tried by the Gaoyang County Court through video conferences on October 29, 2020, for raising awareness about their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Chen Xiumei and Ms. Guo Zhiping were arrested on March 4, 2020, for handing out information about Falun Gong. They have been kept in Baoding City Detention Center since.
Another practitioner, Ms. Wu Junping, in her 70s, was arrested at home on June 6, 2020. She held a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary arrest and detention and was abused in custody. When her blood pressure spiked, the detention center guards didn’t get her any medical help and also made her sit during the day, refusing to let her lie down to rest.
The details of the practitioners’ hearings are being investigated at the time of writing.
Prior to their latest arrests, Ms. Chen was incarcerated in a forced labor camp four times for a total of six years and Ms. Guo once for a year, all for practicing Falun Gong. Below are details of their accounts.
The Suffering of Ms. Chen Xiumei
Ms. Chen, 63, used to work at Baoding Cotton Mill. She once had muscle atrophy, stomach pain, appendicitis, nervous exhaustion, and a nasal allergy, which all went away after she started practicing Falun Gong in 1996. She strove to be a better person and was well respected at home and work. For example, the apartment building Ms. Chen lives in often had a clogged sewer line. She always took the lead to hire a sewer cleaning company and paid for the cost herself.
Teeth Knocked Out During Force-Feeding, Injected with Unknown Drug
Ms. Chen was first arrested on February 4, 2002, by a plainclothes officer. After she held a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary detention, the police force-fed her and knocked out two of her teeth in the process.
Later on May 14 that year, the police put Ms. Chen in Baoding City Forced Labor Camp for three years without due process. Because she refused to renounce her faith or follow the labor camp rules, the authorities made her sleep in the hallway where mosquitoes swarmed.
The authorities took Ms. Chen to Zhuozhou Brainwashing Center at one point. She went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse. Seven days into the hunger strike, the authorities force-fed her with heavily salted milk. She could barely breathe afterward and was in extreme pain.
The guards also tied her down on a bed and injected her with unknown drugs. The guards, who had no medical training, randomly jabbed needles in her arms and legs and bruised her. When she struggled, they beat her. Towards the end of her stay in the facility, she was covered in wounds and looked emaciated.
The authorities transferred her to Hebei Province Women’s Forced Labor Camp, where forced feeding and injection of drugs continued. She was handcuffed to a bed during the force-feeding sessions. The violent processes resulted in profuse bleeding from her mouth and nose. A guard yanked out a bundle of her hair, and another punched a tooth out of her mouth. To stop her from screaming, they taped her mouth shut.
Only when she was dying did the authorities send her home on January 19, 2004. She was so bruised and emaciated that her family could barely recognize her. She seemed mentally incoherent as she couldn’t talk or recognize her family members. Neither could she feed herself.
Wrists Fester from Prolonged Handcuffing, Beaten to Verge of Death
Agents from the Domestic Security Office in Xinshi District arrested Ms. Chen on March 7, 2007, and on the very next day sent her to Baoding Forced Labor Camp for a year.
Ms. Chen refused to wear a prison uniform or have her picture taken. The guards put her on a bed and cuffed her hands and legs to the bed frame so that her limbs were stretched to the fullest. Eighteen days later, her wrists blistered and festered as the handcuffs cut into her flesh. Her hands were swollen like little balloons.
While Ms. Chen was cuffed to the bed, the guards instigated two prisoners to slap her and stomp on her shins with heavy leather boots. She was crippled for a long time as a result. Her condition deteriorated as the torture continued. Her heart rate sped up, and she was dizzy and couldn’t focus.
When Ms. Chen was released from the camp, she was on the verge of death.
Sexual Torture and Beatings
Officers from Jingxiu Police Station arrested Ms. Chen on January 8, 2009, and put her in Hebei Province Women’s Forced Labor Camp a week later on January 15. A brigade chief named Liu Ziwei instigated prisoners to strip Ms. Chen naked, pinch her nipples, and jam a hairbrush inside her vagina and twist vigorously. The floor was covered with her blood.
When Liu saw Ms. Chen doing the Falun Gong exercises, he dragged her to his office and beat her with a baton. Liu and a guard cuffed her to a pipe and opened the windows to let in the freezing air. She had only a thin shirt on and was made to stand still without toilet breaks.
In one incident, Liu Ziwei and a prisoner grabbed Ms. Chen by her hair and pulled her down from the upper bunk bed. They dragged her to a storage room, locked the door, and stuffed her mouth with a sock. They took turns beating and kicking her, scratching her face, and slamming her head against a wall. It stopped when Liu got tired.
Liu handcuffed Ms. Chen’s hands to the upper bunk bed from February to March 2009. Sometimes Liu cuffed one of her hands to the lower bed so that Ms. Chen could neither sit down nor stand up. They released the cuffs only when she ate or had to use the toilet. When they did, her arms were crooked and stiff and she couldn’t squat down when using the toilet. Her left arm was deformed, and a lump developed in her leg a month after the torture.
In another incident, a guard instigated a prisoner to scratch and dig into Ms. Chen’s face until her skin was ruptured and her face swollen and deformed.
After Ms. Chen served a year in the camp, the authorities arbitrarily extended her term by two weeks and released her on January 23, 2010.
Forced Labor and Electric Baton Strikes
The police in Xiantai Township took Ms. Chen to Hebei Women’s Forced Labor Camp on September 10, 2012, three days after her next arrest. The deputy police chief slapped her face repeatedly during her physical exam. For a week she was locked in solitary confinement with little food and almost no water. After that, she was made to do the forced labor in a cell.
A guard once had Ms. Chen stand still all day until midnight. The next day, in a closed room, he shocked her hands, head, and face with an electric baton while viciously beating her.
Twenty days before the camp was dissolved, the authorities still refused to release Ms. Chen, as a guard said, “We’ll be jobless without you.”
After Ms. Chen went on a hunger strike, five guards held her down on a bed and inserted a plastic tube into her nostrils to force-feed her corn porridge twice a day. She was released on September 7, 2013.
Police in Xinshi District arrested Ms. Chen on June 22, 2016, and detained her for 10 days.
The Suffering of Ms. Guo Zhiping
Ms. Guo, a former accountant in Baoding City Steel Factory, used to suffer from abnormal breast tissue growth, gynecological diseases, irregular heartbeat, and back pain. The condition worsened after she stopped working in her 30s.
She came across Falun Gong in March 1999, and the first day she did the exercises her chest tightness due to the abnormal tissue growth disappeared. She felt she could finally breathe again. A week later, her gynecological symptoms disappeared.
Repeated Arrests and Detention
Ms. Guo went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong on February 13, 2000. The police arrested and detained her for 36 days.
The police raided her house in November 2000. A week later, the police had her go to the police station and kept her in custody for two days.
Officers from Jiannan Police Station took Ms. Guo to Baoding Detention Center in March 2001 and held her there for a month.
Officers from Jiannan Police Station broke into Ms. Guo’s home and ransacked her place in December 2006. She was arbitrarily given a year in Baoding City Forced Labor Camp.
Brainwashing and Forced Labor
In the forced labor camp, the guards put Ms. Guo in solitary confinement. They deprived her of sleep and tried to brainwash her into writing a statement to renounce her faith. Every day she had to perform labor-intensive work, such as making ointments, gluing cake boxes, and loading and unloading trucks. The excessive activity resulted in her fast heart rate, trembles, and feeling cold.