(Minghui.org) Ms. Yu Mei, from Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison for her faith in Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), a spiritual practice persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. During her incarceration, she was beaten, force-fed, and deprived of food and basic daily necessities. Her hair turned gray and her weight dropped from 140 lbs to 70 lbs as a result of the abuse.
Ms. Yu was arrested for distributing information about Falun Dafa on the evening of August 31, 2016. She was taken to Zhonghua Police Station and interrogated. A group of police beat her viciously, trying to extract information from her.
She was taken to No. 1 Detention Center of Zhanjiang City the next day. While at the detention center, Ms. Yu went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. She was force-fed by other inmates and nearly died.
Ms. Yu appeared in court on December 12, 2016. Although her lawyer defended her right to spiritual belief, the court still sentenced her to four years in prison. Ms. Yu appealed, but still had her verdict upheld. She was transferred to Guangdong Women's Prison on May 18, 2018.
Ms. Yu was assigned to Division No. 4 of the prison. She insisted that she did not commit any crime and refused to cooperate with prison guards. As a result, the guards instructed some inmates to torture her. She was forced to stay in one position for a long period of time, either standing or squatting. For over a month, Ms. Yu was forced to squat every day. As soon as she failed to keep the squatting position and fell, others surrounded and beat her. Her feet swelled up so much that they were like balloons.
The inmates also used the tip of pens to stab her private parts and the bottom of her feet. They punched her in her head and chest; they grabbed her by the hair and smashed her head into a wall.
The violence against Ms. Yu only escalated after she refused to give up her belief in Falun Dafa. One night, she was dragged into a dark room by three inmates. They hit her very hard in the back and she passed out. When she woke up, the inmates pinched her nipples and continued to beat her. Blood soaked through her shirt. It was close to daylight when Ms. Yu was brought back to her cell. The inmates forced her to change out of the blood-stained clothes and return to work. During her four-year term, Ms. Yu was beaten unconscious several times.
Ms. Yu was assigned to clean a large public area that usually required five or six people to clean. She was not allowed to speak with anyone. She worked from morning to night, with three inmates monitoring her at all times. The guards allowed the inmates to verbally and physically abuse Ms. Yu at will.
Besides work, Ms. Yu was forced to watch videos slandering Falun Dafa and its founder. She was forced to write statements to defame Falun Dafa and its founder. Whenever she refused, the inmates scolded and beat her. They put her meals in front of her and asked her to renounce Falun Dafa. When she refused, they dumped the food and had her go without food all day. Sometimes, she was given only a little bit of porridge. By the time she was released, Ms. Yu only weighed 70 lbs, dropping from 140 lbs prior to her arrest.
In the summer, Ms. Yu was only allowed to take a shower or change clothes about once every 1.5 months. Her sweat left a thick layer of salt accumulated on her clothes. Moreover, the guards instructed the inmates to take away her toilet paper and other daily necessities, or forbade her from using the toilet. Ms. Yu had to relieve herself in her pants several times, which only brought more beatings. Three of her front teeth were knocked out as well.
Ms. Yu lost her job after she was arrested in 2016, leaving her with no income after she was released. The authorities had not returned her personal belongings, including 20,000 yuan in cash and a computer that the police had confiscated when they searched her home. Ms. Yu went to relevant agencies many times to demand her belongings back, but to no avail.
Prior to her latest imprisonment, Ms. Yu had been detained or imprisoned multiple times since the persecution started in 1999. She spent approximately 10 years incarcerated at different prisons, detention centers, and brainwashing centers; she also went from place to place for 3~4 years to avoid arrest.