Persecution Methods Used Against Practitioners in Heilongjiang Women's Prison
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong (aka Falun Dafa), is an ancient spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute this cultivation practice in July 1999, many Falun Gong practitioners have been imprisoned and tortured for refusing to renounce their faith.
This report focuses on Heilongjiang Women's Prison located in Harbin City. This prison houses more than 4,000 criminal offenders, which includes an estimate of 300 to 400 female Falun Gong practitioners. The practitioners are mainly held in the No. 8, 9, and 10 Divisions together with other inmates, with over 20 people living in each cell, About a third of the cell occupants are Dafa practitioners.
Below are some torture methods used by the prison to persecute practitioners.
To force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith, the prison authorities would use sentence reductions to impel criminal inmates to persecute and “transform” practitioners.
The inmates would use various methods to persecute practitioners. Those who refused to write the guarantee statements within three months after entering the prison would have to face persecution.
One practitioner from Daqing, Ms. Li Mingxiu's face was slapped, she was deprived of more than a few hours of sleep daily, and beaten with slippers. She was bruised all over.
The inmates monitoring the practitioners would report the practitioners' movements to the authorities, including who they talked to or interacted with, and their actions. Practitioners would have their term extended if their actions were deemed severe by the authorities.
The prison annually selects inmates who have outstanding performances in “transforming” practitioners. Those who have been chosen will have their sentence reduced.
Sitting on Small Stools
One of the main torture methods used in prison is forcing practitioners to sit on a small stool. The plastic stool is less than 15 cm high, and has a very narrow stool surface. Apart from being allowed a few hours of sleep, practitioners were made to sit on the stool from morning to night. They were not allowed to move, had to put both their feet together, and hands on the knees. If the inmates watching over them see the practitioners moving slightly, they would kick, slap or pour cold water on them.
Many practitioners on arrival at the prison were forced to sit on the small stool every day, resulting in their thighs becoming swollen, were unable to straighten their backs, and aching all over. The torture will only stop when they write guarantee statements. As a result of the torture, many practitioners' buttocks festered, and became bruised. Some practitioners' blood pressure even increased.
There is a higher stool of about 25 cm. After the initial persecution ended, everyone will be forced to sit on it every day from 8.30 a.m. until bedtime, except when sleeping or during the noon break.
Mrs, Yu Guiring Tortured
Ms. Yu Guirong, 56, of Anda City, was forced to sit in a small stool from 4.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. from the moment she entered the prison as she refused to write a guarantee statement. She was also often subjected to different kinds of punishment, such as beatings, and verbal abuse. Since entering the prison in December 2019, she had been sitting on the stool for more than three months and developed psoriasis. Despite this, she was still beaten, kicked, and sworn at by the inmates.
Once, when Ms. Yu refused to write the guarantee statement again, a few inmates started beating, kicking, and yelling at her. The noise could be heard in other rooms. The beatings only stopped when the prison sent people to investigate after other practitioners' feedback to the prison, stating that this is illegal.
Practitioners in their 70s and 80s Persecuted
A 79-year-old practitioner from Harbin, who was detained twice for a total of 15 years in prison, also faced such persecution. She still has about 3 years before her term is up.
Another practitioner, Ms. Liu Xiulian, 75, who was sentenced to 2-and-1/2 years, was also tortured. Her husband, who was in his 80s, passed away half-a-year after she was sentenced, due to the tremendous pressure.
There are some inmates, such as Zuo Xianfeng, a 40-year-old English teacher, who started “transforming” other practitioners after having been “transformed” herself. Zuo, who finished serving her term in April, was tasked with giving lectures to practitioners who refused to be “transformed.”
Another inmate, Wang Zhigang, compiled materials that slander Falun Gong into a DVD to be used in various prisons to “transform” practitioners. “Knowledge of the Chinese Constitution,” which includes content that slanders Falun Gong, was prepared by the justice department in Sichuan Province in November 2018 to “transform” practitioners.
Practitioners were also forced to read Buddhist books from the prison library. The leaders of the cell would arrange for everyone to study the books together. Those who refused would be beaten, scolded, or forced to sit on the small stool. Everyone also has to write a daily, weekly, and monthly report. The long term brainwashing was to force practitioners to renounce their faith.
Forced Labor Work
The prison also forced detainees to do labor work so as to make profits for the prison.
Practitioners were given a quota of folding 900 to 1,200 sheets with a poisonous substance every day, from morning to night. They would not be allowed to sleep if they couldn't finish.
As the material is poisonous, and they were not given any mask or gloves for protection, many people felt nauseated, developed a dry cough, and had itchy bumps on their skin. The detainees would be given 12 yuan as payment every month for their hard work.
Monitoring and Surveillance
The room size of some of the cells were only 50 square meters but held 40 to 50 people. At night, the detainees could only sleep on their sides, and might have to hold each other's legs. Every room has two CCTVs that monitor the detainees around the clock, even when they are using the restroom.
The prison also measures practitioners' blood pressure every day, and forces them to take medicine. The authorities will ensure that the practitioners have swallowed the medicine by checking their mouths.
The prison conducts monthly searches of detainees and the cell to make sure that practitioners did not hide any Falun Gong materials. The authorities also keep on file practitioners' resume, education details, personal information of their health and names, and other information of their family members.
To force everyone to adhere to the requirements, the prison would punish everyone if someone in the cell, regardless if it is a criminal offender or practitioner, violated the rules. The punishment could include reciting the prison rules, or sitting on small stools along the corridor for three to four hours.
The prison also set time limits for going to the restroom and cleaning oneself. Restroom usage is limited to 5 or 6 minutes, cleaning oneself must not exceed 15 minutes. The authorities also specified the time and frequency for cleaning oneself, and how often one could use the restroom, including when the detainees can defecate.