Seventy-Year-Old Tianjin Woman Incarcerated a Second Time Following Tenth Arrest for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary in a village in Tianjin was given a 10,000-yuan reward for reporting a local Falun Gong practitioner, who was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison without her family's knowledge.
Ms. Yao Shilan, 70, has been sent to Tianjin Women's Prison, despite her poor health.
This is not the first time that Ms. Yao has been targeted for refusing to give up her faith in Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The Changtun Village, Dajianchang Town, resident has been arrested a total of ten times since the CCP began persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999.
Ms. Yao’s tenth and latest arrest took place on April 23, 2019, when local police broke into her home and ransacked it. Her family has not been given any further information about her since then.
During an award ceremony later in 2019, Changtun Village CCP secretary Wang Shouqing was given 10,000 yuan, which he admitted was for reporting Ms. Yao to the police.
Ms. Yao went on a hunger strike in detention. Her family heard in June 2019 that she had been taken to the emergency room at Wuqing Chinese Medicine Hospital. They rushed to the hospital but did not find her. When they visited Wuqing Detention Center a month later to put money into her account, they were told she was no longer there.
Her family later learned that Ms. Yao had been abruptly sentenced to a five-year prison term without their knowledge. It is unclear whether a trial was ever held. They also heard she was sent directly to Tianjin Women’s Prison after being treated in Wuqing Chinese Medicine Hospital for a month.
At least ten other Falun Gong practitioners from Dajianchang Town and Nancaicun Town were arrested on April 23, 2019. The Tianjin Police Department issued the order for the mass arrest, which was carried out by Wuqing District police along with local police stations. Among the arrested practitioners, He Daiping was also sentenced, to a five-and-a-half-year term.
Physical Torture and Psychiatric Abuse
Below are some of the previous arrests and detentions that Ms. Yao suffered over the years.
Officers from Dajianchang Police Station and Wuqing Domestic Security Division descended on Ms. Yao's residence on March 15, 2006. They pried open a window, broke in, ransacked the place, and took her to Wuqing Detention Center.
When Ms. Yao went on a hunger strike for 45 days, she was brutally force-fed. She suffered stomach bleeding, loss of sensation in her lower body, and she fainted multiple times. She became emaciated and weighed only 80 pounds. She was then released due to her poor health.
Village security and officers from Dajianchang Police Station and Wuqing Domestic Security Division arrested her on April 4, 2007. They held her in the Wuqing Detention Center and later sentenced her to 3.5 years in prison.
In the Fifth Ward of Tianjin Women’s Prison, officers Shi and Yin tortured Ms. Yao in multiple ways attempting to force her to give up her belief. They arranged for four inmates to watch her around the clock.
When Ms. Yao went on a hunger strike, guards and inmates handcuffed her and tied her to a bed. They pried open her mouth with metal instruments and force-fed her highly concentrated salt water, first through her mouth, and later through a tube inserted into her nose.
The guards later said that she needed be be hospitalized due to her poor health. She was given IVs for over ten days in the hospital. Soon after that, Ms. Yao developed a fever and fell into a coma. Doctors force-fed her and gave her oxygen for two days.
As a result of the torture, Ms. Yao could not speak and often lost consciousness. Once when she was comatose, the guards put her fingerprints on a prepared document to renounce her belief and to waive the prison of any liability should she die.
Because her condition was life-threatening, Ms. Yao was released on November 23, 2007. But on September 4, 2009, she was taken back to the Tianjin Women’s Prison to finish her term.
Information received by Minghui.org indicates that prisons in Tianjin have systematically used drugs to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. Prison guards often injected practitioners with or laced their food with unknown drugs that can damage the nervous system. Practitioners given such drugs reported having memory loss, diarrhea, fatigue, and other symptoms.
Ms. Yao's family suspect that the IVs she was given while imprisoned were nerve-damaging drugs, because she soon developed a fever and lost consciousness. She was not the only one given unknown drugs against their will.
Another Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Xu Xueli, was sentenced to five years in 2005 and sent to Tianjin Women’s Prison. She developed heart disease due to the abuse and was then taken to the hospital for IVs. As soon as the unknown drugs entered her bloodstream, she was in extreme pain. Ms. Xu said she felt like her head was going to explode and her eyes pop out. The forced drugging continued as her health deteriorated.
When she was released in September 2013, Ms. Xu weighed less than 90 pounds. She suffered from a mental disorder and hallucinations. She was constantly tense and frightened.