Liaoning Woman Serves Eight Years for Her Faith, Subjected to Inhuman Torture
(Minghui.org) A woman in Donggang City, Liaoning Province, was incarcerated eight years for her faith in Falun Gong. She was inhumanly tortured and once-beaten almost to death.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Ms. Liu Pintong, 45, was arrested while she was talking to people about Falun Gong on March 3, 2012. She was sentenced to eight years in Liaoning Province Women's Prison on August 10 in the Zhenxing District Court. She was released in March 2020 at the end of her term.
Tortured to Extract a Confession
Ms. Liu and three other practitioners were taken to Dandong City Detention Center on the day of their arrest. The police interrogated them all that night. Ms. Liu refused to answer any questions or sign any documents.
By noon the next day, the Dandong City 610 Office gave orders for them to be transferred to a different location and interrogated again, this time with torture. Ms. Liu was taken to a room where three plainclothes officers showered her with punches and kicks. They pulled her hair so hard that clumps of it came out. They also kicked her legs and slapped her in the face. They verbally abused her all the while and threatened to fabricate evidence to ensure she was sentenced to a long term.
When Ms. Liu’s defense attorney met with her on July 17, she gave him a statement with a detailed description of how the three police officers beat her.
Sentenced Based on Fabricated Evidence
On the day of her arrest, Ms. Liu's son, Hu Xuanming, who was 16 at the time, tried to find out where his mother was. He went to the home of another arrested practitioner, Ms. Zhang Jing. He ran into the police officers when they were ransacking Ms. Zhang's home and was arrested.
After finding out that he was Ms. Liu's son, the officers called his homeroom teacher to pressure him. They forced him to sign a false statement, which was used later as evidence against Ms. Liu.
Ms. Liu's son witnessed the police coerce Ms. Zhang's father to write down what the police told him to write. He then had to sign the statement to verify they were his own words.
The police took Ms. Liu's key and broke into her house on March 7. They ransacked it while no one was home, but did not find anything they could use against her. So they impounded Ms. Liu's nephew's minivan (worth about 50,000 yuan) that was parked near her house and loaded it with printers and Falun Gong materials.
The police also pressured Ms. Zhang Yinghong (no relation to Ms. Zhang Jing), another practitioner who’d been arrested with Ms. Liu, and her family to “agree” to give falsified evidence to frame Ms. Liu in exchange for lenience when it came to her sentence. The police threatened Ms. Zhang's family that they would suffer serious repercussions if they refused to cooperate. Ms. Zhang gave in, and the police falsified her testimonies during her second interrogation on March 10.
When Ms. Zhang later met Ms. Liu, she told her what had happened and regretted what she had done. Ms. Zhang issued a public solemn statement on the Minghui website to void her words and actions.
With Ms. Liu's statement describing how the police tortured her to extract a confession, the lawyer filed an application with the Zhenxing District Court, before the trial, to have the illegal evidence excluded.
The court ignored the lawyer's request and held the trial on July 27. When Ms. Liu's nephew saw that his minivan was being used as evidence against Ms. Liu, he asked the judge for permission to testify that the minivan didn't belong to Ms. Liu. Presiding judge Tao Zhanhua denied his request. No verdict was announced at the trial.
Ms. Liu's family went to the courthouse to see judge Tao on August 6. Tao agreed to talk to them over the phone. He stated that he had no choice in the matter, that he had been ordered to sentence Ms. Liu.
Ms. Liu was given eight years on August 10, 2012.
While Ms. Liu was in the detention center, she was forced to do unpaid labor, deprived of sleep, tied to a bed for several days, and forced to stand for long periods of time.
The police transferred Ms. Liu to another cell on November 10 and tied her to the bed for three days.
Ms. Liu started to suffer from dizziness, headaches, numbness, and insomnia. By the time she was transferred to Liaoning Province Women's Prison on December 11, 2012, she was very weak.
Brutally Tortured in Prison
To force Ms. Liu to renounce Falun Gong, the guards in Liaoning Women's Prison put her in the “Correction Division” after she arrived. They forced her to stand still for long hours. Sometimes they made her sit on a small stool with thorny bumps on the surface for long periods of time. She was not allowed to wash or use the restroom, not even during her menstrual period. The guards deprived her of sleep and beat her.
The guards also instigated inmates to monitor and torture her. She was forced to stand barefoot on a concrete floor during the freezing cold winter and was not allowed to talk to anyone.
On January 16, 2013, when Provincial Prison Management Bureau officials came to inspect the prison, Ms. Liu told them how she was being tortured. In retaliation, she was taken back to the “Correction Division” for further abuse.
She was forced to sit on a small stool from 5:00 a.m. to at least 10:00 p.m. every day and to watch videos slandering Falun Gong. The lead guard came to check on her every day and threatened to arrest her son.
She was later transferred to the First Divison, where the torture continued.
When Ms. Liu's sister came to visit her in September 2014, she was so emaciated that her sister barely recognized her. When her sister returned on October 11, she was told that Ms. Liu could not see her since she did not want to eat and had no strength to walk.
However, five days later, her sister was called to an army hospital to take care of Ms. Liu. When she arrived, she saw that Ms. Liu's limbs were tied to the bed spread-eagle. The ropes had cut into her flesh, and her hands and feet were swollen. Merely skin and bones, Ms. Liu was too weak to greet her sister. The guards deceived her sister, saying that they had to tie her in the bed in order to treat Ms. Liu, because she refused to cooperate with the guards.
The guards demanded 4,000 yuan from her sister in exchange for Ms. Liu's medical parole. Her sister managed to borrow the money the next day, only to be told that an additional 3,000 yuan was required to secure Ms. Liu's release.
With no way to come up with the additional amount, her sister had to see her taken back to prison after one week in the hospital.
When her sister was able to see her again in December 2014, Ms. Liu was still emaciated and very weak.
The guards instigated the inmates to target Ms. Liu. The inmates monitored and followed her closely. They also often beat her.
On May 26, 2016, an inmate hit her with a stool for more than 10 minutes. Afraid of retaliation, no inmates dared to speak up or claim they witnessed the beating. The inmate responsible was not punished. In fact, she was rewarded with a reduction in her term.
Over the years, Ms. Liu had held many hunger strikes to protest the illegal imprisonment and mistreatment. She ended up with renal failure. Once she held a hunger strike for 15 days in solitary confinement.