“Strict Discipline” of Falun Gong Practitioners in Yunnan No. 2 Women's Prison
(Minghui.org) According to Minghui.org, since the Chinese communist regime began its persecution of Falun Gong––an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline, in 1999––at least 300 female Falun Gong practitioners in Yunnan Province have been sentenced to the Yunnan No. 2 Women's Prison, located in the capital city of Kunming.
At least 250 of them were tortured during their imprisonment. Four practitioners, Ms. Shen Yueping, Ms. Yang Cuifen, Ms. Shi Xizhi, and Ms. Wang Lianzhi were known to have been persecuted to death at the prison, and many others were released on medical parole in a near-death condition.
The prison imposed “strict discipline” upon newly admitted practitioners, who were placed in a specific division and subjected to brainwashing and other forms of abuse. These abuses included being forced to sit on a small stool for long hours on end, being forced to take unknown drugs that damage their nervous system, and being pepper-sprayed.
Newly-admitted practitioners to the prison will first be detained in the No. 9 Division, also known as the training division, and subjected to what is known as “strict discipline.” These practitioners would be made to sit on a small stool for more than 13 hours every day and memorize the prison rules, watch videos that slander Falun Gong, reflect on their “crimes,” as well as write thought reports and guarantee statements renouncing their faith.
Sometimes they were also ordered to attend meetings for the express purpose of criticizing themselves in front of other inmates. The strict discipline would only stop when the practitioner agreed to be transformed.
For those who refused to be transformed, they were forced to sit on a small stool every day for long hours until their term is up. Several practitioners who were sentenced, including Ms. Shi Yun (7 years), Ms. Wu Qihui (5 years), Ms. Xiao Yuxia (5 years), Ms. Deng Lihua (4 years), Ms. Ma Ling (4 years), Ms. Guo Lingna (3 years), and Ms. Zhao Feiqiong (sentenced thrice for a total of 12 years) were subjected to strict discipline until the day they were released.
When subjected to strict discipline, the practitioners were not allowed to talk with others or communicate with their families. They were also barred from buying daily necessities. The practitioners had to rely on inmates to help bring them food and water as they were not allowed to go out; because of this, many of the inmates would grumble and swear at the practitioners. Instigated by the police, the inmates would also mix unknown drugs into the practitioners' food.
Before 2014, practitioners were allowed to use the restroom thrice a day, and some had to use a pail in their room. They were made to sit on the small stool from 6:30 A.M. in the morning to 10:30 P.M. every day, and not allowed to get up or stretch. Every week, they were given a basin of water to clean their body, and afterward, they had to use the same basin of water to wash their clothes.
There was a slight improvement after 2014. The practitioners were allowed to use the restroom six times a day and could walk around the room for two hours a day. They were allowed to wash their hair and body, in addition to their clothes once a week.
If the practitioners have their periods or needed to use the restroom due to special circumstances, they would need approval from the inmates who monitor them. As a result, the inmates would often make things difficult for practitioners. Many practitioners held back their urine and developed renal edema as a result.
The practitioners have to be accompanied by inmates when leaving the room for the restroom and are not allowed to interact with others, nor are they allowed to look around when walking. The practitioners are also made to submit a weekly thought report.
The practitioners needed approval from the prison guards if they wanted to buy any daily necessities, but they are not allowed to buy any food. As the inmates often take from their meals, many practitioners were always starved and severely malnourished.
Three inmates are assigned to monitor a single practitioner, and they would cooperate with the guards to restrict practitioners from talking, using the restroom, retrieving materials that they need to do slave labor, and deduct the practitioners' points when they couldn't finish their tasks. Once the points are deducted, the practitioners would be subjected to a longer duration of strict discipline.
Strick Discipline Split Into Three Levels
In July 2019, the No. 9 Division set up a strict discipline dormitory and split the strict discipline approach into first-level strict discipline, second-level strict discipline, and inspection-level.
Practitioners who first entered the prison are assigned to the inspection level. They would be allowed to do slave labor if they finished learning the prison rules. For those who couldn't or refuse to be transformed, the authorities would use various excuses, such as not listening to the guards, to deduct the practitioners' points, and put them on the strict discipline levels. The practitioners might even be placed in solitary confinement and be banned from washing themselves, not be given any blankets, and only fed plain rice without any vegetables. The punishment depended entirely on the prison guards.
For practitioners who are placed in the first level of strict discipline, they would be locked in a dormitory room that had only a thin mat and blanket. The practitioners are allowed to take with them a small stool and a drinking glass. While placed under strict discipline, practitioners have to sit in an assigned area and are forced to memorize the prison rules every day. Inmates assigned to monitor them are split into two shifts, and those who were on the night shift would use various methods to disturb the practitioners from sleeping. Regardless of cold weather, practitioners are not given extra blankets and the windows have to remain open at all times.
The practitioners wake up at 5:40 A.M. every day. After washing up, they would start sitting on a small stool until midnight. They are allowed to use the restroom four times a day. They are given three cups of water a day and a reduced portion of vegetables and rice for their meals, which are not enough for the practitioners. Sometimes, the practitioners are purposely given too much to eat when the inmates knew that a bad-tasting dish would be cooked that day.
Practitioners are given five minutes to wash their hair and body every week, and five minutes to wash their clothes once every two weeks. They are not allowed to wash their blankets for extended periods of time and had to rely on other inmates to help dry their clothes and retrieve any daily necessities for them. The inmates would make things difficult by swearing at them or throwing their washbasins onto the ground.
Practitioners are also not allowed to buy any food and have to submit an application to the guards to get approval to buy three items that do not exceed 50 yuan. Sometimes, the guards might reject the application and refuse to allow the practitioners to buy anything, including sanitary napkins. If anyone helps the practitioners, both parties would be punished and have their points deducted.
Those placed under the second level of strict discipline do not have to sleep on the ground and are given seven minutes to wash their hair and body. If their applications are approved, they can buy five daily necessities under 70 yuan. The number of restroom breaks and the food portions remained the same as the first level strict discipline.
The police privately provide some benefits to the inmates so that the inmates would assist them in persecuting the practitioners.
Practitioners who were subjected to strict discipline include Ms. Zhao Feiqiong (sentenced to 4.5 years), Ms. Liang Yun (4 years), Ms. Xu Yamei (3 years), Ms. Li Qun (3 years), Ms. Zhang Guihe (unknown), Ms. Guo Qiong (7 years), Ms. He Lichun (7 years), and Ms. Deng Cuiping (6 years).
Ms. Zhao, Ms. Li, and Ms. Xu returned home in June 2020 after serving their term. Ms. Liang and Ms. Deng are currently placed in second-level strict discipline, and Ms. Guo and Ms. He are in the first level.
Since November 2019, Ms. He was not allowed to buy any daily necessities, such as toilet paper or sanitary napkins, even if she had the money. She was made to sleep on the floor during the winter and forced to clean the restrooms and other public facilities. If she refuses, she would not be allowed to wash her dishes or use the restroom. She was denied family visitations and barred from any communication with her family.
Starting in 2018, the prison authorities ordered the lights to remain turned on at night, and inmates are placed on night watch rotations, except those aged 60 and older; practitioners on duty are accompanied by an inmate. Ms. He was placed on duty from 10 P.M. to midnight and only allowed to sleep after her duty. She has to get up at 5:40 A.M. in the morning, meaning that she routinely got five to six hours of sleep a night.
Ms. Guo had to clean the restroom and other public facilities, leading to her heels splitting open and bleeding.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, there are specific prison guards in charge of each practitioner. After the outbreak, this arrangement stopped and prison guards can now look for any practitioners to abuse arbitrarily.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the prison canceled all visitations for the inmates and switched to phone communications instead. Practitioners who are placed on strict discipline are still not allowed to contact their families.
Other Torture Methods
Practitioners are also sprayed with chili water.
Ms. Guo Qiong lost her sense of smell after she was sprayed; Ms. Wang Jinxian's face became black and disfigured. After Ms. Wang became disfigured, the police gave commands to keep this knowledge from other practitioners or to allow other practitioners to see her face.
Ms. Liu Guohua, who was taken to the prison on July 24, 2012, was sprayed in her eyes with unknown water three times, causing her to tear up and suffer from a running nose. Her eyes were in extreme pain; those who sprayed her were wearing gas masks and they were unable to bear the smell of the water.
The first time, Ms. Liu was tied up and sprayed with what looked like chili water and tortured for four hours. She was in extreme pain and her eyes became swollen. Her vision decreased to the point of nearly becoming blind. She couldn't see her family clearly when they came to visit her.
Ms. Liu was sprayed again with chili water a second time. During the third time, her hands were handcuffed behind her back and she was sprayed in her eyes with a solution that caused her to become unable to open her eyes. The handcuffs also caused extreme pain, and Ms. Liu eventually fainted. After being handcuffed for a long time, the handcuffs could not be removed and a chainsaw had to be used to free Ms. Liu's hands. Her hands were scarred from this torture.
Ms. He Jiaman of Kunming City was sprayed in her eyes and mouth with cellulose thinner, a kind of solvent toxic to the human body.
Ms. Wang Meiling of Chuxiong City had her hands pinned behind her back by a few inmates and was sprayed in her eyes by poisonous water. She lost her vision as soon as she was sprayed. It is unclear if she has ever regained eyesight.
Ms. Wu Qihui of Kunming City was sprayed in her face with chili water.
Ms. Liang Yun of Qujing City was sprayed with unknown substances during her first detention. She had difficulty breathing during the torture.
Ms. Zhao Feiqiong of Xuanwei City was arrested six times, sent to forced labor for 2 years, and sentenced thrice for a total of 12.5 years. As she refused to renounce her faith, Ms. Zhao was locked up in a solitary confinement room and forced to sit on a small stool. She was also injected with unknown drugs and shocked with electric batons.
In May 2009, Ms. Zhao was sentenced to four years in prison on her second arrest and held in the No. 2 Division. She was tortured for several hours on January 18, 2010, with her hands cuffed behind her back. On April 17, 2011, she was stripped of her clothes and had her bedding taken away. It rained heavily that night but the prison guard opened the windows to expose Ms. Zhao to the low temperature.
Ms. Zhao was transferred to the No. 8 Division on November 14, 2012. The elderly, paralyzed, and sick inmates are held in this division. After Ms. Zhao was locked there, she was not allowed to see the sunlight and was prohibited from leaving the small room she was confined in until she finished serving her term. She was detained next to a room filled with people who suffer from AIDs and tuberculosis. While detained, Ms. Zhao was not allowed to take a shower or wash her face, causing her hair to form into a pie shape and her face to become thin and haggard.
Before Ms. Zhao was released from prison in April 2013, a group of police and inmates held her down and forcefully injected her with unknown drugs. A few days later, she became lethargic, developed memory loss, and felt dizzy.
Yang Mingshan, Former Prison Director
Yang Mingshan (杨明山) was a former prison director who issued orders to punish Falun Gong practitioners that refused to transform by making them sit on a small stool for up to 15 hours and injecting practitioners with unknown drugs.
When practitioners' relatives accused Yang of his illegal actions in punishing these practitioners, he replied that he is following the orders from the 610 Office and as a prison director, he has the right to set the rules. He added that all people who were sentenced and sent into the prisons are guilty and should follow the prison rules.
Some practitioners’ relatives had filed complaints against the prison for the torture of their loved ones. Yang said to them, “You claim that sitting on the small stool is corporal torture? What's your definition of it? Do you have any evidence? In my view, that’s a form of studying. If you don’t agree with me, you can go ahead and file the complaint to my supervisors.”
In 2011, Yang organized and choreographed sketches that slander Falun Gong.
Wang Limei, Former Deputy Prison Director
Wang Limei (王丽美), a former deputy prison director, started persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in 2002. She pushed for the punishment of sitting on a small stool and injecting practitioners with unknown drugs. She appeared on public media several times, talking about how she cared for and helped inmates.
Wang retired in 2018.
Li Dongdong, Former Chief of Education Section
Li Dongdong (李冬冬), a former chief of the education section, is currently the deputy prison director in the No. 2 Division. She actively carried out various policies in persecuting the practitioners and would organize a bi-monthly meeting that slandered Falun Gong. She also gives talks at these meetings.
Li injected practitioners with unknown drugs and forced them to sit on small stools for up to 15 hours.
Yang Huan, Former Team Leader of Training Division
Yang Huan (杨欢) was a team leader in the prison training division and deputy chief of the education section before becoming a prison warden in the No. 2 Division. After she went to Masanjia Labor Camp in Liaoning Province in 2005 to learn how to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, she returned as a team leader responsible for managing practitioners.
Yang often hit practitioners. She also directed and participated in using methods against Falun Gong practitioners such as solitary confinement, sitting on a small stool, and the injection of unknown drugs. She also refuses to let practitioners take showers, wash their face, use sanitary napkins, and does not allow practitioners to wash their clothes for four months despite the bloodstains from menstruation. A practitioner, Ms. Miao Qing, was locked in solitary confinement for several years after she refused to cooperate with the prison guard. She was released only upon serving her term.
Yang had encouraged other guards to handcuff practitioner Ms. Zhao Feiqiong on the metal bars of an office window and to shock her with six electric batons for two hours. When Ms. Zhao refused to be transformed, the guards shocked her again for three hours, causing her to suffer from multiple burns on her skin and soft tissues.
Yang had allowed inmates to beat and handcuff practitioner Ms. Zhang Lei eight times.
When Yang saw practitioner Ms. Fang Shimei telling a prison guard about the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, she called over seven inmates to pin Ms. Fang to the ground, jump on her body and seal her mouth before beating her. Yang also instigated inmates to mix drugs into Ms. Fang's food, drugs that left her with a splitting headache and feeling confused and groggy. She became very weak and was later released on medical parole.
Xie Ling, Former Police Officer in Training Division
Xie Ling (谢玲) was a former police officer in the prison training division. She was involved in shocking Ms. Zhao Feiqiong with six electric batons and once said to an inmate, “If Zhao Feiqiong refuses to transform, crush her to death with the small stool.” Xie also encouraged an inmate to strip Ms. Zhao and forced her to squat for a day before returning the clothes to her at night.
Xie also participated in and told inmates to beat Ms. Zhang Lei eight times and handcuff her three times. Once, when she saw that an inmate couldn't handcuff Ms. Zhang, she stepped on Ms. Zhang's hand and forcefully handcuffed her to a double bed, causing serious injuries for Ms. Zhang. Ms. Zhang was released on medical parole after her health deteriorated.
In May 2006, Xie used various methods to humiliate Ms. Gao Huixian by making her wear a padded jacket under the hot sun, allowing her to use the restroom thrice a day, and giving her only a small bottle of water to drink a day. Ms. Gao was locked in the solitary confinement room for almost five months.
List of Other Perpetrators Involved
Apart from the 5 main perpetrators mentioned earlier, below are 69 more perpetrators who are involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners:
Ding Ying, Sun Lingshuang, Lin Xiaowan, Jing E, Song Jianli, Si Xiaoyan, Li Xiang, Cao Rui, Tuo Hongfen, Zhang Yingxin, Jin Juanjuan, Shen Dan, Ye Ronghui, Guo Qiongsheng, Wang Yan, Yang Yongfen, Ma Lixia, Zeng Jue, Wang Li, Zhou Ying, Jing Rong, Zheng Pin, Ni Lihong, Li Yingrui, Kong Yinyin, Li Jinhui, Zhang Dingfang, Lei Yamei, Wang Linlin, Liang Min, Zhu Mei, Wang Guoyan, Wang Kunge, Wang Hong, Zhu Ling, Ding Hui, Ding Yi, Li Ji, Li Yan, Zhou Ying, Wang Lili, Yang Yongfang, Long Xuesong, Zhang Nan, Huang Tao, Yu Guiyun, Wu Xuying, Wan Xuemei, Tang Yufang, Zhang Yanhua, Zhao Xiaoxia, Lei Yu, Zhang Ying, Ni Lijiang, Wen Xiaoqin, Liu Zhenhua, Sun Xiaohong, Wu Jianbo, Zhang Ying, Wang Yan, Zhao Feng, Liu Yan, Liu Binshan, Liu Shuqiong, Xia Kunli, Lin Xiaowen, Zhang Dingfang, Chen Zhufen, and Liang Jie.
For a complete list of perpetrators, please refer to the original Chinese article.
Related reports:The Yunnan No. 2 Women's Prison Is Torturing Falun Gong PractitionersMethods of Torture Used in Yunnan No. 2 Women's PrisonTorture Used in Yunnan No. 2 Women's Prison—Sitting on a Small Stool