Jilin Woman Still Faces Intensified Persecution in the Final Months of Her Wrongful Prison Term
(Minghui.org) Because of practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Niu Yuhui has been arrested six times, given two labor camp terms and sentenced to five years. Now with only nine months left to her prison term, the prison is blocking Ms. Niu's family from visiting her with the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic. With the tightened up persecution inside the prison since 2020, her family is now very worried about her wellbeing.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Hunger Strike and Forced Labor Camp Terms
Ms. Niu, a Shulan City, Jilin Province resident, was first given one year of forced labor in 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. The police continued to harass her after she was released, forcing her to live away from home to avoid the persecution.
She was arrested again on April 17, 2008 after being reported to the police when she came back home for a visit. As soon as she was taken to the Shulan City Detention Center, she started a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary arrest.
The guards ordered the inmates to slap her in the face and threatened that they wouldn’t be held responsible even if she died there. The police continued to interrogate her and verbally assaulted her. After thirty-three days of hunger strike, Ms. Niu was taken to the Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp. The labor camp, however, refused three times to accept her due to her health. The police had to release her on June 6.
Five-year Prison Sentence
Ms. Niu was arrested again on October 13, 2016. Her computer, cellphone and many other personal belongings were confiscated. Ms. Niu held a hunger strike again to protest the persecution in the Jilin City Detention Center.
Because Ms. Niu refused to do the unpaid labor in the detention center, the guards shackled her hands and feet together, leaving her unable to stand up or sit down. Sometimes they kicked her with leather boots. The guards also deprived her of toilet paper and once forced her to relieve herself in her pants.
Due to the abuse in custody, Ms. Niu lost vision in one eye and had abnormal tissue growth in her stomach, yet the authorities refused to release her. She was held in an intensive care unit for nearly a month.
Ms. Niu was secretly sentenced to five years and fined 50,000 yuan by the Shulan City Court on June 7, 2017. She appealed to the intermediate court. The higher court judge blocked the out-of-town lawyer she hired to represent her. Her family wasn’t allowed to visit her either.
Ms. Niu was transferred to the Eighth Ward of Jilin Province Women’s Prison on August 2, 2017. To force her to give up Falun Gong, the guards gave her a very limited amount of food and only one cup of water every day. She was forced to get up at 3:50 a.m., sit on a small stool all day long, and then go to sleep at around 10 p.m. During the day, she was allowed to use the restroom three times. The torture lasted about 40 days. During that time she was also forbidden to buy daily necessities or take showers.
Between July and August 2019, the prison intensified the persecution against the practitioners who refused to renounce Falun Gong. Ms. Niu was again forced to sit on a small stool, with her legs together and her legs and body maintaining a 90 degree angle. The inmates put a piece of paper between her legs and forced her to keep her legs together. If the paper fell, the inmates would pinch or verbally abuse her. Ms. Niu’s arms were covered with bruises from the torture. The inmates didn’t stop torturing her until she held a hunger strike to protest.
The prison also barred the practitioners’ families from visiting them or receiving calls from the practitioners. During the pandemic in 2020, Ms. Niu and several other practitioners held a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The prison then allowed them to call their families, but still forbade them from taking showers or buying extra food.