(Minghui.org) The Yunnan Second Women’s Prison is a prison designated to incarcerate female felons. After the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999, the prison has also become a place to imprison and torture female practitioners who were sentenced for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of belief. 

All those practitioners who refused to renounce their faith upon being admitted to the prison were subjected to various forms of punishment, including long-term solitary confinement or strict discipline. The measures used against them included shocking them with high-voltage electric batons, putting them in straight jackets, brainwashing them with hearing-damaging loud audio recordings, injecting them with nerve-damaging drugs, force-feeding them, forcing them to do labor-intensive work for long hours, making them sit still on a short tiny stool for a long time, and denying them wash-ups, showers, and toilet use. 

When they had their periods, the guards purposely made their living environment filthy to the point of life-threatening by denying them feminine products, clean water, toilet paper, and change of clothes. 

The physical tortures combined with poor hygiene have triggered many practitioners to develop severe cardiovascular problems, nerve damage, and infections in reproductive and urinary systems. Gynecological ailments were common among the practitioners and some died of uterus cancer. 

According to the latest information collected by Minghui, in the past 22 years of persecution of Falun Gong, the Yunnan Second Women’s Prison has held over 300 female practitioners and more than 250 of them have been placed in solitary confinement and/or strict discipline at one point or another. So far 14 practitioners have died, with five of them passing away in the prison and six deceased shortly after they were released, as they couldn’t recover from the health damages they sustained in prison. 

The following is a summary of the tortures commonly used in the prison and cases of the practitioners who suffered the tortures. 

1. Sitting on a Small Stool for 16 Hours Every Day

Sitting still for long hours every day hinders a person’s blood circulation and metabolism, which leads to long-term problems that damage the organs. 

A small stool used to torture Falun Gong practitioners 

Torture illustration: sitting still on a small stool for long hours every day

For the practitioners who were placed under solitary confinement or strict discipline, even if they were in their 70s, they must still sit on a small stool or a bedboard for 16 hours a day every day, during which time the practitioner must place her hands on her knees without moving, or she’d be punished by the guards. 

Sitting in such a position over a long period of time resulted in redness and swelling in the buttocks, blistering, festering, bleeding, and infections in the pelvic area. The flesh broke open and never had time to heal. It led to hypertension, severe swelling of the legs and feet, and organ injuries. At times it even caused their private area to fester and ooze. 

A practitioner’s relatives once accused Yang Mingshan, a former prison director, of violating the laws by forcing their loved ones to sit on a small stool all day. Yang replied that he was following the orders from the 610 Office and, as a prison director, he had the right to set the rules. He added that all people who were sentenced and sent into prisons are guilty and should follow the prison rules.

Some practitioners’ relatives 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 opinion, that’s a form of learning. Have you had any evidence of physical punishment?”

A director of a 610 Office once told a practitioner he couldn’t even sit on a couch for 16 hours for one day, let alone sitting on a small stool for that long every day. 

Case 1: 76-year-old Dies of Hypertension and Lung Failure After Small Stool Torture

Ms. Ni Meizhen was a retiree from Kunming East Railway Station. She was sentenced to 4 years in 2005 and 5 years in 2009. Because she refused to give up her faith, she was forced to sit on a small stool each time she was in prison. Both times she developed hypertension and lung edema and fell into critical condition. The prison authorities released her on medical parole to shirk responsibility. She never recovered the second time she returned home and passed away soon after. 

Case 2: Practitioner Ends Up with Bone Death Around Pelvic Area

Ms. Guo Ling, a retiree from the Supply and Marketing Store of Kunming, was sentenced to seven years in prison for practicing Falun Gong in March 2003. While imprisoned, she was under strict discipline and made to sit on a small stool every day for nearly two years. 

When she was held in solitary confinement, she wasn’t allowed to clean herself, wash her clothes, and was only allowed to use the toilet three times a day. When she had her period, the prison denied her tissue paper. She went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse and the guards tortured her with force-feeding. 

In June 2011, the prison hospital confirmed that Ms. Guo had femoral head avascular necrosis resulting from the interrupted blood supply to her hip bone due to constant sitting on the stool.

Two months later, Ms. Guo suffered an injury to her lower back. She was completely immobile before prison officials released her on medical parole.

2. Denied Washing up, Showers, Change of Clothes 

The practitioners who refused to give up the practice or cooperate with the guards’ unreasonable demands were often put in solitary confinement, at times up to months or even years. During the confinement, they were not allowed to wash up and shower and were denied fresh water and feminine products during their periods. Some practitioners developed gynecological problems because of poor hygiene. 

Case 1: Doctor Dies of Tuberculosis Perforation After Years of Solitary Confinement 

Ms. Shen Yueping, an attending physician from the Mother and Child Care Center in Yuxi City, Yunnan Province, passed away at 11 p.m. on July 16, 2009. She was only 49 years old. 

Ms. Shen was sentenced to a five-year prison term in December 2004 and suffered abuses in prison. To brainwash her, the guards took turns cursing her and played audio recordings that slandered Falun Gong at the highest volume. 

For 16 hours a day she had to sit still on her bed without getting up. The guards wouldn’t let her shower, wash her clothes, and use feminine products and clean water during her period. Other inmates, instigated by the guards, pricked her with needles and put unknown drugs in her food. She eventually contracted tuberculosis and coughed for 8 months without medical help. 

In June 2009, her family received notification of Ms. Shen’s Release on Medical Parole. At the time, she had a punctured lung and vomited frequently. After her release, Ms. Shen was admitted to the Third Hospital in Kunming, where she stayed until she passed away on the night of July 16.

Case 2: Becoming Disoriented After Long-term Solitary Confinement 

Ms. Fang Shimei worked in a tobacco company in Wenshan State. She was given five years in prison in 2003. As she refused to sign statements to renounce her faith, the guards put her in solitary confinement four times for a total of one year. 

Inside the solitary confinement, she wasn’t allowed to shower, wash her clothes, and was denied feminine products during her periods. The guards instigated other inmates to beat her and forced her to sit still on a small stool. Because the guards added nerve-damaging drugs in her food, she quickly became delusional and unresponsive. After her health deteriorated, the prison authorities gave her medical parole and informed her family to pick her up from solitary confinement. 

3. No Clean Water and Feminine Products During Period 

To pressure the practitioners into giving up their faith, the prison authorities denied the practitioners who were in solitary confinement clean water during their period. The practitioners were not allowed to use feminine products and their menstrual blood soaked their pants. Without clean water, the practitioners’ underwear and pants were constantly covered in blood stains and smelled. The practitioners often developed various gynecological problems as a result. 

Case 1: Doctor Develops Uterus Cancer After Release 

Ms. Wang Lan, a retired physician from Kunming, was put in solitary confinement three times after receiving her four-year sentence in July 2005. The guards denied her washing up, showers, clean clothes and water, and feminine products. Her mental and physical health fell apart as she had to constantly sit on a small stool and eat meals mixed with nerve-damaging drugs. Soon after her release, she had abnormal vaginal bleeding and was diagnosed with uterus cancer. She died in January 2012. 

Case 2: Relentlessly Tortured and Lives in Filthy Environment

Ms. Zhao Feiqiong, born in 1970, ran a private business. She was incarcerated in prison three times and suffered solitary confinement, strict discipline, injection of unknown drugs, and high-voltage shocks. 

After she was arrested in August 2004, she was given four years in prison. For seven months she was tortured in solitary confinement. Every day she was ordered to sit still on her bed for 16 hours with her hands on her knees. The guards beat her whenever she moved or talked. 

For months under strict discipline, she wasn’t allowed to wash up and shower. She could only use the toilet four times a day. While she had her period, not only was she denied clean water and tissue paper, she had to stand still while her menstrual blood ran down her legs and stained the ground. She smelled terrible with only a little food and a bottle of water each day. 

4. Limited Drinking Water and Toilet Use 

Knowing that not having enough water would cause circulation and urinary problems, the prison made it a rule that a practitioner ordered to sit on a small stool was only allowed a bottle of water (0.5 to 1 liter) a day. Also, the practitioner was allowed to use the toilet three times a day, assuming that the guards give permission. 

Case 1: Viciously Beaten After Using the Toilet Without Asking for Permission 

Ms. He Lianchun from Mengzi County, Yunnan Province, has been sentenced to prison three times since the persecution started. She is currently incarcerated. 

When she was sent to prison in October 2009 for a 10-year sentence, she was under strict discipline for more than five years. During which time she was forced to sit on a small stool for extended periods of time, and was denied showers and clean clothes. The guard gave her a bottle of water each day and had her wear a straitjacket. 

To protest, she went on a hunger strike over 20 times and was force-fed over a hundred times. She was in critical condition twice because of the force-feedings. As a result of the violence and the nerve-damaging drugs force-fed to her, her health deteriorated. 

In her first 10 years of imprisonment, she almost wasn’t allowed to make any purchase and for a long time, she didn’t have access to toilet paper. The guards forbade her to use the toilet for a year and she could only relieve herself in her pants. She tried not to drink water during the day and held her pee. 

One time she rushed into a restroom because she couldn’t hold it anymore. The guards instigated other inmates to drag her out of the restroom and beat her. Another time she peed in a dustpan. Two inmates beat her while holding her head in the urine. Having to hold her pee most of the time, she developed symptoms of urinary tract infection. 

Case 2: Nurse Develops Mental Disorder After Tortures 

Ms. Zhang Lei used to be a nurse at Xinjiang Construction Corps before she retired in Anhui Province. When she visited her son in Yunnan Province on May 31, 2008, the police arrested her and arbitrarily gave her five years. 

The restrictions of toilet use led to her frequent peeing in her pants and developing urinary tract infections. She once collapsed on the ground with a severe stomach ache after being denied toilet use. 

In the prison, she was hung up from her handcuffs three times and had to sit on a small stool. Because of the constant sitting on a small stool, the flesh on her buttocks was exposed and smashed, her pants fell apart, and she had hypertension and severe swelling in her lower body.

After being injected with unknown drugs, she became mentally incoherent. The guards sent her back to Anhui Province claiming that she had schizophrenia.

5. Forced to Listen to High Volume Audio that Defames Falun Gong 

To put extreme pressure on the practitioners and to brainwash them into renouncing Falun Gong, the prison authorities played audio recordings that defamed Falun Gong at the maximum volume. This damaged many practitioners’ hearing and some of them suffered eardrum damage and became deaf. 

Case 1: Tortured Until Loss of Hearing and Dies of Heart Failure 

Ms. Yang Mingqing was a chief official at the Forestry Training Center. She was put in prison in 2005 and 2012 for a total of seven years. While she was in prison, she was under solitary confinement for four months and forced to sit on a small stool every day, during which time she wasn’t allowed to wash up, shower, wash clothes, and was denied clean water and feminine products during her period. 

The guards played audio recordings that defamed Falun Gong with the highest volume from morning to dawn every day. This psychological abuse and constant sitting on a small stool pushed her to develop hypertension, swollen legs, festering sores at the perineal region, and hearing loss. The physical trauma persisted after she was released. She died of heart failure on March 8, 2019, at the age of 67.

Case 2: Passing Out and Later Losing Hearing After Listening to Extremely Loud Audio 

Ms. Gu Zhengfen was a chemical analyst from Ruili City, Yunnan Province. After the authorities sentenced her to prison in 2005, she was placed under solitary confinement and strict discipline because she refused to give up Falun Gong. She wasn’t allowed to clean herself or wash her clothes. When she had her period, she was denied feminine products. 

The guards put the speakers of a record player a foot away from her and turned the volume up to the maximum. She often fainted because of the physical distress and eventually lost her hearing. 

As a result of constantly sitting still on a small stool, she had hypertension, irregular heartbeat, swollen lower body, and failing heart and kidneys. At one point she was at the brink of death and the hospital issued a critical condition notice. 

6. Sleeping on a Concrete Floor, Limited Clean Water 

In July 2019, the prison set up a strict discipline dormitory and split the strict discipline approach into first-level strict discipline, second-level strict discipline, and inspection-level. When under the first-level discipline, the practitioners had to sleep on concrete floors all year round with a thin layer of cushion and thin blanket. The windows were always open even during winter time or rainy days. The practitioners were only allowed to wear one layer of thin clothes. The weather in Kunming City is mostly humid and cool at night. Sleeping on concrete floors often results in rheumatoid arthritis. 

To create a filthy ill-hygiene environment to distress the practitioners, the guards often restricted practitioners’ water use. Often the practitioners could only shower once a week for 5 minutes, wash their clothes once every other month, and wash their bedsheets once every three months with only a bucket of water, which was barely enough to soak the sheets. 

The guards wouldn’t let the practitioners purchase tissue papers and feminine products when they had their periods. The practitioners were forced to use old newspapers, clothes, or the same feminine product for months. 

Case 1: Currently Imprisoned Practitioner Has Been Denied Feminine Products for Years 

Ms. Kuang Deying from Zhaotong City was twice sentenced, in 2008 and 2020, respectively. She is currently under strict discipline in the 2nd Prison because she refused to renounce her faith. 

For years she had to sit on a small stool and wasn’t allowed to purchase feminine products. She had to tear her old clothes to keep herself clean during her period. As a result she didn’t have enough clothes left for winter times. 

Case 2: Currently Imprisoned and Has Slept on Concrete Floor for Over A Year 

Ms. He Lichun was an engineer in Yunnan Province 14th Construction Bureau. She was sentenced to seven years in 2018 and is now incarcerated in the prison. Beginning November 2019 she was put under first-level discipline for not renouncing her faith. 

Every night she slept on a cold concrete floor with a thin mat and comforter. In winter her windows were open and she had only a layer of clothes on. She had to sit on a small stool from 6 a.m. to midnight every day with only four breaks to use the toilet. The guards only gave her three cups of water and little food each day. 

She showered once a week for 5 minutes and could only wash her clothes every other week. She had to clean the bathroom and other public areas. If she refused to do so, the guards would punish her by not allowing her to wash her food bowl or use the toilet. 

After she refused to follow unreasonable prison rules to apply for a purchase, she’s been living without daily necessities. She was covered in blood-stained clothes during her periods.

Related reports:

Torture Used in Yunnan No. 2 Women's Prison—Sitting on a Small Stool

Deaths and Torture of Falun Gong Practitioners in Yunnan Second Women’s Prison

“Strict Discipline” of Falun Gong Practitioners in Yunnan No. 2 Women’s Prison