(Minghui.org) A woman in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia was incarcerated and tortured for 14 years for refusing to renounce her faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong is a spiritual and health-improving practice that has been persecuted in China since 1999.
Ms. Li Yufen, 59, was first arrested in October 2000 and again on July 10, 2001. She was given two years of forced labor after the second arrest. Her arrests and labor camp sentence caused extreme stress and worries for her elderly parents. Her mother died while she was in the labor camp and her father died the year after. Her then-ten-year-old child had to live a life without her care.
Ms. Li was given another two years of forced labor following her arrest on April 6, 2006. Her husband divorced her during her detention. When she was released on January 3, 2008, she found herself with no home to return to.
She was arrested again on October 26, 2009 and sentenced to four years in Hohhot First Women’s Prison.
Her latest arrest took place on July 13, 2014, after she was reported for talking to people about Falun Gong and the persecution. The police ransacked her home without a search warrant and did not provide a list of confiscated items, which included her Falun Gong books, photos of Falun Gong’s founder, a laptop computer, an MP3 audio player, a cellphone, an electric motorcycle, and 700 yuan in cash.
Ms. Li appeared in the Bairin Left Banner Court on November 25, 2014 and was sentenced to six years in prison. The authorities transferred her to the Hohhot First Women’s Prison in March 2015 without notifying her family.
As soon as she arrived at the prison, the inmates stripped her naked to search her. They snatched her indictment and appeal letter away and never returned them to her.
Ms. Li was placed in a special team where the staff members specialized in torturing Falun Gong practitioners into renouncing their faith. She upheld her belief, and the guards had an inmate watch her around the clock. She wasn’t allowed to leave her cell at will. The guards also forced her to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong and once forced her to stand still without moving for ten hours.
The prison authorities frequently gathered Falun Gong practitioners in the special team in a big house and tried to brainwash them into giving up the practice.
A group of police officers and former practitioners came to the prison in July 2015 to help brainwash the steadfast practitioners. By October, the guards realized that Ms. Li’s mind did not waver, so they put her in a prison sweatshop where she had to sew clothing non-stop, every day.
The guards not only forced Ms. Li to watch videos slandering Falun Gong, they also forced her to read books from other religions. They made her do various labor-intensive work. Three people who had practiced Falun Gong but later gave up were hired by the prison to hold a brainwashing session in 2017.
The authorities repeatedly put Ms. Li back into the special team to intensify the brainwashing and tortures. When she was held there in October 2019, the authorities brought in more officers and former practitioners to the special team to brainwash her. She remained unmoved and was returned to the regular ward. She was placed in the special team again in March 2020 until her release on July 12, 2020.
Because Ms. Li didn’t renounce Falun Gong, the authorities denied family visits, and limited calls from her family. Her purchase of daily necessities was also limited.
When she was released in July 2020, the Bairin Left Banner Social Security Bureau suspended her pension and ordered her to return the pension she received while incarcerated. She suffered tremendous financial stress and had no means of other income.
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