(Minghui.org) A Dandong City, Liaoning Province resident has been detained 12 years and 9 months in total for upholding her faith since 1999 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline. Ms. Gao Yulan has been arrested five times and sentenced twice. She has been subjected to various torture and her family has been implicated and lived under great pressure.

The following is Ms. Gao's own account of her persecution.

My name is Gao Yulan and I am 74 years old. I started to practice Falun Gong in May 1997. After the CCP started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, I felt compelled to tell people what Falun Gong is and why there is no legal basis for the persecution. But I was arrested several times for talking about Falun Gong.

In September 1999, about 20 practitioners including me went outside to do Falun Gong exercises together, and we were all arrested by officers from Fuchun Police Station. Most of us were held at a detention center for one month.

After I was released in November 1999, I went to do the exercises in public again and was arrested and taken to Xingdong Police Station. Police officer Qu Jiaren slapped me in the face with a roll of newspaper and then put me in a metal cage. I was held at a detention center again for one month. 

In the detention center, police officer Wang Chunmei beat me up because my detention prevented the cell she was managing from getting an award. Inmate Xia Keli, along with other inmates, also punched and kicked me. 

In December 1999, a fellow practitioner and I went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. As soon as we stepped onto the Tiananmen Square, the police came to us and asked what we were doing in Beijing. We told them, and then they took us to the Tiananmen Square Police Station and put us into a metal cage where many practitioners had already been detained. 

We were asked the same questions, such as our names and where we lived. Those who told their home addresses were sent to their area representatives in Beijing. Those who refused to tell their names and addresses were sent to unknown locations.

The other practitioner and I were sent to the hotel building of the Dandong City Office in Beijing. Later I was taken back to Fuchun Police Station in Dandong. The police chief beat me before taking me to a detention center.

On the second day in the detention center, the director Xie ordered us to admit ourselves as criminals. Thinking I had not broken any law, I refused to comply and was slapped in the face by Xie. After one month of detention, I was released.

I continued producing and distributing informational materials. In October 2000, I was arrested by officers from Dandong First Division of the Police Department and detained at an apartment rented by the police on Jiujiang Street. I was handcuffed to the window frame for five days and deprived of sleep. This time I was sentenced to five years in prison.

Torture illustration: Handcuffed to a window frame

Before I was sent to prison, I had been detained at a detention center for more than two years. I was physically injured very badly. One day I suddenly couldn't eat or drink, and I went to the toilet many times a day. The situation lasted for about 3 months. In addition, my body was covered with scabies. The police officer tried four times to send me to the local prison but was refused each time due to my poor health condition.

In October 2002, the Shenyang Province Women's Prison finally accepted me and I was detained at division 3 (now division 1). On the first day, prison guard Guo Haiyan beat me with an electric baton for about half an hour. Guard Li rolled up a magazine and hit me in the face. Two inmates were arranged to watch me and they reported every detail of my daily activities to the guards, such as who I talked to and what I said. The guards also tried to shake my faith by asking people who have given up practicing Falun Gong to brainwash me. I was about to collapse all the time due to the mental pressure.

Torture illustration: Beating with a paper tube

On July 26, 2011, while I was at my workplace, I was dragged into a police car by three police officers and driven back to my home. They raided my apartment and confiscated my personal belongings, including a DVD burner, printers, DVD players, etc. I was first taken to Linjiang Police Station and then sent to Dandong City Detention Center on the same night. This time I was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.

In January 2012, when I was detained at the Liaoning Province Women's Prison Intensive Correctional Unit, guard Liu Yu instructed inmates Guo Shumei and Liu Wei to beat me in an unsupervised area. They also forced me to stand still for a long time and deprived me of sleep.

A month later I was transferred to the Sixth Squad of the First District. Since I was tortured so badly, I almost had a mental breakdown. In September 2016, I was sent to the prison hospital and was held there until my release on January 25, 2019.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution