(Minghui.org) By the time Ms. Wang Sumei was released on July 21, 2018 from serving a ten-year term for practicing Falun Gong, her hair had turned gray, four of her teeth had fallen out and seven had become loose, and her eyesight had become blurry. 

Despite her condition, the police kept coming back to harass her and ordered her to write statements to renounce Falun Gong. Her husband had had an affair and deserted her, leaving her in deep despair. She stayed with her sister, who took care of her. After struggling with poor health for almost three years, the Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident passed away on March 12, 2021, one day after her son took her back home. She was 59.

Taking Up Falun Gong

Ms. Wang used to suffer from migraines, gynecological problems, and other ailments. After using up the family savings, she borrowed money from relatives to continue her medical treatment but could not cure her illnesses. Discovering Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline also known as Falun Dafa, in 1998 was a turning point for Ms. Wang. All her ailments disappeared within a month of beginning the practice.

Ten-year Sentence

Ever since the communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, the authorities have been arresting and harassing practitioners around anniversaries related to Falun Gong and major national events. 

Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ms. Wang was arrested on July 21 in a police sweep and had her home ransacked. Her Falun Gong books, informational materials, photo of Falun Gong’s founder and three printers were confiscated. 

The Shenbei New District Court indicted her on October 8 and tried her on November 5, 2008. She was sentenced to ten years. 

Tortured in Prison

Ms. Wang was first held in Division 8 after she was taken to the Liaoning Women's Prison on March 3, 2009. She was given little food for three months. Every day, she was forced to work at least 12 hours, making sweaters from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the evening, she was forced to stand still until 1 a.m. before being allowed to go to bed. 

The prison guards put the detainees into groups of three—if one of them was deemed disobedient, all three were punished. To force practitioners to give up their belief in Falun Gong, the guards often put two inmates and one practitioner together. To curry favor with the guards, the inmates often mistreated practitioners.

As Ms. Wang stayed firm in her faith, the guards kept changing the accompanying inmates and ordered them to use different methods to torture her. Some of them hung her up high enough that her feet were off the floor. Occasionally, they pulled her by her hair and pushed her head into a bucket full of water, nearly drowning her. Others slapped her in the face and pinched her thighs every day. Even when Ms. Wang was doing forced labor, the inmates sometimes beat her for no reason.

An inmate imprisoned for homicide tortured Ms. Wang by forcing her mouth open and pushing on her teeth. Although there was no visible injury, Ms. Wang's teeth became loose and started to hurt.

To keep Ms. Wang from doing the Falun Gong exercises, the inmates often handcuffed her arms behind her back even while she slept. Sometimes they tore up the bedsheets and tied her up in bed. They tied her so tightly that her wrists were injured. Because she shouted “Falun Dafa is good” to protest the persecution, the inmates sealed her mouth with tape.

Torture reenactment: Handcuffed behind the back

The inmates often said to her, “If we can’t manage you, we will have our points deducted and we can’t have our terms reduced.”

Given the incessant physical and mental abuse, plus 12 hours of forced labor every day and a poor diet, Ms. Wang was diagnosed with low blood sugar. As a result, she was transferred to the Elderly and Disabled Unit in Division 11 on January 25, 2012. The guards continued to force her to do unpaid labor, this time making cotton swabs.

As long as Falun Gong practitioners held firm to their faith, they would be tortured, despite advanced age or weak physical condition. It’s reported that the authorities also assigned a death quota to Division 11, meaning that the guards wouldn’t be held responsible if practitioners died as a result of the persecution.

Because Ms. Wang refused to give up her belief, she was tortured in more than 20 different ways during her ten-year imprisonment. Tortures included sleep deprivation, being held in solitary confinement, and being restrained on a death bed. At times, the inmates doused her with freezing water, dragged her by the hair, hung her up high, stomped on her back, deprived her of access to the restroom or water to wash herself, forbade her to purchase personal care items, or humiliated her in other ways. Her mouth often bled from been slapped. Her weight at one point dropped to about 80 pounds.

During her time in prison, Ms. Wang's family repeatedly asked to visit her, but was rejected by the guards each time. 

Even three months before her release, an inmate slapped Ms. Wang in the face and stuffed her mouth with a rag after the guards scolded the inmates because Ms. Wang held firm to her faith.

When her sister picked her up outside the prison, she could barely recognize the woman standing in front of her.

Related Reports:

Arrested Prior to 2008 Beijing Olympics, Liaoning Woman Detained and Tortured 10 Years for Her Belief

Ms. Wang Sumei Refuses to Stop Doing the Falun Gong Exercises in Prison

Unreasonable Judgment Handed Down in Northern Shenyang City in 2008

Chinese version available

Category: Torture of Women