(Minghui.org) During the 21-year-long persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist regime, a 68-year-old Chongqing woman spent more than 10.5 years in custody for persevering in her faith.

Mrs. Zhao Jiayu, a resident of Shapingba District, Chongqing, was first given two years of forced labor in July 2000. Not long after she was released, she was taken to a brainwashing center in November of 2002 and detained there for 1.5 years. She was given another forced labor term of two years in February 2005, and two years once again in December 2008. She was sentenced to three years in 2013. 

From the torture she suffered, her feet are black and she has developed tinnitus. 

The following is Ms. Zhao's account of her experience.

Taking up Falun Gong and Appealing for Injustice

I used to suffer from many diseases. I had brain tumors, severe rheumatoid arthritis, hand deformation, feet arthritis, numbness on the left side of my body, bronchitis, severe insomnia, just to name a few of them. I had gone to several major hospitals before, and nothing had seemed to be able to cure these ailments. But after taking up Falun Gong in 1997, all of my illnesses—many of which had plagued me for many years—disappeared in just a few days. 

When the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999, I knew that there was nothing wrong with becoming a better person according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I wanted to use my experience to tell the government that Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. So I went to Beijing with two other Falun Gong practitioners. When we arrived at Tiananmen Square, the three of us were arrested and taken away in a police car.

When we arrived at a detention facility and were doing our registration, I saw six elderly female Falun Gong practitioners from Guangdong handcuffed in the “sword-carrying” position, while the police kept beating and berating them. I also saw a big bump on the back of one of their hands as the result of severe beating.

Torture illustration: “carrying a sword” 

We were taken to Chongqing the next day to be held in Jingkou Police Station of Shapingba District. I was held overnight; I cleaned up the room in the early morning, because Master taught us to be good no matter where we are. Our party of three was detained for fifteen days.

Feet Turned Black After First Forced Labor Term of Two Years

I went to Beijing in June 2000 with several Falun Gong practitioners to appeal once again. We were arrested and taken back to Chongqing. I was held in a detention center for one month and then given a two-year forced labor term.

In Maojiashan Women's Forced Labor Camp, every practitioner was brutally persecuted by the prison guards and inmates. We were forced to sit still on a small stool, military-style, for several hours every day and not allowed to move. All of us had sores on our buttocks that were very painful, and later developed into calluses. At night, we were handcuffed and shackled to the four corners of our beds during sleep. 

Torture reenactment: handcuffed and shackled to the bed

After a while, the torture with stools was changed to standing with our hands handcuffed to the metal frames of bunk beds. Still, we were not allowed to move for several hours. Afterward, my feet became swollen, and my face turned purple with pain. But we were forced to continue with our slave labor. After some time, my feet were covered with blisters that oozed yellow pus. The flesh around the blisters then began to rot due to the constricted bloodflow to my feet.

Torture illustration: standing

Once, a prison guard surnamed Wu approached me and asked why I practiced Falun Gong. I answered, “Falun Gong is the Great Law of the cosmos, a supernatural science.” Because of that, I was forced to squat for several hours. My feet were in extreme pain. 

Once in winter, some other practitioners and I protested against the torture by not wearing the prison uniforms. The guards handcuffed us to the window bars and opened the window to freeze us. Then we were confined in small cells and only allowed to use the restroom once a day. I was not able to urinate normally after that, and it took me many years to recover.

After Maojiashan Women's Labor Camp, I was moved to Shimahe Women's Labor Camp. This new labor camp was in the middle of intensifying their physical brutality against Falun Gong practitioners. Shortly after I arrived, I saw several inmates surrounding a practitioner and violently beating her. A lot of her hair was torn out. The guards saw it, but no one stopped the beating. When I tried to stop these inmates, the guards retaliated by forcing me to squat. I was not allowed to even shuffle due to the pain in my feet; when I did, I was beaten. 

On some days, all Falun Gong practitioners were forced to stand at attention or squat all day until midnight, without moving. We were only given ten minutes to take each meal. When we slept, the inmate on duty would wake us up on purpose from time to time, saying it was to “correct our sleeping posture.”

Due to the standing torture, my feet swelled up and hurt so much that it was very difficult to fall asleep at night. When I was unable to keep still during the standing torture, I got punched and kicked, which resulted an injury to my left ear. Since then, my hearing's been diminished, and I developed tinnitus. 

One night, after an inmate called me upstairs, a group of inmates surrounded me and beat me. Then a male guard surnamed Li from Xishanping Forced Labor Camp kept slapping me until he was too tired to continue.

Another time, Guard Yang Li ordered a tall and strong inmate, Liu Chenglin, to tie my hands and feet with two ropes, and told me to kneel down. I refused. Yang Li then instructed Liu Chenglin to keep beating me. My hands and feet turned purple afterward. 

Since I refused to renounce Falun Gong, for some time, I was given less than two ounces of food for both lunch and dinner. The inmates deliberately woke me up at night while I was sleeping. Due to the long-term torture in the labor camp, the entire backs of my feet became black. They have yet to recover, even now. 

One and a Half Years of Detention at Brainwashing Center

I returned home from the forced labor camp in 2002. The officials of my residential committee told me that I must notify them whenever I was to leave the area.

I went out to the Beibei District of Chongqing without notifying the officials in November 2002. When I came back, the official from the residential committee intercepted me before I stepped inside my home and dragged me to the police station. Then I was taken to Geleshan Brainwashing Center in Chongqing.

On the second day of my arrival, I was forcibly dragged to the psychiatric hospital for an infusion despite my refusal. I was taken to the hospital again the following day and was injected with sedatives used for mental patients.

During the coldest month that winter, I was forced to stand in the alleyway with thin clothes on while the guards wore heavy winter coats. I happened to have my period then as well and bled heavily. I became pale and cold. 

When all the Falun Gong practitioners were forced to copy words slandering Falun Gong, I refused. So I was forced to do cleaning jobs and then stand all day in a room downstairs, isolated from others. I even had to stand up to eat during mealtime. Only after I had been on a hunger strike for a few days was I allowed to sit and eat. But I was given only a little bit of food each meal, served with dirt in the dishes.

Later, I was forced to attend brainwashing classes at the labor camp, where I had to watch videos defaming Falun Gong. I had to submit reports once every few days, so I wrote the facts of how government officials embezzled people's money. 

As the result, a perpetrator, Yue Haizhong suddenly dragged me downstairs one morning without saying a word, then another perpetrator, Deng Dahan, poked me with a pushpin all over my body while a policeman burned my palm with a cigarette butt. Then, I was tied to a large chair and pushed under a very bright light bulb to burn my face. I wasn't untied until the evening. I felt a burning sensation all over my face and I urinated blood afterward.

It happened again a few days later. Yue Haizhong dragged me downstairs again, and then Deng Dahan grabbed me and slammed my head against the wall, saying, “I will beat you to death and cremate you. Your husband divorced you so no one cares about you. Your two children wouldn't dare to say anything.” They rested when they were too tired, then continued the torture. It lasted the whole day.

From that day on, I had to sleep on the floor downstairs. However, every midnight, the perpetrators would splash a lot of water on the floor, and perpetrator Li Xing also poured water on my head. Then a group of people would come to the room to play mahjong, drink, and eat. When they spotted me falling asleep, they would begin to beat me and pull me up from the ground, punching and kicking me. They then knocked me down back onto the ground and stomped on me. I could only sleep after they had tired themselves out. 

In the end, I was the only one left in the brainwashing center. I was beaten every day to the point where I could barely climb into bed. Deng Dahan came to the room multiple times a day to bang my head against the wall. I was also threatened with the liquidation of my home to cover the expenses of the brainwashing center.

Second Forced Labor Term of Two Years and Brainwashing Center Detention

After I returned home, the Jinkou Town government party secretary, Zuo Jin, forced me to become the janitor for the town square. I had to handle the workload of three people while only being paid 300 yuan per month, while the other two janitors were ordered to just monitor me every day for 400 yuan a month. They followed me whereever I went.

Since my house is very close to the police station, the police frequently stopped by and raided it whenever they wanted to. My Falun Gong books were confiscated nine times.

One day when I went out with two Falun Gong practitioners in 2005, a few town officials intercepted us with their car and forcibly searched us. They forced us to go to the police station where we were searched again. Practitioner Ms. Feng Chuanfang and I were both given two years of forced labor and taken to Chongqing Women's Forced Labor Camp.

Zuo Jin conspired with Shu Chang, the director of the labor camp, to make a plan to persecute me. After I arrived at the labor camp, I was subjected to the same inhumane mental and physical persecution as last time. I was beaten every day and was not allowed to rest, except for the short moment I was given to eat meals. I was often forced to stand or squat for a long time.

After returning home in 2007, I went out with other Falun Gong practitioners to distribute materials exposing the truth of the persecution. But we were arrested after being reported to the authorities. We were taken to the Shapingba Police Department in Chongqing.

The police brought us noodles for lunch. However, I suddenly felt very dizzy after the meal. I suspect that the noodles were drugged.

Later, we were taken to Geleshan Brainwashing Center. My mind was not very clear and I could not control my thoughts. This lasted for more than ten days after I returned home.

Third Forced Labor Term of Two Years

I went to visit a Falun Gong practitioner in 2008. When the security guard at the practitioner's community asked me whom I came to visit, I did not answer. He then grabbed my bag and searched it. When he saw some booklets with Falun Gong information, he took me to Chongqing Xinqiao Police Station. The police confiscated the 900 yuan I had in cash.

I was given two years of forced labor on the same day and sent to the labor camp. I was brutally tortured at the labor camp: standing and squatting outside regardless of weather; being slapped, beaten and scolded frequently; having my food drugged; forced labor; being given little food for meals, and more. I was also denied entry into my own cell and barred from washing myself for over eight months. 

Three Years of Imprisonment

I was arrested again in 2013, when I was distributing the materials with facts about Falun Gong. My liver was injured when the police officers beat me. I still suffer from liver pain today.

Later, I was taken to a detention center. The guards ordered the inmates to torture me and put drugs in my meal. Once I caught the inmates adding drugs to my food on the spot and protested with a hunger strike. They had to stop drugging me, but my body had already suffered serious damage.

Eight months later, I was sentenced to three years in prison and transferred to prison.

Two More Detentions

When I was distributing informational materials at a community in 2017, the community manager seized me and took me to the police station. I was not allowed to go to the bathroom or eat during my ten hours at the police station. Then I was sent to Huayan Detention Center in Chongqing and held there for nine months.

Sixteen of us Falun Gong practitioners were reading Falun Gong books together at a Falun Gong practitioner's home in 2009 when the police from Shapingba District Police Department broke in and arrested us. I was detained at the Chongqing Qingmuguan Detention Center for four days.

I was reported to the authorities again on April 30, 2020, for telling people about Falun Gong. After I was taken to the police station, I told the officers about Falun Gong and the persecution. They understood that Falun Gong practitioners are good people and released me.

During recent years, there were people breaking into my house without a warrant and turning things upside down. They stole random items, including money and food. They even put unknown drugs in my food, causing me to be sick and dizzy after eating the food. They also broke my gas stove, water heater, air conditioner, and other appliances, and once even replaced a good video player with a bad one.

Chinese version available

Category: Torture of Women