(Minghui.org) Since the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Li Hongzhen, a guard in the 4th ward of the Hebei Province Women’s Prison in Shijiazhuang City, has actively participated in the abuse of jailed Falun Gong practitioners in an attempt to force them to renounce their faith. Because of her active participation, she was promoted as the head of the 6th, 11th, and 17th wards in the prison over the years.
The torture methods used by Li included solitary confinement, beatings, electric shocks, sleep deprivation, and sexual assaults. One practitioner died as a direct result of the torture and others were severely injured.
Below are select persecution cases that Li had participated in.
Ms. Gao Suzhen, of Shijiazhuang City, was sentenced to 4.5 years for signing a petition to rescue an incarcerated practitioner. She was taken to the Hebei Province Women’s Prison in 2014 and transferred to the 17th ward a year later.
Li Hongzhen and the inmates deprived Ms. Gao of sleep. They also put a plastic stool on her legs and then sat on it. Her legs broke as a result and oozed yellow fluid for a long time.
In a 2016 campaign to improve the “transformation rate” of practitioners in the prison, Li forced Ms. Gao to watch other practitioners being tortured. In one instance, they restrained a practitioner in a chair and taped her mouth shut. Then they attached wires to her nipples and used a clamp to twist and pull the wire until her breasts bled.
Fearful of suffering the same torture herself, Ms. Gao signed a statement promising to give up her faith. Shortly after that, she suffered a mental collapse and became deranged. She also lost her vision and became incontinent.
Ms. Gao spent most of her last year of imprisonment in the prison hospital. The prison extorted more than 30,000 yuan from her family to cover her medical bills. Her vision worsened after the hospital staff gave her unknown drugs. She also developed high blood pressure and high blood sugar during her hospital stay. Her liver, kidneys, and heart started to fail.
Although the hospital issued notices three times that she was in critical condition, the prison authorities didn’t release her on medical parole until January 5, 2017, close to the end of her prison term.
Even after she was released, the police and agents from the local 610 Office continued to harass her at home. Her family spent over 200,000 yuan on her medical treatment, but she still passed away on March 5, 2018, after experiencing multiple organ failure.
Ms. Li Xiaoying
Ms. Li Xiaoying, a college teacher in her 50s, was sentenced to three years and taken to the Hebei Province Women’s Prison around July 2000. For upholding Falun Gong, she was beaten by Li Hongzhen, who was a guard at the fourth ward then. A prison doctor named Wang Junlan and inmate Feng Zhiyun often beat and verbally abused Ms. Li. They slapped her in the face, causing her eyes to bruise and swell. They also held her in solitary confinement and didn’t allow her to talk to others. She was sometimes forced to eat waste in the toilet, which eventually caused her to suffer a mental collapse.
Ms. Chu Lianrong
Ms. Chu Lianrong was arrested on September 18, 2007 and sentenced to seven years. Li Hongzhen, then head of the 11th ward, held her in solitary confinement and ordered prison doctor Wang Man and inmate Sun Xirong to force feed her with toxic drugs, causing her to have symptoms of dementia.
Ms. Peng Yun
Ms. Peng Yun, 42, learned Falun Gong between 2001 and 2002 while detained in the Xingtai Detention Center for committing a crime. She deeply regretted her past wrongdoings and wished she could have learned Falun Gong earlier. During her court hearing, she told the judge that she was determined to live by Falun Gong’s principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” from then on, and that the government shouldn’t persecute such a good spiritual practice. Because of that, the judge gave her a life sentence at Hebei Women’s Prison.
She was held in the 4th ward from 2003 to 2005, when guards Ma Mei, Li Hongzhen, and Zhang Weixia put her in solitary confinement six times. It’s a small room without a window, and is dark all the time with no air circulation. It is extremely hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Ms. Peng had to eat, drink, sleep, and relieve herself all in the same room. Most people wouldn’t be able to stand being in isolation for a few days, but Ms. Peng was once held there for over 100 days, while being handcuffed and constantly shocked by electric batons.
In July and August 2003, guard Li Hongzhen ordered Yang Jianmei, Chen Xiyan, Fan Xiuqin, and Feng Caili to torture and brainwash Ms. Peng. Yang poured a cup of boiling water on her face and berated her. Chen pulled her hair and slapped her in the face. Feng beat and kicked Ms. Peng from the back, and Fan tried to talk Ms. Peng into giving up Falun Gong.
In October 2003 and January 2004, guards Ma Mei, Li Hongzhen, and prisoner Yao Yaixiang put Ms. Peng in solitary confinement for 100 days. The weather was freezing and there was no heat in that room. She developed frostbite in many areas of her body and was very weak after a month of hunger strike. Ma and Li shocked her neck and face with electric batons, rendering her unable to speak for several months.
From May 19 to August 25, 2004, guards Zhang Weixia and Yang Zhenhua body-searched Ms. Peng and locked her in confinement for 100 days. Inmates Guo Yuping and Feng Zhiyun dragged Ms. Peng along the ground until her shirt came off. She was topless with her chest facing up. Her back bled quite a lot due to abrasions from being dragged, and her blood stained the ground.
The weather was hot and Ms. Peng went on a hunger strike for three weeks while in confinement. Regardless of Ms. Peng’s weakened condition, the guards handcuffed her to a metal gate, making it impossible for her to stand or sit. Ms. Peng passed out and lost control of her bowels. When the guards were about to release her from the confinement, they were unable to open her handcuffs as they were badly rusted. They had to use a drill to open them.
From May 29 to June 20, 2005, guards Li Hongzhen and Zhang Weixia locked up Ms. Peng in confinement. Ms. Peng was released after 14 days of being on a hunger strike.
From October 3 to 20, 2005, prisoner Ma Hongyan reported Ms. Peng for reading Falun Gong books. Guards Zhang Weixia and Zheng Weihui put Ms. Peng in confinement at 2:00 a.m. on October 3, 2005. Ms. Peng was released after 17 days of being on a hunger strike.
From March to April 2006, prisoner Ma Hongyan reported Ms. Peng again and thus she was locked up again. She was released after a 3-week hunger strike.
Ms. Peng has been held in the prison for 20 years to-date, and the guards threatened that they may still detain her for another ten years. At one time, the guards found a ballpoint pen core in her hand and forcibly took it away, fearing that she might use it to copy Falun Gong’s teachings. When she resisted, they grabbed her hair and hit her head against the wall. She developed a brain injury and began to speak incoherently.
Ms. Chen Yanyu
When Ms. Chen Yanyu, a Chengde City resident in her 30s, was taken to the prison on April 16, 2003, she had been on a hunger strike for over six months. The guards deprived her of sleep, beat her, and humiliated her in an attempt to force her to eat.
Inmate Ding Shujuan once choked her neck, claiming to massage her. She and other inmates then tied her up in a spread eagle position and force-fed her through a nasal tube. Without proper sanitation, she developed inflammation in her nose and throat.
In one torture session on April 12, 2004, the guards wrote humiliating words on Ms. Chen’s face, body, and clothes, which deeply traumatized her.
On May 19, 2004, guard Li Hongzhen restricted her in an isolated area and didn’t allow her talk to others or go to the cafeteria to get food.
Ms. An Jinting
Because Ms. An Jinting, in her 40s, held a hunger strike to protest the torture against Ms. Peng Yun, prison doctor Wang Junlan force-fed her. Wang pulled the feeding tube back and forth in her nose, causing severe bleeding and enormous pain.
Guard Li Hongzhen ordered inmates Feng Zhiyun and Shen Jianxia to closely monitor Ms. An in July 2005, and didn’t allow her to talk to others.
Ms. Xing Junhua
Ms. Xing Junhua, in her 40s, was taken to the 11th ward in the prison on April 15, 2008. Li Hongzhen ordered her to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong, but she refused to comply.
As Ms. Xing protested the persecution by shouting “Falun Dafa is good” in the summer of 2010, Li ordered the inmates to hang her up by the wrists for over five hours, with her feet barely touching the ground. They also wrapped her head with tape and slapped her face with shoes. They kicked her inner thighs with their knees and caused her to be crippled for months. In another torture, the inmates tied her up in a bed and pulled her arms apart. She felt her arms were almost dislocated by the torture.
In addition to the physical torture, the guards also force-fed her psychiatric drugs, claiming that she had mental issues by shouting “Falun Dafa is good.”
Ms. Chai Junxia
Ms. Chai Junxia was arrested on July 18, 2007 and sentenced to four years on April 12, 2008. Because she refused to answer the roll call in January 2009 in order to protest the persecution, guard Wu Hongxia ordered her to come to an office. Wu struck Ms. Chai in the face with an electric baton, and when Ms. Chai shouted, “Falun Dafa is good!” Wu also struck her back with the electric baton. Ms. Chai's back was severely bruised, and her neck was injured as a result of the electric shocks. As she still refused to give in, Wu ordered inmates Guo Wei and Ma Guofeng to beat her. She was handcuffed to a metal gate and hung up, with only the tips of her toes touching the ground. After being left in this position, exposed to the winter cold, for the entire night, Ms. Chai’s right arm suffered permanent injury.
Guards later placed Ms. Chai in solitary confinement. They stripped her completely, leaving her shivering in the cold. She had to keep moving to stay warm. She was also subjected to sleep deprivation. Inmate Li Na and another with a surname of Shi were assigned to monitor her around the clock.
After Ms. Chai returned to the ward, these two inmates received orders from Li Hongzhen, then head of the 6th ward, to torture her further. The inmates stretched her arms across two bed frames and also forced her to stand in the hallway for 60 consecutive hours, not allowing her to close her eyes. Her eyes were injured and often hurt.
Ms. Wang Sulan
Ms. Wang Sulan, in her 50s, was arrested in Beijing in 2009 and sentenced to nine years by the Xuanwu District Court in Beijing. She was taken to the Hebei Province Women’s Prison on March 20, 2010. The guards ordered the inmates to deprive her of sleep and beat her. She was also forced to stand for long hours without moving. The mental distress caused her former ailments cured by Falun Gong to recur.
Within six months, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Guard Li Hongzhen ordered her husband to pay 10,000 yuan for her surgery. He later found out that 3,000 yuan went into Li’s own pocket and 7,000 yuan was given to the prison hospital. On the day of the scheduled surgery, Zhang Huanrong, the prison hospital’s president, demanded another 4,000 yuan from him, claiming that they would do the surgery as soon as they received the money.
When her husband paid the money, the doctor waited for over a month before operating on her. She had two major surgeries and four rounds of chemotherapy within a month in late 2010. After that, the prison authorities didn’t provide her with proper food or care, so her health deteriorated. They offered her medical parole in March 2012, but Tangshan Justice Bureau and other entities refused to take her because she “wasn’t a criminal, but a Falun Gong practitioner.” Ms. Wang was then placed in a recovery ward until her term ended because she was no longer able to work.