(Minghui.org) A 55-year-old Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province resident is facing prosecution for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Tang Zengye, 55, was arrested at home at 4 a.m. on July 12, 2022 and had her Falun Gong books confiscated. She held a hunger strike after being taken to the Daqing No. 2 Detention Center. The guards force-fed her concentrated saline water. She is in serious condition, yet the guards have refused to release her.

Past Persecution

Ms. Tang previously worked as an accountant at the Daqing Oil Production No. 3 Plant. She has been arrested multiple times upholding her faith, and subjected to relentless torture.

Arrests for Appealing for the Right to Practice Falun Gong

Ms. Tang went to Beijing on March 1, 2000 to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was arrested and taken back to Daqing. After two months of detention, the police attempted to force her to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong in exchange for her release. She refused to comply. The police then forced her family to write the statement on her behalf. They also extorted 10,000 yuan from her family before releasing her.

Ms. Tang was arrested on June 18, 2000 for doing the Falun Gong exercises outside of the Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau, and held at the Daqing City Detention Center. The police confiscated the 600 yuan she had and forced her to stand against the wall, with her arms pulled up from behind. She was later held at the Taikang Detention Center for 52 days and then at the Sartu District Lockup for 8 days.

Torture illustration: Standing with one’s arms pulled up from behind

Ms. Tang returned to Beijing to appeal in late October 2000. She was arrested at Tiananmen Square and beaten by government officials. Although she escaped while being taken back to Daqing, she was arrested on the train on December 30, 2000, while she was on her way back to Beijing.

Ms. Tang and twenty other practitioners who also went to Beijing to appeal were taken to a dark and humid room. The police handcuffed those who refused to reveal their names so that one of their arms was pulled over their shoulder to meet the other arm pulled up behind their back (see torture reenactment below). The handcuffs cut into the practitioners’ wrists and caused tremendous pain.

Torture reenactment: Handcuffed behind the back

The police hung Ms. Tang by her wrists, covered her head with a down jacket, and stomped on her feet. They shouted at her, “We will torture you to death if you don’t tell us (your name). No one will be held accountable and we will just report your death as a suicide. We will throw your body out like a mouse and no one will know about it.”

Brutal Torture in the Detention Center

The police later found out Ms. Tang’s name and took her back to Daqing. She escaped again and was forced into displacement.

Seven months later, on the evening of July 3, 2001, Ms. Tang was arrested yet another time. She was beaten and interrogated overnight at the Fuqiang Police Station. She was taken to the Daqing City Detention Center the next evening. Because she did the Falun Gong exercises, she was beaten and hung up by her wrists for a day. For the next four days, the police chained her to a metal chair and took turns interrogating her.

Ms. Tang held a hunger strike to protest, and was force fed. She vomited blood each time. The doctor who force-fed her hit her face with a pair of scissors and intimidated her for holding the hunger strike.

Ms. Tang was taken to Sartu District Lockup thirty days later. She held another hunger strike for three weeks and was violently force-fed almost every day. As she kept vomiting large amounts of blood, the police released her, fearing she might die there.

Only two days after her release, the police changed their minds and took her back into custody. But due to the prolonged hunger strike in the previous months, she failed the physical examination and was rejected admission by the Harbin Drug Rehab Center, so the police had to release her.

To avoid future persecution, Ms. Tang lived away from home again.

Three Years of Forced Labor

Ms. Tang was arrested by a plainclothes officer on April 14, 2002, while she was distributing Falun Gong materials on a bus. The officer took away her purse, cellphone, pager, and over 1,000 yuan in cash. The Sartu District Police Station created a special task force to handle her case. The police hung her up by her wrists from a heating pipe and beat her. She vomited blood as a result.

Ms. Tang was taken to the Sartu District Lockup the next day and transferred to the Harbin Drug Rehab Center to serve three years of forced labor two days later.

Ms. Tang was kept in solitary confinement in the drug rehab center. She was subjected to constant torture, including electric shocks, standing in excruciating positions, and involuntary drug administration. The guards also force-fed her when she held hunger strikes. Blood often covered her body after the force feedings. Later on, the guards even saved the trip to the medical room and directly held her to the ground to force-feed her, or dragged her to the restroom to force-feed her for easier cleanup.

Guard Zhao Wei once shocked her face with an electric baton, while threatening her, “I’m curious to see whether you dare to hold a hunger strike again.”

In another incident, guards Tong Meiguang and Wang Yinghui forced Ms. Tang to stand for extended hours, and deprived her of restroom use. She protested and shouted, “Why don’t you allow me to use the restroom?” The guards dragged her out, tied her to a metal chair, took off her socks, and stuffed them into her mouth. When they finally removed the socks, they were stained with her blood.

Fearing that she might die in custody, the authorities released Ms. Tang on medical parole and extorted 7,000 yuan from her family.

Non-stop Harassment for Her Faith

For the next two decades, Ms. Tang continued to face constant harassment for upholding her faith and was arrested a few more times, including once on March 6, 2004 for attending a practitioner’s funeral, another arrest on September 23, 2005 during a police sweep, and again on April 2, 2006 for having painting classes at her home.

After her arrest in September 2005, the guards chained her to a metal chair and opened the window to let cold wind and rain blow on her. She held a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was force-fed and slapped in the face. An inmate also hit her head with a metal basin used for the force feeding. She vomited blood from the beating.

She was arrested two more times, on February 26, 2010 and November 9, 2018. She was interrogated and beaten both times.