Name: Cui XiuzhenChinese Name: 崔秀珍Gender: FemaleAge: 80City: BotouProvince: HebeiOccupation: N/ADate of Death: January 10, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: December 2000Most Recent Place of Detention: Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp

Ms. Cui Xiuzhen survived egregious torture in 2003 while serving a three-year forced labor camp term for practicing Falun Gong, however she suffered failing memory, cerebral atrophy, mobility and speech difficulties for the next decade. She became completely incapacitated and unable to speak in the summer of 2014 and passed away eight years later on January 10, 2023. She was 80.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Cui, of Shenze County, Botou City, Hebei Province, took up Falun Gong in 1996. She credited the practice for improving her health and making her full of energy. After the onset of the persecution, she was detained and had her home ransacked several times. She also had 18,000 yuan extorted from her by the corrupt authorities.

In December 2000, Ms. Cui went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong and was arrested. She held a hunger strike for over a month at the Shenze County Detention Center. The guards force fed her concentrated salt water. She suffered gastric bleeding as her stomach was pierced by the feeding tube. It almost killed her when a guard inserted the feeding tube into her lung. For seven days, she had difficulty breathing and was completely paralyzed.

Before she fully recovered, the police interrogated her and beat her with a baton on her upper legs close to the groin area, leaving large bruises on her thighs.

Ms. Cui was later given three years of forced labor. She held another hunger strike after being taken to the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp. Guard Li Ping grabbed her hair and hit her head against the wall. A group of inmates threw her to the ground, stepping on her head and whipping her with a leather belt. Her body kept shaking due to the pain, as if cut by knives. 

The guards later held Ms. Cui in solitary confinement, handcuffing her to the water pipes near the window. They left the window open to let the freezing wind and snow blow on her. When the torture stopped two weeks later, Ms. Cui’s hands and feet were severely swollen. Her feet couldn’t fit into her shoes and she had lost feeling in much of her body.

Merciless Torture in Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp

Because Ms. Cui refused to renounce Falun Gong, she was transferred to the Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp on April 8, 2001. This labor camp had received huge funding from the communist regime to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. The guards were rewarded with promotion and big bonuses for their involvement in the persecution. 

In one of the torture methods, the victim was forced to squat barefoot, while holding out their arms on the two sides of their bodies. She was usually forced to hold the position for hours. As time passed, her body became numb, sore and swollen. While squatting, she may also be beaten, kicked and shocked with electric batons. Some practitioners became disabled and some lost their memory as a result.

Torture illustration: shocked with multiple electric batons

Ms. Cui held a hunger strike to protest the persecution. For a month, the guards took her into the wild, or into various empty rooms to torture her, sometimes until 2 a.m. While forcing her to squat, the guards shocked her mouth and face with electric batons. Her lips were covered with blisters. Her earlobes swelled up. The flesh on her nose was exposed. 

After that, they fastened her to a long bench and shocked the soles of her feet with electric batons. It felt like they were drilling long screws into her feet. Her heart was pounding. Her body was bouncing and cramping. She also had shortness of breath. 

Shortly after, the guards moved the batons to the insteps of her feet, her chest, back and neck. They inserted long steel nails between her toes and then shocked the whole foot with the electric baton. The pain was indescribable.

After a short break, the guards beat the insteps of her feet with wooden poles. Her feet became terribly swollen. They later scratched and cut the soles of her feet with sharp nails, causing injury and bleeding. 

Yet that wasn’t the end of it. The guards also used a pair of pliers to clip her toes, inserted burning peppers into her nostrils, smeared pepper powders into her nose, mouth and eyes, as well as burning the insteps of her feet. She coughed out dark blood clots days later. In addition, the guards instigated the inmates to pinch her nipples, neck, ribs and the inside of her thighs. The scars were still visible after six months.

Later on, the guards dragged her into the wild. They forced her to sit on ice and walk in the snow with thin wet shoes. They buried her in the snow and threatened to unleash the attack dog to bite her. They also forced her to smell feces and even force fed her feces, telling her that it was stinky tofu. The toxins caused her to have a high fever and severe diarrhea. Her blood pressure dropped quickly and she almost died.

The torture caused Ms. Cui to become emaciated and her body was covered with injuries and bruises. She was unable to walk on her own. On the verge of death, she was released on March 22, 2003, four months before her term ended.

The relentless torture severely damaged her health. She struggled with declining memory and mobility issue since. She eventually became completely incapacitated in 2014 and passed away on January 10, 2023.