(Minghui.org) In the now 24-year persecution of Falun Dafa in China, Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison has been designated to incarcerate female practitioners in the province. 

Most of the practitioners were placed in the 8th, 9th and intensive training wards, and the guards torture them until they break down and renounce their faith. The tortures include sitting still on a small stool for long hours, vicious beatings, and arbitrary extension of terms. Even for those who had agreed to renounce their faith after they could no long endure the physical and mental torment, the guards continued to mistreat them. 

Currently the practitioners incarcerated in the 9th ward include Ms. Wu Lihua, Ms. Liu Hui, Ms. Zuo Chenghua, Ms. Zhang Xiuying, Ms. Shi Chengjie, Ms. Liu Yanwei (from Fujin City), Ms. Jing Yuhua (from Jiamusi City), Ms. Hu Shengcun (from Harbin City), and Ms. Cui Fenglan (who was sentenced to 15 years). There are other practitioners whose names aren’t known. Because the guards restricted the communication among practitioners, it’s hard to collect information about them.

The guards are not the only people who torture the practitioners inside the prison. Many prisoners, also known as collaborators, work with the guards to torture the practitioners in order to get better treatment in the prison or earlier release. Xiao Shufen, the deputy chief of the 9th ward, once said that the tortures of the practitioners were “reasonable and legal.” 

The practitioners who have been incarcerated in the 9th ward in the past few years include Ms. Liu Yumei, Ms. Huang Tao, Ms. Su Kun, Ms. Liu Yanyi, Ms. Li Chunhui, Ms. He Liying, Ms. Hou Xiaoyan, Ms. Yang Shuqin, Ms. Li Xianglan, Ms. Zhang Kuihua, Ms. He Caiyun, Ms. Yang Limei, Ms. Hao Hongyun, and Ms. Hao Mingmei. 

The following is a partial list of torture means used on the practitioners in the 9th ward of the prison. 

1. Sitting Still on Small Stool for Hours 

A practitioner who refuses to sign the statements to renounce Falun Dafa has to sit still on a small plastic stool all day every day. Her legs have to touch each other, her back straight and hands on the knees. Her limbs are not allowed to extend outside the perimeter of a square tile. 

Such torture puts tremendous amount of physical strain on the practitioner. Ms. Tan Yurui’s hip bones were damaged because of the torture. She could not walk properly, and became incontinent. Ms. Liu Hui sat on the stool from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Because she wasn’t allowed to take a break, the collaborators had to watch her around the clock, which further aggravated their abusive behaviors toward her. She later developed hypertension because of the physical strain. 

Torture reenactment: Sitting still on a small stool

2. Guards Approve the Collaborators to Torture the Practitioners 

The collaborators’ families bought off the authorities in the prison so that they receive special treatments. They did not have to do labor intensive work in the shop like other inmates. Their only work is to improve their chance for early release by monitoring and torturing Falun Dafa practitioners. 

The collaborators could arbitrarily extend the hours for the practitioners on the small stools. When a practitioner spoke up against the torture, they sometimes made the practitioner sit from 4 a.m. to midnight. 

The collaborators also forbade the practitioners from talking to or looking at other practitioners. If they did, the collaborators would verbally abuse them. 

When Ms. Wu Lihua became incontinent because of the torture, collaborator Yu Hui limited the frequency of her going to the bathroom by ordering her to eat and drink little less. 

Yu also beat Ms. Yan Xihua from Shuangyashan City, who was in her 70s, and pinched her face. 

The collaborators beat Ms. Li Chunyan several times a day because she refused to sign the renouncing statements. Some purposely hit her shinbones. One time a collaborator broke a hanger while hitting the back of her hands. 

The collaborators beat and tortured Ms. Tan Yurui in a storage room with no surveillance cameras. The beatings were so vicious that Ms. Tan suffered convulsions and lost consciousness. 

3. Collude with Local Judges 

The prison authorities colluded with a court to persecute Ms. Liu Yanhua from Daqing City. Ms. Liu was scheduled to go home in April 2023, and shortly before that she received a notice of additional penalty from Daqing City Court, saying that her term was extended for over two years. 

4. Torture Continues for Practitioners Who Renounce Faith Against Will 

The collaborators tortured the practitioners and told them that if they had renounced their faith, they’d receive better treatment. However this was not always true. The practitioners who signed the statements still had to sit still on the small stools all day, except that they were allowed to extend their legs and given breaks at noon time and during holidays. These practitioners still could not go to the bathroom without reporting to the guards, and were not spared of the beatings. 

The practitioners who signed the statements would be grilled again by agents from the 610 Office, asking them if they truly renounced their faith. If the practitioners told them that they were forced to sign the renouncing statements because of the torture, the result would be another round of cruelty and retaliation.

Right before her release, Ms. Liu Xiaoying wrote a Solemn Declaration to invalidate the statements she signed, and stated the she’d continue to practice Falun Dafa. When she turned the declaration to the guards, they immediately put her under strict management and beat her.