(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhang Hua, 61, from the Tongnan District, Chongqing, was arrested on August 8, 2023, for her faith, Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.
This is not the first time that Ms. Zhang Hua, a former employee of the Tongnan County Agricultural Machinery Company, has been targeted for her faith. She previously served one year of forced labor between 2000 and 2001 and ten years in prison between 2005 and 2015. She was subjected to barbaric torture while in custody. Her mother passed away before she was released from prison, and Ms. Zhang was not allowed to see her before she died.
One Year of Forced Labor
Ms. Zhang was cleaning her home one day in March 2000 when a group of police officers broke in and questioned her. They asked whether she still practiced Falun Gong. When she said, “Yes,” they arrested her and took her to their police station. She was held in a dark room overnight with a male suspect. She was transferred to a detention center the next day. The police demanded her family pay 2,700 yuan when she was released two months later.
Ms. Zhang went with other practitioners to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. When they unfurled a large banner on Tiananmen Square on July 5, 2000 they were beaten by police. Ms. Zhang escaped. She did the Falun Gong exercises at Jinshui Bridge in front of Tiananmen Square and was arrested.
Ms. Zhang refused to answer the police officer’s questions when she was interrogated in the police station. A police instructor whipped her face with a roll of paper and verbally abused her. Ms. Zhang was later taken to the Daxing Detention Center in Beijing before she was transferred back to Chongqing.
Upon returning to Chongqing, Ms. Zhang was first held at the Tongnan County Detention Center and then taken to the Tongnan County Lockup and the Tongnan County Drug Rehab Center. She held a hunger strike for 13 days while she was incarcerated and was force fed six times.
Because Ms. Zhang refused to renounce Falun Gong, the police gave her one year at the Maojiashan Women’s Forced Labor Camp. The inmates monitored her around the clock. They often tied her up, held her on the ground and beat her. They taped her mouth shut or stuffed her mouth with towels after they used them to wash their feet. She was also forced to squat or stand for long hours without moving. The inmates also handcuffed her hands behind her back for hours. She held multiple hunger strikes and was repeatedly force fed.
As she refused to cooperate with the brainwashing sessions, her term was extended by two months. Instead of releasing her when her extended term expired, officers from the Tongnan 610 Office took her to the Tongnan Lockup. She held a hunger strike to protest and was released seven days later.
About two weeks after Ms. Zhang returned home, she went back to the labor camp to settle her expenses during her term. Yu Qinghua, a guard director, reported Ms. Zhang for giving her some informational materials about Falun Gong. Ms. Zhang was arrested again. She was held at the Tongnan County Lockup and brainwashing center for a few months and was not released until shortly before the Chinese New Year on February 12, 2002.
As the police frequently harassed Ms. Zhang after that, she was forced to live away from home to hide from them.
Tortured in the Detention Center Following Her Arrest in 2005
Ms. Zhang was reported to the police when she returned home in July 2005 to visit her parents. Zhang Liang, the head of the Tongnan County Domestic Security Office, led more than ten officers to break into Ms. Zhang’s parents’ home. They handcuffed her and dragged her out.
In protest, she shouted on the street, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good! The police are arresting good people!” Some onlookers who knew her condemned the police for arresting her. To avoid attention, the police called a taxi and took Ms. Zhang to the Zhengxing Street Police Station, before transferring her to the Tongnan County Detention Center that evening.
Zhang of the Tongnan County Domestic Security Office organized a team of over ten officers to interrogate Ms. Zhang, including Gao Xiang, Luo Yonghong, Zhang Shima, Li Hengyi, Qiu Chongyang and another officer surnamed Li. They paired up in groups of two and took turns interrogating and torturing Ms. Zhang.
When Ms. Zhang held a hunger strike to protest, they deprived her of sleep for ten days. After her condition became critical, the police took her to the hospital for IV drips, while she was handcuffed to the hospital bed in a spread-eagle position. She was taken back to the detention center for continued interrogation after the IV drips.
The police took Ms. Zhang back to the hospital for IV drips several times throughout the next three weeks. She became severely dehydrated. The police finally took her to an internal hospital, where she was admitted. Armed guards stood outside her hospital room around the clock to monitor her. The doctor and nurse also tried to force feed her. When Ms. Zhang refused to cooperate with the force feeding, the police hit her face. The nurse then inserted the feeding tube into her nostril, which reached all the way into her stomach. Her nose began bleeding profusely and her stomach was in intense pain.
Despite the fact that the doctor said she could only be given very small amount of food as she hadn’t eaten for many days, officer Gao Xiang injected a large amount of water into the feeding tube. Ms. Zhang immediately vomited and her pillow was wet.
Unable to sway her with violence, the police called Ms. Zhang’s father, who tearfully begged her to eat. Not wanting her father to worry about her, Ms. Zhang began to eat. As soon as she recovered a little, the police took her back to the detention center and continued torturing her.
Ms. Zhang received a notification from the Tongnan County Court in early November 2005 that her case would soon be heard. She held another hunger strike to protest and became severely dehydrated. The day of her hearing, the bailiff carried her to the courthouse. She was extremely weak, and the court doctor determined that she was unfit to stand trial. The judge thus canceled the hearing and Ms. Zhang was taken back to the detention center.
Ms. Zhang decided to hold a hunger strike again in late December 2005, after nearly six months of detention. The guards found a doctor to force feed her and also took her to the hospital for IV drips.
After the Tongnan Public Security Bureau heard about Ms. Zhang’s hunger strike, they ordered the detention center to intensify the torture in retaliation.
Ms. Zhang was held in a room by herself and tied in the bed in a spread-eagle position. The doctor injected her with unknown drugs. Her eyes began to shed tears, swell, and they hurt. They also became sensitive to light. Her legs were numb and she felt nauseous. Her body weight quickly dropped from 143 lbs (65 kg) to 55 lbs (25 kg). Her condition became critical after 69 days of being on a hunger strike. Fearing that she might die in the detention center, the authorities told her father and son to take her home.
Not wanting her family to be harassed by the police, Ms. Zhang left home a few days later and went into hiding.
Tortured for Ten Years in Prison
Ms. Zhang was arrested in Xiaodu Town, Tongnan County in September 2006. Days later, police and 610 Office agents carried straight to the courthouse on a stretcher. She was wearing an oxygen mask. The judge announced she was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Ms. Zhang was taken to the Sixth Ward in Yongchuan Women’s Prison in Chongqing in October 2006. The inmates forcibly removed her clothes and dressed her in the inmate’s uniform. In the beginning, the guards arranged two former practitioners who gave up Falun Gong under pressure to brainwash Ms. Zhang. She refused to listen to them. She was ordered to recite the prison rules. The guards also forced Ms. Zhang to write “thought reports.” When she signed her name, “Falun Gong practitioner,” the guards barred her from using the restroom and forced her to relieve herself in her pants.
Ms. Zhang was later transferred to the Third Ward. Because she tried to stop guard Tang Anzhi from slandering Falun Gong, she was threatened by Tang with severe torture. Tang and the director of the Third Ward later held Ms. Zhang in a “study room” and played videos that slandered Falun Gong all day long at the maximum volume.
Ms. Zhang refused to watch the videos and held a hunger strike in protest. The guards shocked her with electric batons until the batteries were drained. Ms. Zhang rolled on the ground due to the pain. This brainwashing went on for over a month.
During Ms. Zhang’s hunger strike, the 15 inmates in her cell were instigated by the guards to force feed her. They pushed her to the ground and pried open her mouth with chopsticks and spoons. Ms. Zhang’s mouth was severely injured and her teeth became loose. As the inmates still couldn’t force feed her, the police took her to the hospital for force feeding.
The guards later began to force Ms. Zhang to work during the day and watch brainwashing programs in the evening. When she refused to comply, she was frequently shocked with electric batons and beaten.
Ms. Zhang was transferred to the Chongqing Women’s Prison in 2009. A guard surnamed Fan ordered her to smear Falun Gong in writing. When she refused, the guard closed the curtain in her office and shocked Ms. Zhang with electric batons.
In 2010, the prison held all Falun Gong practitioners who refused to renounce their faith in a brainwashing session in the First Ward. The practitioners were forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong, read propaganda books and write thought reports every day. Before every meal, they were also forced to sing songs praising the Chinese Communist Party. As Ms. Zhang refused to sing the “red songs,” guard Tang forced her to continue watching propaganda videos in the evening and delayed the time for her to go to bed.
Tang also ordered Ms. Zhang and some other practitioners to clean the restrooms from the first to the fifth floor, but only gave them a small toothbrush and a small rag to clean the floor. When the practitioners could not finish the required work, Tang used that as an excuse to deprive them of sleep. Ms. Zhang lost a significant amount of hair and became bald.
When Ms. Zhang was finally released in August 2015, her mother had already passed away. She was filled with enormous grief for not being able to accompany or care for her mother in her final days.
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