Torture Victim in Guangzhou Harassed, Threatened for Suing Former Chinese Leader

March 09, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Guangdong Province

(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhang Lixia from Guangzhou was harassed and threatened several times after she filed a criminal complaint against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin last year. Jiang initiated the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in 1999.

Under Jiang’s campaign, Ms. Zhang was put through two terms in a forced labor camp and arrested, detained, and tortured numerous times during the past 15 years.

The first visit to Ms. Zhang’s home in response to her criminal complaint was on December 29, 2015, when four officials from the local 610 Office, police station, and residential committee forced her to go to the local residential committee office. They questioned her and let her go home afterward.

Five officials came back to Ms. Zhang’s home on January 13, 2016 to try to force her to sign a “guarantee letter” promising to give up her practice of Falun Gong. After she refused, they threatened to send her to a brainwashing center.

Three officials came to Ms. Zhang’s home again on February 2. Her family members refused to open the door, since she was not home. They again threatened to send her to a brainwashing center.

An official from the local residential committee called Ms. Zhang’s home on February 23, demanding that she come to the office to sign a form promising not to file criminal complaints or appeal for Falun Gong in the future. She was threatened again for refusing to cooperate.

Previously Detained, Force-Fed Chili Water

Ms. Zhang began to practice Falun Gong in 1991, after which she recovered from hepatitis B. Like millions of Falun Gong practitioners, she refused to give up her faith after the persecution began.

Instead, she went to Tiananmen Square on October 24, 1999 to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was arrested, interrogated, tortured, and released after 15 days of detention.

Ms. Zhang was arrested five times in 2000, resulting in a combined 53 days of detention and 7 days of house arrest.

She held a hunger strike to protest her mistreatment during her 15 days of detention from June 18 to July 3, 2000. While four men held her down, a female officer pried open her mouth using a metal spoon and a vaginal dilator, breaking one of her teeth in the process, and forced porridge, hot water, and hot chili water down her throat.

When she struggled, the chili water entered her lungs, rendering her unable to breathe for a full minute. When she violently sprayed the pepper water all over the floor, one of the guards shrieked in alarm, perhaps thinking she had died. While they did not force-feed her again, she did not cough up the last of the red pepper flakes until a month after she had left the detention center.

Tortured in Detention

Ms. Zhang was arrested again on December 31, 2000 in Beijing and held in the Haidian District Detention Center, where she was sexually assaulted by guards, beaten, shocked with electric batons, exposed to extreme cold, and brutally force-fed.

That year was the coldest winter in Beijing. Upon entering the detention center, Ms. Zhang was stripped and forced to squat naked in an office. If she did not cooperate, three female guards would pinch her breasts, touch her between the legs, and twist her arms behind her back.

To extract information, officers interrogated her using torture each day at midnight. They whipped her face with a rubber ruler until her cheeks were swollen, her gums were bleeding, and her lips were split open. They also punched her in the forehead, causing a large bump.

Finally, officers shocked her in the head with high-voltage electric batons, and she felt as if she was being stabbed by thousands of needles. Afterwards, the lightest touch would cause excruciating pain, making her unable to sleep for some time.

The next day, the officers were shocked to find that her hair had turned white overnight. Ms. Zhang still refused to cooperate. They continued using the “flying an airplane” torture on her, and kicked her whenever she didn’t conform to their demands fully. This lasted for half a day.

One time, they locked Ms. Zhang outside the gates in her pajamas for half an hour in heavy snow. Another time, they challenged her do the Falun Gong exercises outside on packed snow. After she sat in meditation for half an hour with no issues at all, they angrily dragged her back inside.

Sent to Forced Labor Camps

Practitioners detained at this center were forced to go through medical examinations every other day. Those in good health were eventually sent away. Ms. Zhang failed the examinations and was later given 18 months of forced labor.

She was first detained in the Xin’an Forced Labor Camp and then transferred to the Beijing Women’s Forced Labor Camp. She was forced to work long hours and punished by being forced to stand still for long periods of time and deprived of sleep. She was released on June 30, 2002.

Ms. Zhang was arrested again on July 20, 2009 and given another two years of forced labor.

Background

In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.

The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners in the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.

Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang’s directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.

Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

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