Washington DC: Forum Speakers Recount Acts of Torture, Call for Justice

May 31, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Washington DC

(Minghui.org) A forum on “Human Rights Atrocities in China—Bringing Perpetrators to Justice” was held at the Rayburn House Office Building on May 26, 2016. Ten Falun Gong practitioners recounted the tortures they endured, and submitted the names of over 200 perpetrators to the U.S. Government, requesting further investigations and justice.

Former dictator Jiang Zemin, the person who initiated the persecution, was one of the Chinese Communist Party officials and police officers named. All information on the perpetrators originated from the Minghui.org website.

Representatives from the U.S. Congress, State Department, and U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) attended the forum. The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015, introduced last month, aims to strengthen religious freedom protection through increased inter-agency cooperation, and sanctions against countries and individual perpetrators.

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-1
Speakers at the “Human Rights Atrocities in China—Bringing Perpetrators to Justice” forum, which was held in the Rayburn House Office Building on May 26, 2016.

“Death Bed” Survivor Calls for Justice

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-2
Ms. Ma Chunmei

The “death bed” is one of the many torture devices used by the Chinese Communist Party police on prisoners of conscience, especially Falun Gong practitioners. The victim is tied to a metal bed and not allowed to move for a long period of time. Other types of torture, such as forced-feeding, are employed at the same time.

“They [guards in Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp] tied my limbs to a metal bed and inserted a rubber tube into my stomach to force-feed me. They pushed and pulled the rubber tube to inflict pain. I vomited the salty corn paste along with blood all over the place. They laughed. I noticed that one of them was taking pictures,” said Ms. Ma Chunmei from northeastern China, a “death bed” survivor who described one of the ways she was tortured in November 1999. She was a United Nations refugee, and resettled in the U.S. in September 2009.

Ms. Ma was handcuffed to an upper bunkbed in 2000 after she protested in the labor camp cafeteria that she was being tortured. She was suspended with her feet off the ground, so that her arms and handcuffed wrists bore her entire weight. She vomited and fainted.

“After I regained consciousness, I realized that the guards had cuffed my outstretched limbs onto a metal bed. I was restrained in that position for three days and nights without any food or water. I couldn’t move after being released from the death bed.”

Ms. Ma submitted a list of 79 perpetrators who were responsible for her suffering in a persecution aimed at coercing citizens to abandon their beliefs.

Surviving Sister: “Our Grief Never Ends”

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-3
Ms. Gao Rongrong

Ms. Gao Rongrong died at the age of 37 on June 16, 2005. She suffered six to seven hours of non-stop high-voltage electric baton shocks on May 7, 2004, and was disfigured.

Ms. Gao Weiwei, her elder sister, said at the forum, “Rongrong was detained in secrecy during the final three months of her life. We don’t know how much she suffered. The grief in our family never ends.”

The 610 Office, a Party-based security agency in charge of persecuting Falun Gong, and local police continued to harass the family after Gao Rongrong’s death. Her elder brother, once a senior editor of a newspaper, has been forced to leave home and move frequently to avoid harassment.

Ms. Gao Weiwei, along with her father and another younger sister, made it to the United States in May 2014. She submitted a list of 88 names of people who were personally responsible for the death of her younger sister, Gao Rongrong.

Support from U.S. Officials

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-4
Ms. Abiola Afolayan, representative for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

“Falun Gong practitioners have long been subjected to systematic, brutal, bloody, and wholly unwarranted suppression and persecution,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas in her statement.

“I will continue to work with my colleagues on various legislative initiatives, urging the government of China to end abuses perpetrated upon the Falun Gong practitioners, and embark on a path towards peace, harmony, and inclusion of all persons on China.”

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-5
Ms. Tina Mufford, policy analyst, East Asia-Pacific, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

“The stories of your bravery, your courage, your perseverance, and survival is truly inspiring,” said Ms. Tina Mufford, policy analyst, East Asia-Pacific at USCIRF. She called the persecution “horrific, stark, and mind-boggling.”

“Your testimonies here today are so important to let the world know what’s happening in your country, what religious violations really mean, how they have destroyed so many lives, and how you still survive in the face of all that you have experienced.”

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-6
Ms. Wang Chunyan displays photos of her friends who were tortured to death because they refused to abandon their belief in Falun Gong.

2016-5-31-washingtondc-forum-7
Ms. Yin Liping was gang-raped in the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. She submitted the names of 42 perpetrators.

Chinese version available

Category: Overview of persecution

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

Woman Tortured in Prison and Mental Hospital for Her Belief

March 03, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Sichuan Province, China

(Minghui.org) A woman from Guanghan City was arrested for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual belief that is persecuted in China, and tortured in a detention center and prison for three years. A year after her release, she was taken to a mental hospital and tortured for 10 months.

The authorities in Deyang City scheduled four Falun Gong practitioners to be tried on March 7, 2011. The trial was a setup to lure other practitioners into the courthouse, where they were illegally arrested. The trial was then canceled.

In total, 22 practitioners were arrested that day, including Ms. Yang Yonghui. In the police station the officers drew Ms. Yang’s blood without her consent and tortured her into giving up her address. The police then ransacked her home and confiscated her belongings.

Ms. Yang was indicted three months later and, a year after that, sentenced to four and a half years in prison. She appealed, and her sentence was reduced to three years. During the appeal, she went on a huger strike to protest the persecution. The guards in Guanghan Detention Center handcuffed her to a bed and force fed her for a month. A few times the feeding tube was inserted into her windpipe instead of her esophagus, and Ms. Yang passed out from the pain.

Ms. Yang was sent to Sichuan Province Women’s Prison. She refused to ask for permission to use the toilet, so the guards deprived her of sleep, forced her to do manual labor, and read materials that slandered Falun Gong. She was released in March 2014.

Ms. Yang’s husband, who was deceived by the Chinese regime’s slanderous propaganda about Falun Gong, called the police on her in April 2015. Ms. Yang was taken to Guanghan Mental Hospital, where she was tied down on a bed and shocked with electric batons. She was also forced to take nerve-damaging drugs. Ms. Yang was released on February 3, 2016.

Related reports:

Practitioners in Guanghan City, Sichuan Province Illegally Arrested and Sentenced
More Information Regarding Practitioners Arrested by Luojiang County Court in Deyang City, Sichuan Province

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution