Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Shen Wenling
Address: Suizhong County, Huludao City of Liaoning Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: February 25th, 2008
Most Recent Place of Detention: Liaoning Women's Prison
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labour, brainwashing, forced injections, beatings, imprisonment, torture, sexual assault, force-feedings, physical restraint, home ransacked, detention, tiger bench, interrogation
Ms. Shen Wenling is a Falun Gong practitioner in Suizhong County, Huludao City of Liaoning province. She was arrested on February 25th, 2008 and was sent to the city detention centre. She was subjected to many forms of abuse and torture, including beatings, the “tiger bench” and force-feeding during the three-month detention. She was then sentenced to five years imprisonment and was sent to Liaoning Women's Prison on May 27th, 2008. In prison, she was beaten and subjected to brainwashing and other tortures.
Ms. Shen Wenling lost two close family members while she was detained in prison. When her 89-year old mother was dying, she was not allowed to visit her for the last time because she refused to give up her belief. Ms. Shen was finally released on February 24th, 2013.
The following is Ms. Shen Wenling's account of her experience.
My name is Shen Wenling and I'm 58 years old. I started to practise Falun Gong in July 1997. I recovered from several diseases and I felt morally uplifted and physically renewed by the practice.
1. Arrested at Home
Around 6 a.m., on February 25th, 2008, I heard noises outside my apartment door and as I was about to check it out, the door was suddenly shoved wide open and six or seven people burst in. Two of them were Ma Ziwen, head of Jichang Police Station and Liu Huanyu from the Domestic Security Division. They cuffed my hands and held me down on the sofa. My PC and Falun Gong leaflets exposing the persecution were taken away.
They did not show their IDs. Four men picked me up with my limbs stretched out and took me away in front of my husband and grandchild. My grandchild was only three years old and was too traumatized to even cry.
I held my feet against the door frame and tried not to be taken away. They shoved me with such force that afterwards the toes on my left foot were swollen and purple and had symptoms of fracture. I called loudly, “Falun Gong is good!” “Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance is good!” I was carried downstairs and squeezed into the police car. I was then taken to the Suizhong County Detention Centre.
Subjected to the “Tiger Bench” and Force-feeding in the Detention Centre
I was taken to the second floor and interrogated. Police officer Ma Ziwen kept scolding me. Later I was transferred to Huludao City Detention Centr.
When doctor Yang in the Huludao Detention Centre asked me what diseases I had, I told him what I had before and that I was now healthy through practising Falun Gong. The doctor refused to enroll me and told officer Ma Ziwen to send me to a hospital for a medical exam.
Ma Ziwen grabbed one of my arms to drag me to the car outside. He forcefully threw me against the car door several times. The driver had to stop him, “Stop beating her. Let's go to the hospital.” When Ma Ziwen dragged me out of the car at the hospital, I called out loudly, “Falun Gong is good!” “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
I was taken back to Suizhong County Detention Centre where I started a hunger strike to protest the detention. Female guard Feng Bing ordered inmates Li Xia, Qi Hong and Li Ling to beat me. They pinched my cheeks so hard that my teeth are still loose today.
Once when they force-fed me, I refused to cooperate with them and doctor Yang kicked me viciously and kept scolding me. The guards tied me to a “tiger bench” 1 with my four limbs stretched out. They inserted the feeding tube into me and conducted the force-feeding. My heart beat rose to over 150 bpm and my blood pressure was as high as 200. I almost passed out.
Guard Feng Bing ordered me to wear the prisoner's uniform. I refused, explaining that I was not a criminal. Feng then instigated four or five inmates including Liang Lijun and Qi Hong to forcefully put the prison clothes on me. Under their group attack, my heart rate rose and my whole body convulsed. Feng heavily slapped my face twice. Liang Lijun kicked my back. A female guard named Xu kept scolding me and gave me a hard push, which caused me to fall on the ground several feet away. I lay on the concrete floor and wasn't able to get back up.
They put some pills into my mouth and I spit them out. Guard Xu and a male guard dragged me tens of meters across the ground and threw me beside a car. I lay on the ground with my eyes closed. They lifted me into the car and then injected me with some unknown drugs. I was taken to another detention cente.
Suffering Five Years in “Hell,” Otherwise Known as Liaoning Province Women's Prison
On May 12th and 13th, 2008, several detained Falun Gong practitioners were put on trial and were sentenced to prison. I was sentenced to five years and sent to the No. 6 Team, No.1 Ward of Liaoning Women's Prison on May 27th, 2008.
Inmates Li Min and Yu Xiaorong were assigned to watch me. They forced me to read books and watch videos that slandered Falun Gong, and tried to force me to write a statement to give up Falun Gong. I refused to cooperate with them. They beat me and scolded me. Yu Xiaorong often spit on my face and slammed me against a wall. I was forced to stand on a square floor tile motionless. If I made the slightest movement, they kicked and beat me. My legs swelled so much that I would fall down with a light push. I was not allowed to sleep at night and was made to stand from 11p.m. to 1 a.m.
Moreover, Yu Xiaorong even used a dirty mop handle to punch against my private part. As she shoved it in, she yelled, “I'm a hooligan! I'm a hooligan.”
Yu Xiaorong often tore up Falun Gong books and beat my chest with some thick books. Even now I still have chest pain. Zhang Wei often covered my face with the filthy cloth that was used to clean the floor which was covered with cockroaches.
My brother wrote a letter to me in 2011 and told me that my mother was dying and had asked to see me for the last time. I talked to prison director Qiu Ying and division head Li Hongkun and showed them my brother's letter. I was told, since I hadn't been “transformed” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] I was not allowed to go to see my dying mother.
My mother died on October 25th, 2012 without seeing me for the last time.
Witnessing the Persecution of Other Practitioners
There were two people on my team who started to practise Falun Gong in jail. One was Gao Jie. Gao Jie was found with a Falun Gong article during a routine body search after work. She was immediately put into a solitary compartment. She was subjected to electric shocks, conducted by Zhao Xiumei, Ma Xiuyan and Lu Si.
Yang Yan was the other practitioner who started to practise Falun Gong in jail. One practitioner was found reading a Falun Gong article. Through video surveillance, the guards found that Yang Yan had given the article to her. Ms. Yang was called to the guard office. She Jin, head of the section, shocked her with an electric baton, which caused her neck to be covered with big blisters and some were broken. Afterwards she was forced to work 12 hours a day for over a month and was not allowed to wash her face or brush her teeth.
Suffering Financial and Family Losses During My Detention
I was released on February 24th, 2013 and had been imprisoned and mistreated for five years.
My daughter was four months pregnant when I was arrested in 2008. Because there would be no one to help her with the baby in my absence, she felt she had no other choice, and made the painful decision to have an abortion. How grieved I am to have been unable to prevent this from happening.
During my detention, I lost two family members and received no pay at all from my work unit.
1. "Tiger Bench": Prisoners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead without movement for long periods of time.
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