Ms. Liu Zhi (刘志), a 51-year-old Shenyang resident, has been tortured to the verge of death multiple times since 2010, simply for practising Falun Gong.
Within half a year of detention in Liaoning Women's Prison starting in July 2011, Ms. Liu was tortured to the point of immobility. However, the prison denied her application for medical parole, citing that she had not given up her beliefs.
In March 2013, she was finally sent to her brother's home after being refused by the emergency dept at the No. 4 Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University. She was in a coma at the time.
Soon after, she had to move out with her daughter due to repeated harassment from prison officials. Under the care of her daughter, she is slowly recovering. Initially, she was bedridden and couldn't move. After listening to Falun Gong lectures, she was able to turn in bed on her own. Later, she started doing the Falun Gong exercises. At the time of writing, she could walk with the help of crutches, but has difficulty using her muscles.
Below is Ms. Liu's personal account of torture she experienced at the Shenyang No. 1 Detention Centre and Liaoning Women's Prison.
My name is Liu Zhi. My husband died of an accident at work when my daughter was 18 months old, so I had to raise her alone. As a result of grief and stress, I suffered from heart disease, asthma and other ailments.
At the end of 1996, I started practising Falun Gong and regained my health soon after.
Ever since the persecution began in July 1999, I tried to inform others of the facts of Falun Gong and the benefits I personally experienced. I was arrested and detained multiple times because I refused to abandon my beliefs.
In particular, I nearly died a few times due to torture at the Shenyang No. 1 Detention Centre and Liaoning Women's Prison.
Arrest and Sentence
I was arrested on October 22nd 2009 after Shenyang Police obtained my name through other Falun Gong practitioners. My home was ransacked. The police officers seized a new laptop, a desktop computer, two printers and other electronics without giving us a receipt. The devices were worth over 10,000 yuan1.
The charges against me were rejected twice by the local procuratorate. They then questioned me three times. The last time, a young man came from the procuratorate but didn't ask any questions. I was later notified of my four-year prison sentence.
I Nearly Died at Shenyang No. 1 Detention Centre
Because I did not commit any crimes, I refused to recite the prison regulations. I wasn't arrested for committing a crime, yet I would be released immediately if I were to abandon my beliefs.
Once, a few men dragged me into a dark room and threw me on the floor. Electric batons hit various parts of my body simultaneously. The pain made me roll around on the floor.
After being shocked for a long time, I started having convulsions. I heard more crackling and someone asking for the highest-power batons they had. My mind became numb and hazy.
I lost track of time and needed every last bit of my strength and willpower to hang on. Finally, I was carried to a cell, where I was shackled to rings on the ground for nine days. The shackles weighed over 20 pounds.
Since I debunked propaganda spread by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) I was often targeted by the Guard Captain Zhao Ying (赵莹).
Zhao once ordered four inmates to pull me out of the room by my limbs. They threw me onto the floor, where Zhao and another inmate were waiting for me with a pair of pliers. The inmate plied and twisted my legs. I shouted in pain, “Why are you twisting my legs?” He stopped, and I was thus able to keep my legs.
At one stage, Zhao took me to a dark room without surveillance cameras, where they shocked me with high-voltage electric batons. This probably lasted for over an hour.
As I stumbled out of the dark room and entered the corridor, Zhao grabbed my hair, threw me to the ground, and stomped on my face. The subsequent beatings caused me to lose consciousness.
Anchored for 26 Days
Another time, I was anchored to the ground for 26 days and denied use of the toilet to relieve myself on my own, brush my teeth, etc.
Over 30 people were in the same cell, so when I needed to defecate, I had no choice but to yell at them to release me. Although they took me to the toilet, they dragged me out before I could finish and re-attached me to the anchor. I was also verbally abused and humiliated by prison guards.
At the same time, they made sure that I ate. If I refused to eat, they force-fed me. I was often denied water.
At this point, I had a lot of difficulty walking on my own. I had to take each step very slowly, with my hands against the wall for support.
In May 2010, I was sentenced to four years in prison. The sentence was upheld by the intermediate court. The trial was set at the detention centre. The decision was made in eight days. My transfer to Liaoning Women's Prison was scheduled for the ninth day.
Psychiatric Torture and Release in Critical Condition
By that time, I had been put on IV drips for days and even evaluated by a mental hospital. I was injected with psychiatric drugs and slept many hours a day. My limbs trembled. I couldn't open my eyes and had trouble speaking.
I had never been so weak in my life. I remained strong, even when my husband died when my daughter was only one and a half years old. However, within eight months at Shenyang No. 1 Detention Centre, I was on the verge of death.
My older brother, almost 60, initially refused to sign for my medical parole without a diagnosis. He wanted to know what had happened to me. He eventually had to sign for my release after sitting outside the detention centre for several hours, in anguish over my critical condition.
I was carried out of the detention centre on July 5th, 2010. After returning home, I slowly recovered by doing the Falun Gong exercises.
(To be continued)
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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