Ms. Zhang Xihui lived in the employee residents' community of the National Cotton Factory in Dezhou City, Shandong Province. She did not have a secure job. She had a daughter, and her husband worked at the National Cotton Factory. They relied on her husband's low income to make a living. Before learning Falun Dafa in 1997, she had heart disease and diabetes. After learning and practising Falun Dafa, she quickly recovered. When the authorities began the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Ms. Zhang went to Beijing on July 24th with another practitioner to appeal for Falun Gong.
On October 25th, 1999, they arrived at Tiananmen Square and shouted, "Falun Dafa is good." They were taken to the police station in the Haidian District. She was handcuffed to an iron chair for the entire night. During that time, the Beijing police interrogated her and asked her, "Who incited you to come to Beijing?" She replied, "Jiang Zemin." "How come it was Jiang Zemin?" "If he did not ban Falun Gong, why should I come here to appeal for Falun Gong?" The police were rendered speechless. Ms. Zhang Xihui kept shouting, "Restore my Teacher's reputation! Re-establish our environment for practice and release all innocent Falun Dafa practitioners!"
On October 26th, the Dezhou City police and the security staff from the Security office in the National Cotton Factory of Dezhou City arrived in Beijing. They shoved Ms. Zhang, who was 1.67 metres tall, into the trunk of the car for three hours and drove her back to Dezhou City. In order to try to compel her to give up her practice, the National Cotton Factory staff members suspended her husband's job and stopped giving him his salary. Ms. Zhang Xihui's family lost their source of income and had to rely on help from their relatives. Moreover, they were extorted 500 yuan1 in "travel expenses" after they deducted her husband's salary for that month.
After returning to Dezhou City, some Dezhou City police staff members, headed by Zhang Zongming and Wu Zhenyuan, planned to detain Ms. Zhang Xihui for 15 days. Ms. Zhang Xihui was the first one to begin a hunger strike to oppose the persecution. On the fifth day of her hunger strike, the police became flustered and quickly got her family members to persuade her to eat. Ms. Zhang Xihui put forward three conditions: "The first one is to restore my Teacher's reputation; the second is to give Dafa practitioners a normal practice environment; and the third is to unconditionally release all detained Dafa practitioners."
Ms. Zhang's husband, her sister, and the union chairman of the National Cotton Factory took turns forcing her to eat. It was early November 1999, around 6:10 p.m., when Ms. Zhang Xihui suddenly appeared to go into shock on the fifth night of her hunger strike. At 6:50 p.m., her heart stopped beating. The medical staff found no sign of life. Her husband, her daughter, and a few relatives cried.
It is unknown how much time passed when suddenly Ms. Zhang Xihui stirred.
The volume of her voice increased from low to high, from far away to near. It seemed that the sound came from a distant horizon. Her sister-in-law was so excited that she burst into tears. Ms. Zhang Xihui slowly regained consciousness. In no more than an hour, Ms. Zhang Xihui had experienced a profound life and death experience.
At that time, besides Ms. Zhang Xihui's family, the chairman of the worker's union of Dezhou City, Shandong Province, and the medical staff members from the 120 Hospital were all on site. Of course, there were also several police officers. Everyone was amazed that a dead person could come back to life.
This event shocked the entire Dezhou City Police Station. Everyone was surprised and constantly saying, "It's incredible!" Falun Gong practitioners have the help of divine beings." The police immediately agreed to release her.
On their way back to Dezhou City from Beijing, the police had taken away 300 yuan from Ms. Zhang that she had borrowed from a relative to cover her daily expenses. After Ms. Zhang woke up, she told the staff members from the detention centre, "I didn't eat anything or drink anything. Why did you deduct 300 yuan from me? You should give me my money back." The three office staff members in the police station hastily gathered together 300 yuan and gave them back to her.
With the calls from her sister-in-law and with firm belief in Dafa, Ms. Zhang Xihui had come back to life. After Ms. Zhang went home, the union staff members tried to force her to write a guarantee statement to give up the practice. Ms. Zhang would not cooperate, so she was monitored at all times. She nevertheless persisted in her practice.
On February 9th, 2000, Ms. Zhang Xihui went to Beijing to appeal for Dafa for the second time. She went to Tiananmen Square. She was arrested by the police at the train station and was taken to a Beijing suburb. They dropped her off on the side of the highway. She was lost, so she kept walking along the highway. As she walked, she kept saying, "I haven't put those banners to use yet because I cannot find my way to Beijing. What should I do?"
After she finished saying this, a patrol vehicle drove by and stopped near her. A policeman in the vehicle asked her, "Where do you want to go?" She said, "I want to go to Tsinghua University." (At that time it was one of the places where Dafa practitioners met.). The policeman asked her about her identity card. She replied, "I do not have one. I am an illiterate old lady." He said, "Get in!" They dropped her off at the gate of Tsinghua University.
Once again, Ms. Zhang walked all the way to Tiananmen Square and successfully opened the banner that said, "Falun Dafa is Good."
Ms. Zhang Xihui was arrested by the Beijing police again and the Dezhou City police returned her to Dezhou City and detained her for one month. During that time, they would not give her enough food. Every morning she was locked in a wire cage about four feet high. They would throw the cage outside and let her suffer in the cold. Inside the cage, she could not stand up or squat down. They brought the cage back to the cell at 6 p.m. in the evening. Ms. Zhang Xihui was badly frostbitten. Her whole body became swollen. Her hands, legs, and face were covered with frostbite. Her ears and chin were affected, and she looked horrible.
After Ms. Zhang was released, the staff members in the work union at the National Cotton Factory continued to try to force her to write a guarantee letter and threatened to suspend her husband's job. She was hurt both physically and mentally. In the meantime, they forced her to go to the hospital and would not allow her to study the Falun Dafa teachings or do the exercises. Ms. Zhang did not cooperate at all. Some staff members in the National Cotton Factory and four of her family members carried her to the Employee's Hospital at the National Cotton Factory. When she was released from the hospital, Ms. Zhang Xihui had lost her memory and was mentally unstable. According to some insiders, they may have given her nerve-damaging drugs.
In the years following, Ms. Zhang Xihui remained mentally disordered. She had oedema in most areas of her body. No matter what anyone asked her, she would always reply, "I already had a meal. I ate some noodles." Every once in a while, she would say, "If you would allow me to do the exercises, I would not be like this." A few days before she passed away, a Dafa practitioner went to see her when she happened to be in her right mind. She told the fellow practitioner, "I have hidden Dafa books in a particular place. Please help me preserve them. I may not be able to live much longer."
On April 27th, 2005, Ms. Zhang Xihui passed away in the Employee Hospital of the National Cotton Factory of DeZhou City. She was 54 years old. At the moment of her passing, only her daughter was by her side.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.org/mh/articles/2005/11/17/114713.html
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