Eight Years of Persecution for Falun Gong Practitioner Yang Hong and her Family from Huludao City, Liaoning Province

Ms. Yang Hong used to be an employee of the construction company affiliated with the refinery in Huludao City. Officials at her workplace fired her eight years ago for her refusal to renounce her belief in Falun Gong. Over the past eight years, Ms. Yang was subjected to several arrests and incarceration. The following are her experiences.

1. A Miserable Childhood in the 1950s

Yang Hong was born in 1956. Her father Yang Jingkun was ruthlessly tortured during the Cultural Revolution. Yang Hong was discriminated against and mentally tormented at school because her father was labelled as an "anti-revolutionist." She had a very tough childhood.

Twenty years later, in 1975 she became an employee at the refinery in Huludao City. She developed serious heart disease and had difficulties breathing.

2. Beginning Falun Dafa

One of her friends recommended Falun Gong to her in 1995. She wanted to give it a try. After reading the preliminary book, Falun Gong, she realised that Falun Gong is very special. She recognised much from the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."

Cultivating Falun Gong healed Yang Hong's illnesses. She became energetic and happy. She improved her temper and no longer fought with her husband, who was touched by the changes in her. He expressed that he would take up the practice after he retired. Yang Hong's daughter was impressed by the changes in her mother and also began to practise. Yang Hong's daughter became a college student at Jinzhou Normal College in 1999. The whole family was happy.

3. Persecution

Yang Hong went to Beijing in October 1999 to appeal for Falun Gong. Her daughter went with her. They were both arrested. Yang Hong was later on incarcerated in Huludao City Detention Centre. The Detention Centre Chief Li Yajie put her and other Falun Gong practitioners in shackles. Yang Hong was sentenced to three years of forced labour on October 31st, 1999, and sent to the notorious Masanjia Forced Labour Camp in Shenyang, where she was savagely tortured.

She had to do 14 hours of heavy labour every day. Criminals who took orders from the guards often beat her. Two criminals watched every practitioner day and night, even during sleep and in the toilet. Since Yang Hong refused to renounce Falun Gong and refused to memorise the labour camp rules, the criminals beat her ruthlessly. Her legs were often black and blue from being kicked. Criminals also punched her on her back, injuring it so severely that she could not bend over. Yang Hong had been in a solitary cell twice. There was no heater in the cell. Guards locked her to an iron column so that she could not fall asleep. The first time she was locked onto the column for six days; the second time seven days. Guards beat her with electric batons, to force her to renounce her belief. One of her neck muscles sustained an acute injury and turned black. Her feet bled, but she didn't give in.

The guards broke the law and didn't allow her to write a letter of appeal, so she wrote a letter to her family, hoping they might deliver it for her, but the letter was intercepted and never mailed. She kept asking for the right to write petitions. In February 2001 she had the opportunity to write to a UN human rights organisation. One of issues she brought up in the letter was that guards searched her unlawfully. A carbon copy of the letter was sent to the labour camp.

One day after sending the letter, Sheng Ying and Wang Guangyun, two group leaders at the labour camp, took her to a camp office. Sheng Ying told Yang Hong that they would search her, because they suspected that she had Falun Gong articles with her. Yang Hong refused to cooperate with them and told them that all the Falun Gong articles were in her mind. They eventually searched her violently.

In March 2001, Yang Hong asked again for the right to write petition letters. She obtained the right, but guards ordered the criminals to steal Yang Hong's drafts. It happened several times. But on March 31st, 2001 she finished a letter and sent it to the First Women's Labour Camp. In the letter, she exposed the facts of persecution. Since other practitioners didn't obtain the right to write, they started a hunger strike to protest. The labour camp blamed this on Yang Hong. Camp officials took Yang Hong to the Second Women's Labour Camp on April 7th, 2001. They searched Yang again and took away the draft of the letter to the UN and some notes she had taken recording persecution facts.

Yang Hong demanded a meeting with her daughter at the Second Women's Labour Camp, so that she could give her daughter the letter to UN for delivery. Labour camp officials refused her request.

On May 22nd, 2001, an international delegation investigating the camp arrived. To avoid exposure, camp officials transferred Yang Hong and other practitioners to another location prior to the arrival of the delegation.

While her mother was incarcerated, Yang Hong's daughter was kicked out of school since she refused to renounce Falun Gong. Yang Hong's husband developed an acute brain tumour, but Yang was forbidden to visit him in the hospital. Her husband soon died.

In September 2001 Yang Hong's father was quite ill. Masanjia Labour Camp officials demanded that she write a letter renouncing Falun Gong. Otherwise, they would not let her visit her father in the hospital. Yang Hong refused to do so and kept petitioning the camp officials to let her go. She was eventually permitted seven days leave. After her father died, she called the labour camp officials and informed them of her father's death and explained that since both husband and father had died, no one was taking care of her daughter. She told the camp officials she would not return to the camp. A month later camp officials arrived at her home in her absence. Both mother and daughter decided to go into exile to avoid further persecution.

Yang Hong lost two family members within two years. She could not talk to either of them before they passed away. Before her father died, he was in coma, and didn't say a word to her before his death.

On April 2nd, 2004, officer Jiang Zhimeng and other three policemen from Huludao City arrested Yang Hong and her daughter at an apartment. Guards took away all their belongings, worth about 14 thousand Yuan1. Yang Hong was sent to the Huludao City Detention Centre where she held a six-day hunger strike and was then transferred to the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp on April 8th, 2004.

Yang Hong shouted, "Falun Dafa is good" at Masanjia, so she was held in a solitary cell. On April 30th, 2004, some officials arrived at the camp for an inspection. Yang Hong attempted to report her experiences to them. To keep her from doing so, four guards watched her and forbade her to go anywhere. Female guard Pei Feng said to her, "We just want to limit your freedom. We don't care what you think."

Pei Feng ordered four criminals to watch Yang Hong. If Yang Hong recited Falun Gong articles, they put tape on her mouth. They forbade her to do the Falun Gong exercises. Yang Hong always took opportunities to explain the facts to the people around her. Pei Feng became fearful and told those four criminals to read the materials that slander and attack Falun Gong.

A few days later Yang Hong became ill. The camp doctors diagnosed her to have heart disease and a weak kidney, but let guard Pei Feng know that she had no life threat. So, the guards kept torturing her. Yang Hong held another hunger strike and the guards force-fed her. She resisted the torture. The doctors' assistant Chen Bing kicked her during force-feeding. Another time, someone named Cao Yujie added unidentified substances to her food, which gave Yang Hong diarrhoea.

On April 26th, 2004, guards put ten practitioners in solitary cells, including Yang Hong. They didn't have enough food. They were permitted two bathroom breaks a day, at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. There were huge loudspeakers in the cells, broadcasting from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm. daily. Yang Hong's cell contained a tiny window. The cell was always stuffy. She was handcuffed, so she was unable to remove her clothes when it was hot. She could not brush teeth for a month.

Yang Hong started yet another hunger strike. Three female guards force-fed her. Female guard Sun Shumin always stepped on Yang Hong's body during every force-feeding. Chen Bing and Cao Yujie inserted tubes into her nose, which made her bleed. Violent force-feeding injured her stomach and nose. Guard Wu Yanrong stepped on Yang Hong's chest once during force-feeding, which choked her and made her cough.

Group leader Xiang Kuili yelled at Yang Hong, "It is too easy for us to handle you." She always beat Yang Hong and pulled her hair. When she tortured Yang Hong, she always wore a button that said, "Do the work in a gentle way; Serve people warmly."

Female guard Li Mingyu ordered criminals to tape Yang Hong's mouth with duct tape after gagging her with dirty rags that were used to clean the bathroom.

Li Mingyu asked Yang Hong once if she would still recite Falun Gong articles. She said, "As a Falun Gong practitioner, I will." Li Mingyu locked Yang Hong onto a heater radiator and forced her to stand up. One hour later Yang Hong began to sweat and her lips and face turned black. She vomited. The second day, May 8th, 2004, Yang Hong was jailed in a solitary cell for shouting, "Falun Dafa is good."

She was extremely weak following two months of torture. She was transferred to the Huludao City Detention Centre on June 8th, 2004 and was released on June 9 because of poor health. She weighed only approximately 70 pounds then.

For the following one year, persons from many government agencies, including the police station, police department, her workplace, and the residential committee harassed Yang Hong. On November 18th, 2005, Zhang Junsheng, Liu Shijun, and Zhao Lianshuang, the chief and the vice chiefs of national security team in Lianshan District, arrested Yang Hong's daughter and incarcerated her at the police department in the Lianshan District. Policemen got the house key from her and entered Yang Hong's home. They confiscated Yang Hong's computer, CD player and Falun Gong books and materials. Yang Hong tried to explain the Falun Gong persecution facts to the policemen. They refused to listen and cursed her.

They arrested Yang Hong, carried her downstairs and beat her. Yang Hong refused to get into the police car and shouted, "Falun Dafa is good." Policemen cuffed her from her back and pushed her into the car. The car door injured her left foot toes when the police tried very hard to close the door.

She was deprived of freedom at Huludao City Detention Centre and held another hunger strike. Guards again force-fed her. She was tied onto a tiger bench2. Her chest and head were immobilised by wide cloth strips. Criminals pried her mouth open with a wooden stick and poured corn cereal into her mouth. The criminals stirred around in her mouth with a small stick. Yang Hong's mouth and throat were injured. She had a fever and her lips were torn. Her teeth were loosened.

During one force-feeding, guard Wu Zhen once pushed a lot of solid corn cereal into Yang Hong's mouth, which made her vomit and her lung and heart were thus injured. The next day, guards took her to a hospital emergency room. It was found that she had lung and heart disease (pneumonia, cyst, and rapid heartbeat).

Guards took her back to the detention centre. They gave her an intravenous infusion. Yang Hong was so skinny that the doctors could not even find her vein. They randomly poked her arm with needles and made her arm black and blue. Yang Hong refused to cooperate with them, so she was taken to the hospital again.

Yang Hong was force-fed twice a day. She was so weak that she vomited after each force-feeding. Detention centre officials released her on December 9th, 2004, since she was extremely weak. Several days later police station agents from the Lianshan District broke into Yang Hong's home and tried to arrest her. She was not home. Renewed persecution made her decide to again go into exile and has remained homeless since.

Note

1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

2. "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.

Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2007/9/1/161947.html

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