Ms. Zheng Youmei, 61, Dies in Sichuan Province Labour Camp

Ms. Zheng Youmei, 61, a retired employee of the Sichuan Province Vinyl Factory (under China Petroleum Fabric Corp. in Chongqing City), lived in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. She used to have heart disease, a vertebral body compression fracture at T-12 (VBF), arthritis, and other ailments. After cultivating Falun Gong at the end of 1996, all her illnesses went away.

In July 1999, the Communist Party began persecuting Falun Gong. Ms. Zheng went to Beijing to speak out for the practice, and she was arrested, taken back to Chongqing City, and detained in the Changshou Detention Centre. After being detained for one month, she was held at the Jitou Police Station in Wuhou District, Chengdu City for 15 days.

Ms. Zheng was later sentenced to 18 months of forced labour and detained in the Nanmusi Women's Forced Labour Camp in Zizhong City, Sichuan Province. More than a dozen practitioners, including Ms. Zheng, were tortured by being locked in a water dungeon1. She was released on October 31st, 2001 after her term was extended five months.

On December 26th, 2001, only two months after she returned home, Jinyang Community Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Secretary Li Bohua and officer Zeng Fengming led four people to forcibly take Ms. Zheng to the Jinhua brainwashing centre. She was tortured by being locked in a "small cell" under constant surveillance by people and watchdogs (trained huskies). Officer Liu Xiaokang punched Ms. Zheng's head in this class, resulting in her seeing dark spots and becoming absent minded. She was deeply injured both mentally and physically under the huge pressure. Around June 10th, 2002, she suddenly saw darkness, and passed out on the floor, bleeding severely from her broken upper lip with a huge bump on her forehead. She was rushed to the hospital. The doctor said it was caused by heart failure.

Ms. Zheng Youmei escaped police custody at the hospital, and she was forced to flee to avoid being arrested. Her relatives' homes and phones were all placed under surveillance. Police were trying to track her down, and she was arrested in November 2007. They took her back to the Nanmusi Women's Labour Camp. She died in custody on November 2nd, 2008. The Camp Administration notified her son three days later on November 5th, 2008 and said she died of a stroke. They forced her son to sign paperwork and quickly cremated her body.

Ms. Zheng's death is the fourteenth death case directly related to the Sichuan Province (Nanmusi) Women's Labour Camp in Zizhong City.


1. Based on reports from across China, different detention centres use the idea of the water dungeon in different ways. Some water dungeons submerge the Falun Gong practitioner in chest-deep, filthy water; in others, the water is too deep to stand in. Some have sharp spikes protruding on the inside of cramped cages. Usually, the water dungeons are well-hidden rooms or cells where practitioners are forced to stay for days and nights on end in total darkness. The water is most often extremely filthy, containing rubbish and sewage that leaves the victim with festering skin.

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