Ms. Zhang Xinyi from Changsha City on Hunger Strike to Protest Third Arrest

On July 11th, 2009, the local police in Zhuzhou City arrested Ms. Zhang Xinyi and detained her at the Shifeng District Police Department in Zhuzhou City, where she was interrogated. Currently, she is detained at the Zhuzhou City Second Detention Centre. Ms. Zhang has been on hunger strike for three days to protest the persecution. This is her third arrest for practising Falun Gong.

1. Arrested and Deported by Cambodian Government under Pressure from Chinese Government

Ms. Zhang Xinyi, 55 years old, was a maths teacher at the Changsha City Aluminum Factory Affiliated Elementary School (Now renamed as the Xintian Elementary School). She is a very kind person. Her students from years ago still came to visit her. In the summer of 1998, Ms. Zhang and her husband went to teach at the Phnom Penh Chinese School in Phnon Penh, Cambodia.

In July 2002, officials from the Cambodia Immigration Bureau visited her and asked her some questions about Falun Gong informational materials. A few days later, her school fired both her and her husband. At the same time, all of the Chinese schools in Phnon Penh were ordered not to offer them jobs. The Chinese Embassy in Cambodia refused to extend their passports. The relationship between the Chinese government and the Cambodian government is very close. At that time, the persecution of Falun Gong inside of China was very high profile. Realizing the seriousness of their situation, Ms. Zhang and her husband went to the UN Refugee Agency in Phnon Penh. After listening to their situation, they helped them file the application for refugee status. Soon, the UNHCR granted them UN refugee protection status.

On August 2nd, 2002, the Cambodian police arrested Ms. Zhang and her husband, despite the fact that they showed them their certificates as UN protected refugees. They were told explicitly that the arrest was ordered by the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia. After being detained at the Phnom Penh Immigration Bureau for three days, they were forced to board an plane that was going back to China. As UN protected refugees, their arrests and deportation violated international law. Many different international media outlets, including AP, have reported this incident. The UNHCR also criticized the Cambodian government for failing to undertake their responsibilities of protecting Falun Gong practitioners.

Right after Ms. Zhang and her husband arrived in China, they were detained at the Changsha City Detention Centre. She was released a month later.

2. Sentenced to Three Years in Prison and Persecuted in Hunan Province Women's Prison

Since September 2002, Ms. Zhang has appealed to different levels of government agencies about her persecution in Cambodia. She even wrote a letter to Hu Jintao, but no one responded.

In April 2005, the police from the Hunan Province Police Department, the Changsha City Tianxin District Police Department and Changsha City Xinkaipu Police Station jointly took action and arrested Ms. Zhang. Her home was ransacked and her passport was confiscated. Without notifying her family, the Changsha City Tianxin District Court held a secret hearing and sentenced her to three years in prison. Ms. Zhang made an appeal that was rejected. In January 2006, she was sent to the Hunan Province Women's Prison.

Ms. Zhang told her friends about her experience in the prison: she was forced to stand continuously for 7 days and nights without any sleep. When she lost consciousness, cold water was poured on her. Then she was forced to stand again. After extended mistreatment, her mind was not clear, she hallucinated and spoke nonsense.

With the 10th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong approaching, Ms. Zhang was arrested again. Since she refused to tell where she obtained her Falun Gong informational materials, the police from the Zhuzhou City Shifeng District State Security Division interrogated her with torture. To protest the persecution, she started a hunger strike on July 16th, 2009. She is still on a hunger strike now in the Zhuzhou City Second Detention Centre.

The Zhuzhou City Shifeng District Police Department:
Address: 19 Tongou Road, Shifeng District, Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province, 412005
Office: 86-731-28683712
Director's office: 86-731-28683702
Deputy Director's office: 86-731-28683788

Chinese version available at

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