Name: Zhang Lianfen
Address: Chengguan Town, Fuping County
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 29th, 2001
Most recent place of detention: Fuping County Detention Centre
City: Baoding City
Province: Hebei Province
Persecution Suffered: Beatings, sleep deprivation, physical constraint, force-feedings and extortion
Key Persecutors: Zhou Qiulai, Ma Baozhong and Li Keqiang
During the past ten years, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials have brutally tortured Ms. Zhang Lianfen because of her firm belief in Falun Gong. They arrested her four times, tortured her, beat her brutally and extorted 83,000 yuan1 from her family. Fuping County is a poor area. Ms. Zhang Lianfen's family members are all peasants, but don't own a farm. Her husband had to borrow the money to pay the CCP officials.
Detained Twice in a Detention Centre
On July 20th, 1999, the Jiang Zemin [former leader of China and instigator of the persecution] regime banned and started persecuting Falun Gong. Ms. Zhang Lianfen and another practitioner appealed to the provincial government for justice for Falun Gong. The government imposed a curfew, preventing anyone from entering government buildings. So, they took the train to Beijing to appeal for the right to practise Falun Gong. Officers arrested them the minute they stepped off the train and detained them for three hours. They were released late in the evening.
On September 8th, 1999, Ms. Zhang Lianfen and three fellow practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, but were arrested and held in an iron cage. Zhou Qiulai, Secretary of Discipline Inspection of the Fuping County Police Bureau, went to Beijing to bring them back to their hometown. Zhou Qiulai extorted 500 yuan from Zhang Lianfen's husband and the family members of two of the practitioners who went to Beijing with Zhou Qiulai. He claimed that the money would be turned over to the police bureau. Ms. Zhang Lianfen's husband was required to pay for their gas money.
The CCP officials took two practitioners to the detention centre as soon as they arrived in Fuping County. They also had local TV stations make a video defaming the practitioners and Falun Gong.
Li Keqiang, the police commander, shoved Ms. Zhang to the ground. Two officers handcuffed her arms behind her back with a long string. They pulled the string extremely tight. It was so painful that Ms. Zhang was sweating profusely. She became dizzy and fell to the ground. Li Keqiang pulled her up and pushed her onto a sofa. Later Li Keqiang cursed at her and beat her. Finally they took her to the Fuping County Detention Centre, where she was detained for 40 days.
While Ms. Zhang Lianfen was detained, Zhou Qiulai and Ma Baozhong extorted money from her family and threatened, "We have an order from higher levels that these two practitioners are political criminals, so they will be sentenced to a prison term." Ms. Zhang's family was frightened. Zhou Qiulai and Ma Baozhong extorted 7,000 yuan and also demanded that they be provided with food, drink, cigarettes and other items. Then, they claimed that the police bureau required 10,000 yuan before she could be released from custody.
On July 20th, 2000, Zhou Qiulai and Ma Baozhong arrested Ms. Zhang Lianfen again and took her to the police bureau. Zhou Qiulai cursed at her for an entire morning, then threatened Ms. Zhang's husband and extorted 500 yuan from him. After he brought the money, Zhou Qiulai and Mao Baozhong asked for a carton of cigarettes valued at 100 yuan for each of them.
On October 1st, 2000, Ms. Zhang Lianfen went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong for a third time. Police arrested her and took her to the Dongcheng District Detention Centre in Beijing. Later Zhou Qiulai and Qi Guiliang, Director of the Fuping County 610 Office2, went to Beijing to bring Ms. Zhang back to the Fuping Detention Centre. Yan Liming, Secretary of the Fuping County Political and Judiciary Committee, claimed that anyone who went to Beijing twice for an appeal was regarded as a counter-revolutionary, a very serious charge in Communist China. They extorted money before releasing her. Yan Liming asked for 5,000 yuan, Zhou Qiulai asked for 2,000 yuan, the Police Bureau asked for 10,000 yuan plus travel expenses of 3,000 yuan, and the Procuratorate also asked for an undisclosed amount of money. Moreover, Ms. Zhang's family had to invite them to dinner and give them other items. Ms. Zhang was forced to pay for Zhou Qiulai's visit to a spa, professional skin care centre and visiting prostitutes. This time Ms. Zhang was detained for 38 days, and the CCP officials extorted 30,000 yuan in total.
Brutally Tortured in Baoding City: Flesh Pinched and Twisted with Pliers
At 1:40 p.m. on the afternoon of June 4th, 2001, when Ms. Zhang Lianfen was working at her father-in-law's stall, officials from the Chengguan Village government, Chengguan Police Station and County Police Bureau attempted to arrest her. Ms. Zhang escaped and became homeless. From then on she lived with several practitioners in Baoding City.
On the evening of July 11th, 2001, more than 20 officers from Xinshi District, Baoding City broke into Ms. Zhang Lianfen's apartment and ransacked it. They confiscated 5,000 yuan, a mobile phone, all of her Falun Gong books and other items. They took Ms. Zhang and several other practitioners to the police station and detained them in an iron cage. At noon the following day, officers pulled them out of the cage and made a video recording. Later police took them to a Criminal Police Team centre. The officials didn't give them any food or water, and forbade them to speak or use the toilet. Each practitioner was interrogated separately and beaten brutally.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. that day, Ms. Zhang Lianfen was taken to a secluded, tiny cell. The three guards closed the door and beat her brutally. They pulled her hair, slapped her face and kicked her violently. From time to time Ms. Zhang fell to the ground. They pulled her up and continued beating her. When they were tired, they handcuffed her to the arm of the sofa. After a while, they started another round of violent beatings. Ms. Zhang fell to the ground, but the police held her hair, stepped on her neck and tortured her until far into the night. The guards took turns to sleep. While two of them were sleeping, one monitored Ms. Zhang. When she closed her eyes, the guard grabbed her hair and hit her head against a wall. They tortured her like this until 5:00 a.m. the next morning. Then they handcuffed her to the heating pipe so that she couldn't stand or squat.
After 8:00 a.m., officer Lian Suo came and beat her violently. Later he held a pair of pliers and threatened Ms. Zhang, "So you don't want to speak, do you? I don't believe I can't open your mouth with these pliers. If you don't speak, I will hurt you." Ms. Zhang didn't say a word. Then Lian Suo twisted her eyelids, lips, nose, face and everywhere on her body with the pliers several hundred times. Ms. Zhang's mouth was bleeding and she was black and blue all over. Immediately after that, another officer arrived, picked up a summer sleeping mat, rolled it up and beat her brutally.
The beating lasted until noon. The officers were tired and went to take a nap. Ms. Zhang managed to take off the handcuffs and tried to escape. Several officers caught her and beat her brutally. Then, they handcuffed her to an auto exhaust pipe and forced her to bend down so that the heat would burn her. It was a hot summer day. Ms. Zhang was sweating all over. Later they dragged her into the yard and exposed her to the hot sun. Ms. Zhang Lianfen eventually fainted under the scorching sun.
They dragged her back to the iron cage, and she couldn't stand up or speak. A female officer claimed that Ms. Zhang was pretending. She wanted to interrogate her and took her to the interrogation room. A guard said, "You don't want to speak, do you? I will still sentence you to forced labour even if you don't utter a word." As he said those words, he held her hand firmly and forced her fingerprint onto a piece of paper. Then he took her back to Baoding Detention Centre. The interrogation and torture lasted for two days and two nights. During that time, the guards didn't give Ms. Zhang Lianfen anything to eat or drink, and did not allow her to sleep.
In the detention centre, Ms. Zhang went on a hunger strike. The guards cuffed her hands and feet together, and put shackles on her legs. Three officials named Li, Zhang and Ma ordered the criminals to beat and curse at her. On the third day, they force-fed her brutally. The superintendent ordered several male criminals to pin Ms. Zhang to a stretcher, insert a tube into her stomach through the nose and force-feed her with concentrated salt water. They force-fed her once each day. Her nostrils and stomach lining were injured severely. Her wrists and ankles were bleeding. The cell was wet and damp, and there were many mosquitoes inside it. Ms. Zhang developed scabies. She was detained and tortured for 56 days.
While Ms. Zhang was detained in the detention centre, Zhou Qiulai, an officer from Fuping County, threatened her husband, claiming that the Baoding City Police Bureau would sentence her to three years of forced labour. He said that he could help find some officials in charge to release her from custody. In reality, he wanted to extort money from her husband. Ms. Zhang's husband borrowed money from anyone he could, though he was still in debt. Later he gave 5,000 yuan to Tang, the deputy director of the Baoding Police Bureau. Ms. Zhang's husband was also required to pay for the guarantee money, force-feeding, and the expense of food and bedding. Additionally, Zhou Qiulai demanded that he be given food and drink, a cell phone, acoustic equipment, a coffee table, cigarettes, clothes and a gold necklace. Additionally, he demanded money for going to the spa, professional skin care and even for visiting prostitutes. This time the officers extorted 30,000 yuan.
Arrested a Fourth Time and Detained in Detention Centre
On September 29th, 2001, Ms. Zhang Lianfen went to Quyang County to put up banners that exposed the persecution of Falun Gong. Officials from Qiaocun Township in Quyang County arrested her. They took her to the Qiaocun Township office. Li Hongdong, the township head, beat her brutally and handcuffed her to a tree. They called the Fuping County Police Bureau. That night, officers from Fuping County took her back and detained her in the detention centre. This time Zhou Qiulai extorted 2,000 yuan from Ms. Zhang's husband. Eight days later, police found that Ms. Zhang was not in good health and released her. They claimed that someone would monitor her, so they needed money to cover the expenses. They extorted another 2,000 yuan from her husband. This time they extorted 6,000 yuan in total.
Within three years, Ms. Zhang Lianfen was detained four times and the police extorted 83,000 yuan from her and her family.
On February 18th, 2003, about eight officers from the Chengguan Police Station broke into Ms. Zhang's home and ransacked it.
In February 2004, a group of policemen went to Ms. Zhang's home to harass her family.
In the summer of 2005, Qi Guiliang took more than 20 local and county officials to Ms. Zhang's home and harassed the entire family.
On the evening of July 31st, 2007, Zhang Jinhui, commander of the local State Security Division, took more than 20 officials to ransack Ms. Zhang's home, but failed to find anything incriminating.
During the 17th National Congress, Zhang Yulong, an official from Chengguan Township, Wang, an officer from the police station, and Zeng, an official from the Village committee, arrested her at home and took her to a brainwashing centre. Ms. Zhang's husband couldn't bear it anymore. He fought them to keep them from arresting her, and they eventually gave up.
During the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, the police went to her home twice to harass her.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
2. "The 610 office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2009/9/8/207942.html
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