Name: Zhong Dongmei
Address: Xili Village, Yangcun Township, Dingxing County, Hebei Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 28th, 2000
Most recent place of detention: Yangcun Township government
Persecution Suffered: Detention, beatings, extortion, interrogation, electric shock, brainwashing, toilet use denial, forced labour, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, living under surveillance, home ransacking
Below is Ms. Zhong Dongmei's account of the gross abuse and mistreatment that she has suffered under the persecution.
I Was Fortunate to Have the Opportunity to Practise Falun Gong
Before practising Falun Gong, I suffered from numerous illnesses, including arthritis, neuropathic pain, chronic stomach disease, congenital heart disease, neuroasthenia, bone spurs in several parts of my body, bronchitis, as well as postpartum diseases and conditions I developed during sterilisation. I consulted many doctors. All of them told me there was nothing they could do.
My husband's health was even worse. He was paralysed for a long time, and the medical treatment we sought everywhere didn't help him. I later became semi-paralysed. My children were three and seven at the time. One day, my son told me something about Falun Gong. I found a Falun Gong book and started studying it, and one week later all of my illnesses were gone. My husband was ecstatic. I told him how Teacher Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, teaches people to be good and was explained in the book, Zhuan Falun. He said, "I also want to be a good person." He began practising Falun Gong, and our family regained health.
Grossly Abused and Mistreated for Appealing in Beijing
I went to Beijing on July 20th, 1999, the day the persecution began. The police arrested me in Tiananmen Square and took me to the Tiananmen Police Station, where many other practitioners were also held. They asked for our names and addresses and deceived us by telling us to write letters to the central Appeals Office. Having received our information, they turned us over to local county police departments. I saw police officers violently beating practitioners at the Tiananmen Police Station. They attacked primarily the practitioners' chests, backs and abdomens. Soon officers from the Dingxing County Police Department took me back to my hometown. A deputy police chief interrogated me. Before I entered his office, a group of people approached me, and hit and kicked me. They whacked my head, eyes, ears and face until I lost consciousness. They sent me to the Dingxing County Custody Centre at 2:00 a.m. This was my first detention. I was forced to pay them more than 380 yuan1.
Second Appeal in Beijing--Gross Abuse at the Hands of County Officials
I went to Beijing for the second time in early September 1999. Officials Li, Cai and someone else from the Yangcun Township took another practitioner and me from Tiananmen Square to the township government. They slapped our faces all the way there, and took all of our personal belongings, including 300 yuan in cash.
Having arrived at the township government, they coerced us to kneel. I refused. A group of officials then attacked us. People kicked my legs and calves until the bone in one of my heels protruded through the skin. They then dragged me into a room to interrogate me, then transported me to the township police station where official Yang Jianmin met with me. They attempted to coerce me into signing and fingerprinting a falsified document, but I firmly refused. Yang Jianmin shocked me with electric batons for defying him and then whipped me with a four-foot-long bamboo stick. They eventually took me to the county custody centre, but the centre head refused to admit me when he saw the extent of my injuries. Yang Jianmin spoke privately with the head, and someone signed a document before I was pushed into the custody centre.
Practitioners from nearby counties and towns were held here, including people in their seventies, as well as a 12-year-old child. The guards singled out certain practitioners and savagely tortured them, leaving them bruised following the interrogation.
Practitioner Ma Shuhui from Bailou Township was forced to kneel on shattered glass while two men pushed her down to make sure the glass cut deep into her flesh. At the same time they burned her with glowing-red metal rods. She was covered in large blisters, could neither sit nor lie down, and trembled in horrific pain. Other practitioners were hung up by their handcuffs and beaten for seven days. They bludgeoned the practitioners with military clubs, whipped them, hung them by handcuffs from a window frame so that the mosquitoes and bugs could attack them, hung them from the door frame and beat them until they lost consciousness, and poured water on them, then beat them when they came to. We went on a group hunger strike. Soldiers were brought in on the third day, and they dragged a few practitioners away and locked them in an abandoned barracks for a brainwashing session. The other practitioners continued the hunger strike because the officials refused to speak with us. Three days later, the soldiers dragged us to the office. Four soldiers were manhandling a woman practitioner. They yanked off her pants, coat and even underwear, but acted as if nothing happened. They took additional practitioners away and locked them in an abandoned barracks for brainwashing.
Extortion at the County Brainwashing Centre
We were forbidden from speaking with each other or using the toilet during the brainwashing sessions, and were each given only two small buns to eat each day. The persecutors cursed Falun Gong all the time and attempted to coerce us into writing guarantee statements to renounce practising Falun Gong, but we refused. We were taken into a small room and assaulted.
We were sent back to the custody centre late in the evening on the fourth day. Each practitioner's family was forced to pay them between 1,500 yuan and 2,000 yuan during the brainwashing session. We held another hunger strike and were near death on the fifth day.
Township officials dragged seven practitioners into a vehicle and drove us to the township government. Township 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) deputy heads Duan Pingde and Fang Limin saw my condition, and tried to give me an IV infusion. When they realised that it was impossible because my veins were collapsed, they extorted 2,000 yuan from each of our families before letting us go. My family didn't have the money, but the officials didn't want me to die in their hands, so they made my family write an IOU slip for 2,000 yuan before letting them take me home.
The same officials arrested me at home the next day and took me back to the township government. My father-and-mother-in-law worried about me and followed me to the government building. Duan Pingde demanded another 2,000 yuan from my in-laws before they would release me. My cousin, the village Party Secretary, pleaded with him, and he reluctantly lowered the amount to 1,000 yuan. My in-laws had no choice but to borrow money, which they got the following day, and gave to Duan Pingde, then took me home.
Arrested in the Middle of the Night, and Taken to a Brainwashing Centre and Tortured
My husband and I picked peanuts on September 28th, 2000, and didn't go to bed until 3:00 a.m. Just then, Township Justice Office head Zhao Changliang broke into our house with Fang Limin, Gen Sier and Wang Hua. They pulled me into their vehicle, and took me to the township office.
More practitioners were taken there. The police lied to us, saying that 610 Office head Ren Jintian was returning from Beijing to meet with us. We later realised that we were being held in a brainwashing centre. We had no freedom, and even needed permission to use the toilet.
Close to fifty practitioners in our town were held in a conference room. They handcuffed us and then beat us with batons and thick ropes. Practitioners became covered with bruises and blood.
Wang Hua ordered me to go to the office. The moment I walked into the room, Justice Office head Zhao Changliang, Political and Legal Committee Party Secretary Ren Jintian, and others beat me, kicked me, and slapped me on the face. When they were tired, they handcuffed me and attempted to force me to curse Falun Gong, but I refused. They then used the rope and baton to beat me, and a beer bottle to hit my ankles, as well as a cigarette to burn my lips and hands for a long time.
Another time, Ren Jintian read out loud in the township office from books and newspapers that slandered Falun Gong. When he finished, officials attempted to force practitioners to curse Falun Gong. Practitioners who refused to comply were pulled out to be beaten.
I stood up and tried to stop the captors, but before I had a chance to say anything, several people kicked me down, stepped on me with their leather shoes, and beat me with clubs and whips until I lost consciousness. Then former township head Zhang Weixing pulled my hair and slammed my head against a wall. He beat me about the ears and head. I could no longer hear.
They nevertheless beat me every day and forbade me from eating, drinking, and using the toilet. I was also deprived of sleep and forced to do heavy labour work during the day. At night they humiliated and beat practitioners and would not let us rest.
The brainwashing centre was set up to humiliate young women practitioners. For example, the officials forced female practitioners to do laundry for them, including their underwear, and made young women practitioners massage their legs at night. They harassed the women practitioners during the day. One of the women practitioners was beaten very cruelly until she lost consciousness, then locked up in the office for several days.
We met a seventy-year-old practitioner named Zhao Zhenyu from Nanxie Village, Yangcun Town. I noticed huge blisters covering her hips. She said a group of thugs led by Yang Jianmin from the Yangcun Town Police Station beat her with batons daily for two weeks.
One day a woman practitioner from Wuliuzhuang was forced to kneel, with a bottle and a bowl on her head, and arms stretched out holding a container with water. When things fell from her head and the water spilled, she was beaten with rubber tubes and broomsticks.
Twenty days later, the families came to visit us. They saw us in our miserable, emaciated states and observed the effects of the torture. They petitioned my village head to bail me out. The authorities there threatened, "Those who went to Beijing need to hand over 6,000 - 7,000 yuan. Those who didn't go to Beijing need to hand over at least 5,000 - 6,000 yuan. No exceptions." My family didn't have that much money. After my non-practitioner village head cousin begged them several times, they finally took 500 yuan and let me go.
Agents from the 610 Office often came to harass the practitioners' families. They hired a neighbour to covertly monitor us and paid him a monthly 200 yuan stipend. They harassed us almost every day, especially on the "politically sensitive days."
House Ransacked and Items Confiscated
After visiting a friend one evening in mid-November 2005, I did not go home. The next day someone from my village told me, "Don't go home. Zhang Zhihai led people from the 610 Office to break into your house last night. They broke the windows and ransacked your place. More than 200 people are searching for you. They have harassed your friends and relatives, and police cars are at every intersection. The entire village is surrounded, and they are searching door-to-door." With a friend's help I was able to leave safely and have been away from home ever since.
I eventually found out that the break-in happened at 2:00 a.m. The agents confiscated four sets of Falun Gong books, my child's money, family letters, 18 tape recorders, 200 boxes of plastic wrap, a fax machine, copier paper, my red suitcase, and school supplies.
Those people remained, and lived at my home, waiting for me to return. Several days later people in the village condemned them. They finally left two weeks later. While I was gone, they frequently checked my home and harassed my family during the sensitive days each year. I could not go home and take care of the elderly and the children.
People who participated in the persecution:
Zhang Zhihai, Xili Village security head
Ren Jintian, Yangcun Town Political and Legal Committee Head, was transferred and accepted a new position in Tiangongsi in late 2005
Gen Changjun, Yangcun Town Party secretary: 86-13831208846 (Mobile)
Wang Hua, from Yangcun Town Justice Office, often harassed women practitioners
Yang Jianmin, officer from Yangcun Police Station, beat practitioners brutally and often ransacked practitioners' homes: 86-312-6978009 (Home), 86-13703323002 (Mobile)
Fang Limin: 86-312-692-8079, he was previously a middle school teacher at Fangjiazhuang. He bought a position as township government official in 1998. He often beat practitioners and harassed practitioners and their families. He covertly monitored and followed practitioners, often knocked on practitioners' doors late at night, and was sometimes involved in arresting practitioners.
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://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2010/1/28/217089.html
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