Many of the detainees in the Beijing Detention Centre's Division 7 were criminal inmates. Some of them had been sentenced to death, and their wrists and ankles were handcuffed and shackled. The only noise you could hear in the cells were the sounds of handcuffs, shackles and the guards loudly cursing.
Falun Gong practitioner Liu Zhimei, 20, was also detained at Beijing Detention Centre. In the cell, she would tell stories of her experiences and those of her fellow practitioners. She told us that after she was released, she would go back to college and get her degree so that she could make money to help her fellow practitioners' children, whose parents had been severely persecuted.
She talked about the principles of Falun Gong to other inmates. There were a few inmates at the detention centre who came from a high social class and had advanced degrees. Usually, they didn't pay attention when practitioners talked to them, but when Liu Zhimei talked to them, they listened to her and admitted that her words were reasonable. One young lady inmate from the south didn't have money to buy daily necessities, so Ms. Liu shared the very few things she had with her. I also learned the facts about Falun Gong and became a practitioner during Ms. Liu's detention at the detention centre.
Once, Ms. Liu went with the guards to be interrogated. However, she didn't return until two months later. We asked her where she had been. She answered with a smile, "It's a secret." She eventually told me that she didn't know where she was because she was blindfolded when they took her to the cell. The cell she was locked in was extremely small, with enough space for only a bed and a toilet. She wasn't allowed to change her clothes or take a shower during those two months. There was a big camera on the ceiling to monitor her around the clock.
Ms. Liu said that she looked forward to being interrogated because it gave her a chance to talk about Falun Gong. She was interrogated a few times for the first few days. After that, she was locked in the small cell for over a month without seeing or talking to anyone. She also said that she recited Falun Gong poems in the cell. However, the guard told her if she continued to do that, they would inject her with a drug. She then recited in a low voice. The area she was confined in was full of similar small cells and she heard painful screams from fellow inmates being tortured. It was hard to say how many practitioners were locked in there and tortured.
It's difficult to imagine what it's like for a 20-year-old girl to be locked in a small cell without talking to anyone and monitored 24 hours a day for two months. For Liu Zhimei to be in solitary confinement for that long and still be able to joke with us when she returned to Division 7 was an amazing sight.
I recently heard that Liu Zhimei suffered a mental breakdown, and I felt very sad. She was able to pull through during those hard times with her faith in Falun Gong, so what has happened to her now?
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2010/2/24/218684.html
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