Ms. Liu Shuling, 55, Tortured to Death in Harbin City Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp

Name: Liu Shuling
Gender: Female
Age: 55
Address: No. 57 Township, Hongwei Town, Qitaihe City
Date of Death: July 3rd, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Harbin City Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp
City: Harbin
Province: Heilongjiang
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, beatings, torture, physical restraint, detention

Ms. Liu Shuling and eleven other practitioners were tortured on the fifth floor in the Harbin City Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp in Heilongjiang Province from July 1st to July 3rd, 2010. Ms. Liu Shuling died on July 3rd. According to a witness, she was tied to an iron chair and died after being shocked with an electric baton.

Ms. Liu was sent to the Harbin Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp in 2008, and was supposed to be released on July 26th, 2010. There were bruises from electric shocks on her left ear and on her neck. Her family requested to see her whole body, but the police did not allow the family to investigate further, and said, "If you want to see the whole body, you must go through a medical examiner. If you must proceed with an investigation, we will not pay for her funeral expenses, and you will need to pay over 8000 yuan1 in medical fees."

Twelve practitioners were tortured during this period: Ms. Liu Shuling, Ms. Yu Xiaohua, Liu Hui, Ma Shufen, Liu Yanhua, Cheng Li, Wang Fengxia, Men Qiuyin, Ren Shuxian, Xie Wei, Gao Yumin and Ms. Tong Yaqin.

Below is a personal account from a practitioner, describing what she experienced and witnessed at the Harbin Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp, around the time of Ms. Liu's death.

Twelve practitioners tortured on the 5th floor

At around 1:00 p.m. on July 1st, a group of guards pushed me to the ground, handcuffed me and kicked my legs. A guard named Hei Jialun kept slapping my face. I was then dragged to the 5th floor.

In the hall on the 5th floor, I saw Ms. Yu Xiaohua. She had her hands cuffed behind her back and to an iron chair. Her mouth was stuffed with a rag and was sealed with adhesive tape, which was tightly wrapped around her head.

Ms. Tong Yaqin was then dragged up to the 5th floor by a male guard holding on to her forearm while her hands were cuffed behind her back. She was in extreme pain, her face was pale and her eyes were tightly closed as she struggled to cope with the pain.

After torturing Ms. Tong and Ms. Yu, the guards came towards me, and cuffed me to the iron chair that they had just used to torture Ms. Yu. I went on a hunger strike from July 1st to July 5th. Other practitioners were only given two meals a day, consisting of a dry steamed bun and a small bowl of water. Practitioners claimed that there were unknown drugs in the water.

On July 3rd, all of the tortured practitioners were given a "ghost" haircut, which meant that the hair was shaved off half the head. This was a humiliation tactic left over from the Cultural Revolution. Female guard Zhang Chunjing ordered Li Dongxue, an inmate convicted of prostitution, to intentionally be careless in cutting their hair.

Horrible screaming

The rooms on the 5th floor were sealed off, the glass windows and doors were covered with newspaper and all the windows were closed. I was told that Ms. Liu Shuling was in the room next to mine.

It was probably July 2nd or 3rd, when I heard horrible screaming coming from Ms. Liu's room. I asked the guard Zhang Chunjing what it was, and she replied, "I put her on the iron chair."

I then heard a piercing whine. Although the doors and windows were shut tightly, the sound could still be heard. The inmate supervising me and I looked at each other. We were quite nervous, and knew that something had happened. After a while, I heard many people going in and out of Ms. Liu's room, making a lot of noise. Then everything was silent.

The doctor then came to inquire about my physical condition. I thought it was strange that they would suddenly care about my health. I was unexpectedly released from the iron chair on July 4th. When I heard about Ms. Liu's death, I realized that the guards were afraid of any repercussions from her death, and so they untied the other practitioners.

Over 1000 female practitioners from Heilongjiang have been brutally tortured in the Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp in nearly ten years. Over 90 female practitioners are still detained there.

Ms. Jiang Rongzhen, 42, from the Jixi City Coal Machine Factory, died from torture on November 2002. She had bruises all over her body, and marks of abuse from electric shocks. There was a hole in her forehead, and a raised lump on the back of her head.


1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

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