Ms. Zhang Yanfang, who learned Falun Gong when she was imprisoned, died on November 2nd, 2010, in prison at the age of 54. In over ten years of imprisonment in Haerbing Women's Prison, she was brutally tortured by being hung up, forced to sit on an iron bench, beaten, frozen, starved, deprived of sleep, put in prolonged solitary confinement, and force fed.
She was sent to prison in 1993 and began to practise Falun Gong in 1995
Ms. Zhang was born in 1956 in the Daxinganling area. She committed a crime, was sentenced to a delayed death penalty in 1993, and was held in the Heilongjiang Women's Prison. She suffered from an overactive thyroid, bronchitis, rheumatic heart disease, and rheumatism. She was not able to do any active physical labour, and served in the prison as an inmate patient.
In 1995, Ms. Zhang began to cultivate Falun Gong. She adhered strictly to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and her illnesses were soon healed. She regained all lost hopes in her life and became energetic and tried hard to elevate herself.
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999, Ms. Zhang was persecuted severely for not giving up the practice. Beginning on April 27th, 1999, Yang Libin, the female manager of the Prison Administration Department; Xiao Lin, the manager of the Education Department and the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) director; and Chen Dongyue, the female police officer, threatened Ms. Zhang with not granting her parole to force her to give up cultivation. Although she explained to them the benefits of Falun Gong and how Falun Gong teaches people to be good and elevates people's morale character, they still put her in solitary confinement for over a month and beat her in the cell.
Because she refused to give up cultivation and being a good person, she was put in solitary confinement 17 times during the nine years between 1999 and 2008, for about four years in total. In 2001, right after New Year's Day, the prison officials put Falun Gong practitioners in solitary confinement and handcuffed them. Ms. Zhang went on a hunger strike to protest. Under Warden Sun Shulan's direction, Deputy Warden Cong Xin led the inmate-nurse Shang Xiaomei to force feed the practitioners white wine, making their noses and mouths bleed and causing much harm to their health. They were starved first when they were put in solitary confinement. For 72 hours they were not given any food, except for a scoop of watery cornstarch. They were only let out when most of them developed life threatening symptoms.
In September 2003, Ms. Zhang was forced to endure intensive discipline by officer Zhang Chunhua and Captain Zheng Jie. Inmate Zhao Yan knocked her front tooth out with one kick. During the day, they took her to an empty area. With the police and several inmates scattered in a circle, they forced her to run laps, and each person would hit her with an electric or wooden baton when she ran by. At night they did not let her sleep. Wang Fengchun, Wang Wei, Zhu Yuhong, and Li Guixiang hit her face with wooden batons. They also pulled her trousers down and beat her. Her body and face were bruised badly, and then they rubbed her with salt water.
In August 2004, Ms. Zhang went on a hunger strike for over six months to demand the release of practitioners from solitary confinement. During this time, she was handcuffed to the floor for four and a half months. She did not even have a mat to lie on. Even when she had a fever of over 100 degrees, they still would not let her go to bed. Those that participated included officers Zheng Jie, Zhang Chunhua, and Huangjing and inmate Li Tieli.
By April 2010, Ms. Zhang was already as thin as a skeleton. She had no appetite and would throw up as soon as she ate something. She was too weak to walk, and her life was in danger. During that time, she and her family requested many times that she be taken to the hospital. The prison took her to the prison clinic and claimed that it was only malnutrition and refused to treat her.
Ms. Zhang's family was from a very poor farming village. She did not want to overburden her family, so she requested that the prison take care of her medical treatment outside of the prison. The prison officials refused, and she got weaker and weaker.
In Heilongjiang Women's Prison, there have been many cases similar to Ms. Zhang's. The prison officials refused to offer the practitioners parole because they would not give up Falun Gong, rather, the prison extended their terms in many cases.
The final days
By October 22nd, 2010 Ms. Zhang was already unable to take care of herself, and she asked many times to be hospitalised. Ward II Captain Xin Lanlan and Deputy Captain Dong Yan both said, "To be hospitalised you will need the approval of prison hospital chief Mr. Zhao, but Mr. Zhao said that you have only malnutrition and are not ill and you should not be admitted." They told the inmates who took her to the prison hospital, "Drop her on the floor and you can go. She will get up herself." In the ensuing days, Ms. Zhang went into a coma and passed out many times, several times a day sometimes. Even though she absolutely could not take care of herself, they still did not admit her to the hospital. In those days, she was carried back and forth between Ward II and the prison hospital to have injections. Some inmates commented, "Even a well person will be made sick this way."
One night Dong Yan was on duty when Ms. Zhang suddenly had cramps and fainted. The inmates went to tell Dong. He said, "We are sorry for her condition, but she practices Falun Gong and refused to be treated, so we cannot help."
An account of Ms. Zhang's actual situation: She had cramps three times on the night of October 22nd. She was unable to walk, but the police would not take her to the hospital. On October 23rd, she was examined in the hospital, but was told that it was anaemia caused by malnutrition. Her systolic pressure was 70 and diastolic pressure was 40. On the night of October 25th, she had cramps and was kept in the hospital overnight. The doctor did not want to admit her and sent her back to Ward II the next day. On October 30th, she was injected with protein. On March 31st, she was hospitalised. She was unable to speak at that time.
The ward called the family to ask them to find money to pay for the medical expenses, and told them that she was in critical condition and asked them to come to the prison by November 1st. When Ms. Zhang's sister rushed over from Daxinganling, she was already unconscious. The prison forced Ms. Zhang's sister to go home to borrow money, but before she could bring the money she had borrowed back to the prison, Ms. Zhang had passed away.
After her death, Ms. Zhang had 1390 yuan1 in her prison account. The Deputy Captain Dong Yan claimed that it belonged to the prison.
Participants in the persecution of Ms. Zhang:
Warden Sun Shulan (female, 1992 to 2002)
Wang Xing (2002-2004)
Liu Zhiqiang (2004-2008)
Bai Yingxian (2009)
Bao Rui (female, 2008 and present)
Deputy warden Chu Shuhua (female, 1992-2004)
Deputy warden Cong Xin (1999-2003)
Manager of the Administration Department Yang Libin (female)
Education Department (610 Office): Xiao Lin, who beat female practitioners many times
Police officer Wang Weina (female)
Ward captain Zheng Jie (female), now the captain of the training team
Dong Yan and Qiu Yan (female). Both are Ward II deputy captains.
Xin Lanlan (female), Ward II captain
Other participating officers: Cui Hongmei, Zhang Xiuli, Zhang Chunhua, Zhang Xiaoyin, Wang Yali, Wang Xiaoli.
Shang Xiaomei was an inmate nurse. She persecuted practitioners regularly, force feeding them with salt water, garlic, and other unknown substances. She was moved to Ward III in 2009.
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/232729.html
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