Ms. Gao Shuqin from Shuangcheng City, Heilongjiang Province Recounts Years of Persecution

Name: Gao Shuqin
Gender: Female
Age: Unknown
Address: Wujia Town, Shuangcheng City, Heilongjiang Province
Occupation: Teacher
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 15th, 2007
Most Recent Place of Detention: Shuangcheng City No. 2 Detention Centre
City: Shuangcheng
Province: Heilongjiang
Persecution Suffered: Detention, suspension from work, extortion, brainwashing
Key Persecutors: Zhao Jingwen, Education Bureau head; Li Guilan, Education Office official; Fu Shengjun and Yan Ping, town government officials; Xiao Jitian, Wujia Town Police Station head

Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Gao Shuqin was a teacher in Wujia Town, Shuangcheng City, Heilongjiang Province. She went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in late 2000 and has been suspended from work ever since. Her daughter is in high school and her family is living under tremendous political and financial pressure.

After the persecution began on July 20th, 1999, officers from the Shuangcheng City Police Department held Ms. Gao at the No. 2 Detention Centre twice, for a total of 79 days, and extorted 20,700 yuan1 from her. She was also held at a brainwashing facility twice and Wujia Town government officials extorted 2,100 yuan from her. In addition, she was made to pay 3,490 yuan for appealing in Beijing. Wujia Town Education Bureau officials withheld her salary for two years and one month, a loss totalling 20,000 yuan. Overall, officials have extorted 46,300 yuan [about US $7,122] from her. Her family also spent more than 20,000 yuan to get her out of the detention centre and brainwashing facility.

Below is Gao Shuqin’s account:

On the morning of July 22nd, 1999, we went to the provincial government hoping to dispel the slanderous lies about Falun Gong. We were greeted with riot police and armed officers. We were taken to the Baqu Stadium in Harbin City, already filled with Falun Gong practitioners. Armed police toting guns kept pacing back and forth. Later, we were put on a bus and driven to various schools in the city, and at 3 p.m., they played slander that posed as news on CCTV. They registered our home addresses at 5 p.m. and I was sent home at midnight.

From then on, people from my workplace started monitoring me, and they demanded that I write a statement repeating Communist Party propaganda, a treatment many other practitioners have suffered. My family was also persecuted and endured psychological trauma.

Zhao Jingwen, head of the Education Bureau at the time, held a brainwashing session for four practitioners working in the Wujia Town education system on July 20th, 2000. We were forced to watch fabricated “news” and articles and coerced to write guarantee statements. The session lasted almost two weeks and we were robbed of one month of salary, which was 600 yuan for me.

I set off for Beijing on December 24th, 2000 and arrived at Tiananmen Square the next day at 9 a.m. I saw practitioners getting arrested one after another and the square was swarming with police in uniforms and plainclothes. I took out a banner that read, “Falun Gong is righteous.” I walked fewer than 20 steps before a police officer snatched the banner from me and another one put me in a headlock and tried to strangle me. I could barely breathe for three minutes.

I was pushed into a police vehicle already full of practitioners. We were taken to the Qianmen Police Station. At 11 a.m., we were driven to Daxing Detention Centre on a bus. The police threatened to drop whoever refused to give their home address in the wilderness, so I gave my address. At 11 p.m., Liu Fang, the principal at my school, came and took me to the Liaison Office in Beijing. Before she left for Beijing, Zhao Jingwen, head of the local Education Bureau, and Li Guilan, also an education official in Wujia Town, took my salary payment card from my husband and withdrew 3,000 yuan and gave it to Liu Fang to cover the expenses for her trip to pick me up in Beijing. They never returned my salary card.

Detention centre

I was taken to Wujia Police Station early in the morning on December 27th, 2000 and then to the Shuangcheng Detention Centre at 4 p.m. The cell was dark and cold; a plastic bucket that served as a toilet sat by the door, and the stench inside was suffocating. The 13-square-metre bed was made of wooden planks [140 sq. ft.]; 40 practitioners and two inmates slept on it. At night, everyone had to sleep on their sides and one person’s back pushed smack against another person’s chest. We could barely move and even had difficulty breathing. We ate mouldy corn and buns and drank soup with dirt and a negligible amount of vegetable leaves.

On January 20th, 2001, the officials refused to let us go home for the Chinese New Year, so we recited Falun Gong articles. The guards and detention centre head were frightened by this. They called over some rubber baton-wielding soldiers who put their hands through the small window in our cell and hit whoever was within reach. At 1 p.m., six practitioners from our cell were taken away; the same number of practitioners was taken from other cells. We heard they were sent to labour camps.

My family came to see me on February 8th, 200. A guard called me into the reception room. Upon seeing me my brother said anxiously, “We are here to take you home. Just say you quit [Falun Gong] so we can go.” I explained, “I cannot say that.” Surprised, he said hastily, “We had to pull some strings so we could see you today!” I glanced at my daughter and 72-year-old mother, who were in tears. They all tried to persuade me to say that I would renounce Falun Gong. I comforted them by saying, “Don’t worry, I will go home.” The guard pushed me out of the room. Li Fuchen and Sun Jiazhi from the town government picked me up on February 20, 2001 and sent me to a brainwashing facility. I was held at the detention centre for 56 days. My captors extorted 700 yuan from me for “food expenses.”

Wujia Town brainwashing session

They transferred me from the No. 2 Detention Centre to a brainwashing facility at the Wujia Town government. I was held there for one month and made to pay a 1,000-yuan fine by Fu Shengjun, in addition to 500 yuan in food expenses by Yan Ping, both town government officials.

The brainwashing took place in an empty, cold and damp room, and the windows were boarded up with plywood. Fifteen people slept on one clammy wooden bed, and soon we all developed scabies. My mother came to visit me daily and said, “I cannot sleep at night because you are here. I am holding on and waiting for you to come home.” She would cry each time she left.

Throughout this ordeal my brother spent three days talking to various people trying to get me released, but to no avail. My husband had to take care of my mother and our daughter, on top of working on my release. My husband told me later, “Our daughter locked herself in her room soon after you were sent to the detention centre. She would not let anyone in and refused to eat or drink and just cried. I spoke to her through the door for a whole day before she finally opened it. I asked why she was acting this way, and she said she didn’t know. She simply felt terrible and just wanted to cry.”

Taken to the detention centre again

Someone reported me to the police and I was arrested again on August 15th, 2007 and taken to Wujia Town Police Station. Police officer Guo Shen and three others, and an agent from the Shuangcheng 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) ransacked my home and confiscated Dafa books and other materials at 9 a.m. on August 26th, 2007. They took me to the Shuangcheng City No. 2 Detention Centre. Later, Wujia Town Police Station officials threatened to hold me at a labour camp for one year. My family was afraid when they heard the threat, and they pleaded with Xiao Jitian, the Wujia Town Police Station head, who extorted 20,000 yuan from my family.

I have been suspended from work since December 24th, 2000. The school withheld my salary card and deducted two years and one month worth of salary, which is about 20,000 yuan. My family spoke with my superiors and obtained early retirement due to illness for me, and I began receiving a pension in 2003, which is about 85% of my salary. My family has endured enormous financial and psychological persecution.


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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