Once-Healthy Ms. Zhao Lerong Persecuted to the Point of Blurred Vision and Disorientation at Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp

Name: Zhao Lerong
Gender: Female
Age: 56
Address: Dalian City, Liaoning Province
Occupation: unknown
Date of Most Recent Arrest: Late September 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp
City: Shenyang
Province: Liaoning
Persecution Suffered: Forced labour, brainwashing, beatings, hanging by handcuffs, imprisonment, torture, detention

Ms. Zhao Lerong, 56, is a Falun Gong practitioner from Dalian, Liaoning Province. She was arrested and sent to Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp in late September 2010. She was subjected to various means of torture, which caused her to suffer from chronic insomnia, blurred vision, tightness in her chest, and shortness of breath. She became delirious and extremely weak.

The following is Ms. Zhao Lerong's own account of the persecution to which she was subjected at Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp:

I started practising Falun Gong in 1997. I previously suffered from neurosis, headaches, rheumatic arthritis, and a duodenal ulcer. After I began practising Falun Gong, I strictly followed Falun Gong's requirements. Without realising it, my diseases disappeared.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999. Because I persisted in my belief, I have been arrested three times and taken to Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp. The following is my most recent persecution experience:

1. I was arrested and taken to the Third Prison Ward at Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp, and detained in a solitary cell. I was forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong. I was forced to sit on a small plastic stool and was scolded if I didn't sit straight. I suffered from insomnia due to fatigue and mental torture.

2. As a result of the abuse, I suffered from insomnia and became extremely weak physically. Guard Yu Xiaochuan took me to the Masanjia Medical Office, where the doctor gave her medicine for me. The night I took the medicine, I felt something from the medicine sticking to my tongue, and it burned badly. The part of my tongue that touched the medicine had sunk-in, and I felt a tart taste in my mouth. After I swallowed the medicine, I felt pain in my stomach.

3. Since then, my vision has gradually declined and become blurred. When I look at people and things, I see double images. My eyes hurt after using them for a while. Gradually, the rims of my eyes, cheekbones, nose, and head began to hurt, and my memory deteriorated. I couldn't remember what I had just said or done. I felt very disoriented and could not take care of myself. I became extremely weak. My brain was not functioning properly. Even in my obviously declined physical state, the guards still forced me to do heavy labour work, and sent me to the Fourth Ward, the most difficult one.

4. Huang Haiyan, a guard at the Fourth Ward, did not like to hear me complain about my eyes, so she sent me to a place called “Donggang.” Once there, six to seven police officers, including Zhang Huan, Zhang Lei, and Zhang Jun, pulled my hair and slapped my face. They handcuffed my hands to two iron bed frames, then pushed the beds apart (the “stretching torture”). I was kept tied up this way for three hours.

5. After the “stretching torture,” the guards sent me to Masanjia Hospital to have my eyes checked. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with my eyes, and that it was merely fatigue. The guards then took me back and tied me up for two more hours.

6. After the torture, I was transferred to the Third Prison Ward. When Sun Bingyuan, who was the guard there, heard that I had vision problems, she beat me and pushed me to the ground, which fractured the cartilage around my outer ear. She also kicked hard at my finger tips, my stomach, and my groin. Even today, my left wrist is still not straight as a result of her kicking me. After a couple of days I was sent to “Donggang” and subjected to the stretching tortured for an entire morning.

7. Because I have blurred vision, I walk slowly. Guard Sun Bingyuan pushed me hard several times. She also tricked me into going to a vacant warehouse and brutally beat me there.

8. While I was detained there, I was diagnosed with 300-degree astigmatism (I didn't have astigmatism before) by eye doctors from the Fourth Hospital of Shenyang City. With this condition, I often experienced extreme sensitivity to light, sunshine, and sharp colours, and I had headaches, tightness in my chest, and pain in my eyes. Sun Bingyuan punished me by making me stand outside under direct sunshine. When I moaned, she taped my mouth shut. Sun also tortured me many times by making me stand for long periods of time, and several times forced me to stand in the rain.

9. Guard Wang Guangyun is the supervisor. Once, after my eye examination, she was very upset, and felt that I could not do much work. So she punched me in the chest with her fist, slapped my face, and hit my head. For no reason, she also broke my sunglasses (which were to protect my eyes from bright light). She also confiscated my other pair of sunglasses. My eyes were not in good condition. I was also physically weak and could not do much work. Wang Guangyun then punished me by making me stand for ten days, and every day I had to stand until 10:00 p.m. I was sometimes forced to stand until midnight. She also often kicked me for no reason.

This is only a partial account of the persecution to which Zhao Lerong was subjected at Masanjia Women's Forced Labour Camp. This once-healthy and kind elderly lady was arrested and tortured to the point of having blurred vision, and now has bruises and scars all over her body.

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