Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Zhang Guilan
Address: Nancha District, Yichun, Heilongjiang
Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 5th, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Nancha Detention Centre
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labour, brainwashing, beatings, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, force-feedings, extortion, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of toilet use, and sleep deprivation
Key Persecutors: Ma Qingji, Lu Jinghua, Wang Yali, Zheng Jie, Tao Dandan, Yang Hua, Zhao Xiling, Jiang Xiangying, Yan Yaxia, Zhang Xuan, Yan Yaxia, An Fengbo, Yang Zifeng, Jia Wenjun and Wang Shaojian, Jiang Wenjun, Ai Xindong, and Liu Peng
Ms. Zhang Guilan is a resident of Yichun City, Heilongjiang Province. She had a hard life and developed breast cancer. After she began to practise Falun Gong in 1997, she was miraculously cured. However, she has suffered brutal persecution since the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999. She has been arrested several times, sentenced to five and a half years in prison, and incarcerated in Heilongjiang Women's Prison.
Ms. Zhang was brutally tortured in the prison. The torture and abuse included being exposed to extreme cold, being shocked with electric batons, violently beaten, handcuffed with her arms behind her back, forced to sit on a small stool for long periods of time, and forced to perform hard labour. She was also detained in a brainwashing centre where she was forced to watch videos and read materials that slandered Falun Gong.
After a short period of peace, Ms. Zhang Guilan was forced to move out of her home in the spring of 2011. However, she was compensated only 300,000 yuan1 because she practised Falun Gong, far less than the 1,200,000 yuan that she should have received. She was threatened that she would be thrown into prison for practising Falun Gong if she refused to move.
Below is Ms. Zhang's personal account of the persecution she suffered.
Finding Falun Gong after a Hard Life
My name is Zhang Guilan. I live in the Nancha District of Yichun City, Heilongjiang Province. I was born in 1960, the era of the Great Famine. There were eight children in my family, so I grew up always hungry, and have always been a weak and sickly person. My mother passed away when I was 12 years old. I was sent to the countryside at the age of 17 with other young students, where I had a very difficult time.
I got married when I was 22. However, my parents-in-law did not treat me well. My father-in-law beat me twice, and my husband had an affair. I divorced my husband when my child was six years old, and I was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer in early 1997. I had a mastectomy and had to have chemotherapy twice a year.
One of my relatives introduced Falun Gong to me in August 1997. I have since firmly cultivated in Falun Gong, and have never had any doubts. It was a miracle that I recovered from my breast cancer.
Shackled to a Iron Chair for 40 hours
I was arrested several times and brutally tortured after the persecution began. I was once sentenced to five and a half years in prison, and was incarcerated in the Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison.
Officers from the Nancha Police Department, the Nancha Domestic Security Division, and the Lianhe Police Station broke into my shop and ransacked it around 3:00 p.m. on April 28th, 2002. They brought me back to my home later and ransacked the place. I was taken to the Lianhe Police Station and later sent to the Crime Division of the Nancha Police Department where I was shackled to an iron chair, with my hands behind my back, for more than 40 hours.
Shackled and Fed Rotten Food
I was later detained in the Nancha District Detention Centre for more than four months. The living conditions were very bad there. My cell was less than 100 square feet in size, but sometimes more than ten people were held in it. We were not allowed to go to the toilet; we had to use a bucket. A small bucket of water was given to each room for all of us to drink and wash.
Because I shouted “Falun Gong is good,” to the other inmates heavy shackles were put on me. The shackles were so heavy that they cut into my flesh and I had to lift them with my hands in order to walk. I had them on for over two weeks. The scars from the shackles are still visible.
Brutally Persecuted in Heilongjiang Women's Prison
Exposed to scorching sun, stripped to be examined, brutally beaten, arms handcuffed behind my back, and forced to sit for long periods of time
Nine fellow practitioners, including Ms. Zhu Xiangqin, Ms. Zhou Xiuli, and Ms. Wang Yuhua, were taken to the Heilongjiang Women's Prison on August 30th, 2002. I was sentenced to a five and a half year prison term. Since I had breast cancer before, the prison officials refused to admit me. However, Ma Qingji, the deputy director of the Nancha Police Department, Yang Guanghui, deputy director of the Nancha Detention Centre, and a doctor, bribed the prison guards so that they would accept me.
All nine of us practitioners were exposed to the scorching sun for a few hours while waiting for the physical examination at noon that day. We were later put into a room without beds, and at around 10:00 p.m., many guards including Lu Jinghua, Wang Yali, Zheng Jie, and Tao Dandan, along with some inmates came and stripped off our clothes to examine us and cut our hair in humiliating styles. They then tried to force us to renounce Falun Gong. Zheng Jie and Lu Jinghua handcuffed our hands behind our backs and forced us to squat for a long time without moving. My left foot became swollen, and Zheng Jie then pulled me into a storage room. She and Wang Yali brutally beat and kicked me, pulled my hair, and slapped me. We were deprived of sleep, meals and drinking water.
Due to the torture and mental depression resulting from being incarcerated and persecuted, my breast cancer relapsed. On September 1st, 2002, prison guards Zheng Jie, Wang Yali, and prison doctor Chu He brought me to the Heilongjiang Province Medical School Second Affiliated Hospital for surgery. However, the doctor did not use much anaesthetic on me on purpose during the operation. I was in so much pain that I was shaking and bitting my teeth.
All of my cash was taken, including 800 yuan for medical expenses, and additional money was extorted from my family without providing receipts.
Forced to work overtime with toxic materials
We were forced to do labour in 2003. We had to get up at 5:00 a.m. and work from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and many times until midnight or even 2:00 a.m. We were beaten and insulted while working. Yang Hua was later appointed as the division chief and Zhao Xiling as the deputy division chief. They had us work with linen even though some practitioners were sickened by it.
Yang and Zhao also had the inmates and practitioners beat the linens to loosen them in their rooms. The beating stirred up a lot of dust which was toxic. Even with masks on, our nostrils still became black. The rooms were covered with the linen dust everywhere. We were punished if we did not finish our work quotas, and were not allowed to eat or sleep.
When the officers from other government agencies came to inspect the prison, the practitioners and inmates were ordered to clean up. To prevent practitioners from exposing the crimes taking place in the prison, we were forced to stay in the storage room, which was guarded by guards and inmates.
Forced to run, sit on small stools, and go without sleep
Because practitioners protested the persecution and refused to do the forced labour or cooperate with the prison guards, the prison officials continuously punished us physically for 36 days in the spring of 2003. We were forced to get up at 5:00 a.m. to walk or run outside. It was cold and sometimes snowing or raining. Our shoes were worn and we were too tired to lift our legs. Our clothes were wet and our faces were very cold. We were back in our cells at night, but were still forced to sit motionless on small stools until midnight.
In August 2003, practitioners refused to do the forced labour to protest the persecution. Yang Hua and Zhao Xiling ordered a dozen inmates, including Jiang Xiangying and Yan Yaxia, to punish us. They handcuffed me, Ms. Wang Yuhua, and Ms. Zhu Xiangqin with our hands behind our backs, and forced us to squat for a long period of time. Yang Hua beat and shocked me with an electric baton. The inmates took turns torturing us until 1:00 a.m.
Exposed to extreme cold, shocked with electric batons, beaten, and mouth sealed with tape
The practitioners in the Second Division suffered a series of brutal tortures on December 1-12th, 2003. All practitioners from the Second Division, a total of 25 of us, were pulled outside on the morning of December 1st. We were forced to line up with five persons in each row. More than 20 inmates, include Zhang Xuan, Yan Yaxia, and An Fengbo, cut my hair very short, along with several other practitioners. They also pulled up our sleeves so we were exposed to the extreme cold. We were not brought indoors until dark. We were then forced to sit on small stools until midnight.
On the second day, we wore more clothing but were forced to run. If any of us did not move, we were beaten with electric batons and bamboo sticks, and kicked, and shocked on the face with electric batons. We were not allowed to sleep until 2:00 a.m., but were awoken at 5:00 a.m.
We decided to protest on the fourth day. We all held hands together and refused to separate from each other. The prison guards beat us with batons and stools, and shocked us with electric batons to separate us. Several stools were broken from the beatings.
I was pulled and beaten until I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I was pulled outside to expose me to the cold. I cried out loudly, “Falun Gong is good.” Guard Yang Zifeng viciously beat me, and my nose and mouth bled profusely.
We were forced to sit outside on the ground all morning. We all shouted “Falun Gong is good” while sitting there, but the guards subsequently taped our mouths. That evening we were not allowed to sleep, but forced to sit on small stools. We were beaten if we closed our eyes. Some of the inmates pitied us and could not bear to beat us, and stopped. For this they were punished.
I refused to go out after a few days, and wanted to find the prison director to report the abuse. However, Yang Hua and Zhao Xiling ordered the inmates to use tape to wrap my head and mouth, and they handcuffed my hands behind my back. I was thrown outside for the whole day to suffer in the freezing cold. The handcuffs were so cold that they stuck to my wrists and were very painful. The exposure to extreme cold lasted for twelve days.
I was sent to the Ninth Division in the second half of 2004. There, division chief Zhang Xiuli and Yan Yuhua, plus guards Jia Wenjun and Wang Shaojian, along with other guards, viciously persecuted practitioners along with the inmates. Three or four inmates monitored one practitioner in turn, and practitioners were forced to read or watch materials defaming Falun Gong. Practitioners were also deprived of sleep.
Jiang Wenjun brought me to an empty cold cell one afternoon in 2004. Several inmates surrounded me and tried to force me to sign a guarantee statement. I was not allowed to sleep if I refused.
I was transferred to the Tenth Division in early 2005, and released on July 28th, 2007.
Arrested, Brutally Forced-Fed, and Beaten
I was at the Nancha Train Station to greet practitioner Ms. Zhao Guiying from Jiamusi City on the afternoon of April 5th, 2010. Police officer Zhang Bin recognized me, and I was arrested along with Ms. Zhao. We were sent to the Nancha Detention Centre the next day.
At the detention centre, director Jiang Yumin and deputy director Ai Xindong beat me to the ground twice because I practiced the Falun Gong exercises and refused to wear a prison uniform. Jiang Yumin pulled my hair and swirled me around. Ai Xindong beat my head to the point where I was too dizzy to stand.
Ms. Zhao and I began a hunger strike to protest out arrests, and requested our unconditional release. We were force-fed on the afternoon of April 12th, 2010. My nose bled from the insertion of the tube, and my stomach was very upset. Ms. Zhao was tied to a bed and was force-fed with her mouth pried open.
I was released after eleven days of detention.
My Home Faces Demolition with One Million Yuan Short of Compensation
The house I was living in was to be demolished for new construction in the spring of 2011. I should have been compensated at least 1,200,000 yuan for this. However, Liu Peng, director of the Nancha District, only compensated me 300,000 yuan, simply because I practised Falun Gong.
I told a reporter about this, and he went to interview the Party secretary of the Nancha District Government. He told the reporter, “Zhang Guilan practises Falun Gong, so her house compensation should be less than the others. Who asked her to practise Falun Gong?” The reporter asked him, “She practises Falun Gong, so does her house?” The party secretary said, “Zhang Guilan practises Falun Gong, and her house is also Falun Gong's house. So director Liu made the decision, and all the members of the district government committee agreed to it.” The reporter continued by asking, “The law and ordinance for compensation doesn't mention anything specific regarding Falun Gong, so it seems that what you are doing is wrong.” The Party secretary said, “Here in the Nancha District what we say is the law.”
I refused to move, and my utilities were cut off. My house is now surrounded with water, and the water has gotten into my house about three feet deep. I am unable to live a normal life.
I have appealed to other government agencies to no avail. I filed a lawsuit, but the court did not accept it. They now declare that I will be arrested for practising Falun Gong if I persist in refusing to move.
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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