Ms. Qi Yaru, 47, is a Falun Gong practitioner from Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. She was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison in 2012. Ms. Qi was brutally tortured in the Heilongjiang Women's Prison until she lost consciousness. The prison authorities declared, “We won't release her until she is dying.”
Ms. Qi was only returned to her family on November 21st, 2013, after the prison received a medical certificate indicating that she was in a "coma and at risk of death."
Ms. Qi Yaru is now in a coma due to torture.
Positive Changes after Practising Falun Gong
Ms. Qi had been in poor health since childhood. Her body was covered with blemishes and she also suffered from hepatitis. The hospitals could not heal her illnesses. However, she became healthy after she started practising Falun Gong.
She no longer needed to wear thick pants in the summer. She gained weight and was full of energy. She could handle all sorts of work inside and outside the house, and her family and in-laws felt very happy for her.
Repeatedly Persecuted since 1999
The Chinese Communist Party started persecuting Falun Gong in 1999. Ms. Qi has been repeatedly persecuted for her faith from the time her daughter was only 3 months old. She was harassed, arrested, detained and sentenced to prison.
Ms. Qi suffered various forms of torture while in detention, including beatings, being forced to stand or squat for long periods of time, and being shocked with electric batons.
Arrested Again and Sentenced
On December 31st, 2011, Ms. Qi and her daughter were visiting her sister in Wuzhan Town, Zhaodong City, to celebrate the new year. A large group of police officers came and arrested the mother and daughter.
Ms. Qi was then sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.
Because Ms. Qi refused to renounced her belief while in Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, she was hung up by handcuffs, forced to squat for prolonged periods of time, and subjected to other torture methods.
She was also forced to do slave labour until she was on the verge of death.
Ms. Qi went on a hunger strike on October 8th, 2013, to protest the persecution. By that point, she had no reflexes in her feet, legs or arms due to the torture. Her body became stiff and she eventually lost consciousness.
Prison Refused to Release Ms. Qi Until She Was in a Coma
After tremendous effort, Ms. Qi's family finally got a chance to see her in the Central Hospital of the Provincial Prison Administration Bureau in Heilongjiang on November 7th, 2013.
Ms. Qi was lying flat on the bed unconscious. Her entire body, including her face, was stiff, her teeth were clenched, and her eyes were closed. She was equipped with a urinary catheter and an IV. There were some red marks on her neck. Her eldest sister lifted her eyelids, but couldn't see the pupils.
Ms. Qi's family members were shocked and one of them fainted on the spot.
Li Lihua, chief of the penalty section in the prison, told them coldly, “She went on a hunger strike, so she is responsible for the outcome.” The prison guard told Ms. Qi's family that they were planning to conduct a checkup. One of Ms. Qi's family members replied, “With her current condition, there is no point to conduct any physical examination.” The guard then forced the family out of the room.
Ms. Qi's family tried to negotiate with Li Lihua and insisted on having Ms. Qi return home. Li told them, “If she is really dying, we'll let her go home right away.” A family member said angrily: “It is unbelievable for you to say something like that. If she were one of your family members, would you do something like this?”
Ms. Qi's family were so worried that they continued going to the prison for more than half a month in an effort to get Ms. Qi released. However, the prison authorities insisted that there was no major problem and refused to release Ms. Qi.
Her family said: “According to you, there is nothing serious. But she is unconscious. If she dies in the prison, we'll sue all of you until justice is served.” When the prison authorities diverted the subject by talking about their so-called “rules,” Ms. Qi's family told them, “You can report that to your superiors and we'll talk to them as well.”
Ms. Qi's family have visited the prison, the Central Hospital of the Provincial Prison Administration Bureau, and the Attorney's Office in the prison. During that period of time, the prison authorities met with the police overseeing the community where the family lives in an attempt to arrest them for “making trouble.”
The prison finally released Ms. Qi on November 21st, 2013, after doctors had diagnosed her as “being in a coma and at risk of death.”
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