“... I looked at myself in the mirror. I was cross-eyed and my hair was a mess. The blood stain in the corner of my mouth reminded me of the previous drug torture I had endured, the details of which I could only vaguely remember. Tears ran down my cheek. I no longer looked like a normal human being as a result of the persecution! My hands were trembling uncontrollably, my body stiff, limbs out of control.”
The above is an excerpt from a personal account by Ms. Chang Ping, a retired teacher from the No. 4 Elementary School in Baoqing County, Heilongjiang Province, China. Ms. Chang was subjected to years of persecution because she practises Falun Gong (Falun Dafa), a peaceful mind-body cultivation practice.
Ms. Chang started practising Falun Gong in April 1999. Within one week, the severe kidney infection that had forced her early retirement was cured. All of her other illnesses disappeared as well. However, her peaceful practice environment came to an abrupt halt when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the nationwide persecution in July 1999.
Over the past 15 years of persecution, Ms. Chang has suffered severe abuse and excruciating tortures. She was detained in mental hospitals a total of seven times, brainwashing centres twice, and locked in a wolfhound stall. She was stripped topless and left to freeze in the winter, whipped, burned with cigarettes and hot water, forced to wear heavy shackles, had nerve-damaging drugs forcibly administered, and was shocked with electric batons repeatedly.
After the persecution began, Falun Gong practitioners from all over China traveled to Beijing to speak out for justice at the Central Appeals Office. They trusted that their government would listen to the truth about Falun Gong, honour practitioners' appeals, and restore their constitutional rights to freedom of belief. However, for many, going to Beijing was the start of a relentless cycle of persecution.
This is Ms. Chang's personal account of the persecution she experienced.
First Detention: Three Heavy Shackles Weighing 70 Pounds
I boarded a train to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in October 1999. Before I arrived at the Central Appeals Office, a police officer arrested me on the street and sent me to the Liaison Office for Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province in Beijing. The appeal letter I carried with me was thrown into the trash. There, I met three other detained Falun Gong practitioners.
Han Guangqing from the Baoqing County Political Security Department claimed us in Beijing and took us back to Baoqing. When we arrived in Baoqing, four Falun Gong practitioners were immediately locked in the No. 2 County Detention Centre. As we entered the detention centre, the local TV station videotaped us and broadcast the news many times, to slander Falun Gong.
In the detention centre, I was handcuffed to a heating pipe for hours in a painful squatting position, then tied to a tiger bench torture device for two days. Because I refused to renounce Falun Gong, I was handcuffed with one arm over my shoulder and one arm pulled back and around my waist, in an excruciating torture called “carrying the sword.” I had no feeling in my arms for a long time after this torture.
In detention, I continued to practise the Falun Gong exercises and read Falun Gong books. To stop me, the guard put three shackles on my feet. One was extra heavy at 14 Kilogram (over 30 pounds), and the other two weighed 9 kilogram (20 pounds) each.
The heavy, painful shackles made it extremely difficult for me to move around. I had to use ropes to lift the three shackles during outdoor breaks. I tried to put the bed sheets between the shackles and my feet to reduce the pain from my bleeding ankles.
I didn’t give up my belief in Falun Dafa, despite more than two months of torture at the detention centre. When guards and officials saw that I remained determined, Huang Zhiwen, head of Baoqing County, drove me to the Jiamusi Mental Hospital for further persecution.
Jiamusi Mental Hospital: I No Longer Looked Like a Normal Person
In the mental hospital, I was forced to take drugs, both orally and by injections. I told the staff, “I'm a Falun Gong practitioner. I'm not mentally ill. I don't need the drugs.” They responded by holding me down on a bed and prying my mouth open to pour medicine down my throat. Soon, I lost consciousness. Once I came to, they repeated the same thing. I was forced into a drug-induced state of constant drowsiness.
I recall one day when I looked at myself in the mirror. I was cross-eyed and my hair was a mess. A blood stain in the corner of my mouth reminded me of the previous drug torture I had endured, the details of which I could only vaguely remember. Tears ran down my cheek. I no longer looked like a normal human being as a result of the persecution! My hands were trembling uncontrollably, my body stiff, and my limbs out of control.
Nerve-damaging drugs were used as torture, in attempts to force me to abandon my belief. After over a month, I could hardly remember anything. I was forced into a state of mental illness for a long time.
Jiamusi Mental Hospital Again: Drug Torture and Electric Shocks
After I was released, I recovered my health through practising the Falun Gong exercises. I went to Beijing again in 2000 and was arrested on Tiananmen Square, after unfurling a handmade banner reading, “Falun Dafa is Good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good.” I was taken back to my hometown with four other practitioners, and detained at the Baoqing County No. 2 Detention Centre.
For about a year in the detention centre, I was tied to a tiger bench, shocked with electric batons, handcuffed, and shackled. I didn’t yield to the tortures, so the authorities sent me to the Jiamusi Mental Hospital again.
There I didn’t comply with the psychiatric abuses because I was not mentally ill. I was injected with a drug to make me sleep, and was subjected to electric shock torture. The hospital staff also used narcotic drugs to torture me. I protested with a hunger strike and was brutally force-fed. The torture at the mental hospital lasted another nine months until my former workplace (the No. 4 Elementary School of Baoqing County) said that they had no more money to pay the local 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) for my stay at the mental hospital. My family was finally able to take me home.
Third Detention: Burned with Cigarettes and Thrown into a Wolfhound Stall
I was arrested again in Beijing during the winter of 2001, for appealing for Falun Gong. Based on my two previous experiences, I didn’t disclose my name or address. Not knowing which provincial liaison office to send me to, the Tiananmen Square Police Station transferred me to a suburban branch.
Director Liu Ke interrogated me the next day, after he ordered to have me tied to a bed on the first night. He burned my hand with a cigarette. As I tried to dodge the harm, he poured a mug of hot water on my face. He threatened to handcuff me to a tree to freeze me outdoors, but I still refused to tell him my name and hometown. He then took me outside and kicked me into a wolfhound stall, saying, “I won't make it so easy for you just by handcuffing you to a tree!” He then went back indoors to warm himself up.
There was several inches of snow on the ground, and two wolfhounds in the stall. I sat there for a long time. I cried and said to them, “Do you know that your owners can't tell right from wrong, and locked me up with you two? Do you know that I'm a Falun Gong practitioner? I was arrested for safeguarding the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. What a shame that the regime persecutes such good values!”
When the police officers came out to check on me, they saw that I was sitting there unharmed. They then stripped me topless and left me freezing in the cold night. They threatened to throw me in the wilderness. I was scared and said, “I am a Falun Gong practitioner.” They could tell by my dialect that I was from the Heilongjiang area. So they sent me to a prison in suburban Beijing, and contacted law enforcement agencies in my area.
Two days later, police officer Qiang Gang, from the Baoqing County Police Station's Political Security Department, and Liu Shunshao from the local 610 Office, retrieved me from the jail and took me to the Baoqing County No. 2 Detention Centre, where I was held for over a month.
During this time, I encouraged other jailed practitioners to study the Falun Gong teachings, and not to comply with the persecution. The authorities subsequently sent me to the Jiamusi Mental Hospital for the third time.
Third Time in the Mental Hospital
I once again refused to comply with the psychiatric abuse at the Jiamusi Mental Hospital. Again drugs were forcibly administered, by mouth and through injections. I don't know what drugs were used. I was also shocked with electric batons repeatedly.
My nose, mouth, and even my throat bled as a result of the drug torture, and I suffered memory loss. My hands trembled uncontrollably, and my legs became weak. Wild thoughts ran through my mind all the time. This time, the persecution lasted over two months.
Arrested and Taken to Mental Hospital Three Times in Two Months
I went to my former school on the morning of April 4th, 2008, to tell my colleagues the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. In the afternoon, a group of police officers, led by Wang Wei from the 610 Office and Qiang Gang from the Baoqing County Police Station, arrested me at home and took me to the Jiamusi Mental Hospital again.
I told the doctor and nurses, “I don't have any mental problems. The CCP is persecuting me because I practise Falun Gong. The persecution has no legal basis. If you insist on drugging me, I will expose your deeds to the international media. It's absolutely wrong that you torture a healthy person in a mental hospital to force her to give up her belief! My fellow Falun Gong practitioners will tell your parents, children, neighbours, and relatives about your wicked deeds.”
This time, the hospital refused to take me and I was able to go home.
But the authorities didn’t give up their plan, and returned to my home three days later. This time, they brought more people from higher positions, including Qiang Gong from the Baoqing Police Station, Xu Xiaoming from the Zhenxi Police Station, Zhou Mei, the Party Secretary of my former workplace, Liu Shunchao from the 610 Office, and Wang Ming, Party Secretary of the City Education Department, along with several police officers.
They knocked on the door and told me that I needed to be examined at the mental hospital, but I refused to open the door. The police officers waited at the end of the corridor, out of sight, and abducted me when I went out to get some firewood to cook lunch. I was subsequently restrained and drugged in the Jiamusi Mental Hospital for over 20 days.
Around the end of May 2008, less than a month after my release from the mental hospital, authorities from the local 610 Office, police station, and education department took me away from home once again and put me in the same hospital. There, a military veteran named Yang Xiaohua and a man named Ren ordered the nurse on duty to inject me with drugs every night.
After two months, I was transferred to the Wuchang Brainwashing Centre, since the torture at the mental hospital hadn't succeeded in making me give up my belief.
Wuchang Brainwashing Centre
I was transferred to the Wuchang Brainwashing Centre in August 2008, where I was handcuffed to the foot of a bed. A staff member put a picture of Teacher Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, on the floor and ordered me to squat on the picture.
I refused, “I won’t be so disrespectful as to squat on my teacher’s picture. What are you are doing is evil.” In response, the staff member beat me.
Many other detained Falun Gong practitioners and I were forced to watch brainwashing videos and TV programs, and write our thoughts after watching them. The mental torture at the brainwashing centre was even more difficult to endure than the physical and drug tortures in the detention centres and the Jiamusi Mental Hospital. I was finally released after a month.
Mental Hospital for the Seventh Time
After being released from the Wuchang Brainwashing Centre, I continued my efforts to let people know about the goodness of Falun Gong and the brutality of the persecution. I was arrested again in April 2011. Liu Shunchao and Wang Wei from the 610 Office, Qiang Gang from the Domestic Security Division, and Xu Xiaoming from the local police substation took me to the Qiyi Mental Hospital in Shuangyashan City.
There I was tied to a bed to be injected with drugs. When I went on a hunger strike to protest the psychiatric abuse, I was force-fed for eight days. The detention in the mental hospital lasted for two months. I was very weak when released.
Two months later, I was sent to the Shuangyashan Brainwashing Centre again.
In nearly 15 years of persecution, the CCP has tortured me many times, both mentally and physically. What I have written down are only limited details of the persecution I have endured. As one can imagine, being detained in a mental hospital with a large number of mentally ill people, in constant fear of painful electric shocks and forced to ingest nerve-damaging drugs, can easily make a healthy person insane.
Today, I want to expose the CCP’s evil persecution to the world so that people the world over will not be deceived by the CCP’s lies and propagandas. This brutal persecution of a group of honest people who live according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance could only happen in a repressive, dictatorial regime.
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