To shed light on the injustices and brutality Falun Gong practitioners across China have been suffering, here are excerpts from 15 documented accounts of persecution.
They were all published on Minghui.org, an official Falun Gong website that acts as a clearinghouse for first-hand reports from China.
It is common in Minghui reports for the specific officers involved in persecuting practitioners to be personally named. It’s intended that these accounts will one day be used to bring perpetrators to justice. Exposing them by name can also sometimes frighten them into easing up on the persecution.
1. Law-Abiding Couple Snatched From Their Beds by Police
After a long day at work, Ms. Ma Fengxia slumped into bed for some much needed rest. Little did she know that it was to be short-lived. She saw flashlights swinging back and forth on her curtains, and suddenly her window burst open. Two men jumped through the window into her bedroom, screaming at her, “Hurry up! Get up right now!”
The men claimed to be police officers, and the startled Ms. Ma demanded: “Are you arresting me? What crime did I commit?” “We did not say you committed a crime, but you have to go with us.”
One of them opened the main door, and 10 more policemen rushed in. They went to her husband Wang Yun’s bedroom and forced him up, as well.
They searched the house and confiscated Dafa related books, two laptops, three printers, a DVD burner, Shen Yun DVDs and 500 yuan [$80] in cash.
Being snatched away by men bursting through your bedroom window in the middle of the night would be a nightmare scenario for many, but this was unfortunately nothing new for Ms. Ma and her husband. For Falun Gong practitioners all over China, this scenario is all too familiar.
Published June 21, 2014
2. Practitioners Tortured in Psychiatric Wards at Gongzhuling Prison
“Transformation” sessions lasting for three months were held in 2012 in the Gongzhuling Prison. A total of 14 practitioners, including Mr. Zhao Guoxing, Mr. Fu Hongwei, Mr. Bai Jingzhi, and Mr. Chen Liandong, were taken there because they refused to sign the “five statements” … to renounce Falun Gong.
With a 3,000-yuan [$485] reward for “transforming” a practitioner, Niu Guosheng, the prison warden, and Liu Xiangwu, deputy warden, instigated the guards to torture practitioners.
Practitioners were hung up, beaten, and kicked. They were tied to the fixed bed, shocked with electric batons, deprived of sleep, and threatened.
Close Watch Division
Any practitioners that could not be “transformed” at the transformation sessions were transferred to the close watch division and tortured. They had to sit on a tiny and narrow stool with their body straight and were not allowed to speak from 4:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The guards walked back and forth holding electric batons and shocked anyone they did not like. Almost everyone was shocked with the electric baton. Practitioners Mr. Zhao Guoxing, Mr. Fu Hongwei, Mr. Wang Wenyuan, and Mr. Yang Baosen were tortured in the close watch division.
Published June 6, 2014
3. Elderly Female Practitioner in Dire Condition after 7 Months in Detention
Ms. Huang Qiaoqin’s life is likely in danger after being detained for seven months. She now weighs about 80 pounds, down from her normal weight of around 150, and is emaciated.
Ms. Huang, a resident of the Xuhui District in Shanghai, is in her 60s. Local police arrested her on November 25, 2013, and ransacked her home the same night. She was taken to the Xuhui District Detention Center.
She was not allowed to do the Falun Gong exercises in the detention center, and her health deteriorated. Pustules and sores grew inside her ear, causing excruciating pain. The doctor in the prison hospital said that they could not operate to remove the pustules, so she nearly lost her hearing.
Ms. Huang also developed eye problems and is now almost blind. Her blood sugar levels are too high, and her teeth are so loose that she has trouble eating. Because of her teeth, she is only given a small amount of porridge at each meal.
Published July 15, 2014
4. Threatened With Organ Harvesting
As I was going around putting up truth clarification [anti-persecution awareness] stickers in Dongfangbei Village on March 14, 2014, Qin Wentao, a plainclothes officer noticed what I was doing and followed me on his motorcycle. Wang Songlin and Wang Guozheng came in a police van and took me to the village police station. They said that they were in charge of arresting Falun Gong practitioners.
I was later taken to the Chengtuo Town Police Station and locked in a small room. A female officer searched me and took all of the cash that I had on me.
I was transferred to the Dianzi Brainwashing Center, where Liu Jingbing handcuffed me to a metal bed frame. Liu and officers Cheng Jiangtao and Zhang Cheng from the Laizhou 610 Office took turns interrogating me. I told Zhang that I was on my period and needed some sanitary pads. He agreed to get some, but did not return.
When Cheng Jiangtao came into the room, I asked to go to the restroom so I wouldn’t dirty the bedsheets. But he simply said, “Don’t think about going anywhere if you don’t give us a confession.”
At around 10:00 p.m. I dragged the bed to the window. I opened it and shouted to the guards: “It is my right to have freedom of belief. Unlock these handcuffs. I need to use the restroom.” I could heard them playing mahjong, but they ignored me.
I could no longer hold it and urinated in the room. Cheng tried to humiliate me by saying, “You practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Why didn’t you hold it?”
Cheng Jiangtao told me that my mother was in the waiting room and wanted to see me. But Cheng said that I first had to answer their questions to record a confession. When I went to the waiting room 20 minutes later, my mother had already gone home. Cheng said that the previous night a practitioner had come to the brainwashing center to look for me and requested my release, but to no avail.
On the way back to the office, Cheng asked me if I had put information about live organ harvesting in my informational materials. He then threatened me, “You are so young, your kidneys should be excellent. We might remove both of them. If you still don’t cooperate, we will take you to Jinan City Prison, where your organs will be harvested.”
5. Harvard Grad Faces Illegal Trial in Shanghai
Ms. Chen Ping, a Harvard University graduate, is facing an illegal trial for her belief in Falun Gong, after six months of detention. Her lawyer was given less than two weeks’ notice that her trial was scheduled. …
Prior Arrest of Ms. Chen Ping
Ms. Chen Ping graduated with a master’s degree from Harvard University in 2002. Prior to her arrest, she worked as a medical adviser at a hospital in Ningbo City.
Ms. Chen Ping was reported to the police in July 2012 for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was arrested by officers from Changning Domestic Security Division and detained for 15 days. She was released after her family paid the authorities 50,000 yuan [$8,054].
6. Déjà Vu of Cultural Revolution: Retired Teacher Tortured by Former Students
National Public Radio reported in February 2014 that some Red Guards (a communist group composed largely of students during the Cultural Revolution) had issued public apologies to their teachers for whipping them with leather belts during the Cultural Revolution.
The case of former students torturing Ms. Guo Ren’ai, a retired middle school teacher and Falun Dafa practitioner, induces a sense of déjà vu in today’s China.
Ms. Guo, 66, was illegally arrested and detained on multiple occasions due to her belief in Falun Dafa. Most recently Ms. Guo was snatched off the street by police on July 25, 2013. She was brutally tortured, and sustained severe injuries during a 15-day detention at the County Forest Bureau Detention Center.
Shockingly, the chief tormentors were her former students at the No. 4 Middle School affiliated with Huanan County Forest Bureau in Heilongjiang Province, including Yang Zhaobin, chief of Hua’nan County Forest Bureau Police Station; Wang Zhisen, director of Huanan County Forest Bureau Detention Center; and He Wenfa, a guard at Huanan County Forest Bureau Detention Center.
7. Open Letter: ‘Get me out of this hell’
Mr. Zhang’s Open Letter: A Desperate Plea for Help
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I’m writing to seek help and relief of my current situation. I am a Falun Gong practitioner in China, currently detained in prison. I have written letters to the Chinese authorities, but haven’t heard anything back. Therefore, I can only write to the kind people outside of China and hope to obtain some assistance.
I was arrested by the WuhanCity police in HubeiProvince on May 5, 2011, at my workplace. The plainclothes policemen covered my head with a black plastic bag and detained me at the Provincial Legislative Education Center (a brainwashing center targeting Falun Gong practitioners).
I was subjected to multiple severe tortures at the brainwashing center. They beat me as if I was a sand bag. For 15 consecutive days, I was not allowed to sleep or eat. I was forced to keep standing and was subjected to force-feedings twice a day.
During the force-feedings, they tied me up and repeatedly inserted the feeding pipe into my nose and stirred it, while simultaneously beating me. The evildoers seemed to be excited when seeing me suffer in pain. My whole body was swollen due to long-term standing and lack of sleep. My feet were so bloated that I could not fit into my shoes. My genitals were swollen as well.
I have been trying to meet with my attorney and expose the mistreatment I’ve suffered in the prison. However, the prison has blocked such meetings because the guards are afraid of their crimes being exposed.
Hereby I plead for your assistance to call on the Chinese authorities to restore my freedom and bring the evildoers to justice.
Falun Gong practitioner: Zhang Weijie
8. Tortured by Being Buried in Snow
In Hebei Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp, guards forced practitioners to sit on the snowy ground and covered them with snow up to their heads. This was also done in Harbin Women’s Prison, where a 60-year-old practitioner was covered in snow up to her neck.
Mr. Chen Aizhong is from Canfangying Village, Beixinbao Township, Huailai County, Hebei Province. When he went to Beijing to appeal in 2001 during the New Year holiday, he was arrested and held at the Dongbeiwang Detention Center. The guards stripped off his clothes and tied him to a tree in the yard. His feet were in deep snow and he suffered severe frostbite to his legs and feet. For seven days and four nights he was beaten with clubs, had his face slapped, was shocked with electric batons, and was deprived of sleep. Afterwards, Mr. Chen could no longer stand.
Published May 7, 2014
9. Judge Repeatedly Interrupts Defense
During a recent makeshift court hearing against Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Xiuyun, the chief judge repeatedly interrupted her attorney’s defense. The judge also tried to pressure the attorney to “hand in the defense script and stop the defense,” threatening him with a lawsuit from the Beijing Judiciary Bureau.
Ms. Wang pled not guilty to the trumped-up charge “Using a cult organization to undermine the implementation of the law.” Her attorney, Mr. Xie, pointed out that there are no laws in China that define Falun Gong as a cult. Furthermore, the entire Domestic Security Division arrest process, as well as evidence and verification of evidence, were illegal. There were no informants, no evidence of illegal or harmful activity, and during the arrest the officers didn’t produce a search warrant or their police IDs.
Spectators were outraged by the chief judge’s repeated interference with the defense. One stood up and protested: “What kind of judge are you? Why don’t you let the attorney present his defense?” This spectator was forcibly taken out of courtroom by police officers.
The trial ended after 11:00 a.m. on the same day without a verdict.
Ms. Wang Xiuyun was arrested on June 27, 2013. She has been in prison for nearly eight months.
Published April 24, 2014
10. Police Detain Practitioner’s Wife to Use as Leverage Against Him
Officers from the Xiong County Domestic Security Division in Hebei Province illegally arrested Ms. Bai Ailou, the wife of Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Han Hongzhi, on Dec. 17, 2013. The police told Ms. Bai’s attorney that if Mr. Han turned himself in, his wife would be released; otherwise she would be sentenced to prison.
The Xiong County Procuratorate turned the case against Ms. Bai over to the Xiong County Police Station because of insufficient evidence. However, the police refused to release Ms. Bai, claiming that they needed more time to investigate and resubmit the case—a delaying tactic to buy time for their blatantly illegal actions.
Published April 12, 2014
11. After Being Persecuted to Near Death, Practicing Falun Gong Restores Health
Yuan Dong, deputy chief, plus over a dozen police officers from the Qixing Police Department, broke into my home around 11:00 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2011. Without an explanation they took me to the Qinglongshan Brainwashing Center in Heilongjiang Land Reclamation Bureau.
I was released after 42 days of detention. On my return home, my body ached and I had a sore stomach. I went to the hospital three weeks later and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. It cost 23,000 yuan [$3,700] for the surgery and they removed three-quarters of my stomach. I was in a coma for four days and unable to walk for more than three weeks. I was in so much agony that I lost the will to live.
When I first took up the practice in 1997, I became very healthy. Thus, I finally decided to resume the practice and was once again restored good health within six weeks.
At the end of 2012, Fang Yuechun, director of the brainwashing center, harassed me again and tried force me to renounce my belief in Falun Gong.
The persecution, which is still going on, nearly took my life and brought great harm and financial loss to my family.
Published April 3, 2014
12. Physician Pressured to Give Up Falun Gong to Attend Daughter’s Graduation in the US
Falun Gong practitioner Dr. Li Hongxiang, a gynecologist from Laixi City, was changing planes at the Beijing Airport in December 2013, on her way to her daughter’s Master’s graduation in the United States, when she was told that her passport was no longer valid.
She was told by the Laixi City 610 Office that she had to write a guarantee statement renouncing Falun Gong before her passport could be reinstated. This was but one instance of the persecution that she has endured over the past 15 years.
Discrimination at Work
The hospital where Dr. Li worked has withheld over 10,000 yuan [$1,610] from her since the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999. The hospital authorities refused to pay her salary for three months starting in December 1999, and they only paid her 300 yuan [$48] each month afterward. Later, they transferred her to a village hospital.
Dr. Li was disqualified from a promotion exam in 2005 even though she had very high scores. She was also ranked last in year-end evaluations in 2006 for refusing to report to the hospital president before leaving Laixi City.
The hospital issued a regulation in January 2007 that banned Falun Gong practitioners from holding any middle management positions. She was forced to resign as deputy director of the gynecology department and was transitioned to the logistics office in March 2008.
Published April 2, 2014
13. Ms. Huo Meilian Dies 2 Days After Home Ransacked
Ms. Huo Meilian passed away two days after the police invaded and ransacked her home. Ms. Huo was recovering from a serious illness at home when officers with the Domestic Security Division of Xincheng District Police Department of Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, illegally entered.
Ms. Huo’s husband, Mr. Chen Mingan, demanded that the intruding officers be held accountable and punished. Pan Li of the Domestic Security Division refused to shoulder any responsibility and threatened the family.
Pan Li sent officers to the crematorium to monitor the situation in case other Falun Gong practitioners showed up. Mr. Chen decided to postpone the cremation of his wife’s remains in protest.
Published March 20, 2014
14. Retired Teacher Sentenced to 3 Years and Stripped of Pension Done
Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Yang Ruiping is a retired teacher from Kungang Third Elementary School in Anning City, Yunnan Province. The police arrested her for distributing Falun Dafa materials in 2009. She was sentenced to three years in prison after an illegal trial in 2010. While she was in prison, the authorities forced her to sign an agreement to give up her pension, medical coverage, and labor insurance.
Ms. Yang, 53, began to practice Falun Dafa in 1997 and regained her health. In 1999 she retired and used her free time to help clarify the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong to people she met.
Published July 14, 2014
15. 10 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested, Robbed by Police
Ten Falun Gong practitioners from the Hecheng District, Huaihua City in Hunan Province have been arrested and detained recently. Officers confiscated large quantities of personal belongings and more than 60,000 yuan [$9,665] in cash. So far, only one practitioner has been released.
Published April 28, 2014