Imprisoned Practitioner Forced to Eat and Drink from Toilet Bowl at Jilin Women's Prison
(Minghui.org) For many days in a row, Ms. Zhang Yan was ordered to eat in a restroom of Jilin Women's Prison, where she is serving a four-year sentence for refusing to give up Falun Gong, a spiritual practice being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
At mealtime, her tormentors tossed a sponge cake into the toilet bowl and scattered some pickled vegetables on the floor of the restroom. They watched Ms. Zhang scoop the cake up and pick up the vegetables with her bare hands. She would starve if she refused to eat the food. Anyone trying to sneak some food to her would be punished.
The guards devised the abuse because they failed to make Ms. Zhang renounce her belief in Falun Gong. Despite this humiliation and other forms of torture, she remains firm in her faith and continually tells guards and inmates why the persecution of Falun Gong is wrong.
Below is an account of Ms. Zhang's ordeal since her arrest two years ago.
Arrested and Given Four-Year Sentence
Ms. Zhang, 44, a Falun Gong practitioner from Meihekou City, was arrested on the night of December 27, 2013 as she was distributing materials to raise awareness of the persecution.
Ms. Zhang was first detained at the Meihekou Detention Center where she was brutally beaten. In May 2014, she was sentenced to four years in prison. She was sent to the Jilin Women's Prison in October 2014, where the abuse worsened.
Prison Food: Sponge Caked Soaked in Toilet Water
Most prisoners are given a piece of sponge cake and salted vegetables for breakfast every day. A handful of prisoners who need to be watched closely have cake and salted vegetables at every meal.
For Ms. Zhang, the monitors [inmates assigned to keep a close watch on her] gave her only half the rations at each meal in an attempt to torture and transform her. At times she would receive half of the cake only once every two or three days.
The cake was first thrown into the toilet bowl and the salted vegetables dropped on the restroom floor. The monitors then ordered her to walk into the restroom to pick up the food.
The monitors did not allow Ms. Zhang to buy any food nor let anyone give her any. If anyone did, that person would be reported to the team leader and taken away to be watched closely.
If Ms. Zhang wanted to drink water or wash her face, she had to scoop water from the toilet bowl. The monitors forbade her from getting close to the basin or near the eating place.
The inhuman treatment ended after someone reported it to the officers. Ms. Zhang, however, was still only given sponge cake and pickled vegetables for every meal.
Long-time Standing Torture Results in Lump on Leg
The Jilin Women's Prison is known for torturing Falun Gong practitioners. For nearly a year, Ms. Zhang was tortured by being forced to stand for 16 to 17 hours a day. A prison doctor warned the monitors against continued standing torture after diagnosing Ms. Zhang with urinary tract infection and edema.
The monitors next switched to another torture. They tried to force Ms. Zhang to sit on a small tool but noticed that she could no longer sit down. A large lump had developed on the back of her thigh. She was once again sent to the hospital for an examination.
The doctor examining Ms. Zhang warned that her life “would be in danger” if she did not get enough rest. The guards stopped torturing Ms. Zhang after this.
Ms. Zhang was finally allowed to rest in bed. She had previously been deprived of sleep each time she lay on the bed—monitors jabbed her with a pen when she closed her eyes.
No Treatment Given for a Growing Stomach Tumor
As the lump on her thigh was huge and painful, Ms. Zhang had to lie on her stomach. Within two months, she could not even lie face down, as her stomach was now swelling.
Her family learned later that the prison doctor found a small tumor in her stomach in October 2014 when she was given a medical examination upon entering the prison, yet the authorities never provided Ms. Zhang with any medical attention.
Today Ms. Zhang looks like a heavily pregnant woman, but she is still receiving no medical care.
Other Forms of Abuse
There were more tortures. Ms. Zhang was stripped of her thick clothes during the winter and made to sit on the concrete floor wearing thin clothing from 5 a.m. to midnight every day. Her blanket was also taken away. At times the monitors dragged her to the restroom and put her into a big tub of icy cold water.
Ms. Zhang is also sometimes deprived of the use of restroom, causing her to wet her pants. The monitors then mock her for having body odor.