Sichuan Woman Recalls Three Years of Torture and Abuse in Chengdu Women's Prison
(Minghui.org) Ms. Guan Xuelin, 53, is from Leshan City, Sichuan Province. She was arrested on September 20, 2014, after being reported by an elderly man after she had talked to him about Falun Dafa.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a mind-body cultivation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Ms. Guan was sentenced to four years in prison at her second court hearing on March 13, 2015. She immediately filed an appeal but never received a response. Six months after filing the appeal, on September 21, 2015, she was taken to Chengdu Women's Prison in Sichuan Province.
All of the Falun Gong practitioners in the prison who refused to renounce their faith were brutally tortured.
Ms. Guan was forced to ingest unknown drugs for a long time. She suffered from the side effects of the drugs and her health eventually got so precarious that she passed out. Only then did the prison stop forcing her to take the drugs. She was also beaten, shocked with electric batons, deprived of sleep, forced to do hard labor, and forced to stand still for extended periods of time.
The following is Ms. Guan's personal account of her suffering at Chengdu Women's Prison.
No Response to Appeal
With help from an attorney, I filed an appeal with the Intermediate People's Court to protest my sentence. The lawyer even agreed to defend me at the trial. I might as well have thrown a stone into the sea, as the court has never responded.
Tortured with Unknown Drugs
I had to have a physical exam upon my arrival at the prison in September 2015. Due to the stress and fatigue of the difficult trip, I had symptoms of high blood pressure. I had been illness-free since I became a practitioner more than ten years before and refused to take any medicine the prison doctor prescribed.
The president of the prison hospital and the inmate leader who monitored prisoners threatened me until I was so traumatized that I unwillingly took the one red pill and one yellow pill.
The red pill made me dizzy and made me cough and itch all over. That lasted for three months until they stopped giving me that drug.
The doctor knew that I did not have high blood pressure but he still forced me to take the yellow pill. The side effects of the yellow pill took a toll on my health, and I passed out in the workshop. With the intervention of a guard leader, the hospital reluctantly agreed to suspend the drug for six months. But they forced me to sign a drug-cessation agreement every day.
After the drugs were stopped, I quickly regained my health. Surprisingly, during the six months I was drug-free, the hospital still recorded my prescriptions on file and destroyed the records of the signed drug-cessation agreement.
The inmates started to torture me mentally. I should have written a “petition statement” to complain about the unbearable persecution. Instead, because of fear, I wrote a controversial “change statement” against my conscience. As a Dafa practitioner, it was a heart wrenching thing to do.
I went astray in cultivation and was exploited, leading to terrible physical and mental pain. Over time, my symptoms of high blood pressure reappeared. I repeatedly demonstrated to the hospital and the inmates that I was fine and had no need for the drugs, but they did not believe me.
After I protested vehemently, the prison agreed that I could have an attorney notarize a statement asserting that I had stopped using the drugs of my own accord and would accept any possible consequences. However, the prison seized my letter to my family asking them to hire a lawyer. Then they did not let me call them for a follow-up.
I was in despair and had to ask guard Yang Yonghong, who was in charge of Falun Gong prisoners, to testify for me. I repeatedly asked her to witness that I was very healthy when I was first incarcerated. She said, “Yes, I know you were healthy, but I only follow the hospital's rules and have nothing to do with anything else.”
The guard called my family and deliberately lied, saying that I was seriously ill and refused to take the appropriate drugs. When my family asked for a medical parole, they were turned down with no negotiation.
Guard Yang threatened, “If you won't take the drugs by mouth voluntarily, I can easily have the inmates inject them intravenously.”
The Prison Education Department chief noted, “When a prisoner with high blood pressure dies, we usually just cremate the body.”
Relentless Beatings and Threats
I told the guards and the inmates the facts about Falun Gong. I said, “I used to suffer hereditary bronchitis, stomach issues, cholecystitis, and gynecological problems. I also injured my back and modern medicine was of no help. But all my ailments disappeared after I became a Falun Dafa practitioner in 1999.
“Since I have benefited from Falun Gong, I hope other people can be blessed by Dafa and be happy and illness-free like me. I was wrongly sentenced for telling people about Falun Dafa. I should have the legal right to an appeal.”
Guard Yang Yonghong said, “That is understandable. But you have to follow the prison system and copy the prison rules first.”
When I refused, two inmates who closely watched the prisoners slapped me and kicked me so hard that another inmate complained that they had gone too far.
Guard Yang then threatened, “If you do not follow the rules, I can shock you with electric batons anytime and no one will know about it. My people can use any form of torture on you to get the results I want.”
Special Detention and Strict Monitoring
In May of 2016, the prison ordered all Falun Gong practitioners to call themselves criminals in their reports. I refused to comply and was put under “special detention.” In addition to double routine work, I was not allowed to go to bed before 3:00 a.m. and was forced to get up at 5:30 a.m. to stand still every day.
Because of fatigue, I often fell asleep in the workshop. I was closely monitored by two inmates around the clock. Fatigue and close monitoring are devastating, and I was on the verge of collapse. Furthermore, the guards and inmates also forced me to participate in a qigong competition. Guard Yang threatened that my special detention period would be extended if I refused.
Several kind guards sympathized with the practitioners, but they did not dare to speak out. They said to us privately, “Those perpetrators will get retribution for their bad deeds. Human beings would not commit these crimes. They are really evil.”