Ms. He Lianchun of Mengzi City, Yunnan Province, suffered from a heart problem and severe sciatic nerve pain that made it difficult for her to walk. After she began to practice Falun Gong in June 1996, she recovered from her ailments.
Three years later, however, the Chinese communist regime initiated a national campaign to eradicate Falun Gong in China. Because she refused to renounce her faith and refused to stop raising awareness about the persecution that targeted millions of practitioners like her, Ms. He was sentenced to prison twice, in 2001 and again in 2009, for a total of 17 years. The authorities also forced her husband to divorce her and then arranged for him to quickly re-marry.
After serving ten years in prison, Ms. He returned home on February 2, 2019. The 49-year-old woman recounted the horrific tortures she endured during her lengthy term.
Below is her own account.
Ms. He Lianchun
Arrested for Distributing Information, Tortured in Detention Center
I was arrested on January 23, 2009, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. The police took me to Mengzi City Detention Center that night. Because I didn’t cooperate when they interrogated me, they slapped my face, grabbed my hair, and hit my head against the wall. They made me wear 22-pound shackles for a month. My feet were injured and oozed pus. I went on a hunger strike to protest and was force fed. I became very weak and my health deteriorated.
Sentenced to 10 Years and Forced to Divorce
I was later taken to a brainwashing facility by 610 Office agents. More than 10 officers, including 610 Office agents, police, and staff members from the local residential committee, took turns monitoring and trying to brainwash me. They attempted to force me to give up my faith.
Yang Xiuying, the head of the 610 Office, threatened me, saying that they would make sure I was given a long sentence if I didn’t write the statement to renounce Falun Gong. If I did write it, they said I could go home immediately. I refused to comply and was sentenced to 10 years by the Honghezhou Intermediate Court. My parents were kept in the dark when all of this was going on.
After the verdict was handed down, the 610 Office forced my husband to divorce me. He was given possession of all of our belongings and custody of our daughter. The 610 Office then arranged for my husband to re-marry another woman right away.
Horrific Methods of Torture in Prison
I was taken to Yunnan Province No.2 Women’s Prison on October 15, 2009. Because I didn’t renounce my faith, I was put under strict management for five years. During that time my access to water and use of the restroom were restricted and I was deprived of sleep.
I held more than 20 hunger strikes to protest and was force-fed hundreds of times, resulting in severe injuries. I was in critical condition twice.
Sitting on a Tiny Stool
Falun Gong practitioners who refused to renounce their faith in the prison were subjected to strict management or held in solitary confinement.
The guards forced me to sit on a tiny stool, about 20cm by 6cm, each day. My buttocks hurt as if they were being stabbed by hundreds of needles. When I couldn’t sit still, the inmates verbally abused me. Because I kept moving, one inmate grabbed my hair and pushed me onto the floor. She beat and stomped on me.
I held a hunger strike to protest and they didn’t make me sit on the tiny stool again.
Denied Restroom Use
During the strict management period, the guards didn’t let me use the restroom unless I admitted I was a criminal and reported to them before I went. I refused to comply.
I tried not to drink water during the day to limit the need to go to the restroom. I would use the restroom after the guards went to sleep or before they got up.
One time I couldn’t hold it any longer after lunch and rushed into the restroom. Before I could relieve myself, the inmates dragged me into the hallway, stomped on me, and hit my head. When I covered my head, they hit my abdomen. They also used a boot to hit me all over.
On another occasion, I relieved myself in a wastebasket. The inmates pushed my head into the urine and kicked me. I had bruises all over.
Sometimes I was forced to relieve myself in my pants.
Not Allowed to Take Showers or Buy Daily Necessities
In addition to the physical torture, the guards also used more subtle ways to torture me, including not allowing me to take showers or buy daily necessities, such as toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, or laundry detergent.
Similar to the restroom torture, the guards forced me to report to them as a criminal. I refused to comply and was denied my basic rights.
After not taking a shower for months, I really smelled bad. All the inmates in my room began to blame me. I told them it wasn’t that I didn’t want to take a shower, the guards didn’t let me. The inmates couldn’t endure the smell anymore and appealed to the guards. They finally let me take showers once in a while.
Because I wasn’t allowed to buy sanitary pads, I had to use newspaper or any other paper I could find when I had my period.
Hundreds of Force Feedings
Because I didn’t have any way to seek justice in the prison, I decided to protest the persecution with hunger strikes. The inmates force fed me hundreds of times, causing me great injury.
Several inmates held me while one inserted the feeding tube. None of them had any medical training, so my nose and mouth always bled. As time went by, my nose and throat festered and it became very difficult for me to swallow.
The inmates once left the feeding tube in me for a long time. I couldn’t stand the pain and pulled it out. Then they held me down, forced my mouth open with a spoon, and then dumped the food into my mouth. The pain was excruciating.
After being on a hunger strike for a long time and bleeding during the force feedings, I became very weak and was hospitalized in September 2010. It was not until the doctor issued a critical condition notice did the prison inform my parents about my condition.
But the guards didn’t allow my parents to visit me until two years later. After repeated requests, my parents finally saw me on September 25, 2012. I hadn’t had a shower for a long time when they came. My hair was matted, there was a thick layer of dirt on my hands, and my face was yellowish. Only then did my parents learn about all the torture I had suffered for not renouncing my faith.
Two years later, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. In addition to force feeding me with liquid food, the inmates also fed me unknown drugs. My teeth became loose after the feedings. I was emaciated and extremely weak.
The guards told my parents to visit me again on June 5, 2014. This time, they attempted to get my parents to persuade me to take medicine, fearing that I might die from the ailments induced by the torture. My parents didn’t agree, so the guards again restricted their visits.
Beginning on June 10, 2016, the inmates force fed me three times a day. They inserted a huge spoon into my mouth and then down into my throat. My esophagus was severely injured. I vomited blood several times a day.
Beaten by the Inmates
One inmate wrote slander about Falun Gong and its teacher on slips of paper. She then put the paper on the wall in front of my bed. After I took the paper down, several inmates surrounded me and dragged me off the bed. They beat and kicked me. I shouted, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good!” One inmate covered my head with a pillow to stop me from shouting. I almost suffocated. I had injuries all over afterward. But when I complained to the guards, they didn’t do anything about it.
My father visited me on June 14, 2016, and saw the bruises on my face, arms, and legs. I told him about the force feedings. After that visit, my parents hired a lawyer to file a complaint against the prison for torturing me.
In retaliation, the guards held two meetings to denounce me and refused to allow anyone to visit me.
My sister brought my daughter, who hadn’t seen me for nearly four years, to visit me on July 20 and 27, 2016, but they were sent away both times.
This article was published on Minghui.org