Beijing Women’s Prison
Beijing Women's Prison is 16 miles from the National Speed Skating Oval being used during the Olympics, where the speed skating event is held.
Also known as Tiantanghe or Daxing, Beijing Women’s prison is a multi-story facility sitting on 4 acres of land in southeast Beijing. It was formed in August 1999 and is the only prison in Beijing dedicated to detention of female Falun Gong practitioners.
Four out of the 11 total sections are specially reserved for detaining and re-educating Falun Gong practitioners in this prison. The remaining empty floors are for the isolated detention of those Falun Gong practitioners who did not want to renounce their beliefs. Over the past years, numerous Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted to death, injured, or disabled during their detainment here.
Notable Prisoners of Conscience
Mrs. Xu Na was illegally detained in July 2020, and held at this facility. On January 14, 2022 she was sentenced to eight years in prison. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
This is not the first time she has been jailed in Beijing Women’s Prison. Xu was previously sentenced here in 2001 to five years, where she suffered from torture in the notorious “7th branch” of the Beijing Women’s Prison. She was also put in solitary confinement, deprived of sleep, not allowed to take showers, and denied family visits. Xu wrote about her experiences in a memoir transmitted out of China here.
In 2008, her husband, Yu Zhou, was tortured to death at the Beijing City Tongzhou District Detention Center.
CSW’s Founder and President Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW condemns the sentencing of Falun Gong artist Xu Na, who, like Fang Bin and Zhang Zhan, has been targeted for risking her own personal safety to reveal the truth in a time of crisis. We call for her immediate and unconditional release, and for the release of all those detained for the sharing of information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also call on the Chinese government to respect its international legal obligations and end the persecution of the Falun Gong, including by immediately and unconditionally releasing all those detained in connection with their religion or belief, including Falun Gong practitioners. As Beijing prepares for another Olympics, it is essential that the international community pays close attention to China’s ongoing human rights crisis, raising cases like that of Xu Na, Fang Bin and Zhang Zhan with the Chinese Communist Party at every opportunity.”
At least sixteen medical professionals, including physicians and nurses, were detained and persecuted here for their faith in Falun Gong between 2000 and 2013.
- Dr. Dong Cui, also known as Dong Cuifang, was a pediatrician at Beijing Shunyi District Maternal and Child Health Hospital. Dr. Dong and her fiancé, Mr. Shen Wenjie (29, a pilot at Beijing Capital Airport) were arrested in 2001 for passing out pamphlets about the persecution. They were both sentenced to five-year prison terms in 2002.
She was transferred here on March 11, 2003. On the morning of March 19, a guard instructed inmates Li Xiaobing, Li Xiaomei, Jin Hongwei, and two others to take Dr. Dong to an empty shower room and beat her. Dr. Dong died a few hours later. Her body had black and blue bruises all over, her legs were swollen, and the muscle and bone were separated on her right shoulder.
An autopsy by Beijing Legal Medical Identification Center determined that Dr. Dong was beaten to death. Her family began a lawsuit, but the prison bribed and coerced them to withdraw it. The prison claimed she died of “natural causes.”
- Dr. Yu Peiling was a graduate of Beijing Medical School. She was a clinician at Beijing Friendship Hospital before she was sent to Beijing Women’s Prison. She was sentenced three separate times between 2000-2016, serving a total of ten years in prison since the persecution of Falun Gong started.
Dr. Yu never yielded to the abuse and she never gave up her belief. She was released in 2007 and became homeless. Her husband divorced her out of fear.
Ms. Geng Jin’e, 64 years old, was a Falun Gong practitioner in Haidian District, Beijing. In 2007, Geng Jin’e was kidnapped while telling people about Falun Gong on a bus and was unjustly sentenced to four years in prison.
In 2008, she was sent to the 4th section of Beijing Daxing Women’s Prison for forced “re-education.” Two years later, on June 10, 2010, she was found dead after repeated torture.