Chaoyang Detention Center
Chaoyang Detention Center is 10 miles from the National Stadium being used during the Olympics, where the opening and closing ceremonies were held in 2008 and 2022.
Active since the beginning of the persecution in 1999, police here were extremely brutal towards Falun Gong practitioners. Females were forcibly undressed, young and old were equally beaten until they were bloody, countless men left this detention center with broken bones, and nearly all of them were prohibited from using the restroom. Instead, guards used a torture method called “the big board” where they forced practitioners to take off their trousers and tied them to a wooden board. One practitioner had “menstrual blood and urine” streaming down a wooden board that was tied around her legs as a policewoman stuffed her dirty socks into her mouth and taped it shut.
Practitioners who didn’t reveal their names were beaten severely to the point that their bodies were covered with bruises. Some practitioners’ faces were beaten until they were unrecognizable, and some practitioners were splashed with cold water and placed outside to freeze. Others were sent to police stations to be beaten until they were covered with wounds, only to be returned later. Some policemen even set fire to their spiritual texts and images. When practitioners threw themselves on the fire to extinguish it and save the pictures, they were beaten severely.
Featured Prisoners of Conscience
Ms. Zhai Zihui, a native of Faku County, Liaoning Province, was a dance teacher in Beijing since 2013. She took up Falun Gong in 2019 and was summoned by the police months later, in August, for sending messages to a friend about Falun Gong through WeChat.
On April 17, 2021, Ms. Gu Xiaohua’s home was ransacked by police and they confiscated her Falun Gong books along with a dozen cellphones.
The 72-year-old Beijing resident was tried by the Chaoyang District Court on April 19, 2021 for her faith in Falun Gong. Her lawyer wasn’t allowed to defend her in court.
For more than a year, the Chaoyang District Detention Center refused to allow Ms. Gu’s lawyer to visit her. The lawyer applied with the court several times to release Ms. Gu on bail, but was refused by the judge.