Eyewitness account of Ms. Wei Jun, Heilongjiang

Name: Wei Jun (??)
Gender: Female
Address: Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province
Occupation: Unknown
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 22, 2008
Most Recent Place of Detention: Heilongjiang Women’s Prison (also known as Harbin Women’s Prison) (????????)
City: Harbin
Province: Heilongjiang

[Editor’s note: Ms. Wei Jun, a Falun Gong practitioner from Daqing City in Heilongjiang Province, has been detained four times since the persecution began in 1999 and held for long periods twice. Most recently, she was abducted towards the tail end of the Beijing Olympics in August 2008 and was subsequently sentenced after a meaningless trial to five years in a prison camp. She is currently being held at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison. According to sources inside China who smuggled out her account, she was paralyzed due to torture for a period of time and at present, still suffers from numbness in her lower back and has difficulty walking. She has also lost feeling in her fingers and suffers from severe itching caused by skin inflammation. The following is Ms. Wei’s narration of some of the episodes of persecution that she has experienced since 1999. Of particular note in her account are the details she provides of those perpetrating abuses against her, including the names of judges and prison wardens.]

1. Torture sessions at Heilongjiang Province Forced Labor Camp

In early October 2001, I was seized and taken to the Heilongjiang Province Drug Rehabilitation Center [another name for the forced labor camp] and detained there for three years. During this time, I was forced to undergo “transformation.” I was also subjected to various forms of torture, such as sitting on an iron chair for eight days and seven nights, being handcuffed and hung up for one night, and being forced to squat for long periods at a time. I was only given one meal a day, was not allowed to wash or bathe for 13 days, and was denied any blankets or change of clothing.

In November 2003, the labor camp intensified the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners held there. I was taken to an underground cell along with 90 other practitioners who refused to be “transformed.” Our heads were shaven bald. We were force-fed salt water; our hands were handcuffed; and we had to do military squats. We were drenched in ice-cold water and were exposed to cold wind let in through open windows, in addition to being subjected to other forms of torture. Some practitioners passed out from the torture; some became mentally unstable; and some were tortured to death. Guard Wang Dan shocked practitioners with electric batons nonstop for 4 hours. Some practitioners were forced to do military squats, and if they could not maintain the position, they were forced to sit in a basin of cold water. This intensified persecution session lasted for over three months.

2. Beaten and Forced to Do Manual Labor While in Detention; My House Looted by Police

On August 22, 2008, I was arrested by officers from the Babaishang Police Station in Daqing City and the Daqing National Security Team. They ransacked my home and confiscated many items, including a laptop my child used for school, a cell phone, a printer, Falun Gong books, and the Falun Gong founder’s portrait. My house was turned upside down.

I was taken to Daqing Detention Center. On the way there, police officer Zhang Zhonghua pulled out my hair by the handful. At the detention center, I was searched and forced to undergo a blood test, and my photo was taken against my will. I had to pay exorbitant prices for inferior-quality blankets sold by the detention center. They also forced me to pay 2,500 yuan [about US$400] for five months-worth of boxed meals. During my detention, I was forced to make car mats.

On November 6, 2008, I was put on trial at the Honggang District Court in Daqing. The court’s head judge forbade me from making statements or hiring a lawyer to defend myself. I was sentenced to five years of imprisonment [after this sham trial]. Zhang Xiuren was the presiding judge. Shi Bochuan, Qi Yanhua, and other officials participated in the trial.

I appealed to the Daqing City Intermediate Court, but they upheld the judgement. Presiding judge Chen Shiyu and judge Yang Jing handled the case.

3. Cruelly Beaten and Denied Visitation Rights at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison

On January 24, 2009, I was taken to the No. 11 Ward at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison. Prison wardens stepped on me and forced me to wear prison clothes. Head of the ward Wang Yali personally instigated criminal inmates to tie me up with tape and stuff a towel in my mouth. Convict Gu Liqun forced me to wear prison clothes, and when I resisted, my left hand was twisted and injured.

Wang Yali refused to allow my family to visit me. Letters between me and my family were held back by the prison for several months. Prison officers also took money from my bank account without permission, claiming it was payment for summer clothes.

4. Zhao Huihua of Prison’s No. 10 Ward Ordered Convicts to Beat Me

After April 22, the prison started another round of intensified and brutal persecution of practitioners.By then I had been transferred to the No. 10 Ward. Head of the ward Zhao Huihua and prison warden Zhao Xiaofan searched me and took away my personal belongings. They forced criminal inmates Li Haipo and others to stamp the character for “convict” on my clothes. My trousers and leg were stamped with the character. Every morning prisoners Fu Zhongxiu and Chen Yanli forced me to wear prison clothes; then prisoners Gao Fuyan and Zhao Fangqing bound me, tying my hands and taping my mouth shut with sticky tape. Gao Fuyan also slapped me in the face every day, lifted me up and then threw me onto the ground, and stripped off my pants. During this time, orisoner Zhang Yan verbally abused me and beat me. Prisoners Fu Zhongxiu, Liu Zhenzhi, Chen Yanli, Deng Zhongyan, Zhang Yan, and others humiliated me.