Ms. Liu Lihua, 61, Shandong
Name: Liu Lihua (???)
Occupation: Retired teacher
Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 14, 2009
Date of Most Recent Release: September 30, 2009
Date of Death: January 28, 2010
City: Fushan District, Yantai
Most Recent Place of Detention: Yantai Developing Zone Second Detention Center (???????????)
Prior to her last detention, Ms. Liu had been taken in to custody on multiple occasions and spent time in forced conversion centers and prison camps. In 2005, Ms. Liu was interviewed by prominent attorney Gao Zhisheng. Gao subsequently relayed her testimony in the first of his open letters to Chinese Communist Party leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao about the persecution suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in October 2005 (see excerpts below).
On March 14, 2009, Ms. Liu was detained again for distributing informational materials about the persecution against Falun Gong. The police held her for six months at Yantai Developing Zone Second Detention Center, during which time she was severely abused.
Ms. Liu’s husband attempted to visit her on multiple occasions, but was repeatedly denied access to his wife. Ms. Liu was then secretly “sentenced” to five years in a prison camp following a sham trial. She was taken to Jinan Women’s Prison, but the prison authorities refused to accept her due to her poor physical condition following the abuse suffered at the detention center.
She was therefore released on September 30, 2009. However, she never recovered from the abuse and died on the evening of January 28 in the hospital after having collapsed the previous day.
Excerpts from Gao Zhisheng’s open letter (for the full text, see here)
“A retired teacher Ms. Liu Li (by her request I am not using her real name here) quietly sat down and talked for almost two hours straight. She said:
‘I was first arrested in June 2001. After one year of torture my health became very poor, so they released me. After I was released in 2003, I found that since 2000 all of my wages had been confiscated by the 610 Office. I talked to the staff at the 610 Office and our school director many times. I cannot even remember how many times, and the issue is still unresolved.
My husband was also jailed due to his practice of Falun Gong. He lost his memory as a result of brutal torture in jail. The whereabouts of our only bank account records, which he used to take care of, is unknown since our home was ransacked. He could not remember the account number. During the 2003 Spring Festival, I gave 100 yuan [U.S.$12.50], which was all I had, to my husband, who was in jail. My daughter and I had not a single penny left during the Chinese New Year.
In June 2003, four to five policemen came to ransack our home. They found two Falun Gong books, and so they forcefully took me to the local police station and beat me. I asked why police were allowed to beat people. They were yelling while beating me: ‘Beat you–so what!’ They interrogated me for a whole day and night. One policeman whose surname is Zhang said, ‘If you do not confess, you will really have bad luck!’ He copied a written statement from another policeman’s writing and asked me to sign my name, but I refused. He then signed my name himself. The other policeman with the surname Chen could not stand watching this and asked, ‘Why did you sign her name since she refused?’
He gnashed his teeth and said, ‘I’ll let her suffer badly.’ Later they used this fake record made in front of me to detain me for 15 days. I was then sent to the Fushan Brainwashing Center. At the brainwashing session they did not allow me to sleep, and forced me to ‘reform.’ By January 2002, I still had not ‘reformed,’ and so they used that fake record and directly sentenced me to one year in prison.
Wang Yuefeng, director of the 610 Office, sent me to a labor camp. The labor camp did a physical examination on me. Because my health was so poor, they refused to accept me, but Wang Yuefeng insisted on the forced labor camp taking me. They whispered for a while, and then a doctor gave me an injection. I resisted, so four to five people pushed me to a bed and forcibly gave me the injection. In the end, they saw that my physical condition was too poor, and I was sent back by Wang.
On Nov. 20, 2002, I went to the Communist Party Committee in Fushan Town once again to ask the mayor of the town, Mr. Che, about the illegal confiscation of my salary. I arrived at Che’s office, and after I introduced myself, he stood up and went out. After I waited for a long time, he came back and told me: ‘I will let Secretary Zhao talk to you. You need to go to his office.’ So I went to Zhao’s office.
Immediately after I entered the door about four or five policemen rushed in from outside and dragged me into their car without giving any reason. They forcefully took me to the Fushan Brainwashing Center where I was taken into custody. I was not released from the brainwashing center until Nov. 17, 2003.
During the time I was in prison, the guards employed absolutely inhumane means to torture me. Once I was continuously handcuffed for as long as 43 days. With both of my hands cuffed behind my back, I was hung on a metal door and was beaten. After I was in prison for about a year, since they could not achieve the goal of having me give up the practice [of Falun Gong], they released me.
On Nov. 28, 2004, I was arrested again. The local police station sent me to Qixia Detention Center. After I was detained for seven days, I was transferred to the Qixia Brainwashing Center and was not released until March 18, 2005. Within this period of time, they continued to torture me by depriving me of sleep. I was once deprived of sleep for 26 consecutive days. Once my eyes closed they would wake me up by beating me. I fainted many times. They had me stand continuously so I could not rest. In the meantime, they beat me. Each time they beat me so hard that they themselves became very tired and out of breath.”