Name: Tuo Meiling
Occupation: Employee at Lingwu City Herbal Material Company
Date of Death: 2011
Date of Most Recent Arrest: 2003
Most Recent Place of Detention: Yinchuan Women's Prison
Persecution Suffered: Brainwashing, forced injections/drug administration, beatings, solitary confinement, torture, housed in a mental hospital
It was recently reported that Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Tuo Meiling from Lingwu City, who had been tortured in Yinchuan Women's Prison to the point of mental collapse, died at the age of 48. She was last seen by those who knew her at the beginning of 2009, and nothing was heard about her since until the news of her death at the end of 2012. The details surrounding her death are unknown, but it is estimated that she died in the latter half of 2011.
Ms. Tuo Meiling was formerly employed at the Lingwu City Herbal Material Company. She had an optimistic attitude, was honest, intelligent, and capable. She had a happy family and was widely regarded as a good person after practising Falun Gong. She moved into a new home in 2003 and went to buy furniture at a store in Lingwu City, where she was arrested by local police and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. She was incarcerated in Yinchuan Women's Prison, where the guards pressured Falun Gong practitioners to give up their beliefs. She was put in solitary confinement and handcuffed for long periods of time. The guards would not let anyone else speak with her and secretly instructed other inmates to put drugs in her drinking water, causing her to become confused. The guards later on openly forced her to take unknown drugs, which resulted in her mental collapse.
Ms. Tuo was released from prison in 2006. Her husband divorced her and she returned to her parents' family in Northern Shaanxi Province. She had to depend on her parents, both over 70, to support her. During a snowstorm in 2008, she almost froze to death after she went out in a field and sat alone for several hours. A good neighbour spotted her and took her home.
Below is what Ms. Tuo experienced in Yinchuan Women's Prison:
1. Ten criminal inmates monitored, abused, and tortured her
After Ms. Tuo was admitted to the First Ward of Yinchuan Women's Prison in 2003, she refused to participate in any forced labour and resisted the brainwashing. She didn't give up her belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and didn't write the three statements to renounce practising Falun Gong, so she was a thorn in the side for the guards. The guards ordered 10 inmates who had been convicted of drug abuse, drug trafficking, and murder to monitor Ms. Tuo's every word and move. The deputy chief of the prison district, Liu Zhiqin, was especially evil. She incited drug addicts Lan Chunhua, Yang Guihua, Zhao Wenqing, and others to beat Ms. Tuo frequently. Ms. Tuo was always frightened and on edge.
A large scale forcible “transformation” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] of Falun Gong practitioners was carried out in the prison at the end of 2003. The chief of the prison district, Zhang Shenghua, and deputy chief Liu Zhiqin ordered all of the criminal inmates not to speak to or make contact with Ms. Tuo. They secretly instructed ten inmates including Lan Chunhua, Yang Guihua, Zhao Wenqing, Meng Qingyun, Su Li, Ma Jing, and Ma Hongchun to verbally abuse her. The slightest sign of disobedience from Ms. Tuo would incur vicious verbal and physical attacks from these inmates.
One day, the guards ordered Ms. Tuo to write a “thought report,” but she refused to comply. They then convened a meeting to publicly criticise Ms. Tuo. Zhang Shenghua and Liu Zhiqin forced Ms. Tuo to stand in front of the group while they criticised her. They forced everyone there to abuse her. Some inmates cursed her and slandered Falun Gong in order to get rewarded. Zhang Shenghua and Liu Zhiqin told Ms. Tuo, “You must be clear about who you are and what you are doing here. After this, you (referring to the inmates) tightly control her for me.” Afterwards, she was monitored even more strictly.
Ms. Tuo was not allowed to communicate or make phone calls. Even the monthly visits with her relatives were cancelled. She was completely isolated from the outside world. Her family once came to visit her, but the guards canceled the visit just because she refused to say, “Captain, criminal Tuo Meiling begs to be visited.” Her family was stopped outside of the prison and she was forced to stand outside the receiving office for a whole day.
2. Liu Zhiqin instructed criminal inmates to drug Ms. Tuo
In 2004, a criminal inmate with the last name of Huang said, “Ms. Tuo was tortured until she became mentally disordered by inmates appointed by Zhang Shenghua and Liu Zhiqin.” She would not sleep night after night and talked to herself constantly. No one knew what she was saying. She often grimaced, and, when she walked, her legs wobbled as if they were going to give way. Her hands were also jerky and weak. Ms. Tuo's situation later on became worse and worse. She was in a dazed state all day and her eyes were fixed. Sometimes she would shout miserable sounds at midnight. Those sounds would wake up everyone in the building. Death row inmates Su Li and others pushed Ms. Tuo down onto her bed and wrapped her head with cotton quilts to prevent her from shouting. The guards were afraid to take responsibility, so they put Ms. Tuo in handcuffs and only opened them when she was eating.
Inmate Lan Chunhua once said, “Before Tuo became mentally ill, Liu Zhiqin gave me a drug in the form of a white powder and told me to secretly put it into Tuo's drinking cup. I did this for quite a long time.” Lan's confession explains the true reason why Ms. Tuo, who used to be normal, became mentally disordered.
The guards in the Fourth Prison District, who publicly claimed when they were trying to “transform” other Falun Gong practitioners, said, “Tuo in the First District refused to 'transform' so she was secretly drugged.” Their hidden message was, “If any of you don't 'transform,' you will be drugged just like Tuo.” An inmate familiar with Liu Zhiqin said, “Liu Zhiqin was formerly a doctor in a mental hospital in Lingwu City.”
After Ms. Tuo became mentally ill, the guards began to openly feed her large quantities of drugs that damaged her central nervous system, causing her to become even more frantic.
When Ms. Tuo was released from prison in 2006, the guards hid the facts of the persecution. In June 2006, her husband and her father once again took her to Ningxia Mental Hospital. (Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Lu Hongfeng, the Vice Principal of Lingwu City First Elementary School, was tortured to death at this hospital.) During her hospital stay, she was injected with large quantities of drugs every day and was in a comatose state most of the day. She was so thin that a gust of wind could have blown her over.
Ms. Tuo's husband later divorced her. The court awarded him their house and gave him custody of their daughter. He gave Ms. Tuo several thousand yuan. Ms. Tuo's parents took her back to her hometown in Northern Shaanxi Province. She had no income and couldn't work, so she had to depend on her parents. Her parents were both farmers in their 70s and both were plagued by diseases.
A once happy family was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party until it was destroyed.
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