Heilongjiang Women's Prison Forces Practitioners to Work Without Sleep

When Ms. Qi Yaru's husband visited her in the Heilongjiang Women's Prison on May 10th, 2013, he was shocked to see that her face was swollen and deformed. He was furious when he learned that his wife had been forced to sew cloth decorations by hand while being deprived of sleep. She couldn't finish her assigned quota because her hands were numb as a result of the mistreatment in the prison, slowing down her ability to work.

Ms. Qi's husband questioned a guard as to why the prison made ill people work at night without sleep. The guard lied and said he did not know that Ms. Qi was sick. The husband then called the captain of Ward No. 7, where Ms. Qi was detained. The captain said, “We have given her a lesser quota than others.”

When the husband reiterated that Ms. Qi was very sick, the captain replied, “She was given a physical exam and does not have any severe problems.” The husband countered, “Even her face is deformed—how could she not be sick? How can the prison still make her work every night?!” The captain claimed, “It's only occasional to meet a deadline.” That was another lie.

The husband wanted to see his wife's medical records. The captain said, “I don't know about that. I was not the one who took her for a physical exam. Check with Qi Yaru.” He then hung up the phone.

Persecuted for Over a Decade

Since the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in 1999, Ms. Qi has been arrested four times for her faith. She was subjected to forced labour for three years and suffered torture in detention.

Police also ransacked her home many times. Furthermore, authorities have repeatedly harassed her family and extorted money from them, as a result of which the family has fallen into poverty.

Prior to her latest arrest on December 31st, 2011, Ms. Qi had been in good health. She started to get sick four months after being detained.

On April 11th, 2012, an officer fiercely kicked her in the stomach. As a result, she had stomach and leg injuries and was not able to sit up.

Abuse in Prison Leads to Health Deterioration

Ms. Qi was subsequently taken to Heilongjiang Women's Prison. Her family was not allowed to visit her there until October 2012. When they finally saw her, she needed the support of two people to walk.

Her husband noticed that she looked very emaciated and was in low spirits. She had no appetite and felt discomfort after eating. Her stomach was so painful that she was not able to walk with a straight back. The prison later told the family to buy medicine to treat Ms. Qi's liver disease.

The family asked the prison to release Ms. Qi on bail for medical treatment. However, the prison refused and warden Bai Yingxian refused to see them to discuss the matter further.

Ms. Qi was transferred to Ward No. 7 in March 2013. When her husband visited her, he noticed that her health had worsened.

The husband asked the prison to take Ms. Qi to a doctor. Prison staff told him to pay 3,000 yuan1 first, claiming they would return any surplus not used for medical care. He gave the money to the captain of Ward No. 7. The prison never returned any funds, nor provided an account of how the money was used.

When Ms. Qi's husband visited her in April 2013, Ms. Qi said that she had a CT scan done, which revealed that her second and third cervical vertebrae were pressing on a nerve, causing her right side to be numb. She was also diagnosed with kidney stones, gallstones and gastritis.

However, the prison still forced her to get up at 5 a.m. and work until after midnight. It was more than her body could handle.

Parties involved in the persecution:

Bai Yingxian, warden of Heilongjiang Women's Prison: +86-451-86639099 (Office)


1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

You are welcome to print and circulate all articles published on Clearharmony and their content, but please quote the source.