Liaoning Woman Dies at 57 After Two Decades of Persecution for Her Faith

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During the past two decades of the persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Xie Dewen had been arrested four times and served two forced labor camp terms. She endured all kinds of inhuman torture, especially in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. She succumbed to the torture and passed away on January 21, 2021, at the age of 57.

Ms. Xie Dewen

Ms. Xie, a Dalian City, Liaoning Province resident, started practicing Falun Gong in 1996. All of her diseases disappeared completely. She became very healthy. She followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be kind and considerate.

Due to Falun Gong’s tremendous popularity and the revival of traditional culture that countered the spread of communist ideology, the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute it in July 1999 and the persecution is still going on today.

The constant persecution and harassment also left Ms. Xie’s elderly parents living in fear. Not only Ms. Xie, but her older sister and younger brother have also been arrested and persecuted for their shared faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Xie’s father became so devastated by the situation that he fell sick after her fourth arrest in 2004. He struggled with very poor health for three years and passed away two months after Ms. Xie was released from serving a three-year term.

After that, Ms. Xie lived with her mother. In recent years, she and her mother sold their house and moved to avoid the continuous harassment by the police. Her mother, who is in her 90s, was unable to live one day in peace and is now devastated by Ms. Xie’s premature passing.

Four Arrests
After the onset of the persecution, Ms. Xie was arrested four times and incarcerated for a total of four years and eight months.

Her first arrest came on September 5, 1999, when she went to Beijing to speak out for Falun Gong. The police tracked her to a motel in the suburbs of Beijing and arrested her. After three days of detention in Beijing, she was taken to the Yaojia Detention Center in Dalian and detained for 45 days. She also has extorted 1,500 yuan extorted from her.

Ms. Xie was arrested again on January 21, 2000, at home. She was detained in Yaojia Detention Center for 15 days and Houjiagou Police Station for six more days. Although she held a hunger strike throughout that entire time to protest the arbitrary arrest, the guards still forced her to pay 200 yuan for the meals.

Ms. Xie’s third arrest happened in the second half of 2000. She was arrested at home by Houjiagou Police Station officers. She was held in a brainwashing center in the Zhongshan District for three days and in criminal detention for a month before, she was taken to Dalian Forced Labor Camp for a year and a half.

Ms. Xie’s fourth arrest took place in the evening on April 14, 2004, when she was distributing Falun Gong informational materials. She was forced to sit on a metal chair for 13 hours in the police station. The police ransacked her home afterwards. They took her with them, with both of her hands cuffed behind her back. She was detained for 30 days and then given three years in Masanjia Labor Camp, where she endured all kinds of brutal torture. The guards extended her term for five days, because she refused to renounce Falun Gong.

Torture in Yaojia Detention Center
While Ms. Xie was held at Yaojia Detention Center following her first two arrests, she was tortured for doing the Falun Gong exercises.

Torture illustration: Locked to metal rings on the ground

In one torture, the guards cuffed her hands and legs to a fixture on the ground for two weeks. When she protested, the guard stuffed a rag used to clean the bathroom into her mouth. They didn’t even open the cuffs when she ate. When someone asked how she could eat with her hands cuffed, a guard said, “Let her eat like a dog.”

Torture in Dalian Forced Labor Camp

Forced-Feeding and Tying
During her first labor camp term, Ms. Xie and other practitioners went on hunger strikes to protest the persecution. Hao Wenshuai, the head of the Dalian Forced Labor Camp, threatened, “We will not treat you as human beings if you do not eat. We will force-feed and treat you like animals.”

The practitioners were force-fed batter with concentrated brine through a tube. The guards purposely extended the tubes and inserted them deep into their stomachs. Ms. Xie felt the long tube make two loops in her stomach. She threw up afterward.

The guards later got new tubes, which were thicker and longer. When the guards quickly inserted the tube into Ms. Xie’s nose, she felt it was burning inside and her nose kept bleeding.

Another practitioner, Ms. Sun Lianxia, died as a result of the force-feeding.

During one force-feeding session, a guard stepped on her feet and pulled her hair. One guard threatened that they would take 200 yuan from her for each feeding. After the force-feeding, Ms. Xie was put in a metal cage. The guards kept her isolated for seven days, forced her to stand with her hands cuffed behind her back, and didn’t let her sleep.

After that, she was transferred to another isolation unit. The guards pulled her legs straight, wrapped them together with tape, and pushed her down. Stretching her legs that way was very painful.

The guards used all kinds of torture to try to force Ms. Xie to renounce her faith. When she refused, they made her stand up and deprived her of sleep. Sometimes she fell asleep while standing and fell down.

After the torture failed to make her yield, the guards began to force her to work at least 15 hours a day. When she returned to her cell in the evening, they ordered her to continue packaging chopsticks. She went on a hunger strike again to protest the torture and was forcibly given injections.

After the injections, the guards instigated the inmates to tie Ms. Xie to a deathbed with one limb at each corner of the bed. The bed had five planks. The inmates removed two pieces and left three pieces to support the neck, buttocks, and legs. She was tied to the bed all day long except for the time for three force-feedings.

One inmate added spicy pepper powder into the food and dumped it straight into her mouth through a funnel. She felt her belly was bloated. When she was released from the bed three days later, she had tremendous difficulty standing or lifting her arms.

Torture re-enactment: tied to a death bed

Electric Shocks
On March 19, 2001, every door in the cells was plastered with words that slandered Falun Gong and its founder. Every practitioner was forced to squat with both hands around her legs and read derogatory words written on a piece of paper that was put on the floor in front of her. They were also forced to listen to derogatory songs. Whoever stood up would be dragged out to the hallway and shocked with electric batons. They were physically and mentally injured.

On one occasion, Ms. Xie was handcuffed to the leg of a table, with both hands behind her back. She was forced to listen to slanderous recordings through loudspeakers at high volume. She was also forced to read the words in front of her that slandered Falun Gong and its founder.

Torture in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp
Ms. Xie was taken to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in October 2004 after she was given the second labor camp term.

During the first month there, Ms. Xie had to listen to slanderous propaganda and watch videos that slandered Falun Gong from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

After the brainwashing period, she was tortured, including being hung up and stretched. She started to lose her hair and had difficulty breathing.

What she suffered is summarized below by year.

Force-Feeding, Isolation, and Beatings in 2004
One evening, Ms. Xie was taken to an isolation unit after she shouted, “Falun Dafa is good” in protest of the persecution. On the way there, the guards hit her in the face with slippers.

They handcuffed her to a bench inside the isolation unit, and guard Liu kicked her in the chest. Ms. Xie was also forced to listen to loud broadcasts that slandered Falun Gong all day long every day. The broadcasts sometimes lasted till midnight.

Ms. Xie went on a hunger strike to protest the torture. Guard Ma Jishan beat her and pulled her hair hard. Ma also used a special pair of pliers (as shown below) to open her mouth and purposely force-fed her very slowly using a tube inserted into her stomach. Each feeding took three hours. Ma didn't always remove the pliers after the feedings, and Ms. Xie was unable to close her mouth when the pliers were finally taken out.

Mouth-opening pliers

During one force-feeding, her stomach lining was punctured. She almost suffocated due to the excessive bleeding. After that, the prison doctor began to leave a mouth opener in her, which dislocated her jaw. When her nose bled during the force-feeding, guard Zhang Lei directed a water hose at her, soaking her totally.

Ms. Xie was held in isolation for more than ten days. When she was taken out of the unit, the guards tied her to a tiger bench for four days and then took her to a psychiatric hospital for three days.

In the psychiatric hospital, two prison guards gave her injections of unknown white and red substances. She felt she was losing control of her mind afterward. While injecting her, guard Ding Taiyong pinched her cheeks. Because Ms. Xie shouted “Falun Dafa is good” in protest, the guards opened the window to let the cold wind blow on her. They also kicked her in the stomach and wrapped a thick rope around her mouth.

Beating and Isolation in 2005
On April 5, 2005, guard Huang Haiyan straddled Ms. Xie's body and force-fed her. Then they restrained her on an iron chair, which caused significant pain in her legs.

On April 7, Ms. Xie was tied to two other practitioners, Ms. Sun Shuxiang and Ms. Wang Shuping, because they refused to wear handcuffs. They were kicked in the face by deputy warden Wang Naimin and several guards. As a result, they all had nose bleeds. Ms. Sun also had red eyes and blurred vision for a long time.

Torture illustration: Restrained on an iron chair

Ms. Xie was taken to an isolation unit again on April 19 and held for three months. During that time, the guards twice tied her in an iron chair, each time for 14 days.

For this torture, both of her hands were tied to the sides of the chair and her legs shackled. Her buttocks started to fester after more than ten days of sitting. Only then would the guards untie one of her hands so that she could sit on the floor.

The isolation unit is about 40 sq ft. The guards kept the door and windows closed all the time. It’s very cold in the winter and yet humid and hot in the summer. During the isolation, Ms. Xie was not allowed to wash her face or change clothes. This resulted in a foul smell in the summertime. The guards only gave her cornbread and pickles to eat, and she became emaciated. As no drinking water was provided, some practitioners were forced to drink water from the toilet. The guards often beat and kicked them as well.

Forced Feeding and Beating in 2006
On February 23, 2006, Ms. Xie refused to sit on a small stool. She was pushed down to the ground and beaten. She was also repeatedly slapped on both cheeks for shouting “Falun Dafa is good.” After the beating, she was forced to stand still with her face against the wall.

Ms. Xie was repeatedly slapped in the face by several guards because she refused to wear the prison clothes. On one occasion, two male guards stripped off her pants to humiliate her. One guard even threatened to pull off her underwear the next time.

Near the end of April, guards Ma Jishan and Zhang Jun slapped her in the face on the fourth day of her hunger strike, making her nose bleed. They then forced her to kneel down with her face against the wall and started the force-feeding. As usual, they pried open her mouth before the feeding, resulting in damage to her teeth. When the feeding tube broke, they threatened to make Ms. Xie pay for it.

On the morning of May 1, guard Ma Jishan tied Ms. Xie to the death bed and beat her because she did not position both feet evenly while she stood. He left the mouth opener in her after the force-feeding.

On May 2, guard Ma told other guards to force-feed Ms. Xie with unknown drugs, which they claimed to be blood pressure medicine. Her chest felt very tight afterward. They purposely fed her slowly to increase the pain. Ma then tied her up to the bed, threatening to torture her to death.

On May 4, Ma again force-fed her porridge and left the pliers in her mouth for a long time. He also tied her to the death bed because Ms. Xie did not wear the inmate’s badge.

On May 9, Ms. Xie refused to do the forced labor of peeling garlic. She was forced to kneel down with her face against the wall. When she resisted, a guard handcuffed her hands behind her back and kicked her in the calves. Ms. Xie fell and hit her leg on the metal bed frame and her head on the bedpost. The guards then placed a chair against her back and had someone sit on the chair to prevent her from getting up.

On May 10, Ms. Xie still refused to do labor work. Her hands were separately handcuffed to a table and a heating pipe. She was also forced to squat with her back against the table. Guard Ma Jishan played a recording that slandered Falun Gong. He also pulled her hair.

Afterward, the guards tied her arms to the bunk bed and left her that way, stretch out, every day for the rest of her term. Her term was extended by five days. She was released on April 19, 2007.

Torture Re-enactment: Stretching Hands Between Beds

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