Name: Li Xiurong
Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 19th, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labour, brainwashing, beatings, being hung up, imprisonment, torture, force-feedings, extortion, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of toilet use, denied visitation
Key Persecutors: Guo Weishan, Gao Xiaohua, Hong Wei, Zhu Tiehong, Li Xiujin, Li Caihong, Song Peixia, Zhang Xiaodan, and Lin Wei
Defence Attorneys: Names Unknown
Ms. Li Xiurong, a 45-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Jiamusi City, developed heart problems after more than one and a half years of persecution in Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison, according to a Minghui report in January. Most of Ms. Li's hair has turned grey, and her family worries about her constantly.
After the persecution of Falun Gong began, Ms. Li Xiurong went to Beijing twice to appeal for justice for Falun Gong, but was arrested twice. Later she was arrested four times for explaining the facts about Falun Gong to people and posting materials exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, and suffered through three years of forced labour. On October 18th, 2010, Ms. Li was sentenced to three years of prison. Her persecution also affected her family, who had 30,000 yuan1 extorted from them.
Benefiting from the Practice, a Whole Family Found Happiness
Ms. Li Xiurong, born in 1968, was a hairdresser, whose home was in the suburbs of Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province. She began to practise Falun Gong in 1997.
Before her practice of Falun Gong, Ms. Li Xiurong suffered from neurasthenia, a psychological disorder characterised by chronic fatigue and weakness, and loss of memory. She also had inflammation of the gallbladder, cerebral insufficiency and frequent dizziness. She often had to have IV injections and acupuncture, and spent a lot of money on medical bills. A few days after she started practising Falun Gong, Ms. Li felt her whole body becoming light, and she became really happy. Three months later, all of her illnesses disappeared. Through studying the Falun Gong teachings, Ms. Li understood how to be a good person and got rid of her bad temper. She became a better person and took good care of her parents, as well as her mother-in-law, who was bedridden.
On August 24th, 2010, the Minghui website published an article from Ms. Li Xiurong's daughter, titled “Mother, When Could You Come Back Home?” Her daughter talked about how Ms. Li had changed after practising Falun Gong and their family found happiness.
Persecuted for Appealing in Beijing
In May 2000, Ms. Li told her family about her decision of going to Beijing to appeal. But her family, who had been deceived by the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) lies, informed the police. The police arrested her and took her to the Jiamusi City Detention Centre. Seven days later, she was released after her family was extorted 1,000 yuan.
In October 2000, Ms. Li and four Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing to appeal. They displayed a banner that read “Falun Gong is good” in Tiananmen Square, but were arrested by the police. They were taken to the Tiananmen Square Police Station, and later transferred to the Beijing Shunyi Detention Centre. She was interrogated for her name and address. After she told them her name and address, she wrote an appeal letter. Two days later, she was sent to the Jiamusi Government's Liaison Office in Beijing. Later, the police from the Jiamusi Yonghong Police Department escorted Ms. Li and three other practitioners back. By then they had been detained in the detention centre for more than a month. Ms. Li was extorted 4,000 yuan and was released before the Chinese New Year.
Arrested and Sentenced to Forced Labour
In the middle of July 2001, Ms. Li Xiurong went to Shangganling District, Yichun City and putt up posters exposing the persecution of Falun Gong. She was arrested and sent to the detention centre. The materials and 190 yuan in cash were confiscated. Her husband was extorted 2,000 yuan. Police officer Guo Weishan tried to extort 1,000 yuan from her family to reduce her sentence of three years of forced labour to one year, but her family refused. She was then sent to the Jiamusi Forced Labour Camp for a three-year term.
Ms. Li Xiurong Talks about Her Persecution in the Labour Camp
“Five practitioners and I were sent to the Jiamusi Forced Labour Camp, including one practitioner with high blood pressure and one who just had an operation for breast cancer. We were separated and each put into a room with inmates who collaborated with the guards. They rotated to monitor us and we were deprived of sleep. Some practitioners were unable to bear the torture and had to give up the practice.
Some practitioners who were very determined were confined in solitary cells for several months and not allowed to have any contact with other practitioners.
The TVs and radio in the labour camp played recordings that defame Falun Gong, trying to brainwash practitioners. All the practitioners were forced to do hard labour without pay. Some steadfast practitioners were monitored by inmates and not allowed to see their families on visitor days. The inmates took away the food and other stuff that practitioners’ families sent to them. Some practitioners were deprived of bathing for two to three months and scabies grew all over their bodies.
I realized that this was not the place I should stay, so I began a hunger strike to protest the persecution. A few days later, more than ten practitioners joined the hunger strike. One morning, all of us were called to an office and several camp guards began to force-feed us one by one. When it was my turn, I gripped the door frame tightly and refused to go. They forcibly pushed me onto the bed and pushed down my hands and feet. They pinched my nose and pulled my mouth open. Guard Gao Xiaohua also pinched my cheeks. They tried to insert the tubes a few times but failed. The doctor pushed the tube in really deep. I felt nauseous and could not stop my tears. The torture lasted for more than two hours.
In April 2002, I began another hunger strike. On the third day, I was nauseous and vomited green liquids. On the fifth day, I was sent to the labour camp hospital. On the sixth day, I was transferred to the central hospital. Then I managed to escape.”
The camp guards searched for Ms. Li everywhere. They went to her brother's home and beat him up. Then her brother was detained for five days. They also went to Ms. Li's hometown and harassed her mother and sister. They forced Ms. Li's brother to pay all the costs of searching for her. Camp guard Li Xiujin and another guard lived in Mr. Li's mother-in-law's home for two days. Camp guard Li Yongbo broke into the home of Ms. Li's sister-in-law and searched the place. The camp guards also went to Ms. Li's sister's home to harass her. Many of her other relatives were also harassed, and their phones were tapped. The guards also followed Ms. Li's daughter—a fifth-grade elementary school student—and tried to trick her to find out where Ms. Li was. Her daughter was so scared that she was sick for more than two weeks. They followed her daughter to practitioner Wang Shuxin's home. They confiscated a refrigerator and a TV, and also took practitioner Wang Shuxin to the Yonghong Police Department.
One month later, Ms. Li was arrested again and sent back to the labour camp.
“I was brought back to the labour camp in handcuffs,” she recalled. “When I entered the office, camp guard Hong Wei slapped me twice and Wang Xiurong slapped me as well. Zhu Tiehong confiscated 260 yuan in cash from me. I asked Zhu to return the money, but she refused. Later, I was handcuffed to the steel chair for seven days and nights. During this period, I was deprived of sleep for three days and nights and Li Xiujin slapped me a few times. Later, I was brought to the second floor and handcuffed to a bed.
The camp guards even tortured elderly practitioners who refused to renounce Falun Gong. They handcuffed these practitioners behind their backs. But guards Zhang Xiaodan and Liu Yadong, who participated in the torture, were promoted.
Liu Jinguo talked about the accusation against the two practitioners, Ms. Li and Ms. Wang peacefully and righteously talked about their physical and mental changes from practicing Falun Gong and their reasons for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. They declared their innocence for believing in Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. Ms. Wang was interrupted several times while she was talking. She also pointed out the false evidence that the prosecutor presented.
The defence lawyer that the practitioners' families hired defended their innocence. He stated that the documents about Falun Gong from the Chinese government were not the law and Falun Gong is legal in China. Ms. Li and Ms. Wang's activities did not harm society. He also told the court staff to follow their moral conscience. The practitioners' family members were understandably angry with the injustice that they have been subjected to.
The prosecutors did not add anything more. When the trial was over, no verdict was issued. On October 23rd, 2010, the Jiamusi Suburban Court sentenced Ms. Li to three years in prison and Ms. Wang to six and a half years in prison. On the same day, the two practitioners' families hired two lawyers, who filed appeals to the Jiamusi City Intermediate Court and demanded a re-trial. However, Judge Song Peixia from the Jiamusi City Intermediate Court rejected their request, and told them that this was an order from above.
On the morning of November 16th, 2010, the two practitioners' family members went to the Jiamusi Suburban Court and requested Judge Li Caihong to tell them why the practitioners were sentenced to their terms. Li answered that this was an order and the minimum term for Falun Gong practitioners is three years. On the same day and the day after, the families also went to the detention centre and tried to meet with Ms. Li and Ms. Wang to prepare the appeal documents. However, officials from the detention centre refused to allow them to meet with the practitioners.
During the appeal process, the two practitioners' families went to Jiamusi City Intermediate Court to see Judge Song Peixia, but he refused to meet with them. The lawyers tried to call Song a few times but could not reach him. Song used many excuses to delay the appeal process. On November 26th, 2010, when the two defence lawyers went to the intermediate court to get the appeal process going, Song found another excuse not to meet with them.
On the morning of December 2nd, 2010, Ms. Li's and Ms. Wang's family members came to the intermediate court to inquire about the appeal. The court guards did not let them go up to meet with Song, and they had to talk to him on the phone. Song spoke to them rudely and angrily. When they asked him when the trial would be, Song told them that there would be no trial and it was based on orders from above.
Later, Song made the decision of keeping secret the original verdict, with the excuse that the defence lawyers refused to provide the defence reports.
On December 27th, 2010, Ms. Li and Ms. Wang filed a lawsuit against the legal officials and Song for their misconduct during the appeal. The lawsuit also requested their immediate release. However, Jiamusi Procuratorate refused to accept the case.
On January 1st, 2011, Ms. Li's and Ms. Wang's families heard that the two practitioners were sent to the Heilongjiang Women's Prison and detained in the 9th Division.
The Minghui website reported on January 29th, 2012 that Ms. Li Xiurong had been detained in the Heilongjiang Women's Prison for one and a half years. From November 27th to December 4th, 2011, the prison guards tortured Ms. Li, trying to force her to renounce her belief. As a result of the torture, she had heart problems, pain in her breasts, and much difficulty breathing.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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