Ms. Chen Loses Eyesight After Being Poisoned in Labour Camp

Ms. Chen Guizhen, a Falun Gong practitioner from Xuyong County, lost sight in her left eye as a result of being poisoned in a labour camp more than a decade ago. This is her story.

Given Unknown Drug

I was called to go to the police department to “have a talk” on February 16th, 2004. When I arrived, I was forced into a police car and taken to the Xinqu Detention Centre. The police told me that I had been given one year of forced labour. I was taken to the Nanmusi Women's Forced Labour Camp the next morning.

Not long after I was sent to the labour camp, my father passed away. I was told that he kept calling my name before he died.

In an attempt to force me to renounce Falun Gong, Zhang Xiaofang, head of the division, ordered three inmates to torture and monitor me. I was forced to stand facing a wall, or to squat or sit down in an awkward posture for long periods of time. I was not allowed to use the toilet or given anything to drink. At night, I was handcuffed to a bed frame. No matter what they did to me, I refused to give in.

One afternoon, they made me drink a half cup of cold soy milk. I thought they realized that I was thirsty, so I drank it. However, that evening, my heart began beating so fast that it felt like it would explode out of my chest. I started having convulsions and was unable to move. They took me to a hospital where I was injected with unknown drugs. I then lost my memory.

The inmates grabbed my hands and forced me to sign the three statements to renounce Falun Gong. I had no control over my thoughts or actions, and I did whatever I was told.

A few days later, my left eye felt very itchy. I gradually began losing sight in that eye and eventually it became completely blind.

Previous Torture

After the communist regime started the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999, I went to Beijing with fellow practitioners to appeal for the right to practise Falun Gong at the end of February 2000.

We were arrested at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Because we did not want our families to be implicated, we refused to tell our names and addresses. The police tortured us with various methods.

I was forced to stand straight and hold a heavy bag in each hand. I was forced to turn continuously until I felt dizzy and fell to the ground.

I was forced to bend over, and my hands were pulled back and held up. This torture method was called “flying an airplane.”

My hands were cuffed behind my back with one hand over the shoulder and the other hand against the lower back. This was called “carrying a sword on the back.”

The police also beat and kicked me, which caused me to lose feeling in one of my fingers for more than a year.

Later I was taken back and detained in the Xuyong County Detention Centre for 20 days. They confiscated more than 1,000 yuan (£117) from me and extorted 5,000 yuan (£580) from my family.

Held at Brainwashing Centres Twice

A staff member from the Yuyong County Trade Bureau and an officer from the county 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) came to my home on January 22nd, 2001, while I was taking care of my one-year-old granddaughter. They ordered me to go to their office to “have a talk.” I felt that I had no choice and took my granddaughter with me. However, I was taken to a brainwashing facility located at the fire department. My granddaughter and I were not given anything to eat. My granddaughter was brought home that night. I was held in the brainwashing facility for one month.

I was taken to a brainwashing facility again on August 13th, 2010. More than 10 officers from the local police station and 610 Office came to my home and carried me against my will from the sixth floor to a police car downstairs.

I was detained in the brainwashing centre, which was in an isolated location. The room had no air conditioning, and the window was sealed shut. The temperature was as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit. I started a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention as soon as I got there. On the fifth day, I started to have symptoms of very high blood pressure. They were afraid that they would be held accountable if I died, so they told my son to take me home.

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