Doctor Pang Near Death after Imprisonment

Name: Pang Lijuan
Gender: Female
Age: 67
Address: Wulidun, Hanyang District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province
Occupation: Doctor
Date of Most Recent Arrest: June 23rd, 2007
Most Recent Place of Detention: Wuhan Women's Prison
City: Wuhan
Province: Hubei
Persecution Suffered: Home ransacking, detention, force-feeding, brainwashing, imprisonment, hard labour and torture

In the Wulidun Area of the Hanyang District in Wuhan, Hubei Province, many people remember Ms. Pang Lijuan as a good medical doctor and a nice person. However, when Dr. Pang had to be carried home after three years of incarceration, she had been reduced to nothing but skin and bones.

After she returned home, her family took her to a hospital in Wuhan, where the doctors were shocked by her severe osteoporosis. She was also diagnosed with myeloma. The doctors thought she would not live more than two weeks, but she beat the odds and survived.

Ms. Pang is still in tremendous pain every day. She has stabbing, burning pains in her back. She is so stiff that she cannot bend over. Three years of imprisonment damaged her health significantly. She suspects that the prison guards poisoned her.

A Good Doctor Detained for Her Belief

Ms. Pang opened a private clinic in 1992. After she began to practise Falun Gong, she became a better person. She treated her patients with the best of care and compassion. In 2001, she was arrested by the Wulidun Police Department and taken to Taojialing Brainwashing Centre for more than five months.

Wave of Arrests

The Wuhan City 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) began a wave of mass arrests of Falun Gong practitioners on June 23rd, 2007.

At 1 a.m. plainclothes police from the Wulidun Department, Hanyang District Domestic Security Team, and Hanyang 610 Office arrived at Ms. Pang's house. They told her that her clinic office had been burgled and asked her to go see about it. As soon as she opened the door, five men grabbed her and dragged her into a police car. She struggled with all her strength and shouted, "Falun Gong is great!" The police searched her home and took away her computer, printer, and a tape recorder.

The next day, the police took Ms. Pang to the Wuhan Number One Detention Centre. To protest her illegal detention, Ms. Pang began a hunger strike that lasted 14 days. During the hunger strike, the police pried open her mouth and poured in a cup of white liquid. After that, Ms. Pang mouth became dry, and she felt restless.

Ms. Pang hired a lawyer and appealed several times for her release, but to no avail. Finally, under the direction of the Wuhan City 610 Office, the prosecutor and the court gave her a three-year prison sentence, charging her with "possession of bullets." (As part of a veteran's family, Ms. Pang kept a few bullets as souvenirs).

Three Years in Jail

Ms. Pang began her sentence in Wuhan Women's Prison on January 18th, 2008. Several guards tried to talk her into renouncing her belief in Falun Gong. Frustrated by their inability to "transform" [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] her, the guards soon began to torture her. They assigned several criminal inmates to assist with the torture. She was forced to remain in certain postures for long hours, including standing still or squatting for 18 hours a day. They drew a small circle with chalk around her feet, and hit her when she moved out of it. They also wrote derogatory words about Falun Gong on the walls and floor, and incessantly repeated them.

In October 2008, the prison put Ms. Pang in a solitary confinement cell and intensified their brutality. Policewomen Xia Xianghong and Gao Xiaoting from Prison Zone Two ordered inmates Ye Zhongjing, Hu Rong, and several others to torture and verbally abuse Ms. Pang. In addition to the previous technique of standing and squatting, they implemented a new torture called "digging into the wall," in which a person stands one meter away from the wall, bends backward and touches the wall with the head only. She was not allowed to use her hands for support, so her head supported her entire body weight.

The prison has a "persecution by association policy," which links reductions in inmates' sentences to the number of practitioners who give up their practice. To take advantage of this, the inmates escalated their torture of Ms. Pang. They slapped her face several dozen times a day. She often had a bloody nose. They pulled her ears and kicked her in the chest. The constant violence caused multiple injuries.

One day, an inmate grabbed Ms. Pang's hair and shoved her head into a pile of human excrement. During the struggle, Ms. Pang lost a tooth. The stench almost made an inmate vomit. Afterwards, policewoman Gao Xiaoting blamed Ms. Pang for soiling the floor and made her clean up the mess. She then would not allow Ms. Pang to wash her face.

During one assault, inmate Hu Rong suffered a heart attack. She lay on the floor and struggled to breathe. Ms. Pang quickly performed CPR and revived her. She also told Hu Rong that Falun Gong had done nothing wrong, and the inmates were wrong to assist in the persecution. After that incident, the inmates' attitude changed.

Forced labour at the prison starts at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. Prisoners of different ages were forced to organise and cut cloth for making garments. At night, they then had to stand still until 10:00 p.m.

In March 2010, Ms. Pang began to feel a dull pain in her back. Initially, the inmates accused her of faking. But the guards soon noticed Ms. Pang's rapid weight loss and deteriorating energy level. They sent Ms. Pang to Hanyang Hospital. Doctors found that she had three broken vertebrae. Without treating her, they sent her back to the prison. On her way back, the rough ride broke two more vertebrae. The prison hospital failed to provide much help. After one month in the hospital, Ms. Pang was carried home by her family on June 22nd, 2010.

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