China Aid Association
My name is Xiong Juanjuan. I am female, Han Chinese, and live in Taipingzhen, Zaoyang city, in Hubei province.
On the 2nd of August 2005 I was attending a meeting with other believers in Lutouzhen, Zaoyang city, in Hubei province. We were arrested by Zaoyang and Lutouzhen police and taken to Zaoyang No 2 Detention Centre. I was detained for 11 days.
After breakfast on the 2nd of August I was taking a bath with other sisters on the third floor. We suddenly heard someone outside saying, “Quickly, the police are here!” We hurriedly put on some clothes and came out to discover that we were already surrounded by the police. In order not to leave any evidence we tore up all our notes and telephone numbers. When we realized that two teachers haven’t left yet, we decided to go out and see if we can let them leave during all the chaos. But when we came to the front door we realized that the two teachers were already surrounded by the police. In a short while the whole house was filled with plain clothes police. The main door was also placed under guard. They first took the two teachers and sister Li Zhiyun away. Then they took us in separate groups to the Lutouzhen police station. After we were questioned there they took us to Zaoyang No 2 Detention Centre. At the Detention Centre they searched our bags and some money were taken by the police. I lost 236 yuan, my mobile phone, and my bag.
That afternoon we were interrogated in groups. Many brothers and sisters were beaten up. After the interrogation some of us were forced to sign a document entitled, “List of Names under Questioning”. We were questioned from 5pm on the 2nd of August to 5pm on the 3rd of August.
On the afternoon of the 3rd of August, I with 12 others, who were locked up in one cell, were called out. They called us into the corridor and made us to squat down. Then starting with the first in line, sister Wang Lan, they wanted each person to be photographed while holding a sign with the characters “evil religion” and individual name. When sister Wang Lan noticed what was going on she said, “I do not believe in an evil religion,” and threw the sign down onto the floor. Then one person asked, “If you do not believe in an evil religion, in what do you believe then?” Sister Wang said, “I follow Christianity.” Then one of them said, “Write Falungong”. We all protested together, “We do not practice Falungong.” Another policeman said, “They are not practitioners of Falungong.” Another person said, “Then just write Christianity.” But another standing by interjected, “We shouldn’t write Christianity.” So, on the one hand they were arguing among themselves, and on the other hand they were yelling insults at us. Finally, one of them said, “Let’s ask our chief what we should do.” Then the deputy director of the Security Bureau, Lei Youxin, grabbed Zhou Xujuan by the hair in order to have her photo taken. However, she preferred rather to be beaten up and refused to hold the sign with the charters “evil religion.”
When afternoon came 25 of the brothers and sister were already released. Their money and bags were all confiscated.
On the morning of the 4th of August, a person carrying a stack of files entitled, “List of Names under Questioning” wanted us to sign our names. The files indicated the time as the 3rd of August 5pm to the 4th of August 5pm. Also the column with the criminal charge was blank. So we asked, “Why are you calculating the time from yesterday but only let us sign today? And why are no criminal charges specified?” Their reason was, “You are too many. You only need to sign your names. We will fill in the rest. This is the legal process.” We said, “Since this is a legal process we should have signed yesterday. Also you should write down the charges and only then have us sign. If you do not spell out the charges clearly we will not sign.” (We knew that if we sign they will write whatever they wanted in the empty spaces). When they saw that we were firm in our resolve they started to scold us and said, “We will still continue even without your signatures.” With that they stormed out of the room. Later on when we signed our arrest warrants we were again forced to sign the file entitled, “List of Names under Questioning”
That afternoon another four sisters and one brother were released. I was then interrogated by Qiu Yunfei. When he came into the room he had me squat down. He scolded me and put cuffs on my wrists very tightly. He wanted to know the purpose of our meeting and who organized it. As I was facing interrogation I held on to the promise, “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you at that time” (Mt 10:19). I prayed to the Lord to give me more strength and wisdom. I continued to respond to all the questions as before, “I don’t know. I went to learn English.” He said, “Your ability is really great! You can even invite two Americans to come and teach you English. They did not come to teach English. They already confessed. Also our English speakers have already examined their diaries and have found that they are missionaries. They are all cheats. They have already gone back to America. You are still not speaking the truth€¦.” I was questioned for more than an hour. When he saw that he was not going to get anything out of me, he said, “You are not cooperating very well. This time your master is not going to beat you up, but if you are still going to be like this next time, your master is going to beat you to death.” Indeed, every time I was subsequently interrogated I was tortured, especially on the 9th. On that day when I went into the interrogation room Qiu Yunfei immediately put me in cuffs, and made it extremely tight. He then let me squat on the ground. Then as soon as I wanted to answer a question he hit me in the face. He also used a leather belt to strike me on the back. He kicked me on the head and in my face. He beat me and asked all at the same time. As soon as I wanted to answer he hit me again with many insults. So I gave up trying to say anything. He held my hair with one hand and hit my face with the other. He kicked me all over my back and arms. He kicked me down to the floor. Then he pulled me up by the hair and hit me again. I cannot remember how many times I was hit. I just remember that my face became hot and that I felt dizzy. Qiu Yunfei continued to hit and insulted me, “If you don’t tell the truth, your master will crack open your mouth and beat you to death€¦” After a while, Zhang Xujin also came into the interrogation room. He insulted me and hit me on the legs and behind with a bamboo cane. My legs immediately swelled up (several days later it was still sore to sit down). Many times I was beaten down to the ground, just to be pulled up again. Qiu Yunfei also trampled upon my toes with his feet. All in all, whether or not I answered their questions I was met with a severe beating. Through all of it I just asked the Lord to give me more strength. When they were beating me most severely, the church sent a believer to come and see me. When they heard that someone came to see me they ceased the interrogation and locked me up in the Detention room. As soon as I went into the cell I was called out again to the office to sign my arrest certificate. The reason for my arrest was that I participated in an evil religion ‘South China Church’, organized a meeting, and disturbed the social order. Under pressure I signed. When I wanted my arrest certificate, Zhang Xujin did not only refuse to give it to me but also scolded at me, “It seems you have not been beaten enough! You still want the arrest certificate. Tomorrow I will question you again. I will beat you to death€¦” I still remained standing there thinking that if they don’t give it to me I will not leave. He then said very harshly, “When you are released I will give it to you. Now you have to wipe your bottom€¦.” As I was taken back to my cell, I thought about my crime on the arrest certificate. My heart was very sad. I could not have imagined what were to happen these weeks, neither do I know what will happen in the next few weeks. Yet I firmly believed that everything is on the Lord’s hands. I prepared myself to be interrogated again or to be sent to do hard labor. In the Detention Centre there were nine sisters. We encourage one another. We prayed. We sang hymns. We talked about the Lord’s grace. Even though we experienced many bad things and were very angry, as soon as we thought about what the Lord Jesus suffered we thought that our suffering were nothing in comparison. Instead, we thank the Lord allowing us to share in his sufferings.
On the 13th of August Qiu Yunfei called three of our sisters outside (Li Qiong, Wen Rongrong, Wang Yujie). Afterwards I and sister Liu Nian were also called out. After we came out we realized that we were being released. I asked Lei Youxin for my arrest certificate. He refused and said, “We did not arrest you. If we arrested you, you will not be released today. These few days were just to teach you a few lessons. You may still continue to believe, but you need to go to the church to believe or in you own home. You are not permitted to join the South China Church.” He then produced a document with the title ‘1990 Quanfanwei Church’. He said, “This church has been deemed to be an evil religion, and South China Church is a branch of Quanfanwei Church. Therefore, South China church is an evil religion.” He also said, “From the central government to the local area, South China Church has been declared an evil religion. If we discover that you participate again in South China Church or other meetings, I will not release you€¦” In this way, except for sister Ren Daoyun, the 10 of us were released. When we left we asked bout the money, the watches, and the bibles that were taken. They did not return anything. Sister Li Jing crying wanted several thousand yuan back, but she was also refused.
Because of the beatings I received I till get headaches. However, my heart is full of thanksgiving. Although I don’t know why the police released me, I believe that it was through God’s power and grace. It was also the result of many brothers and sisters in China and overseas praying for me.
Xiong Juanjuan (in my own hand)
14th August 2005
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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