China Aid Association
Click Here to watch Three South China Church Members Testimonies
photo: sister Cao Hongmei brought ‘China ties” made in her prison
· Female, 35, Zhongxiang City Hubei Province, South China Church member.
· Arrested on Aug.8, 2001. First trial on Dec.25, 2001, charged with “intentionally harming others,” received a three-year sentence.
· Second trial on Oct.9, 2002, the same charge by the Jingmen City Intermediate Court but the sentence was reduced to two years.
· Released on Aug. 8, 2003.
“They questioned me for about a month. When I didn’t answer them, they would use different kinds of ways to torture me. For instance, they hung my two hands up on the door frame, and my feet couldn’t touch the floor. My hands and shoulder became numb. They used a sharpened bamboo stick to beat my hands and shoulder. I couldn’t bear this tremendous pain any more so I began to scream, but they didn’t allow me to do so. They threatened me, “If you keep on shouting, we will stuff your mouth and make you shut up.” Every time they hung me, it would last at least half an hour, sometimes even one hour. All together, they have hung me about a whole day.
They also threatened me, saying, “We can beat you to death, and throw you into the Han River, or dig a hole somewhere to bury you. Who will question us about that? You count for nothing. They went on to say, “Don’t you know? A South China Church believer has been beaten to death by the police in Zhong Xiang, just because she kept silent and didn’t confess. After her death, nobody has come to us asking for an account. So we also can beat you to death, because you little believers count for nothing.”
All they wanted from me was a false testimony. They said, “If you just confess according to what we tell you, I will release you and let you go.”
I kept silent. They saw this didn’t work, so they tried another way to torture me. They used handcuffs to pound my fingers. One of them would hold my elbow, and the other one used a pair of handcuffs to hammer my fingers. My fingers began to bleed and my fingernails began to break but they were not fully satisfied.
Then they used a cigarette lighter to burn my fingers. All my fingernails had been burned, and you still can see the scars here. My middle fingernail was totally broken, and this is the newly grown one.
Not only did they burn my fingernails, they also use the lighter to burn my ears, my face, and my lips. They used all these tortures forcing me to confess that I had sexual relationship with Pastor Gong Shengliang.
· Female, 33, Tianmen City Hubei Province, South China Church member.
· Arrested on May 27, 2001. First trial on Dec.25, 2001, charged with “organizing and using evil cult organization to obstruct the implementation of the law,” received a two-year sentence.
· Second trial on Oct. 10, the charge was dismissed and Liu Xianzhi was proclaimed innocent by the Jingmen City Intermediate Court but was immediately taken away by the Jingmen police to Shayang labor camp to be re-educated through labor.
· Released on Feb.1, 2004
· 2004年2 月1 日获释。
“I was taken to Zhongxiang Police Training Center. 6 or 7 male policemen started to question me in their dormitory. One asked me, “Do you know why we arrest you?” I said, “Because I believe in Jesus.” He slapped my face when he heard this. He said, “Do you know what age we are in today? And you still believe in Jesus?” I didn’t answer him back.
I was put in shackles and the policemen ordered me to walk before them in the room. The shackles were heavy; after a little while I had to slow down, but they wouldn’t let me. They pushed me from this side to the other side while laughing at me. I was so exhausted and ended up laying on the ground. The shackles also cut deeply into my flesh, and my ankle began to bleed. You can see the scar here.
They also picked me up by my hair, so the weight of my whole body was held up by my hair. I could hardly breathe, then they put me down, but kept on pressuring me to confess I had sexual relationship with Pastor Gong. When I told them I didn’t have any improper relationship with him, they pulled my hair again, later I lost my consciousness.
When I refused to read the confession that they had prepared for me beforehand, they threatened me by saying, “Now, I can beat you to death, and pull you out and bury you somewhere, that even your family wouldn’t know where you are. Now your South China Church is in our hands, including your pastor. He was also arrested!”
When I told them I had no sexual relationship with Pastor Gong at all, they used an electrical rod to beat me, on my head, my breast, and my buttock. I was knocked to the floor, then they pulled me up and tore my clothes open. They even pulled my bra, and I cried.
· Female, 29, Taiqian County Henan Province, South China Church member.
· Arrested on May 28, 2001. First trial on Dec.25, 2001, charged with “organizing and using evil cult organization to obstruct the implementation of the law,” received an eight-year sentence.
· Second trial on Oct. 10, the charge was dismissed and Meng Xicun wasproclaimed innocent by the Jingmen City Intermediate Court but was immediately taken away by the Jingmen police to Shayang labor camp to be re-educated through labor.
· Released on Feb.1, 2004
· 2004年2 月1 日获释。
“They interrogated me for five days and nights. During this time, they didn’t allow me to eat or sleep. I was ordered to stand all the time, but I was so tired and fell asleep, they would beat me and woke me up.
During the interrogation, they also used nasty ways to insult me. They flicked their cigarette ash into my collar. Later they untied my shirt, and flicked the cigarette ash to my breast. I felt so humiliated. I didn’t understand why they treated me like this.
Several of them took turns to beat me and kick me. All my body became bruised.
The second time they interrogated me was ten days later. They didn’t even ask one single question but started with beating me with a high- voltage electrical rod. I felt like I couldn’t stand it any more, so I told them, “I have told you everything that I knew of, but if there was no such a thing, I couldn’t make up a story for you.” Then they told me, “You just repeat what we tell you and admit you had sexual relationship with Gong Shengliang, then we will release you and let you go home right away.
When I said “No” to them, the chief police officer went out. Right after that, several policemen came in and pushed me to the ground, beating me and kicking me. They dragged me around in the room by pulling my hair. One police kicked me on my stomach and my waist. Even today I still feel the pain. I lost my consciousness seven times. One time when I re-gained consciousness, I heard one police talking to another saying, “Don’t waste our time. After all, the South China Church is in our hands, we will make sure Gong Shengliang gets a death sentence. Why don’t we just get her fingerprint now?” But the other police said, “This won’t work. Let’s use cold water to wake her up.”
Once again, the police asked me to give a false confession. They even prepared a written testimony by themselves, asking me to repeat words by words. When I refused, they said, “You have tasted the good treatment minutes ago, now we will have better ones for you.” Then they started another round of torturing me. This time, they tore my clothes and bra, using electrical rod to touch my breast and jab my other private place. I couldn’t bear this kind of humiliation. How could I? I could bear other kind of tortures, but not this one, I felt like I had broken down.
Then they said, “If you choose to die like this, you will die in vain, because nobody knows where you are, and we can just bury you somewhere, even your family won’t know. You know, we can just make you disappear, and we don’t have to take any responsibility for that.”
At that time, I was thinking to myself, “If I kept a breath, there would be hope for justice someday.” So I told them I would follow their instruction. But I still didn’t know what to write, because I am an honest person, and I don’t know how to make up stories. Then they said, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to think at all, just write down whatever we tell you.” My hands were trembling at their dictation, and my heart was struggling, because I knew this would be the so —called evidence which the police would use to accuse Pastor Gong Shengliang. It’s not fair to him at all.
But I had no other choice in that situation, I kept on writing down what the police instructed me. When I finished, I couldn’t stand still, I lost consciousness. It was too painful for me to accuse an innocent man, because Pastor Gong is a good man, he has never done such a thing… But the police were determined to put him to death as a rapist based on the coerced testimony. After I finished, I had no desire for life any more. I felt like I had already died by doing this. But it is too late, the police had already got what they wanted to accuse Pastor Gong.”
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Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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