The emotional bond that a mother has with her child, born or unborn, is sacred and powerful. In labour camps in China, this bond is not only disregarded, but it is even used as a weapon to force pregnant women or mothers to give up their belief in Falun Gong. Beating pregnant women and forced abortions frequently take place.
For example, one can not imagine the agony of Mrs Wang Lixuan when the harsh labour camp tortured her son to death and subsequently robbed her of her life.
Since the detention of pregnant women is against the rules of the labour camps in China, it is common to use forced abortion on pregnant prisoners. In one case, an 8-month-old unborn baby was pulled out of a Falun Gong practitioner's womb, and the awake and crying baby was taken away and never seen again. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are forced to perform hard labour, often resulting in complications in pregnancy and miscarriage.
Countless children are left behind after their parents have been captured. They anxiously wait with other relatives for the return of their parents, not knowing whether they will ever return home. In some cases children are left alone and left to their fate, and dozens have been orphaned.
Mother and her eight-month-old son tortured to death
Ms. Wang Lixuan, aged 27, was a Falun Dafa practitioner from Nangou. Her son, Meng Hao, was less than 8 months old. Since July 20th, 1999, Lixuan went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Dafa on several occasions. On October 21st, 2000, she was arrested on her way to Beijing. When she later ran away from the detention centre, she went to Beijing again on October 22nd to ask the government to lift the ban on Falun Dafa.
On November 7th, 2000, Ms. Wang and her son were tortured to death at Tuanhe Forced Labour Camp, Beijing. When her family received the death notice and arrived in Beijing, they found the frozen corpses of Ms Wang and her son. According to the coroner’s examination, her neck and knucklebones were broken, her skull was sunken and there was a needle stuck in her body.
There were two deep bruises on her son’s ankles. Moreover, there were two black and blue spots on his head and blood in his nose. The bruises may have been caused when the labour camp guards shackled little Meng Hao’s ankles and hung him upside down.
The authorities declared on the death certificate that the two had committed suicide by jumping off a building even though it was inconsistent with their injuries and the coroner's report.
Family members of Ms Wang have also been persecuted. Her sister, Ms Wang Lihui, was sent to a labour camp because she practised Falun Gong at Yantai University. Her brother was also sent to a labour camp for practising Falun Gong at Jinan Industrial College.
Forced abortion at full term
Zhang Hanyun, female, 33, resident of Hanzhong City, Shanxi Province.
In March 2000, because Ms Zhang Hanyun practises Falun Gong, she was forced to attend the anti-Falun Gong brainwashing class held by the Hanzhong City 6-10 Office, even though she was pregnant and expecting her new baby soon. To avoid the persecution, Ms Zhang hid with a relative’s family. Her father owned a contraction company. Under instructions from the Hanzhong City 6-10 Office staff members, the Beiguan Administrative Office closed down the construction sites of Ms Zhang’s father and brother in an attempt to force them to hand over Ms Zhang. They also handcuffed Ms Zhang’s husband to the Jialing River Bridge to humiliate him.
In the end, Ms Zhang was arrested and sent to the anti-Falun Gong brainwashing class. When the staff of the Hanzhong City 6-10 Office” realised Ms. Zhang would soon be giving birth to a baby, in order to detain her at the anti-Falun Gong brainwashing class, they took her to a hospital. Ms. Zhang was subjected to forced late-term abortion by dilation and extraction. The horrifying process is hard to imagine.
Miscarriages due to hard labour and poor conditions in detention facilities
Dou Jianhua, female, 28, is a kindergarten teacher in Mishan city, Heilongjiang Province. In June 2000, she went to Bejing for the second time to appeal. After being escorted back, she was sent to the Beishan Detention Centre in Lianzhushan Town by the Nongken Police Department in Mudanjiang, Mishan City. All practitioners in the detention centre were forced to do hard labour. Especially after knowing Ms Dou was pregnant, they continued to make her move heavy bricks, which caused massive bleeding, resulting in a miscarriage (source).
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Jiang Zhongli, female, is an employee of Hengyang Blood Bank, Hengyang, Hunan Province. She was pregnant while detained with drug addicts and drug dealers at the Hengyang Detention Centre in Hunan Province. Her husband was serving in the army. In February 2000, she had a miscarriage at the detention centre and suffered from severe haemorrhage. She was taken away by her work unit when she was hovering between life and death. She was fined 1,500 Yuan (GBP £155) and denied 3,000 Yuan (GBP £310) of her wages (source).
More forced abortions
Liu Qiuhong, 39, is an employee of Zhongce Pharmacy Company, resident of Yantai City, Shandong Province. Ms Liu Qiuhong was arrested at her home by the Zhifu District Police Station of Yantai City, merely because she practised Falun Gong. Ms Liu was more than eight months pregnant at the time. The police, however, tied her down and forcefully induced an early labour. The baby was born alive and healthy, and was crying when the police forced it from her womb. The authorities did not even allow Ms Liu any time to recover. They immediately sent her to an anti-Falun Gong Brainwashing Centre for one month, and then sentenced her to a forced labour camp. No one knows what became of the child (source).
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Wang Shaona, female, is from Shekou City of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. Wang Shaona and her husband Li Weijun were arrested in February 2000, on their way to Beijing to appeal. Li Weijun was sent to the Shekou Detention Centre. Wang Shaona had been pregnant for 6 months. In order to keep her in detention, police forced her to undergo an abortion (source).
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Five practitioners of Guilin City, Guangxi Province, Lin Jiangjin, Wei Yuemei, Li Xiaoying, Li Xiuliang, and Ouyang, were arrested for practising Falun Gong exercises together on July 13th. Because all of them refused to sign repentance and pledge statements, giving up their belief, they are detained in the second detention centre of Guilin. Later, because Ouyang was pregnant, she was allowed to go home only after she paid 10,000 Yuan (GBP £1.040). Now the police are forcing her to undergo an abortion citing the excuse that she does not have a permit to give birth (source).
Nursing mothers detained and beaten
Liang Mei (pseudonym) is a 29-year-old Falun Dafa practitioner from Sichuan Province who was still nursing her baby at home. She was locked up in the local Agronomy School together with several other practitioners. As part of her torture, several policemen grabbed her by her arms and legs, lifted her up in the air and then threw her repeatedly onto the ground.
The police told Ms Liang "We were told by the top [officials] that we do not need to reason with Falun Gong practitioners. Never mind the laws and legal processes, we can do whatever we want to!"
They ignored her pleas that she had a young baby at home who still needed to be breastfed. This time she was handcuffed with her hands twisted behind her back around a tree. Her mouth was sealed with tape. Ms Liangi's shirt and trousers were wet with her milk while the baby was starving at home. As time passed by, her hands, handcuffed backward around the tree, began to swell and the pain became unbearable. She asked again to be released but her request was denied. The next evening around 6pm, She was sent to the detention centre for a period of 15 days (source).
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On February 19th, 2000, Ms Li Dan was arrested because she went to Beijing to appeal to the government to stop persecuting Falun Gong. She was then sent back to Linhe City and detained at Linhe City Police Station. While in the Linhe City Police Station, three policemen took turns beating her for an entire night. Policeman Yang slapped her face over a dozen times. On February 20th, 2000, Ms Li was shackled and sent to the Huhehaote City Women’s Labour Camp. She was detained in this camp until July 30th, 2000.
During her detention, she was forced to do heavy labour. On July 10th, an examination revealed that she had been pregnant for a few months. She was still forced to unload 30 tons of coal per day with eight other Falun Gong practitioners. Also, she was forced to load and unload bull dung and till the soil. When there was no heavy work, she was forced to wrap more than 10,000 pairs of chopsticks each day. Every morning, Ms Li was handcuffed to the stair rail and forced to squat for a long time. One day, Captain Liu of the No. 3 Team of the labour camp shocked her with an electric baton. Later, Deputy Captain Chang Hong ordered guards to hang her by handcuffs without letting her feet touch the ground. Her arms became black, cold, and numb after two hours of hanging, and she was hung this way for the entire day.
On July 30th, 2000, she was released to go home with her hands still cuffed. The Linhe City Police Station ordered the clinic to force Ms Li to abort her baby during her eighth month of pregnancy, but the forced abortion did not succeed. Shortly after she gave birth, the police ordered her to write a statement to renounce Faun Gong, or she would be fined 30,000 Yuan (GBP £3,115) or taken from her house. Even three months after her release she was still harassed and five or six policemen kept her under surveillance 24 hours a day. To avoid another illegal arrest, Ms Li left home and became homeless (source).
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Liang Peiying, female, is a resident of Shiyan City, Hubei Province. One afternoon in the middle of October 2000, when Ms Liang Peiying was breastfeeding her seven-month-old daughter at home, two policemen from the Sanyan Police Station, Shiyan City arrested her. Even though it is illegal to detain a woman who has a child less than one year old, they took her to the police station and beat her severely. When her husband went to see Ms Liang, the policemen handcuffed him and hung him from the window frame by his handcuffs, although he is not a Falun Gong practitioner. They brutally beat him as well.
They then cuffed Ms Liang’s hands behind her back and made her sit on the floor all night. Her seven-month-old son was deprived of her breast milk and cried so hard that he became hoarse and nearly lost his voice. Later Ms Liang was released.
On December 14th, 2000, Gao Donghui, the Sanyan Police Station chief, and policeman Cai Xiaojun broke into Ms Liang’s home and arrested her again. In the police station, they handcuffed her behind her back, with one arm over her shoulder and the other behind her waist. The torture is called the “Carrying the Sword on the Back”. With her hands still in this distorted position, they pushed Ms Liang onto the ground, facing up. Policeman Cui Ke, while wearing leather boots, stomped on her body from her head to her toes. Ms Liang instantly lost control of her bladder and bowels from this assault. They then hung her up on the window frame by the handcuffs.
On December 15th, Ms Liang was sent to Shiyan No. 1 Detention Centre. Ten days later, when policeman Cai went to interrogate her, he closed the door of the interrogation room and brutally beat her again. To cover up the arrest of a woman with a child under one year old, the Sanyan Police Station authorities changed the document date, stating when they sent Ms Liang to the detention centre, from December 15th, 2000, to February 17th, 2001, which was one day after her daughter’s first birthday. To support this fabrication, Ms Liang was transferred from the detention centre to an out-processing station on January 15th, 2001 and transferred back again on February 17th, 2001 (source).
Have I lost Mum too?
Zou Rongfa (female) was born in November 1999. At that time, her father, Zou Songtao, was held in a detention centre because he had gone to Beijing to appeal to the government to stop persecuting Falun Gong. Mr Zou was not released until the end of December 1999. He had been in and out of jail many times because he was a Falun Gong practitioner.
The director of the Taixi Police Station, Gong Guoquan, once handcuffed Mr Zou to an iron chair. The director beat him with the sole of his shoe, causing his head to bleed and swell to twice its size, beyond the point of recognition. He was unconscious for more than 20 minutes.
In July 2000, Mr Zou was sent to the Qingdao City Forced Labour Camp. Later, at the end of September 2000, he was transferred to the Wangcun Forced Labour Camp in Zibo City. On the morning of November 3rd, 2000, policemen Zheng Wanxin, Shao Zhenghua, and others took Mr Zou into an interrogation room, shocked him with electric batons, and killed him within two hours. Rongfa lost her father.
After the death of Mr Zou, the police kept harassing and closely watching Rongfa's mother, Zhang Yunhe. In February 2002, the police arrested Ms Zhang Yunhe and detained her at the Dashan Detention Centre, Qingdao City. The police refused to release any information about her to her family. Zou Rongfa thus was separated from her mother.
Rongfa had to stay with her grandmother, who was over 60 years old. However, her grandmother became ill and died in August 2001 from the pain of losing her son-in-law and being separated from her daughter.
Rongfa has lost her father, her mother, and her grandmother, the three people she loved the most (source).
Huang Yin, age 3
On October 30th, 1999, Huang Ying’s mother Luo Zhixiang went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was sent back. She was detained for 20 days. On June 13th, 2000 she went to Beijing again to appeal and was beaten and detained for one day at the Tiananmen Square Police Station. On October 29th, 2000 and November 20th, 2002, Ms Luo was sent twice to Division 2 of No. 1 Forced Labour Camp in Chini Town, Huadu District, Guangzhou City by police in Guangzhou City, during which time the guards beat, force-fed and tortured her with a method called the "Dead Person's Bed". On December 5th, 2002, when she was one-and-a-half years old, Huang Ying saw her mother's body. Her father Huang Guohua, also a Falun Gong practitioner, was then in a labour camp and didn't know his wife had died.
Right now Huang Ying lives with her grandparents in a dilapidated house made of sun-dried mud bricks (adobe bricks). Her grandparents have no source of income and cannot afford to send her to a kindergarten (source).
4-year old girl dies after family was beaten and arrested multiple times
On July 19th, 2000, a group of police officers broke into Shujie uncle's home and abducted all adults in the house in front of Shujie. On December 3rd, 2000, the police took Shujie's father and Shujie to the Guansi Police Station for interrogation. Before Shujie's father even opened his mouth, the officer used a book to slap his face. Shujie immediately passed out from shock and fear. After she woke up, she had a fever and was sweating. She shook her head from side to side due to severe pain in her head. She was restless and uneasy and banged her head against the wall. After she returned home, she was in lethargic sleep for a whole day. The police went to Shujie's home over and over again to arrest her family members. When Shujie's father was arrested and was not home, Shujie missed her father very much, and she held the picture taken with her father in her arms and cried badly.
The police harassed Shujie's family time and again and they were forced to leave home to avoid illegal arrest. Shujie's health was greatly damaged from mental shocks over and over again, and from living in fear for a long time. Her health was devastated and she had difficulty eating.
At dawn on February 1st, 2002, nearly 20 police officers surrounded Shujie's home. They broke inside in an attempt to kidnap Shujie's father to a brainwashing class. Shujie was so scared she wet her bed. The police simply ignored her and took away Shujie's father and sent him to a brainwashing class. Shujie cried loudly.
On February 14th, 2002, Shujie and her aunt went to the brainwashing class to visit her father. When she returned, Shujie said to her mother, "Dad said today is my birthday, but he can't be with me." Mother looked at the emaciated child and shed tears. Shujie was only skin and bones and she hardly grew during the two years of persecution. She had a hard time sleeping and eating. Her parents had to take her to a hospital.
On July 11th, 2002, Shujie's parents took her to the prestigious Qilu Hospital. Shujie was found to have a benign fluid bubble on her brain and needed surgery. After the operation, Shujie began convulsing and her body temperature reached 107.6 0F (42 oC). Four days later, Shujie stopped breathing and died (source).