Ms. Liu Yi (pseudonym), a Christian in her 60s, was subjected to abusiveness, confinement, sleep deprivation, ill-treatment and forced indoctrination merely because of her faith, leaving her with severe physical and mental trauma.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tormented me for more than two months by indoctrinating and confining me. During the two or three months after returning home, I just could not sleep. I was haunted by headaches and fever, and I felt like my head was about to explode. Even if I felt asleep, I always woke up with fear,” Liu recalled. “My memory declined sharply, to the point that I would forget what to say, and sometimes it took me a long time to remember what to say. In some cases, my brain was totally out of control, and I had to zigzag along. Later I went to see the doctor and was told that I had brain atrophy and cerebral infarction. The doctor said these serious diseases are very hard to heal, and I might become a vegetable if my condition worsened.” She continued, “In the past, I was so happy to practice my faith in God, and I never had serious health problems. But look at me now. The CCP has almost made me disabled.”
Displaced after two arrests due to evangelical mission, hunted by police from province to province
Liu Yi is a Christian of The Church of Almighty God (CAG). She was arrested and detained twice because of preaching the gospel. To escape the CCP’s third arrest, she later fled home and lived with her daughter in another province which is far from her hometown in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Liu had not expected that the police officers would cross the borders to arrest her in another province just because she believed in God and preached the gospel.
At 4 a.m. one day in December 2017, led by some officers from the local police station, seven plainclothes officers from the Public Security Bureau and National Security Bridge of Liu’s hometown burst into the house of Liu’s daughter. After searching out two copies of literature related to faith in God, they controlled her and took her back to Guangxi the very night, then sent her to a detention house.
Subjected to 24/7 surveillance and forced indoctrination by 2 tutors and 6 instructors
A month later, Liu Yi was transferred to a remote indoctrination base for transformation. There, she was locked up in a completely closed and suffocating room, with no window allowed to be opened. Two female tutors in their 50s were arranged to monitor and watch her 24/7, while six instructors were assigned to transform her.
During the first two weeks, the instructors largely asked her questions about her family and lured her into giving up information about the church, but did not succeed. Then they began to use various heretical fallacies to convict and blaspheme against Almighty God’s word. They also played for her some videos full of rumors that discredits the CAG and took turn to subject her to forced indoctrination and attacks.
Confined and mistreated for adhering to faith and refusing to be transformed
Liu Yi recalled, “As I always refused to ‘cooperate’ with the instructors for transformation in class, I was often confined upon returning to the dormitory. The tutors would intentionally lock me up in a room with no air circulation for two or three days. They also shut all doors and windows and drew the curtains.” “I was usually told to sit on the bed and could not move freely. I was also not allowed to close my eyes or cross my fingers to offer prayers. Even when I used the toilet or took a bath, they would watch me closely,” she said.
During the period, they also intentionally deprived her of food or left her hungry. They only gave her a small half bowl of porridge for breakfast. Sometimes she had nothing to eat for lunch, and sometimes supper was very late.
Tortures lead to her physical weakness, and poor air circulation in the room made things even worse. Liu Yi often felt it was difficult to breathe, and it was really unbearable.
Liu Yi was frequently intimidated by the instructors in addition to physical abuse. During an interrogation, the instructors warned to imprison her for several years if she refused to cooperate for transformation, and even threatened to kill her. They also said they would not let go of her husband and daughter.
Feeling very depressed, Liu Yi could do nothing but to sob secretly under the blanket. But the more she wept, the worse her condition would be. Her breathing became particularly difficult, and she would rather die than live in pain. She constantly prayed to God in her heart and didn’t dare to stay away from God in spirit.
Tortured, dying, but compelled to suspend medical treatment
On February 17, Liu Yi was taken to the office for interrogation. Before long, she had a twitch and stated to tremble. She also had a cramp in her feet. Two instructors came forward to have their weight on her four limbs, but her body continued to shake even more. They noticed she was breathing heavily and about to suffocate, so they had to send her to hospital.
In the state of half-consciousness, Liu Yi heard the doctor said that she was dying and needed immediate hospitalization and examination to make sure if she had cerebral infarction or myocardial infarction. But Director Chen, the head of the indoctrination base, said coldly, “She is a criminal and does not deserve hospitalization. Just give her an injection to help her regain consciousness.”
That afternoon, the doctor told Director Chen that according to the examination result, Liu’s condition was crucial due to a serious potassium depletion. The doctor also warned that her situation could easily paralyze her or turn her into a vegetable, and reiterated that she must be hospitalized for a comprehensive examination, but Director Chen refused decisively.
At 10 p.m., they took Liu Yi back to the indoctrination base, but she was too weak to be on her feet.
Imprisoned and tormented despite crucial condition
On the third day back from hospital, Liu got a little better. The tutors ignored her pleading, and kept the doors and windows closed. They told her that they had to do so because the instructors could see all this through surveillance cameras.
Liu Yi felt suffocated and uncomfortable again due to the bad air circulation. She couldn’t stop shivering and remained weak, and sometimes she could not sleep due to headaches
Fearing to be paralyzed, Liu struggled to her feet and practiced walking along the wall or around the bed. All this was seen by the instructors through surveillance cameras. On the fifth day during an interrogation, they scolded her for pretending to be sick, and even taunted that they would feed dogs her flesh or bury her body under a papaya tree if she died.
Remaining sick, Liu Yi was subjected to another 3-day confinement, during which she could not eat or sleep due to bad headaches. Her limbs kept trembling and twitching. Nevertheless, the tutors took the opportunity to persuade her to write a statement to betray God.
As Liu still refused to be transformed, the instructors ordered her to be seated on a half-meter high red plastic stool in the interrogation room from 26 to 28 February. She was told to sit on it for seven or eight hours a day, and was not allowed to move a little. They also tried to find faults with her and deprived her of food. Even after being sent back to the dormitory, she was punished to sit still in bed for a few more hours. She was not allowed to sleep until 3 a.m. Liu Yi felt exhausted from the tortures, resulting in severe insomnia and headaches.
There was more. The instructors told the tutors not to let Liu drink water, wash her face or brush her teeth for a week. They intentionally found faults with her and kept her awake for four nights. During those days, Liu developed terrible headaches. Finally, she was so uncomfortable that she begged the instructors for some pills to kill the headaches. But they insisted that she was pretending to be sick, and said viciously, “We’ll send for the doctor to give you an injection to make you a vegetable.”
Later, they went on to torture her even more. Every time she was in the interrogation room, the instructors would intentionally close all the windows and draw the curtains. They even yelled, “If we cannot get rid of you, at least we can disable you. You’ll die like a dog, with no one aware of your death.”
Monitored and harassed even after freed from confinement
After 65 days of torment, Liu Yi was eventually released. After she returned home, her waist hurt badly whenever she stood, sat or lay down. No plaster or doctor seemed to work. Her headache remained and she could hardly sleep. Only after hospitalization for a further examination did she get to know she had cerebral infarction, brain atrophy, lumbar disc herniation and other problems.
The police, however, would not let her off, claiming that her transformation was not successful, and she was not allowed to leave the locality. She was ordered to report where she had been to the police. They also regularly gave her phone calls or visited her home for questioning, and warned her that she must stop her belief in God.
To monitor Liu Yi’s movements, the CCP has sent people to install two surveillance cameras in front of her house. Even to date, she has no personal freedom at all.