To convert a Christian and forced her to sign four statements of renouncing her faith, the CCP isolated her and subjected her to forceful brainwashing and conversion for more than 200 days, and made her take psychotropic medication, which caused severe physical and mental trauma to her.
Sentenced to Prison and Subjected to Forceful Brainwashing
On July 2, 2017, Tan Huizhen (alias), a Christian of The Church of Almighty God, was arrested by the police officers in Zhejiang Province, and her faith-related books and laptop computers, etc. were confiscated. She was taken into custody in a detention center after fruitless interrogations. In January 2019, she was sentenced to two years and three months by the People’s Court on the charge of using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law, and was then sent to a prison to serve her term.
According to inside sources, anyone with religious beliefs who is imprisoned must undergo brainwashing and conversion until he or she signs four statements of renouncing faith (a statement of confession, a statement of repentance, a statement of severing ties, and a statement of denouncement and criticism). The prison mentors responsible for the conversion are specially trained prisoners appointed by prison officers. Those mentors arranged for Christians are the most sinister and malicious prisoners. Prison guards and mentors hold regular meetings to study the programs for converting Christians.
Once in prison, the prison guards required her to watch six hours of videos a day that blasphemed God and slandered The Church of Almighty God. While watching, she was compelled to take notes; after that, she was forced to write a reflection, and in the evenings hand-copy ideological and theoretical materials ten times, which resulted in her hand becoming numb and painful, and her back aching. If she performed these tasks slightly differently from what they wished, she would be harshly reprimanded, insulted, and subjected to corporal punishment.
Subjected to Inhuman Tortures for Rejection of Renouncing Faith
As she insisted on refusing to sign the four statements, the prison guards instructed mentors to torment Tan Huizhen by only allowing her a few bites of food a day. She was not given water to drink during the day, and for several hours each day she was forced to stand and to sit at attention, which made her exhausted and her feet and legs very painful. Seeing her refuse to write anything blaspheming God, the mentors poured water and urine over her body and didn’t allow her to relieve herself, so she had to poop in her pants. And for an entire week they harshly pinched and twisted her arms (The black and blue marks didn’t disappear until a few months later).
The prison mentors later attempted to force Tan Huizhen to copy out materials blaspheming God but failed. Then they pressed her down onto the ground and wrote blasphemous things all over her face and neck, and daily necessities, after which they savagely dug the tip of the marker into her hands until they drew blood.
When she still refused to write anything blaspheming God, a prison mentor held Tan Huizhen’s head and twisted her left arm behind her back, and then pressed her foot into Tan’s back while another mentor forced her right hand open to hold the pen. As she struggled with all her might, the mentor forced her left pinky finger up and lifted up her left arm. She felt as if the bones of her shoulder were broken and was in so much pain that she cried out (Her arm was sprained and currently she still cannot lift it backward. It hurts even when exerting a little strength). But the mentor just stuffed a floor towel into her mouth and used the tip of the pen to stab at the wounds on her hand while also tearing out large amounts of her hair, causing her such misery that she would bang her head hard against her bed board to the point that her lips were split and blood was coming out of her mouth. It was only at this point that the prisoners would stop.
For the following ten days the prison mentors continued to torment Tan Huizhen this way every day. She was in extreme suffering, on the brink of despair and collapse, and she lost over 20 pounds.
Later, the prison mentors also forced Tan Huizhen to do gymnastics. Despite her wrenched left arm, they deliberately asked her to do chest stretches and arms swinging repeatedly, and ordered her to stand over 10 hours a day.
Intensive Brainwashing, Forced to Take Unknown Medication
Two months later, Tan Huizhen was transferred to another prison district for intensive brainwashing and conversion. The prison mentors ordered her to maintain a sitting position on a wooden bench of both legs and feet close together and turned out, both hands placed on her knees, and her back very straight. To keep her from leaning forward, they put a pen on the bench and reprimanded her at the sight of her move. They also had her sit and then stand with two volumes of the largest dictionary available pressed between her hands. They did this for four to five hours every day; the torment lasted for one week, causing her whole body in unbearable pain.
In an effort to thoroughly break down Tan Huizhen’s resolve, the prison guards forced her to take two tablets of psychotropic medication (one is yellow and the other is white) every day for about ten days. The prison mentor intimidated her, “Complete your study. If not, you’ll have to take more medicine. What will you do if you get crazy?” After being forced to take the medicine, she often had a headache, along with dizziness and frequent nightmares, thus having a mental breakdown.
Afterward, Tan Huizhen’s refusal to sign the four statements aroused the prison mentors’ anger. They wrote many things blaspheming God on papers and put up them on her body or into her clothes, putting menthocamphorate (cooling ointment) in her eyes, stuffing smelly socks into her mouth, using iron clamps on her ears, and holding her and forcefully twisting and pulling on her nipples. She suffered incredibly from the tortures and cried out hysterically. The police also found her parents to record a video for her, in an attempt to force her to give up her faith by family affection, but she didn’t yield.
Seeing that the forceful conversion was futile, the prison guards found two prisoners to brainwash Tan Huizhen. Every day they said tons of heresies denying and blaspheming God, forced her to recite the “Code of Conduct” repeatedly, and made her answer many tricky questions. They would also specifically looked for loopholes in her words, creating psychological pressure on her. The police even threatened to shoot her dead if the conversion was unsuccessful, so she was living on tenterhooks every day and suffering under mental pressure.
By the time she had served her sentence, Tan Huizhen was released from the hellish prison and the brainwashing for seven months came to an end. The forceful brainwashing and medication brought to her severe mental consequences that she was less responsive and her memory had declined. Sometimes she couldn’t even recognize a close acquaintance, and thinking would cause severe pain to her head.
After her release, the police continued their long-term surveillance and attempts at brainwashing, demanding that she report to the police station once every three months and that she undergo five years of conversion training in the judicial office. Tan Huizhen still has no personal freedom.