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Wei Yaxia Tortured and Died of Persecution  
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Ms. Wei Yaxia, female, was born in 1953 and was an employee of the Wuchang City Traffic Control Center in Heilongjiang Province. Since the persecution of Falun Gong started, Ms. Wei went to Beijing twice to appeal for ending the persecution: once on June 15, 2000, and again on November 14, 2000. She was detained both times. The second time she was detained, she went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was released on December 30, 2000. However, ten days later, on January 9, 2001, Ms. Wei was again arrested without any legal procedure and sentenced to one year in the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp.


In the labor camp, Ms. Wei was brutally tortured for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The police deprived her of sleep, force-fed her, and forced her to stand or squat in a fixed position for long periods of time. She was put on the "Tiger Bench"[1] twice, each time for a day and night, with the handcuffs cutting into the flesh on her wrists. She was confined in a small solitary compartment many times for many days. In July 2001, Ms. Wei was tortured with the "Big Hang Up"[2] method for a long time. Every day she was put down for only a short while after the inmates came back from their work; then, before everyone else went to work, she was hung up again. Sometimes she was hung in a men's cell. When Ms. Wei's son called in to inquire about her situation, the police told him that Ms. Wei was in the men's cell at the time. Once Ms. Wei vomited a lot as a result of being hung up too long, and the inmate reported her situation to the guards. The guards then asked her whether she would still practice Falun Gong. Ms. Wei answered "Yes," so she was left hanging.


Later, Ms. Wei developed scabies all over her body and suffered greatly from the severe itching. The labor camp used a tactic called "Scratching the Itch," which makes people bleed all over and is very painful. Ms. Wei did not relent after such torture, but instead was able to see through the tactics of the police. Before she was released, the guards wanted to take pictures of her and other practitioners who had scabies, and they claimed that they would release only those whose pictures were taken. Ms. Wei firmly refused to have the pictures taken and was the first to be released ahead of term, without any conditions. She walked out of Wanjia Forced Labor Camp with dignity.


Upon returning home, the officials from her work unit kept applying great pressure on her and her family. The police department and officials from the "610 Office" often went to her home to harass her. In April 2002, the Wuchang City Police and the "610 Office" together started another round of arresting practitioners. Ms. Wei’s work unit dismissed her from her job. There were policemen and police vehicles stationed around her home. In addition, they viciously pressured her family members and threatened to fire her husband and prevent her son from gaining employment. She felt that there was a great psychological burden on her family. Ms. Wei therefore left home and moved from one place to another to avoid the continued persecution. Before her death, she hid in a relative’s apartment. According to the neighbors, on the evening of April 25, 2002, they heard someone knocking on the door of the room where Ms. Wei was hiding. In the morning her body was found dead outside the building.


The vicious persecution against Ms. Wei did not end with her death. The authorities spread rumors that she had gone insane because of practicing Falun Gong and had committed suicide. Ms. Wei had never exhibited thoughts of suicide, even after so much brutal torture and so many difficult situations.




[1] "Tiger Bench" -- A torture method commonly used on Falun Gong practitioners. Practitioners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall, with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead. They are not allowed to turn their heads, close their eyes, talk to anyone, or move at all. Several inmates are assigned to watch over the practitioners and force them to remain motionless while sitting on the bench. Usually some hard objects are inserted beneath the practitioners' lower legs or ankles to make it harder for them to tolerate this abuse.


[2] "Big Hang Up" -- A torture method commonly used on Falun Gong practitioners. There are two forms of this torture: (a) With both hands shackled behind the back and only toes touching the ground, one is hung by a rope that is tied to a metal window frame; (b) One hand of a practitioner is handcuffed to one bunk bed and the other hand to another bed, and the two beds are pulled in opposite directions. One feels extreme pain as the body is stretched.


type=case,death;type=case,women;type=Labor Camp, Wanjia Forced Labor Camp;location=Heilongjiang,Wuchang

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