Shanghai human rights lawyer Li Tiantian (李天天), one of many activists to have ‘disappeared’ during the crackdown on the Jasmine protests, was recently freed on May 24 after three months of detention.
While she originally suggested that she would not be giving away any details of her 3-month detention as per the terms of her release, she decided to blurt it all out when she discovered that the police had been harrassing her boyfriend at work and at home. They also spoke to his siblings, urging them to get him to write her a separation letter.
In a series of tweets last weekend, Li decided to be brutally honest about the methods of intimidation employed by national security — they had gained intimate knowledge of her sexual liaisons, and even forced her boyfriend and his siblings to watch CCTV footage of her entering a hotel with other men.
Here is a selection of some of those shocking tweets, translated by Oiwan Lam, regional editor for Northeast Asia at Global Voices:
After I was detained, they searched my apartment and my boyfriend’s apartment. They searched everything. They even forced my boyfriend and his brothers and sisters to watch a video that showed me walking into a hotel with other men.
Even my boyfriend had no interest to know who I was having sex with. The police showed more concern. They identified the guys and wanted to document details like, who paid for the hotel? Who suggested to have sex? How many times? Who seduced who? They asked me to give all these details.
Since they really wanted to know the details and I was forgetful, I offered: If you really want to know, you can invite all these guys here, and I can do it all over again for your records. They said it wouldn’t be as good as an adult video and did not authorise it.
I feel embarrassed to write about sex, but I would suffer more if I don’t speak out. During the interrogation, I even made some jokes about it, but deep down I was so ashamed, as if I was beaten but kept smiling and saying that I didn’t feel the pain. So helpless. The sense of fear is still very strong.
Fortunately, I did not shed a tear in front of the police. I did not lose self-control. When I said, if you don’t give me a lawyer, I won’t sign my name on the testimony document, the police asked if I wanted to be beaten. The officer stood up in front of me and wanted to beat me. I said be careful, I will bite your ear and neck. He grabbed my hair and threatened to hit me with a tissue box.
Before the officer hit me with the box, I said: you are really going to hit me. I get it, I am scared. I will be cooperative and won’t demand anything. You are so manly, I am going to piss and wet my pants. I really needed to go to the toilet. The officer said he would handcuff me and lock me in a cage if I would not cooperate. He took out a police rod and told the guard to hit me if necessary.
I tried very hard to adjust my mind from going crazy. There were 7-8 times that I almost broke down. — well, no windows is just a minor problem. Just think about those who died in the cultural revolution, what I am facing now is nothing. This is how I comforted myself to stop my mind from breaking down.
They said: you have strong sexual desire, once is not enough, you need twice at a time? I answered: I am a woman in my 40s. There is a saying about [the lust of] women in their 30s and 40s, right? Moreover, Shanghai guys are not good at this. If men are not selfish, sex can be easy. But when they perform badly, they have to do it again. Do you know why Shanghai women are so bossy? Because Shanghai guys are stupid and selfish, they can’t satisfy a woman. [Translator note: the security police were Shanghai men]
Usually there were only two or three police officers questioning me. This time, when the subject was sex, they asked two additional guards, one male and one female, to enter the interrogation room. There were a total of four people asking me about my sex life. I felt very bad. They said: you are so horny, you must be dying to have sex now. I answered yes, let me out now.
Once I brought some dried fruit to one of my sex partners. They had this in their investigation. They also knew if I had discussed the Jasmine protest with these men. I asked, you won’t consider the dried fruit a sexual transaction, will you?
Read more of Li Tiantian’s tweets, translated by Oiwan Lam, here.