Exposing the Crimes Committed against Falun Gong Practitioners in Sichuan Labor Camps
Due the heavy pressure applied by Jiang Zemin and his subordinates, as well as their own desires of receiving recognition and awards for their cruelty, a number of guards and inmates in various Sichuan labor camps have systematically brutalized Falun Gong practitioners being held there.
The Zizhong Nanmusi Female Labor Camp has held a total of around 200 practitioners. One day, a practitioner being held at its 5th Platoon, encouraged all practitioners to practice Falun Gong exercises and study the Fa in the labor camp. As punishment, the guards tied her tightly to a tree. After she lost consciousness, the guards loosened the rope around her slightly, but as soon as she regained consciousness, they tightened the rope again. To prevent her from speaking, one guard took dirty socks off his own feet and stuffed them into the practitioner's mouth for two or three hours. Another practitioner refused to wear a sign around her neck with the word "cult" on it, and the guard burned her severely. Another practitioner refused to answer roll call and was sent to solitary confinement. For days, she was not allowed to use the bathroom and had to sleep on the ground without any covers.
The 5th Platoon of the labor camp does not allow practitioners to talk to each other. If any practitioner dared to perform the Falun Gong exercises, she would be forced to remain standing for long periods of time, beaten and verbally abused, or sent to solitary confinement. After they were locked into solitary confinement, some practitioners went ahead and performed the Falun Gong exercises anyway. The guards responded by throwing buckets of water on them, sometimes so much so that the room would be flooded enough to cover one's feet. In addition, the practitioners would not allowed to use the bathroom for an entire day and only be given two meals per day. Sometimes they were forced to remain standing from 7 or 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight before they could go back to their cells. This went on more than two weeks. When some practitioners held hunger strikes and refused to perform the forced labor, they were locked into their cells and not allowed to speak. If they spoke, they would be severely punished.
Things are even worse in the 1st Platoon. When one practitioner demanded to be released and refused to eat or perform the forced labor, she was stripped naked by guards and forced to stand in front of a mirror for hours. This happened twice, and the number of times when practitioners were beaten and verbally abused for studying the Fa or performing the exercises is countless.
In the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th Platoons, the practitioners have received similar physical and verbal abuse. Some practitioners were beaten so severely that they had trouble moving around for days. The guards often urged inmates who were in the labor camp for illegal drugs or prostitution to beat the practitioners.
Many practitioners in the 7th Platoon were beaten so severely that they were covered with cuts and bruises. The guards often hit or kicked the practitioners, and they also brought in handcuffs, police batons, and bats with sharp metal teeth to inflict more pain to the practitioners. One guard grabbed the nipples of one practitioner, and used all her strength to twist and pull them. Another practitioner had welts all over her body from the beatings, and she could not lay down from the pain.
In order to force practitioners to write "statements of remorse", the guards made practitioners stand up straight for more than 10 hours each day. Some practitioners were forced to bend down and stand up repeatedly hundreds of times, until they collapsed from exhaustion. In the height of the summer, some practitioners were forced to sit up straight on tiny stools outside from dawn until it was dark. Meanwhile, the temperature often exceeded 40 C (or 104 F). The practitioners all developed severe sunburn, but they were not allowed to shower or even go to the bathroom during the day. They were also not allowed to wipe away the sweat pouring down their faces or chase off mosquitoes biting them. In fact, they were not allowed to move at all, and simply blinking their eyes would bring them repeated slaps to the face. Many practitioners developed painful sores on their buttocks, but they still had to remain sitting.
Approximately 40 male practitioners are being held at the Ziyang Dayan Labor Camp, and they are also suffering from extreme cruelty and abuse. For disobeying camp rules, the guards repeatedly used the so called "police rope" on practitioner Wang Xuzhi and beat his head with the ends of their rifles. ("Police rope" is the name of an excruciatingly painful torture. Thin hemp string is tightly wrapped around the person's neck, shoulders, armpits, upper and lower arms, and wrists. The arms are then twisted in the back, tied up, and suddenly yanked upward. Holding that position even for a few minutes is so painful and damaging that it can lead to permanent injury or even death) The inmate leader in his section, Wang Yu, often beat and kicked him, slapped him repeatedly, and forced him to perform manual labor during the night. When other practitioners tried to protect him, they were punished as well. One practitioner went with Wang Xuzhi to tell the guards about how Wang Yu was abusing him. In front of more than 10 other guards, the platoon leader brought in another criminal who was even more vicious. He stripped off their shirts, tied them up, and forced them to kneel on the ground. The platoon leader then took off his leather shoes and used the heels of the shoes to hit the head and face of the practitioner who went with Wang Xuzhi. The practitioner's face became severely bruised and swollen, and his mouth was dripping blood. Afterwards, Wang Xuzhi began to hold a hunger strike, lasting for more than six months. To force him to eat and to stop him from performing Falun Gong exercises, more than 20 people surrounded him to beat him and hit his head with the ends of their rifles. While force-feeding him, inmates Qiu Wenhao and "Little Rascal" (a nickname) often deliberately stuck feeding tubes into the wrong places, bloodying his forehead and nose. When they were told to inject him with nutrients, they deliberately filled the syringes with boiling milk, stuck the syringes into his stomach directly, and released everything at once to cause more pain. As his hands were cuffed to the head of his bed every night, the inmates often used burning cigarette butts and cigarette lighters to burn him and even stuffed human feces and urine down his throat.
When Wang Xuzhi was finally released on medical parole in August of 2000, his weight had dropped to around 55 lb (25 kg). Several of his ribs were broken, and he could barely walk and could not eat at all. A mere 11 days later, he passed way. He was only 30 years old.
Another practitioner with the last name of Li began to perform Falun Gong exercises one night. When he was discovered, he was dragged outside and tortured with "police ropes" for more than half an hour. The next morning, several guards tied him up with ropes again and repeatedly hit him with police batons while shouting, "Who is going to perform the exercises again? Who is going to perform the exercises again?" Several practitioners stood up and walked over. They took off their own shirts and lay down on the ground. Each of them was hit with police batons dozens of times. Vicious inmates and guards then surrounded them and tortured them with "police ropes". Afterwards, they were forced to stand up facing the wall in a row. They quietly swallowed the agonizing pain from the torture that they had just endured and stood tall.
From that morning on, most of the practitioners began a group hunger strike, causing the guards and inmates to abuse the practitioners even more viciously. In the daytime, while performing forced labor, the practitioners were often kicked and beaten. Iron pipes were used to hit the practitioners so many times that they became bent, and then the inmates used the bent pipes to hit the backs of practitioners to straighten them out. They used thin bamboo strips, bamboo poles as thick as one's arm, and large wooden bats to beat the practitioners. The inmates often threw bricks or even bigger objects at the practitioners from a few feet away. Qiu Wenhao and others constantly walked around with weapons in hand, suddenly attacking practitioners while they were working. They shouted, "Do you know where you are? This is hell on earth!" The backs of all the practitioners were covered with wounds, and some practitioners had huge lumps on their heads from the beatings. Some practitioners felt severe pain in their arms and backs, and felt weak all over for three or four months afterwards. The guards and inmates were especially cruel to a practitioner with the last name of Mei. He was not particularly strong, was nearsighted, and moved around a little slower than others. They forced him to lie down on the ground, removed his shirt, hit him with bamboo strips for close to an hour, and then repeatedly hit him with police batons. When he was brought back, they still would not let him go and tortured him with "police ropes". In the end, Mei fell to the ground with muscle spasms throughout his body. He was barely breathing and almost died on the scene.
Once, the guards decided not to let the practitioners get even one moment of rest for four days and nights. The practitioners had to perform manual labor the entire time. The task was to glue old newspaper around paper cones to make fireworks, and the guards deliberately added some kind of acidic substance into the glue. The fingers and palms of practitioners were quickly damaged from the highly corrosive acid. Every hand movement brought them unbearable pain, and there were bloodstains all over the newspapers. In those four days and nights, the practitioners were not allowed to eat or sleep at all for more than 80 hours. They worked day and night, while being beaten and assaulted constantly. They truly faced the test between life and death at each moment, yet they remained calm and in control of themselves. They did everything that they were asked to do, while remaining dignified and proud. In the evening of the 4th day, the labor camp officials suddenly broke up the "concentration camp" and distributed practitioners to different platoons in the labor camp. The difficult environment of the practitioners gradually began to improve. From that point on, practitioners in the labor camp were almost never physically assaulted.
However, things changed once again after a visit by the "transformation squad" sent by the high-ups (made up of four clowns from the Masanjia Labor Camp). The camp officials once again stepped up persecution of practitioners to "forcefully transform" them. They forced practitioners to do more manual work than other inmates, and gave practitioners the most difficult and dirtiest assignments. Some practitioners were sent to a brick-manufacturing factory to work on its furnace. At the end of the day, they were exhausted, but had to "study" several additional hours every night. Because they refused to show "remorse," some were assigned to clean the furnace tubes. The tubes were filled with large amounts of methane sent out from industrial-strength compressors at very high temperatures. The worst thing was that due to the lack of oxygen inside, it was difficult to breathe. In addition, it was difficult to keep one's eyes open due to the terrible burning smell of the methane and the extreme heat. The practitioners had to go in and out of the tube section one to two hundred times a day and felt dizzy all the time. Some practitioners were forced to carry more than 20 bags of concrete powder on their shoulders everyday, and some practitioners had to push carts filled with dirt or brick carts that weighed over 1000 pounds. Some were forced to work under the glaring sun and hammer used glasses to pieces. While their pants were soaked with sweat, their naked upper bodies often became bloody after being cut with flying shards of glasses. After work, they still had to "study" and could not go back to their dorms until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. By that time, they had neither the time nor the strength to clean up. Sometimes practitioners were forced to work until 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning everyday. In the height of the summer, some practitioners had to work outside to cut down the overgrown vegetation to clear up the land, build new roads, or perform other forms of exhausting manual labor. Some were forced to stand up straight for more than a 12 hours per day under the glaring sun, and some were forced to run continuously. When they became too tired to run, the inmates would stab them with tree branches while the guards looked on approvingly. Some practitioners were forced to work during the daytime, run around at night, and were not able to get any rest or sleep for days.
The "transformation specialists" surrounded the practitioners every day to verbally assault them, hoping to wear them down mentally. In the recent days, when officials from the Chinese Ministry of Justice came to the labor camp and tried to force practitioners to curse Master Li and the Dafa, the practitioners immediately refused to do so.
Compiled by Sichuan Practitioners (some of the information has been published in MH before), December 27th, 2000