At the Dashaping Detention Center, kind-hearted Falun Dafa practitioners were held together with criminals and suffered all kinds of abuses. I would like to publicly expose those that I personally experienced.

Hard Labor Under Adverse Conditions

As soon as one is taken into the detention center, he or she is stripped of everything they have on them by the inmate supervisors (Note: The inmate supervisors are inmates who either have a special relationship with the authorities or who have bribed their way to be in the position. According to insiders, an inmate has to pay 500 Yuan monthly in order to get into this special position. 500 Yuan is the average monthly salary of an urban worker.) He or she is then given rags to put on. Detainees have only enough room to sleep on their side; they have only a plain steamed bun and noodles for food, with no vegetables at all, not to mention anything else. In addition to the adverse living conditions, detainees are forced to do hard labor everyday.

According to the law, detention centers are temporary places for suspects. As they are not proven guilty, they cannot be made to do hard labor. However, everybody that comes through the door at the Dashaping Detention Center was forced to do hard labor, producing preserved melon seeds for the Zhenglin Melon Seeds Factory, a well-known international company in Gansu Province. In the winter, detainees have to sort the melon seeds; in the summer, they have to crack the seeds open with their teeth and hands. They have to work continuously for over ten hours a day, with only two breaks for meals. In the winter, they work outside and many people suffer from frostbite and scrapes. Often they have lesions from scabies on their hands that are broken and bleeding onto the melon seeds they produce. In the summer, many detainees' teeth were chipped or injured and nails were broken from cracking the seeds, and yet they are never allowed to take a break.

Since forced labor is illegal, every time the media visits, detainees are asked to stop working, clean up, put the seeds into a sack and hide them somewhere. Then each person will line up and be given a newspaper to read. When the monitoring is over, detainees are forced to resume their work. While the detainees are not paid for their work, the factory and the detention center split the profits made out of the unpaid labor. Similar things happen in Xiguoyuan Detention Center and Kefa Factory Jail in Lanzhou. We hope that the international community will investigate these human rights abuses that violates international conventions on human rights.

Authorities and inmates gang up to extort money from detainees

The specially appointed guards (inmates) were encouraged by the authorities to extort money and/or personal property from the detainees. They even have a reward system for various levels of bribery. For example, 1,000 Yuan will exempt everybody in the cell from labor work, whereas 500 Yuan will exempt one individual from labor work. According to a Cell Head, Detainees were forced to write home for money or expensive cigarettes, which are collected by the guards and transferred to the authorities secretly. What is shocking is that for every 300 Yuan and over collected, the Cell Head would get a small packet of marijuana as a reward. He said, anything can find its way here. Those who refused to send in bribery are punished with harder labor and beating.

Arbitrary extension of detention terms and deaths resulting from abuses

The detention center was notorious for arbitrarily prolonging terms of detention. Everybody was subject to an extended term of detention regardless of the law. An extreme example was that a suspect was detained for over two and a half years beyond his term before he received his trial notice. On average, detainees were held for one year beyond their terms. Because of the poor living conditions and extreme hard labor, it is not uncommon for detainees to die at the center. When I first went in here, I was told that two people had died of illnesses, one after the other. The Cell Head said that it is very common for people to die in there. Their lives are worth less than a pig's. Families are only paid 600 Yuan as compensation. Detainees consider the center to be a "Hell on Earth." One's greatest wish is to make it out alive. Those who had been detained for a long time said that the death rate at this center is astonishingly high, although the statistics are unknown because the authorities have been blocking the information from spreading.

With righteous thoughts, even in such an adverse condition, I was set free unconditionally. I walked out of this "Hell on Earth" with dignity.