NEWS RELEASE August 10, 2001

NEW YORK, August 9, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center) -- Some 130 practitioners of Falun Gong are on hunger strike while being illegally held in the Masanjia Labor Camp of Liaoning Province, China, according to a security officer familiar with the camp's affairs. The strike has already passed the 10-day mark. The protest was set off by camp authorities' failure to release the Falun Gong practitioners at the end of their terms.

It was also disclosed that the Liaoning Province Judiciary Department, along with the Liaoning Provincial "610 Office," put forth the directive that "we would rather violate the law [than set practitioners free]; we absolutely do not release these persons." Reportedly this instruction has led to even crueler treatment of practitioners in the Masanjia Labor Camp who have not renounced Falun Gong.

The Masanjia camp is notorious for its extreme, violent measures employed to "re-educate" Falun Gong practitioners. Last October it was reported that camp officers stripped naked 18 female Falun Gong practitioners and threw them into the cells of male convicts; the abuse they suffered was terrifying.

A Washington Post report on 8/5/01 offers a glimpse at the horrors of labor camp imprisonment for those who practice Falun Gong. The Post told the story of one camp survivor, "James" Ouyang, a 35-year-old electrical engineer who was brutalized in a Beijing labor camp for holding fast to his beliefs. While in custody, Ouyang was forced to stand facing a wall for nine days. "If he moved, they shocked him. If he fell down from fatigue, they shocked him. Each morning, he had five minutes to eat and relieve himself. 'If I didn't make it, I went in my pants,' he said. 'And they shocked me for that, too.' By the sixth day, Ouyang said, he couldn't see straight from staring at plaster three inches from his face."

That 130 Falun Gong practitioners are on hunger strike in Masanjia's camp to protest their extended captivity suggests two things. "First," according to Falun Gong spokesperson Ms. Feng Yuan, "this means the camp has failed to brainwash and break these practitioners--despite their having to endure relentless torture, abuse, and coercion for months on end. Each of them has weathered at least a one-year sentence in the 'Masanjia hell.' This is the true, determined face of Falun Gong."

Yuan added that secondly, holding the practitioners longer tells of the Chinese government's greatest fear: that the "unreformed," steadfast persons might reveal to the outside world the true, horrific conditions of the Masanjia camp. Such disclosure would further rupture the image of the camps Chinese authorities have tried to create through staged show tours.

We call on China's authorities to allow human rights organizations and the world's media immediate, unrestricted access to the 130 Falun Gong practitioners in the Masanjia camp. There should be no five-week period of "preparation," as was done with previous labor camp show tours.

For at least 10 days now some 130 persons have used their lives to call for justice. This situation is urgent. We call again on all governments and institutions of goodwill to lend their support to rescue the Falun Gong practitioners persecuted in China.

As this story develops, updates may follow.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER -- Contacts: GailáRachlin 917-501-4441, Erping Zhang 646-533-6147, Adam Montanaro 917-405-4507, or Feng Yuan 646-523-5676. Email:, website: