Practitioner Describes the Brutality at the Fangqiang Forced Labor Camp in Jiangsu Province
I was among the male Falun Gong practitioners who were illegally detained at the Fangqiang Labor Camp in Jiangsu Province.
1. The Police Beat the Practitioners
Practitioner Chen Long was detained on June 21, 2001. Police Wei often beat him when he was no longer able to carry the huge sacks during periods of heavy labor. He often could not even open his eyes because of the swelling from the beatings. His body was covered with bloody wounds.
2. Forced Labor Torture
The law states that a forced labor camp can't allow the inmates to work more than 6 hours a day. The work should not be strenuous and they should not be involved in export production. However, the Fangqiang Labor Camp never obeys this law. Practitioners had to do strenuous labor in the field for more than 12 hours a day or spend 14-16 hours sewing in sweatshops.
Practitioners Bao Shunyuan, Chen Guoliang, Zao Zhiyun, and Chen Hanchang, etc. were detained in the Third Squad in October 2001. They were forced to perform heavy labor in the field every day. After coming back from work they were forced to stand until midnight, holding material slandering Falun Gong in their hands.
Practitioner Wu Jun from Wuxi city was sent to the Third Squad in March 2001. Despite his poor health condition, they forced him to do the most strenuous hard labor, carrying river mud. This involves two people carrying a 100-kilogram [220 pound] load of mud through a swamp in freezing weather. After only two days of this, the skin on his legs and feet became deeply cracked and bleeding. He could not put his shoes on because of the swelling and had to have other people hold him up in order to walk. The police demanded that he to write a statement renouncing Falun Gong in exchange for rest privileges. Wu refused and passed through his tribulation with a strong mind.
Practitioner Kong Lingsheng from Gaochun had broken vertebrae before practicing Falun Gong. Police officer Sun Limin asked him to give up Falun Gong and Kong refused. Sun then asked him to dig the feces out of the sewage tank. After a week, his hands were covered with lacerated skin, feces and blood. The police saw that he still had not been "subdued," so they sent him into the swamp to carry river mud, despite his previous medical condition. The practitioner remained steadfast and endured his inhumane treatment with amazing forbearance nevertheless.
In August, the Fourth Squad was forced to work producing export sportswear bearing the "Times Square" label.
3. Police Incite Criminal Inmates to Beat Practitioners
On the evening of March 23, 2001, Fourth Squad policeman Wei Honghui directed inmates to brutally beat practitioner Wang Changhua for over 2 hours. They even broke a heavy wooden bench while beating him.
On May 18, 2001, practitioners in the First Squad held a strike in order to protest their illegal sentencing. An accident had happened in the First Squad. The police had abused one inmate, who was not a practitioner, to the point where he attempted suicide by swallowing a pair of scissors. The family sued the policeman in court and he was suspended. Now the police ask other inmates to beat practitioners. Director Wang Fei told the heads of the inmates that they could make "small mistakes" when dealing with Falun Gong practitioners. The head would be dismissed if he did not "do well" in beating the practitioners. Under this kind of instigation, the inmates brutally beat practitioners An Zhenbing, Yan Jihua, Chen Longchang, and Shi Bingjun and others.
Illegally Use of Police Equipment
The inspector told us that according to camp regulations, each squad could have two electric batons, to be used under extreme circumstances only, such as inmate violence. This regulation is just empty words on paper at the Fangqiang Forced Labor Camp.
In October 2000, Ji Hua and five other police tortured practitioner You Xinggen with three electric batons for five hours from 7 a.m. to noon. They recharged the batons after the batteries were exhausted.
One evening in February 2001, the Third Squad organized a video show slandering Falun Dafa. Practitioner Hua Jianguo shut his eyes slightly. The squad's Party Secretary Yu Haiyong dragged him into a room to beat and torture him. Policeman Zhou Bing, etc. tortured him with electric batons, using four batons simultaneously.
In March 2001, in order to protest the police having pasted slogans slandering Dafa on the wall, practitioners in the Third Squad held a hunger strike. The police cuffed Zhan Xinmao, Chen Guoliang, Guan Zhenmin and Wang Changhua to benches and wet their necks and some other body parts. The police then shocked these parts with 1 to 4 electric batons. In October, a similar incident occurred again. The police wrote slogans slandering Dafa in shop windows. The practitioners again went on hunger strike and again were cruelly tortured with electric batons.
In May 2001, on behalf of practitioners in the Fourth Squad, Li Weiping submitted an appeal to the police, following the appropriate process as required by the law. The same night, the police of the Fourth Squad locked Li up and tortured him with their batons till 3 a.m. the next day.
On May 6, 2001, practitioner Zheng Qiming, a 58-year-old professor who used to teach at the Northwestern Institute of Technology, questioned the policemen on why they had tortured practitioner Li Weiping. In response, the four policemen on duty dragged him into the office and shocked him with electric batons. Practitioner Zhang Xianming stood up for Professor Zheng, but was pushed to the ground and shocked with electric batons by four to five guards of the 4th Brigade. Practitioner Cai Shijun, who also stood up for Professor Zheng, received the same brutal treatment. The policemen, however, were frightened by what they saw; although the batons caused blisters all over these practitioners' necks and foreheads, none of them seemed to feel enough pain that they had to scream. What was more astonishing to them was that even though they used the highest voltage with their electric batons to shock Zheng, he did not seem to feel anything.
In January 2001, policeman Wei Honghui shocked practitioner Xie Hengjie with an electric baton because Xie secretly kept Teacher's articles in his clothes. Xie passed out from the pain. In May 2001, practitioner Zhu Xinghe and another practitioner whose name was unknown were treated the same way for refusing to sing a song. A policeman ordered the inmates in the forced labor camp to sing aloud to drown the practitioners' painful screams.
On May 27, 2001, practitioners in the 3rd Brigade stopped working to protest their illegal detention and the brutal treatment they had received. As punishment, practitioner Tang Jianxin was hung up with his hands cuffed behind his back. Policeman Sun Liming forced his electric baton into Tang' month, and as a result, most of Tang's teeth were loosened. The head guard of the 3rd Brigade Li Yongji and policeman Sun Liming tortured practitioner Kong Lingsheng. They hung him up with his hands cuffed behind his back, until he passed out and lost control of his bowels and bladder. But Sun would not stop. He threw cold water on Kong, brought him back to consciousness and continued to torture him. But Kong still did not yield, and Xu Aihua was tortured the same way. Even when recharging his baton, the policemen still kept him hanging in the air.
A policeman later told Kong that before the beating, the head guard had a meeting with all the policemen and reassured them that it was all right to use the batons. He said that if anything happened, they would bear the responsibility together. The policemen also agreed on sharing the "reward" if the beating led to the "reformation" of practitioners.
In addition to the electric batons, the policemen regularly used solitary confinement as a means to torment practitioners. In October 2001, Xu Aihua was subjected to solitary confinement for failing to step forward in the evening roll call. Zheng Chungming received the same treatment for a similar offense. Li Weiping was punished the same way for carrying a request for unconditional release in his pocket. Mao Gejin was confined for failing to respond in a roll call.
5. Extension of the prison term
The Fangqiang Forced Labor Camp uses extension of prison terms as a tactic to try to force practitioners to give in. In November 2000, practitioner Cao Zhiyun was given disciplinary warnings twice for refusing to copy an article that slandered Dafa. The Secretary of the 3rd Brigade Yu Haiyong extended Cao's term by three months. In July 2001, Li Yongjie and Sun Liming of the 3rd Brigade extended practitioner Chen Guoliang's term by four months. Practitioner Hua Jianguo was sentenced to forced labor for one year. Hua's term should have been completed by June 26. However, the camp officials extended his term but did not give him the notice until July 4.
6. Forced-feeding as a Form of Torture
Since May 2, 2001, practitioners in the 4th Brigade have been holding a hunger strike to protest the persecution of Li Weiming. They were forced-fed as a result. The doctors in the forced labor camp deliberately use thick tubes that cause injuries and severe bleeding. The doctors only change to thinner tubes when the other tubes don't work at all. An unknown substance with a strong odor is mixed into the liquid food. The liquid food got into practitioner Han Haiqiang's lungs and almost killed him.
In July 2001, practitioner Chen Hanchang began a hunger strike to protest the extension of his prison term. He was force-fed, and the liquid food also got into his lungs.
In late May 2001, the Fangqiang Forced Labor Camp, under the instruction of the Ministry of Labor Camps in Jiangsu Province, set a target for successful "reformation." They aimed for reaching a 90% success rate before 2002, and 100% after the New Year. The labor camp also introduced a new policy to intensify the persecution. Since then, the male practitioners in the labor camp have experienced unprecedented torture. The torment they go through is beyond description. The following are some of the examples:
1. The New Policy to Intensify Torture
In May 2001, the Fangqiang Forced Labor Camp received a confidential document from the Ministry of Labor Camps in Jiangsu Province. The document sanctioned the extension of the prison terms of those who refuse to write and sign statements to denounce Falun Gong by a full year. Under this new policy, regardless whether practitioners have any "disciplinary" issues, those whose terms were completed by June are all to be subjected to an extension. Practitioner Wang Changhua's sentence has been extended by five months, and Chen Jian, Gen Jinhua, Chen Hanchang, Chen Guoliang, Hua Jianguo and Li Qing's sentences were extended by either three or four months.
2. Newcomer and No. 2 Brigades Turned to be Two Brainwashing Units
1) Newcomer Brigade:
The Newcomer Brigade is led by a team consisting of policemen Zhang, Cai and an instructor from the No. 3 Brigade. They are in charge of brainwashing practitioners. All new detainees are forced to undergo brainwashing, write a confession and a guarantee before they are moved to the No. 2 brigade for further brainwashing. Those refusing to give confessions and guarantees are tortured with an electric baton. If they still remain firm, they are placed in confinement. When all of these steps fail, the persistent practitioners are moved to other brigades.
For refusing to write the so-called "guarantee," [to stop practicing Falun Gong] Gao Zhifang was shocked with electric batons at the end of May, 2001. Guo Naitong was shocked with electric batons and placed in confinement for ten days.
In addition to electrical shock torture and confinement, other inmates are instructed by the guards to beat up practitioners, aiming to force them to give up their practice. Guo Naitong had been beaten by inmates many times. One time he was locked up in a classroom with three inmates for three hours, beaten until he was left with bruises all over his body and was unable to walk. Practitioner Wang Bumei was often beaten up by inmates as well, always at the order of the police officers. During brainwashing, he was forced to stand up straight without being allowed to sleep for more than 20 nights. Officers mixed urine and hot water in a toilet and then forced his head down into it, trying to suffocate him with the hot stench of urine. Wang Bumei still did not give up (before this, he had been forced to stand straight without being allowed to sleep for more than 20 days during his detention by the Security Department. The long time standing caused his legs to turn a blue-black color). When Zhu Yong was placed in confinement, one day he was beaten up by inmates at the orders of the officer because he didn't say "Report" to an officer.
The Newcomer Brigade also strictly monitors practitioners who they claim "violate" the rules of the center. "Strict monitoring" actually means to treat practitioners inhumanly. Practitioners are forced to run laps outside for nearly an entire day. Other inmates who violated the rule were punished by being forced to run about 100 laps, while Falun Gong practitioners were ordered to run 200 laps. That would take from 5 am to 10 pm to complete. If it was too dark to run, they were ordered to stand straight. Their food was cut to the half of their regular amount. The guards would often punch and beat them with police batons.
2) The No. 2 Brigade
The No. 2 Brigade was specifically designed to use intensive force to cause steadfast practitioners to give up their belief in Falun Dafa. The leaders of the group include the Party Secretary Yu Haiyong, instructor Ji Hua and 23 specially trained policemen from other brigades. Some criminal inmates were also selected from other brigades to be used as hatchet men. Practitioners were taken from other brigades for further persecution in the No. 2 Brigade.
Before practitioners were moved to the No. 2 Brigade, their family information and their personalities were well studied by police. During the brainwashing, police used psychological methods to talk with practitioners. Practitioners whose former jobs had included light physical work were forced to perform hard labor. The guards used their hands to fake they were electric batons and rubbed them on practitioners' heads to scare and intimidate them. They used any excuse to torture practitioners.
The authorities of the lab camp entice other inmates to serve as their hatchet men by reducing their terms. They promise to shorten the term by one month for anyone who is able make a practitioner give up his belief in Falun Gong. Police instructed inmates to brutally beat any who remained firm in their belief.
Sometimes, practitioners' family members would be "invited" to the camp to "help" in forcing practitioners to give up their belief. It is hard to bear for a practitioner to see his family kneel in front of him and desperately cry. An Zhenbing's mother was "invited" to the camp. She was so terrified by the police that she suffered a heart attack and was sent to hospital for emergency rescue.
Since October 2001, practitioners completing their sentence are transferred to No. 7 Brigade only to be picked up by the "6.10" office. Then they are sent to a mental hospital or for extended detention in other locations. When Chen Guoliang was picked up by his local police authorities, he was told that, "We cannot deal with you, so we will send you to a mental hospital where those mentally ill patients can deal with you." It is said that both Chen Guoliang and Wang Changhua are still locked up in a mental hospital to this day.
3. Humiliating Examination
Some practitioners were forced to give up their practice. Then they were forced to pass a humiliating examination by meeting some standards. First, they had to write a guarantee letter, a denouncement letter, a confession letter and five articles critical of Falun Gong. Second, they were forced to go onstage to read their statements and have it all recorded on film. Third, they had to answer various vicious questions asked by Tang Guofang, the director of the labor education department of the Jiangsu Province. Then they were asked to curse Teacher and Dafa, step on top of Teacher's portrait. They had to draw a cross and sign their own names to the portrait and spit on Teacher's face. One practitioner who had reluctantly renounced his belief, named Yang Kui, unequivocally refused to spit on Teacher's portrait. He was dragged away for electric shock torture. Once a practitioner passed the examination, he would be of no use to the police. If any practitioner did anything against wishes of the police, he would be dragged away to be electrically shocked.
In the name of all Dafa practitioners detained in the Fangqiang Labor Camp, I appeal to all kind people and international human right organizations: Please help to stop the cruel persecution at the Fangqiang Labor Camp.