Records of the Brutal Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners at Hehuatang Forced Labor Camp, Tangshan City, Hebei Province
There are approximately one hundred Falun Gong practitioners being detained at the Hehuatang forced labor camp in the city of Tangshan, Hebei province. Police officers and a group of thugs have been continuously persecuting the unfaltering Falun Gong practitioners there.
When a Falun Gong practitioner is first brought to this camp, he is put into a special unit, where he is tortured by being forced to sit on a small wooden stool. This tiny wooden stool is 12cm(L)x4cm(W)x6cm(H) in size. The person being tortured is forced to sit on it from morning till night. While sitting, one must keep his lower legs perpendicular to the ground, both arms extended backward with neck and back straight. The person must also stare directly forward. This particular sitting posture can severely damage a person's large intestine, preventing the person from excreting normally. Hence, a large amount of harmful substance is absorbed into the body causing severe damage. Excluding the time for eating (which is very short, one can only swallow the food), using the restroom, and sleep, Falun Gong practitioners are forced to "sit on the wooden stool" from 5 o'clock in the morning to 7 o'clock at night. With feet swollen and buttocks bloody red or even with infected sores, one can hardly stand the pain after several days. Some people's buttocks have bled, and stuck to the pants and the wooden stool. Moreover, practitioners are not allowed to move while sitting. They are constantly under the surveillance of the unit leader, who is an inmate under the direction of the police. If a practitioner moves even a little, or stands up slightly slower when asked, the practitioner is savagely beaten. Falun Gong practitioners are locked up with other inmates in these special units. Each unit usually has three rooms housing thirty to fifty people. Sometimes there can be over a hundred people sleeping in one unit. These rooms are extremely filthy with bedding full of ticks. The police direct other criminal inmates to scrutinize Falun Gong practitioners. If they are reported to have any conversation or contact with each other, they will be physically and verbally abused. In some cases, a practitioner does not even get to say a single word all day.
Even though it is a forced labor camp, there are some inmates who have good hearts and righteous thoughts. They are in the labor camp due to some bad choices in life. Depending on each inmate's situation, Falun Gong practitioners kindly explain the truth to them without any spite or complaint. The compassion of the practitioners has deeply touched everyone's heart. Many inmates sympathize and support the practitioners. The inmates almost all have the same thought inside their minds, "Good people like this are hard to find in society these days."
An officer named Wang Yulin, police badge number 1350077, has been promoted because of his "impressive results" in brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners. He often insults and scolds Falun Gong practitioners. Several practitioners were arrested without just cause from the city of Qinghuangdao. They were on a hunger-strike to protest the persecution, and they demanded unconditional release. Officer Wang and his thugs tortured these practitioners. Every practitioner who participated on the hunger-strike was cuffed to a filthy iron frame by four sets of handcuff with all four limbs out-stretched. The handcuffs were closed very tightly to induce unbearable pain in the wrist bone. Even with this type of torture, these practitioners were still being forced to complete required hard labor everyday. The police force-fed them as part of the torture. The force-feeding was done by intubation to the stomach. Sometimes it was done through the nose. It has caused serious bleeding and severe vomiting to some practitioners.
Even under painful torture, a majority of the practitioners remain determined to keep their righteous thoughts and beliefs. One practitioner, who holds a master's degree, was cuffed over 30 hours without giving in to the torture. By then he was extremely weak and he almost lost all feelings to his four limbs. He was finally released from the cuffs because the police was afraid of another death incident. (In the summer of 2001, a Falun Gong practitioner was tortured to death while being force-fed.) The cuffs injured his ankles, left scars that could still be seen. Parts of his feet are still numb.
The police also use other criminal inmates to torture Falun Gong practitioners. There is an inmate in the 6th team of the labor camp whose name is Xu, Jingui. He committed murder and seriously injured many people with a gun. During the torture of the hunger-striking practitioners, he followed orders from the police captain, Gao Yongjin, and assistant captain, Wang Yulin. Xu and 5 or 6 other inmates would tie up the arms and legs of a practitioner, hold his head tight and pinch his nose. They then used chopsticks to pry open the practitioner's mouth and forced water into the practitioner. There were several times when the practitioner was almost suffocated with teeth loosened and blood all over his face and mouth. The practitioner was left almost unconscious and was barely able to breathe. When they saw the practitioner's unfaltering belief and determination, they would punch the practitioner in the face and beat his head with a stick. "We let you practice Falun Gong, you just stay firm and determined, let's see if you can forbear this (torture) or not!"
Since November 2001, Falun Gong practitioners in one of the units are forced to sit on the wooden stool from 5 o'clock in morning to 10 o'clock at night. They have only restroom and meal breaks in between. One by one, those who do not waver under such treatment, are sent to the so-called "focus" team. The "focus" team is made up of several police officers, 3-4 "helpers" [former Falun Gong practitioners who have gone astray due to brainwashing and torture] and several other criminal inmates. They try to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners through lies, coercion, and beatings around the clock. These practitioners are forced to participate in "discussion" everyday. In addition to restroom and meal breaks, they are only allowed one hour of rest. If they still cannot break the practitioner's determination, they will resort to electric batons and a torture known as "tying with thin ropes" [The police tie up the practitioner with a thin rope, circle the rope around his neck, and tie the hands behind the back. The police use all the force they can muster to tighten the rope. The rope becomes tighter and tighter around the body of the practitioner, and makes it more and more difficult for him to breathe. The pain is so intense that the practitioner sometimes loses control of his bladder. There are instances when the rope was tightened enough to break a practitioner's arm.]. A man, who was almost sixty years old, was tortured under such conditions for almost three months.
Since May 1st, 2002, the labor camp has once again intensified the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Practitioners are not allowed to sleep. They are repeatedly forced to participate in "discussions" with those "helpers." They are also being forced to answer related questions and recite the regulations. Around the clock, practitioners are subjected to these brainwashing activities. A maximum of 2-3 hours of sleep is allowed every night; sometimes only one hour is allowed. A practitioner may go to bed at 4 am and get up at 5 am, with only five minutes to cleanup before the first "sit on the wooden stool" session. At 6 am, the practitioner is forced to watch propaganda films on TV while still sitting. This lasts through the morning with only one restroom break. After lunch, the same thing starts all over again. It continues after dinner, which is around 6 pm. By 7pm, the "evening discussion" starts. It usually lasts until 2 to 3 am. While practitioners are subjected to continuous brainwashing activities without any time to rest, persecutors change shift and take turn to sleep. Some practitioners are even forced to do hard labor in construction sites during the day, and then subjected to continuous "discussion" session at night.
There are two practitioners from Yongqin county, Langfang city, Hebei province. One of them was having difficulty to walk after hard labor and vicious beating. Yet he was still being forced to do hard labor in construction sites, "sit on the wooden stool", and then subjected to further brainwashing activities. Other torture methods included solitary confinement, tied and hung up then burned by villain's cigarettes. The practitioner was not allowed to send any mail, talk to anyone, or even change to clean clothes. The living conditions are extremely bad. There are normally 50-60 (sometime even over 100) people cramped in one room. All these people lie on their sides, sleeping against each other with their heads bumping into other's feet. Ticks and mosquitoes are everywhere in the summer, and the stinky smell is unbearable. Often, practitioners are being kicked, tied up, and beaten by the police. Many practitioners remain determined and full of righteous intent even under such brutal condition. After many days and nights of brutality, the two practitioners from Yongqin county were seriously injured and became disabled. Since they lost feeling to their hands and feet, they could not control their limbs, and now they are having difficulty to walk. A TV station reporter endured such treatment for several months and became extremely weak. He would vomit if he ate. For a long time, his life was sustained by intravenous injections.
Being tied up and forbidden to use the restroom are very common there. In June of 2001, the police bureau from Chengde city transferred police officers from every nearby county. They tortured Falun Gong practitioners who were secretly detained at Chengde. Methods included sticking needles into one's fingers, sticking pushpins into one's chest, using electric shock from high-voltage baton, using handcuff and shackle, and depriving sleep. Even worse, they force-fed practitioners with mixture of hard liquor [Note: practitioners do not drink alcohol], hot pepper sauce, and mustard powder.
In addition, many practitioners were kidnapped, and they were not told about the labor camp until they arrived. Then they were forced to sign in.
On September 17th, 2002, police captain Li was telling lies, twisting the truth, and attacking Falun Dafa and its master in front of several hundred people. Five Falun Gong practitioners shouted, "Falun Dafa is good." Because of that, some inmates, who were under the direction of the police, beat the five practitioners viciously. The practitioners were then put into solitary confinement.
Under the scorching sun of July, Falun Gong practitioners were forced to do heavy labor during the day, and subjected to brainwashing all night long. This labor camp illegally held Falun Gong practitioners from five regions: Tangshan, Qinghuangdao, Langfang, Chengde and Zhangjiako.
We love life, we treasure our lives. We want people to know about the truth so that they will be aware of this persecution and open up their hearts with compassion.