April 17, 2002
We are Falun Dafa practitioners currently being illegally held at the Baimalong Women's Re-Education Labor Camp in Hunan Province. There are more than 100 of us, and some of us have been here since 1999. Because we firmly believe in Falun Dafa's principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance," and because we persisted in clarifying the truth, we were either tricked into coming here or taken here by force.
During the past three years, almost everyday, we have endured barbaric, inhuman treatment: the police, collaborators and drug offenders have beaten us with electric batons, sealed our mouths with adhesive tape or not allowed us to use the toilet for long periods of time. They do this to us because we do not accept the so-called "management rules." We refuse to wear the prison numbers they assigned us, and we refuse to stand up and reply at the roll call. During winter months, the police have tortured us by forcing us to stand outdoors in the cold for several consecutive, entire nights. They did this because we refused to stop practicing the exercises, and because we silently read Teacher's articles. Resulting from the beatings and torture, one practitioner died, several became disabled and many other practitioners were severely injured.
The camp guards secretly sent some practitioners to the Zhuzhou City Mental Hospital and where they endured mental torture under the guise of "psychotherapy." The medication dosages that the hospital staff forced on Falun Dafa practitioners was four times the amount than of actual mental patients. Six months after this type of abuse, Falun Dafa practitionerYang Youyuan, from Huaihua, still suffered from an after-effect of slow reaction time due to neurological impairment.
Because we refuse to renounce our belief in Falun Dafa, we often have been surrounded by former practitioners who are now collaborators. Suggested by the police, the collaborators have beaten and verbally abused us. We are under continuous surveillance, 24 hours per day. We are not allowed to step outside our quarters, nor are we allowed to contact other Falun Dafa practitioners. To protest this barbaric treatment and to safeguard the basic human rights of every Chinese citizen, many practitioners began hunger strikes, knowing that camp officials would not listen to rational appeals for justice. They had hoped that their hunger strike would awaken innate wisdom within the prison guards and inmates, however, what awaited them was a very brutal method of force--feeding. The guards used bamboo tubes, which had broken several practitioners' teeth and injured their throats. Practitioner Zuo Shuchun from Wangcheng County, Changsha City, died at age 37 because of a force-feeding.
This past February 28, 13 of us, including Zuo, were sent to an empty room of the "7.3 Team." At that time there was no one in the building. The thirteen of us were locked behind an iron door in a room. Several days later, another four practitioners were put in with us, making the total 17. Since then, we have eaten, slept and shared one small toilet in this single room. We live accompanied by handcuffs: Everyday we practice the Falun Dafa exercises and recite our Teacher's articles. In retaliation, the prison guards shackle us together with the handcuffs, often in awkward, painful positions. Even when we have our meals, the do not unlock the cuffs. When they finally unshackle us, our hands often have no feelings whatsoever. Sometimes the guards also seal our mouths with adhesive tape.
The 17 of us wrote a letter to the provincial government as well as to the chief of the labor camp, but the barbaric camp policemen kept the letters. To resist the vicious persecution, we held a mass hunger strike on March 8. (We had been told later that more than 100 Falun Dafa practitioners in the under "Strict Control Team" had started a hunger strike on March 6.) At that time, the entire Baimalong Labor Camp population was being terrorized, and you could hear the blood-curding screams from the practitioners who were being force-fed.
On the 8th day (March 15), it was our turn to be force-fed. The first practitioner they dragged out was Zuo Shuchun. When I was brought to where the torture was taking place, I saw seven or eight male police officers and three or four "medical staff members," and a very thick bamboo tube. Soon, one policeman came in, asking for a towel. We thought that Zuo must have thrown up some porridge that they made her eat, however, we did not hear any sound from her, only the clamour of voices and hurried footsteps. A short while later, policemen carried Zuo out on a wooden bed top. We saw that Zuo's eyes were tightly closed, and an overcoat almost covered her face. Next, we heard people shouting that the policemen had killed her from the forced-feeding. That evening we asked the policemen on duty where Zuo was. They murmured and hawed and then said that Zuo had been sent to the Zhuzhou City Hospital. One week later, when we again asked one of the team leaders about Zuo, he said Zuo had sent back home for treatment. We learned later that Zuo had passed away. The inhuman, vicious thugs snuffed out her young life and lied about having sent her back home. Zuo Shuchun resisted the evil with her life. After her murder, the Baibalong Labour Camp adopted less dangerous methods of injection and intubation. Though the labor camp had used all kinds of torture, abuse and tricks, they still could not change the steadfast hearts of Falun Dafa practitioners. To punish all the practitioners who had taken part in the hunger strike, the persecutors extended the participant's terms for an additional three months.
After the 2002 Spring Festival, those practitioners who had gone astray began to cultivate once again, and a lot of the practitioners had nearly finished their "terms of service" in the labor camp. The camp officials then used all sorts of excuses and fabricated charges to extend the sentences. This became and still is a very common occurrence.
The excuse of us "not wanting to be reformed," used by camp officials since the early days, is still used to dole out penalties to practitioners. Additionally, the persecutors have also used the excuse that we were "shouting anti-revolutionary slogans" to further penalize us. Actually, we merely shouted protests against persecution, lies and torture. A practitioner nearly 60 years-old had once been given penalty points for "not taking part in labor." She was unable to physically complete a production task that she had been assigned. Others were given demerit points for not wearing their prisoner number plates and for other forms of peaceful resistance. We were told that incurring penalty points would result in our labor camp sentences being extended. In reality, we have been kidnapped indefinitely. As long as Falun Dafa practitioners remain faithful to their beliefs and unyielding to the persecution, they receive penalty points, and their terms in the labor camp are lengthened. Those who protest against the illegal extensions are given even more extensions. The lengthening of sentences in the camp happens often.
We are imprisoned and suffering from immeasurable persecution. We have no human rights and nowhere to appeal. When our relatives come to visit us, the meetings are under close surveillance. Without permission, our mail is opened, and we are not allowed to carry paper or writing instruments. Our bodies, luggage and beds are regularly searched; no personal item remains hidden. It is impossible for us to ask for legal assistance because Jiang Zemin's evil regime has standing orders that no lawyers are allowed to take any Falun Gong cases. In China the law has been trampled on so severely that we have no freedom of speech. For the safety of nearly 100 practitioners, for human rights and for freedom, we have no other way to ask for help than writing to Clearwisdom.net to clarify the truth, expose the evil and to call upon the international community for legal assistance and for humanitarian support.