Cuffed to the Ground For Weeks On End, Severely Beaten, Salt Rubbed Into Wounds - Some Of The Cruelties Used In The Harbin "Drug Rehabilitation Center"
(Clearwisdom.net) At the end of November 2002, under orders from Director Chen, Harbin Drug Rehabilitation Center started a campaign to "assault fortified positions" [to reform the steadfast practitioners] to force Falun Dafa practitioners to give up the practice, and set up rules for rewards and punishments.
For the determined Falun Gong practitioners, they keep them separated, ordering smaller steamed buns less than one liang (a unit of weight = 50grams) to be made specifically for them. For breakfast, every steadfast practitioner can have only one steamed bun in addition to some thin rice soup. The few pickles (eaten with rice soup for flavor) left after everyone else has eaten are ordered by Chen to be taken away. The practitioners are not allowed to have any lunch at noon. Dinner is a few bites of undercooked rice and a little soup. Some practitioners can hardly manage to eat even this small amount of food since the police director and policemen take turns cursing and yelling at them while they eat. At the same time, they increase the practitioners' activity by dragging them outside to make them run and do drills. The guards only bring the practitioners back inside after they feel tired themselves. Chen usually comes along to kick over the practitioners' bench once they're inside, not allowing them to rest, but instead forcing them to squat down.
Chen supervises the torture as well. None of the guards in No. 1 and No. 2 Teams are allowed to go home so as to increase the manpower.
Scenes of torture can be found everywhere inside the female division of the labor camp. There are people being handcuffed to the heating pipe inside the lavatory; there are people hung up from the heating pipe in the storeroom; the "tiger bench" in the small cell is in constant use; beds and heating pipes in the team leader's room, in the guards' rooms, and in the guards' cafeteria have been used as a torture means to handcuff the practitioners. Even the classroom, which is used for classes in the daytime, is a place for torture in the evening.
The basement, which holds over one hundred people for work during the day, becomes one of the main places for persecuting Dafa practitioners at night. One only has to say the word "practice" and they will be dragged into the basement and beaten up. Once this is done, all their hair is cut off. Sometimes the hair is entirely cut off leaving the scalp exposed. Other times, they cut off all but one strand of long hair (presumably so that they can still pull the practitioners by their hair). The policemen's shouting, the noise of the electric batons being used to shock people, and the criminals' cursing, kicking, and beating people (sometimes using square clubs) makes the dark and damp basement even more ghastly and horrifying.
A variety of different torture methods are used. The most common one is to handcuff the practitioners to an iron ring set in the ground. Once a practitioner is handcuffed in such a manner, she can expect to be left in this position for a long period of time (several days to several months is not uncommon.) In order to increase the painfulness to the practitioners, they do not allow them to change their positions. The policemen, along with some of the prisoners, take turns torturing the practitioners. Since they have to squat down for over several days (sometimes several months), they feel great pressure on their feet, which become swollen. The prisoners purposely increase the pain by beating their feet (stomping on them, using bamboo paddles, or using broom sticks). They begin pinching and wrenching the most sensitive parts of their bodies, such as the inside part of their legs and the underarms, and then move on to other places until there is no part of the body that is not injured. They even rub salt into the wounds. During this long-term torture, whenever the practitioners lowered their heads, these thugs would say that they had fallen asleep. Then they roll the practitioners' sweaters up to the neck, exposing their backs, and pour cold water over them. When the practitioners can hardly sustain themselves and sit on the ground, or whenever their bottoms touch the ground, the thugs put a basin of cold water under them and force them to sit in it.
The so-called "psychological rectification room" and the storerooms on the two sides of the team leader's room were also used as primary locations for persecuting the practitioners. No matter if it is daytime or nighttime, they cover up the window, so that no one can see inside. The policemen choose the cruelest criminals to guard the door, bribing them with the offer to reduce their prison terms. The police order an iron rack welded with reinforced cement and angle iron (about 2m X 1.5m) to be put on the ground. To this rack, they handcuff the steadfast practitioners, those who often spread and read the Teacher's articles, and also those who have resumed the practice after previously being "reformed." They use the same torture method as the one used in the basement, ordering the practitioners to stand barefoot on the iron rack, with the window open even in the wintertime. On top of their heads, they put a small stool or other objects. The purpose in putting such objects on their heads is to force them to stretch out their necks, thereby increasing the practitioners' pain. For an ordinary person this can hardly be endured for even a short while. However some practitioners have been subjected to this kind of torture for several months.
Ms. Li Hongxia had her hands cuffed together for over one month. The handcuffs were placed on so tightly that they cut deep into her flesh and caused her wrists to swell. When they were finally taken off, black blood was dripping down her arms. Her naked feet were beaten until they were swollen and had turned black and blue. After scabs had formed, they were beaten again and the wounds were broken open. Her once-healthy body was tortured until she looked like a skeleton. She finally developed heart failure and lost consciousness. The police gave her an intravenous drip and continued to torture her once she regained consciousness. Since Li Hongxia was determined and did not give up cultivation, her term was prolonged for three months. The police team leader, Li Quanmin, and deputy team leader, Liu Zhujie, threatened that if she could not to be "transformed," she should never dream of leaving their custody. Facing the policemen and the ruffians' severe torture, Li Hongxia remained determined in cultivating Dafa and finally walked out of the center openly and with dignity.
Ms. Lu Lijuan was forced to give in after being severely tortured during the campaign to "assault fortified positions" [to reform the steadfast practitioners]. However, she was unwilling to give up her belief and announced that her behavior under the high pressure should be considered void. As a result, she was again severely persecuted. Her head was beaten and injured. Her eyes were also beaten and injured to the point that she cannot see anything clearly even today. Lu Lijuan was threatened again by the police who made up the story that she bumped her own head. Later, they forced her to write the "three statements*", (actually it was written by someone else and copied by Lu Lijuan) and then they forced her to read her "article for repentance" in the broadcasting room to all the prisoners, further destroying her belief.
Mrs. Liu Shangkun was forcefully tied to the "tiger bench**" several times for being determined in practicing Falun Dafa. The policemen turned her upside down while tied to the bench and used a plastic bag to cover her head, suffocating her. She had to be sent to the hospital to be revived.
Ms. Zhou Shuli was forced to give in after a long period of being threatened by the police. Under the intense pressure she suffered a mental breakdown. The policemen, followed by Liu Zhujie and some collaborators [former practitioners who renounced Falun Gong under pressure and became assistants to the persecutors], alleged that there was nothing wrong with her and that she was only pretending in order to stay out of the forced labor camp. This made Zhou Shuli's situation deteriorate very quickly. She could hardly walk and suffered from incontinence. Her eyes stared blankly and her weakened body was partially paralyzed. Even in such a condition, they still did not let her go. They ordered someone to pull Zhou to a small classroom to force her to watch the brainwashing videotape. When Zhou Shuli was physically weak, they used a table and chair to prop her up. The police delayed in seeking treatment for her. In the end, they ordered her family to carry her home. Even now the police still claim she was pretending to be ill.
Ms. Gao Xiurong has been persecuted for a long period of time for being determined in practicing Falun Gong. Once, the police handcuffed this practitioner to a heating pipe facing the window of Li Quanming, the team leader's office. She was forced to stay in the burning sun next to the heating pipe all day. Then at nighttime, when the temperature dropped, they would make her stay in the cold, damp basement.
The police use all kinds of methods to torture the practitioners. For example, in torturing Ms. Lu Shouhe, in addition to the above-mentioned means, they used another torture means to handcuff her hands to a ring on the ground, disallowing her to sit on the ground and forcing her to stand in a very difficult and painful position.
Ever since the campaign, the labor camp has been extremely cruel to the practitioners. Many practitioners have been persecuted several times for long period of time.
For those practitioners who have recently been arrested, they start attacking them right away before they even put them into a prison cell. If they do not give in, their daily activities such as sleeping, eating, and going to the bathroom will all be denied.
One of the prisoners, Ma Yufang, tortured Ms. Ding Hongjuan. Once, in handcuffing her to the a ring on the ground, Ma Yufang stepped over this practitioner's head on purpose, holding Ding's head under her thigh. The policeman, Wang Bin, even felt amused by this.
The lotus is pure, emerging unstained from the filth. Falun Gong practitioners enjoy drawing the lotus. A policeman named Jiang Zhou said after looking at a practitioner's lotus drawing, "The moment when I saw you draw the lotus flower, I got so angry. You are not allowed to draw the lotus flower."
In order to deal with the steadfast practitioners, the female labor camp also has male guards, who join in torturing them. They can go into the female Falun Gong practitioners' prison cells whenever they want to. Even in the middle of the night, they can choose to go into the female practitioners' room for inspection. They are afraid that the practitioners might contact each other. They put a night-stool in every room that the female practitioners have to use for their toilet. It is placed in front of the surveillance facilities, under the male guards' inspection.
A policeman named Dong Shaoxing from the second team was the most vicious. During the campaign, he took a large electric baton, instigated by the team leader, Li Quanming, and the deputy team leader, Liu Zhujie, to persecute the practitioners severely and often abused the female practitioners.
The prisoners Zhang Shuling, Ma Yufang, Liu Yali, Li Ting, and Wang Rongmei are very vicious. They are allowed to run wild, and they win favor from the police by mistreating practitioners.
Practitioners are also required to buy books that attack Dafa. Each practitioner is forced to spend at least 60 Yuan to buy them [500 Yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China]. The practitioners went on a hunger strike to protest their illegal treatment. As a result, they were force-fed. In addition to physical torture, the force-feeding became one of the means for the police to extort money from the practitioners. These force-feeding fees are said to be about fifty Yuan for each time.
The above description covers only part of the whole situation. Since it was set up in October 1999, this center has accumulated a wide variety of methods to persecute Dafa practitioners. In order to avoid being exposed for their crimes, they strictly enforce surveillance during meals, going out for drills, and in any activities in the classrooms and basement. The practitioners are not allowed to speak to each other. For the steadfast Falun Gong practitioners, besides being kept under close surveillance by the police, they are also kept under close surveillance by the other prisoners, the monitor, and the residence committee. Consequently, most of the details about the persecution here have been blocked.
*The "Three Statements": Practitioners are coerced under brainwashing and torture to write these as proof that they have given up their belief. Created by the "610 Office," the three statements consist of a letter of repentance, a guarantee to never again practice Falun Gong, and a list of names and addresses of all family members, friends and acquaintances who are practitioners.
**Tiger Bench: Practitioners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead. They are not allowed to turn their heads, close their eyes, talk to anyone or move at all. Several inmates are assigned to watch over the practitioners and force them to remain motionless while sitting on the bench. Usually some hard objects are inserted underneath the practitioners' lower legs or ankles to make it harder for them to tolerate this abuse.