As the Tool of a Tyrannical Dictatorship, the Forced Labor Re-education System Is On the Verge of Extinction
The forced labor "re-education system" originated with the former Soviet Union's Communist Party. Sentencing to this so-called "re-education" does not follow any judicial procedure or depend on any evidence. It is used as a form of punishment-at-will. It is one example of an independent, despotic mechanism that operates outside the constitution and the law. Joseph Stalin, former dictator of the Soviet Union, invented this tactic. It is used especially for attacking and suppressing different political views, ensuring that "those who submit will prosper, those who resist will perish." Those with different thoughts and opinions are devastated in body and spirit by means of corporal punishment, torture, brainwashing, and so on. The dictator's self-serving goal is to "highly unify" people's thoughts.
In the 1960's, the Chinese Communist Party adopted many of Stalin's despotic tactics and introduced the forced labor re-education into China. Since its inception, forced labor re-education has been the most reprehensible system for violating human rights in the world. As far as we know, only the former Soviet Union and China have used this tool to maintain their dictatorial totalitarianism. They also used every means of torture imaginable: confinement in iron cages, injections with psychotropic drugs, rape, hanging people by their extremities, the tiger bench, exposure to freezing temperatures, shocking with electric cattle prods, etc., etc. It is hell on earth. With the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, this tactic disappeared there. History has proven that this tactic severely infringes upon human rights and has encountered worldwide resistance and denunciation. Despite its notoriety, it has become the Chinese dictator's legacy.
At the beginning of the 1980's, various provinces and cities in China began a big push to establish forced labor (reeducation) camps. Massive funds were invested in personnel, equipment, and real estate. In light of the full-of-loophole "Forced Labor Education Implementation Policy", they developed a strategy to so-called "educate, influence and save" those subjected to forced labor. People sent into forced labor have done things "insufficient for criminal punishment, but they have behaviors that may cause a slight harm to society".
Who decides the target to hit? In actual practice, the local police stations and public security bureaus report to a sub-bureau's legal branch for examination and approval. The arresting agency does not need to be involved, nor is a court trial necessary. The procedure is extremely simple. From the local police station reporting to the sub-bureau for examination to final approval can be completed within minutes. Every time the public security bureau delivers one person for "re-education through labor," the labor camp will give to the bureau a commission of 25 to 100 yuan [500 yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China]. Since its establishment this practice has been in conflict with China's Constitution and legal systems, and is regarded by anyone of intelligence as illegal and illegitimate.
For over 25 years this "forced labor re-education" system has increased judicial corruption, twisted people's morals and numbed their consciences. The public security bureaus regarded the sentencing of great numbers of people to labor re-education as a positive achievement, which has created massive miscarriages of justice. If any behavior appears to violate the public security, the administration usually issues a warning for a first time offense, a fine for a second offense, then detention, and forced labor re-education for one year to three years. Decisions about the severity of the punishment depend completely on the whim of the administrator. In 1983, for example, during the national "Strike Hard" struggle, thousands of people were sent to labor camps for re-education, including: those who always appealed for help and were regarded as interfering with the government's work; those who were discontented with the dark side of society and dared to tell truth were regarded as "slanderers;" those who had their personal affairs questioned and were regarded as a prostitutes or prostitutes' clients and were re-educated in pairs; those who operated small businesses and were regarded as profiteers; and other examples too numerous to mention individually.
How did the labor camps "educate, influence, and save" these people? With punishments administered with "sticks and rods". Newcomers to the labor camps first receive the "intimidation stick." They are judged whether they obeyed "policy" based on whether they "admitted guilt, abided by the law and repented for what they had done." Without a court trial, a person has not been judged guilty, so what crime has he/she committed? Those who suffer in the forced labor re-education camps and devastated by the brutal torture but are still regarded as hard to "transform" or as "resisting transformation" will continue to suffer mental and physical torture until they agree to "obey the authorities, admit their guilt and abide by the law."
During the "Strike Hard" struggle of 1983, people had their city-residence status canceled and were sent off to border-area camps. Because the forced labor re-education system itself was established on the basis of an evil dictatorship, the harm it perpetrated on society was immense, and it negatively influenced society's unstable factors. Basic human rights were not protected, and everybody lived in fear. In the face of such intense pressure, people dared not express their real thoughts. The number of people killed, tortured, crippled, or who used suicide or self-inflicted injuries to resist the persecution was shocking. No wonder some police in the labor camps said, "It's normal for several people to die every year. The authorities give quotas to account for unusual death, so there is nothing to worry about."
In a pitiful and misguided effort, the Dalian Labor Camp has sought credits and rewards for reporting a so-called "transformation rate" as high as 98% each year. But the fact is, as they said, that nobody released from this camp has improved but has, instead, become worse."
Since its establishment, the re-education through labor effort has been based on anti-human values and anti-human rights. People know what is right and wrong in their hearts. Many conscionable labor camp police are resisting the system in various ways. Taking just the Dalian Labor Camp as an example, from 1989 to 1993, there were over 70 police left the labor camp through various means. One of the officers who left recollected his previous experience and still found it unbearable to recall, "Zhang, a member of our team, was well-known for severely hitting the forced laborer. Once I saw him slap a forced laborer about 20 or 30 times on the face. The leader acclaimed him as an officer with great ability and said we should follow his example. For a while, slapping faces was done like a competition." As he spoke, one could tell that this former police officer was ashamed, and bitterly hated his employment at the camp.
In recent times, Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan and others have been using forced labor as a tactic to persecute Falun Gong. Their regime's policy explicitly states, "Destroy them physically, devastate them financially, and defame their reputations." Their cruel methods--no penalty for killing a practitioner, deaths from torture officially recorded as suicides, no identifying where the person was from, and immediate cremation - are unprecedented. Nearly a thousand people who believe in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance" have been confirmed to dead from the persecution. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong cultivators are suffering torture and spiritual devastation in the forced labor camps. Innumerable people are destitute and homeless.
Forced labor camps in China persecute Falun Gong practitioners using various violent methods. Besides routine beatings, they also use electric-shock batons, all kinds of handcuffs, shackles, back handcuffs, united shackles (hands and feet cuffed together so that the person cannot walk, eat, or even go to restroom), "smoke pole handcuffs," "wolf-teeth handcuffs," imprisonment in hell," "water dungeon," manure pit, "dead person's bed," "sitting board," confinement in a solitary compartment, "iron chair," "tiger stool," ultra-long time in squatting position, tying with ropes, nailing fingernails, twisting flesh with pliers, pulling out nails with pliers, using needles to prick fingers, and putting concentrated acid into nose.
For those who protest by going on a hunger strike, the ruffians punitively force feed, intentionally mis-inserting the rubber tube into the nose cavity, filling the feeding tube with hot pepper-laced water, highly concentrated salt water solutions, drugs or human/animal feces. In the winter they pour cold water on their heads and let them freeze outside without clothes. In the heat of summer they expose them to the sun. They do not allow them to use the restroom, sexually assault them, throw women into men's jails, force pregnant woman to abort, and rape them. They restrain them in mental hospitals or drug-rehab centers and then inject them with large doses of drugs destructive to the central nervous system, or torture them with ultra-high strength electric needles. Promising reduced sentences to lure non-practitioner inmates, they recruit criminals to tyrannize Dafa practitioners. This is only part of a list of over 50 different kinds of tortures.
Since July 20, 1999 when the persecution of Falun Gong officially began, 816 Falun Gong practitioners have been confirmed as persecuted to death. The persecution cases have occurred in all 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China.
According to the Minghui website on November 10, 2003, the death cases occur most often in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Shandong, Liaoning, Hebei, Hubei, and Sichuan Provinces.
Among those persecuted to death, women account for 52.9%, 50-80 year olds 30.1%.
This is not, however, the whole picture. According to the Chinese Communist Party's official statistics at the end of October, 2001, the death toll of arrested Falun Gong practitioners has reached 1,600. In the entire country at least 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally sentenced to jail terms, and over 100,000 Dafa practitioners illegally sentenced to forced labor camp.
The hellish role every forced labor camp in China has played in persecuting Falun Gong may eventually cause the system to collapse completely. In the meantime, however, the courts of morality and justice have already reached a final verdict for the forced labor re-education system.