Dafa Practitioners Subjected to Hazardous Forced Labor and Torture at the Jiamusi Labor Camp
I was placed in the Jiamusi Labor Camp in the spring of 2002, during Heilongjiang Province's major campaign to arrest Dafa practitioners.
The police kept practitioners together with the collaborators [former Dafa practitioners who have turned against Dafa under pressure] to have them attempt to brainwash us. Every day in the labor camp, material defaming Dafa was broadcast. All the steadfast Dafa practitioners recited Master's teachings, resisted the brainwashing, and demanded that the broadcasting be stopped. We refused to watch or read the deceitful propaganda, regardless of the consequences. Later, Captain Liu Yadong and the collaborators designed a way to attack us: they concentrated on one individual practitioner at a time. Some practitioners were unable to bear it and gave in against their will. The remaining steadfast practitioners were put into an "intense training" team. Then a new wave of persecution started during the lead up to the 16th Party Congress.
More than 60 people were kept in one room, forming the 8th Brigade. From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, practitioners were forced to sit on stools with rings on top. It was like sitting on burning thorns; the pain was impossible to bear. Practitioners' hands had to be placed on their knees with their eyes looking forward. If anyone showed sleepiness the sitting time would be extended. Thus the practitioners were often kept sitting past midnight. The defamation videos played repeatedly under such circumstances, and the writings of the collaborators were read. Usually there would be three to four female police officers in the room, and two male policemen at the door, equipped with electric batons.
One day Xu Hongzhen, an elderly lady, tried to stop the police from hanging up banners that attack Dafa. She was beaten up by the police and then put into handcuffs. Policemen Zhang Xiaodan, Li Xiujin, Chen Jing, and Captain Wang forced practitioners to read things written by the collaborators. If they refused they would not be allowed to use the toilet. Those who objected were pulled out and beaten up; many practitioners were injured.
The torture continued until the end of October. Seeing that practitioners would not give up their faith, the evil went mad. Declaring that "power comes from violence," every day the police chained the practitioners to iron beds with their hands behind their backs in handcuffs. Due to the handcuffs being tight, practitioners' hands turned varying colors of purple and black. Ms. Wang Lili's hands bled severely and one of Mr. Li Guoyun's arms became crippled. The handcuff torture continued until the practitioner submitted and signed the "Five Letters" [statements denouncing Dafa]. In this way, I and some other practitioners who couldn't bear the torture wrote "transformation letters" against our will. We became unworthy of Master's grand compassion and painstaking salvation. The extreme pain in out hearts was indescribable. We felt so ashamed of living that we would rather die. Once the idea of ending our lives came to mind, we expelled the idea of death quickly when we recalled Master's teachings that suicide is wrong. We calmed down and pulled ourselves together, and persisted with Fa-study and sending forth righteous thoughts. We encouraged and supported each other; we were determined not to acknowledge the arrangement of the old forces and not to acknowledge the so-called "transformation" because it was against our will; it was forced upon us.
Ms. Yang Shuhui suffered a mental collapse as a result of the persecution. She was frequently abused by the criminal inmates, both verbally and physically. The labor camp would not release her, saying she was pretending. Captain He Qiang said she could not go home because her family refused to pay the ransom.
The police knew very well that practitioners like us who wrote statements against our own will had not really given up cultivation of Dafa in our hearts. Coercion cannot change peoples' hearts. When we had to write, we wrote that we would continue to cultivate in Dafa; we declared that the letters extracted by forced brainwashing were invalid, and we wrote to reveal and expose the persecution. The police were worried and had the collaborators keep watch on us.
Starting in December 2002, we were put into forced labor. One collaborator was placed with each two Dafa practitioners at all times, during sleep, work, and meals. A number of criminal offenders were used by police as spies to keep watch on practitioners.
In the spring of 2003, the labor camp started yet another round of hysterical persecution of Dafa practitioners, forcing them to write the "Five Letters," or otherwise suffer from cruel torture. Many practitioners' arms were swollen from being handcuffed in a special position behind their backs. Still, Captain Hong Wei and Instructor Yu Wenbin forced practitioners to go to morning drills and labor, accusing practitioners of "pretending." Ms. Cai Rong and other practitioners in the 9th Team refused to cooperate and did not do the so called "assignment" for the police. Police officer Li Xiujin made them stand through the night without sleep, beat them with clubs, and still made them do forced labor during the day, sewing cover cases for cell phones.
The labor camp police totally disregarded practitioners' lives and safety for selfish thoughts of making money. When a chemical used in the products made people sick and vomit, they said people were pretending, and passively resisting work. The workshop was badly ventilated. Long-term overtime work meant that each cell phone cover was stained with the blood of Dafa practitioners. What they ate each day was bread, salted pickles, and radish soup. Long-term torture and malnutrition had weakened practitioners' bodies, and many felt ill. Yet the police did not stop, and shamelessly used their detention centers to extort money and other benefits.
[Editor's Note: The signed "Solemn Declarations" are published in the categorized column]