Behind the Façade of Flowers and Music in China's Forced Labor Camps -- Written for the 60th U.N. Human Rights Commission's Meeting in Geneva
(Clearwisdom.net) Since July 20, 1999 when Jiang Zemin began persecuting Falun Gong, torture and outright murder in Chinese labor camps, prisons and detention centers have been repeatedly exposed by the overseas media. Nearly 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death because they refused to give up their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. Hundreds of thousands of practitioners are incarcerated and suffer long-term slave labor, brainwashing and physical abuse.
In June 2000, I drove to the Dispatch Division for the labor camp detainees located in Tuanhe, Daxing County, Beijing.
The gate of the Dispatch Division is very stylish, and outside the gate is an award poster, proclaiming the Dispatch Division as a "civilized" work unit responsible for carrying out the law. There was a field of crops outside the walls, and laughter was heard as some prisoners watered the field. The early summer breeze and apparent tranquility made this place seem quieter and more serene than the average urban area of Beijing.
I had a brief conversation with the guards at the labor camp. As far as I could tell from the surface, this place really was civilized, with the prisoners tending to the plants and crops. At least from the surface appearance, it seemed that torture, brainwashing, slave labor, beatings, and torture deaths are too drastic to ever occur in such a place. Only Falun Gong practitioners who survived the torments of the labor camp know exactly what was behind such a beautiful facade.
One Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Zhao Ming, graduated from Tsinghua University and pursued his graduate career in the Computer Science Department at Trinity College in Ireland. He was arrested and detained at the Tuanhe Labor Camp. In an article titled "The Inside Story of Tuanhe Labor Camp," Mr. Zhao said, "When people visited the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp for the first time, its tidy appearance attracted them. But what they could not know was that the new buildings, flowers and cute grazing animals (such as rabbits and deer) there were all tools used to cover up the criminal acts inside. Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp used the camouflage of 'education and influence' to deceive the outside world while in reality using 'devastating the spirit' and 'torturing the body' to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners. This kind of despicable policy was implemented thoroughly, especially on those practitioners who refused to be transformed." In another article, Mr. Zhao said, "This is not an individual case among labor camps. The labor camp guards said they visited other labor camps in the south and found they were even better built than Tuanhe Labor Camp. The guards always held their meetings at [labor camps] in scenic places, and labor camp heads and guards toured foreign countries."
It is at those seemingly beautiful places that the guards resorted to more than 100 kinds of torture in an attempt to force Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief. Many practitioners became deaf from beatings, their outer ear tissue broken off, their eyeballs crushed, their teeth broken, and their skull, spine, ribcage, collarbone, pelvis, and arms and legs were broken from beatings. Some practitioners' bodies became completely deformed from torture and covered in blood, yet the guards poured salt water on them and continued to shock them with electric batons. Some guards kicked, crushed, and tore at practitioners' private parts, both male and female. They shocked the practitioners with several high-voltage electric batons simultaneously. They especially shocked the practitioners' sensitive areas such as their mouths, the top of their head, chest, private areas, buttocks, inner thighs, soles of their feet, until their bodies are scorched. They also burned the practitioners with cigarettes, cigarette lighters, red-hot metal rods, etc. They rape, gang rape, sodomize and apply other forms of sexual assault to female Falun Gong practitioners.
They also like to use the strait jacket, in which the arms of the victims are raised over the shoulders to the chest and the victims suffer broken arms, torn tendons, as well as dislocated shoulders, wrists, and elbows. Then the practitioners' legs are tied together, and they are hung in the air upside down from the iron window bars; the guards gag practitioners' mouths with cloth and place earphones to drill anti-Falun Gong propaganda into their minds. The spines of those who suffered this torture for a long time are often severely injured, sometimes broken. They throw the practitioners in dungeons filled with sewage. They hammer bamboo sticks under the practitioners' fingernails and force them to live in damp rooms full of mold, which causes their injuries to fester. They also have dogs, snakes and scorpions bite the practitioners, and inject them with nerve-damaging drugs. These are just some of the ways that practitioners are tortured in the labor camps.
The Chinese Communist Party sent a 500-person lobbying team to Geneva before the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The lobbying team does not lack for slick politicians, diplomats, "scientists," "qigong masters," "psychologists," "sociologists" and "patriots," and they certainly did their best to convince the world that now is the period of the best human rights conditions in China's history. It is my sincere hope that the world will see through their lies, and demand to see the labor camps for themselves, behind the scenes, and then determine their opinion of China's human rights.