My Firsthand Experience of the Crimes Against Humanity being Committed at the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp
(Clearwisdom.net) Jiang's group has hidden the brutal persecution of Falun Gong behind the façade of such slogans as, "[This is] The best period of human rights in history." After spending nearly two years in forced labor camps, I would like to reveal the truth behind Jiang's claim that this is "The best period of human rights."
1. Having a Spiritual Belief is Considered "a Crime" Under Jiang's Rule
I'm a Dafa practitioner from Beijing. Since the persecution began on July 20, 1999, I have been taken to brainwashing classes several times simply because I practice "Truth, Compassion and Forbearance." One day in 2002, while clarifying the facts to people about the persecution of Falun Dafa, local police arrested me and sent me to the police station. 24 hours later, I was transferred to the district police department where I was detained. A month later, without any legal proceedings, I was sentenced to two years of hard labor to be served at the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp. Before I was sent to the labor camp, I was taken to the Dispatch Center first. Shortly after arriving at the camp, I was put in a brainwashing class where I was continuously beaten, abused, and forced to repeat slanderous language against Falun Dafa. Punishments were escalated whenever I refused to obey.
2. Depriving People of Food and Water
During my twenty-four hours' detention at the police station I was incessantly interrogated, deprived of food and water, and forbidden from using bathroom facilities. Practitioners there were basically deprived of water. During lunch, two bowls of water were passed among a group of over ten people. By the time the bowls came to us practitioners, little or no water was left. Once, a female Dafa practitioner was so thirsty that she drank a little water from the tap while brushing her teeth. For this she was severely reprimanded.
3. Depriving People From Using Bathroom Facilities
In the labor camp there is a set time for detainees to use the bathroom and a guard must accompany the detainee.
On one occasion all the guards were busy registering newcomers into the camp, so no one could accompany us to go to the restroom. Therefore, they simply refused to let us use the restroom while they were busying with the registration. For the whole afternoon, all of our requests to use the bathroom were refused. Later that day, a practitioner could not wait any more and simply rushed into the bathroom. For doing that she was beaten and cursed.
4. Sleep Deprivation
The camp's chief weapon is sleep deprivation. The experience is nearly unbearable. The victim is put in a room together with about 14 others, who are supervised by some other prisoners. Boards with the camp's regulations written on them are given to each person and they all have to keep repeating the regulations. Anyone found not concentrating is beaten.
I remember after I had been transferred to the Beijing Forced Labor Camp at the end of 2002, the instructor of the brainwashing class did not allow us to sleep, not even during the lunch break. Anyone found dosing off was punished.
5. Demoralization by Being Locked in a "Small Cell"
Without exception, every Falun Gong practitioner who is arrested has to go through the brainwashing class. If practitioners do not show "improvement," they will be locked up in an isolated "small cell" and on top of that, during the night they will have to stay awake repeating aloud the labor camp regulations. Once, after watching a documentary slandering Falun Dafa, a practitioner was questioned, "Is Falun Gong a [slanderous word omitted]?" When she replied that is was not, she was then immediately beaten by a group of prisoners who later reported her to the chief guard. For three days afterwards, that practitioner was locked up in isolation and interrogated.
Later, the chief guard personally reprimanded her and forced her to watch more slanderous documentaries about Falun Dafa. When they saw that she was tired, she would be encircled by prisoners and forced to run around in circles. Every time she bumped into someone, she would be beaten. Finally she collapsed from exhaustion.
This practitioner was then locked up in isolation again for a month, during which time she was taken to different cells. She was taken out of her cell for punishment only during the night, just before she was about to sleep.
6. Demoralization Through Punishment from Drug Offenders
It was not uncommon for the guards to beat and use electric batons to shock Falun Gong practitioners. The guards also often encourage prisoners to beat up the practitioners as well. One day, four or five prisoners arrested for drug offences, who are all in their thirties, were basically asked to be thugs. The cruel tactics used by these prisoners were even worse than what the guards did. They took turns beating us. But before they began, one of them by the name Chang, stuffed her socks into the mouth of a practitioner to prevent her from screaming. These prisoners had their terms reduced for doing this work for the labor camp police.
Every meal we had consisted of a bun made from ground corn flour mixed with other grains. Anyone refusing to eat was beaten. One time a practitioner was beaten so badly that her whole body, except for her face, was bruised. In order to not to let others see what had happened to her, the guards stopped her from taking showers for a long time.
In the labor camp, the guards cut away the top buttons of practitioners' shirts, as well as the zipper for the fly and waistbands of their pants, leaving the practitioners with no choice but to hold up their pants at all times. The guards often said, "See how weak you are, you're not even able to put up with a slight beating." One young practitioner even had a couple of her teeth knocked out from being beaten by the guards and had a hard time eating because of it. After one university student had completed serving a year and a half in the labor camp, her sentence was then extended for another six months. The guards always tortured that practitioner with electric batons.
7. Strip Searched
Normally, when being transferred from one place of detention to another, the admissions officer goes through all your belongings doing a complete search. Even a person's bedcovers are thoroughly examined. Later, they simply refused to let the practitioners take any covers with them. On admission to the camp the first time, a prisoner's clothes are stripped off followed by a thorough examination. After admission, they strip you naked again for another examination. Then every month, they conduct a regular search, to make sure nothing is hidden.