Slave-Like Conditions in Shizishan Forced Labor Camp, Wuhan City
(Clearwisdom.net) When I was jailed in the Shizishan Forced Labor Camp in Wuhan City, I personally experienced its slave-like conditions. In that camp, the imprisoned practitioners suffer physical and mental torture, economic exploitation, and personal humiliation.
Of the four squadrons in the camp, the second and third each jailed several hundred Falun Gong practitioners. Camp authorities forced the prisoners to make tinfoil sheets by hand, which is harmful to one's health. They have to prick open the machine-pressed tinfoil paper with a bamboo stick, then manually press the tinfoil onto yellow paper using an anvil. The finished products are for overseas markets. Each of us had to complete two thousand pieces everyday. However, some of the jailed practitioners were too old to complete their quota, and some with poor eyesight couldn't make a perfect product. This meant that they would be physically punished at night. They were subjected to beatings, starvation, sleep deprivation, and other physical tortures such as standing absolutely still for extended periods, bending over with the arms stretched high backward in the "flying the airplane" position and "digging the wall corner" (see Appendix below). In addition, the camp fined them from dozens to hundreds of yuan, depending on the percentage of their quota left unfinished. Some were beaten or cursed at in the shop.
Several hundred people were confined in the shop, where no fans are allowed and no window can be opened in order to prevent the paper from blowing away. We had to eat dinner in the shop, even though tin powder pervaded the air, mixing with the bad food and getting into our lungs with each breath and jeopardizing our health. After working for fifteen hours everyday, the steadfast practitioners or those who didn't finish the quota would be abused or tortured by the guards. The guards used every means imaginable to shorten the sleeping time for the Falun Gong practitioners. They forced the practitioners to wipe the floor with their hands or remove some tough dirt with their bare hands. If someone's attention faltered for a single moment, that person would be cursed and beaten.
1. "Dig the wall corner"
This is one of the most common tortures in forced labor camps. Facing the wall with both arms kept behind, the victim's head must lean against the corner of the wall. Then the victim must step back until his/her body forms a 45-degree angle with the wall. (The body, the floor and the wall create a right triangle, with the body forming the hypotenuse.) The victim is forced to remain in this position for hours and eventually causes a groove in the victim's forehead deep enough to insert a pen. The victim is soaked with sweat or even falls unconscious. Those who cannot maintain the posture are beaten and kicked.
2. Squat down
Another common torture in forced labor camps, this posture looks simple but maintaining it for a long period of time is harmful enough to cause permanent damage. The victim is forced to squat down with the left leg extended and the right shin and thigh forming a 90 degree angle, the right thigh parallel to the ground, both hands on both knees, no contact between feet and hip, the upper half of the body kept straight and still. The victim is forced to keep the posture unless using the toilet or eating dinner. If the torture lasts a long time, it will injure the victim's muscles and nerves, and cause permanent damage. The inmates beat or kick the practitioner if he/she changes the posture even a little bit.
This is one of the tortures used by Group 3 in the Sayang Forced Labor Camp. With the victim lying flat on the ground, the perpetrators stack four or five bricks at either end of the victim. The victim becomes a board supported by two piles of bricks at each end. The victim is forced to keep his/her body absolutely straight, suspended in the air, for long periods of time. If the victim relaxes the posture even a little bit, the guards will beat him/her with belts or electric batons.
August 18, 2004