Many Detainees Suffered Tin Poisoning in Shizishan Forced Labor Camp, Hubei Province
(Clearwisdom.net) From the appearance of the buildings, with its fashionable decorations, no one would readily assume that the Hubei Provincial Shizishan Drug Rehabilitation Center is a forced labor camp created to persecute the detainees. When inspectors came, the detainees were watching TV under the supervision of a staff member and enjoying a good meal at lunchtime. As soon as the inspectors left, however, the inhuman treatment and forced labor began again.
The workshop near the ward would be full of noise again, with sparkling grey tin dust floating in the air, which easily found its way to the noses and lungs of the detainees.
There were four teams in Shizishan Forced Labor Camp. Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners were detained in the No.2 and No.3 teams, where tinfoil has been produced for a long time. The manufacturing procedure involves using a bamboo stick to detach the tin sheets shaped by machine, and then using a steel stabber to press the tin sheet onto the yellow paper without exposure. The tin foil was made for export. The quota was about 2,000 sheets per day for every detainee. Some practitioners who failed to make the quota, owing to old age or being nearsighted, were usually deprived of supper or not allowed to sleep, and experienced the torture of "standing in a military posture", "riding an airplane", or "digging the corner" [Standing one meter away from the wall with head touching the corner].
The detainees also ate in the same workshop. The table, dishes and boxes containing food were all contaminated with tin dust. The workshop was crowded with hundreds of detainees without electric fans and without a window opening, because wind would make the room a mess and affect the product quality and production efficiency. Besides tinfoil, there were all kind of handcrafts made there as forced labor products, including Chinese ties.
Under such deplorable working conditions, many detainees suffered from dermatitis and scabies, with itching all over their bodies. Almost all the detainees who produced the tinfoil suffered from tin poisoning, with swelling in their feet. One drug addict from Yichang city was in very poor health with white hair and cankered feet, while another from Huangshi city, in his thirties, frequently got fevers and passed away soon after being released for medical care. It's said that he died of lung cancer.
In the daytime, Falun Gong practitioners were forced to finish the burdensome quota of tinfoil production, while in the evening, they were forced to stand facing the walls and recite the regulations of the forced labor camp, which were aimed at persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Resistance would lead to brutal beatings. Moreover, every Falun Gong practitioner was watched by two drug addicts, who monitored Falun Gong practitioners and kept them from sleeping, and abused them using the torture of "digging the wall" or "digging the corner." Wang Liyuan, a Falun Gong practitioner from Xianning, was beaten into unconsciousness many times, revived, and beaten again. Another Falun Gong practitioner from Tongcheng city was tortured to the point of suffering a mental breakdown. Guo Maoquan, a Falun Gong practitioner from Wuxue, who was illegally sentenced to the forced labor camp in March of 2001 and released in the spring of 2002, passed away on December 10, 2003, as a result of severe physical and mental persecution.
A local newspaper reported that the tin content of the soil in the South Lake area where the forced labor camp is located highly exceeded the acceptable standard, and represented severe contamination of the soil. Owing to the opposition of the public and the poisonous side effects, tinfoil production had to be discontinued. On April 17, 2003, all of the Falun Gong practitioners were transferred to the Shayang Forced Labor Camp, another notorious forced labor camp.
June 19, 2005