Witnessing the Nature of Evil Through the Story of Du Juan's Suffering in Chongqing Women's Forced Labor Camp
(Clearwisdom.net) Du Juan was sent twice to Maojiashan Forced Labor Camp in Chongqing and suffered brutal persecution for four years and six months for persisting in cultivating Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and clarifying the truth. During her detention she witnessed many dirty tricks used to persecute Dafa practitioners in the labor camp, which ranged between overt and covert, mixed with violence and deceit.
In the beginning, to resist the persecution, Du Juan would clarify the truth about Dafa and wipe off the propaganda from the blackboard that slandered Dafa. She also refused to put on a prison uniform. The police therefore instigated prisoners to torture her. They covered her mouth with dirty strips of cloth and secured them with clear wide tape. They then slapped her face with a shoe sole, stripped her and forcefully put the prison uniform on her. They tied her tightly and left her under the hot sun for several hours. In May 2002, in order to improve the so-called "reformation" rate, the woman's labor camp invited several males known for their cruelty and mercilessness from Xishanping Men's Labor Camp. The most vicious one among them was called Li Binxian. Mere mention of his name terrified the prisoners. On June 11, 2002, when Du Juan was once again sent to the labor camp and would not acknowledge her so-called crimes and refused to answer the roll call, Li Binxian slapped her face several dozen times, causing swelling and distortion. Even after a week, Ms. Du's lip was still severely swollen.
The police guards took the lead in beating the detainees, which made the criminal inmates even more fearless. Prisoners Ma Lan and Zheng Xiuqin forced Du Juan to squat and repeat their words. When Du Juan refused, they beat and kicked her in the stomach. Ms. Du lay on the ground, sick and in extreme pain, unable to eat. Despite her extreme pain, she was still thrown into a consolidated cell where she was watched by a group of six prisoners 24 hours a day.
The consolidated cell is a small dark room with walls covered in rubber, and with a small book-sized window on the ceiling. The air does not circulate inside the cell at all. In the winter, it is cold and damp; in the summer, it is hot, like a pressure cooker. Practitioners are held inside this cell around the clock and must eat, drink and relieve themselves in the cell. When the toilet bowl cover is open, the room smells so bad that it is hard to breathe. Despite these inhumane conditions, the practitioners were held inside the cell for one to two months. Instigated by the police, the prisoners forced Du Juan to stand straight or squat military style. She was required to stand perfectly upright, looking straight ahead with both hands tightly touching the line of her trousers. Sometimes, they would use a piece of paper and try to insert it between Du Juan's hands and her trousers to test whether her hands were tightly clasped to her body or not. Sometimes they would suddenly hit her behind the kneecap to test whether her legs were tense and straight. The requirement for squatting was to hold the body on a single foot and not move at all. The foot would be in pain after a short period of time. Changing to another foot was not permitted unless the "personal cangues" [the name given to those assigned to monitor practitioners] gave permission. Even young and strong people needed to change feet every ten minutes or so. However, the practitioners would not be allowed to change feet for half an hour, one hour, or even longer.
Du Juan had extreme stomach pain and could not fall asleep. On June 12, she was unable to straighten her back, but the police continued to torture her since she still refused to answer the roll call. That evening, the team leader, Yang Ming, resorted to a most vicious method. He ordered some guards to use chalk to write words slandering Dafa and Master on Du Juan's clothes, her body, on the wall and on the ground. Du Juan, who holds high respect for Master, fainted. The next day, she was sent to the clinic for a checkup. After a forced infusion, she was sent back to the dark room where she continued to suffer persecution. The prisoners used vulgar language and behaved indecently by touching her breasts, shoulders and arms. When Du Juan reported it to the guards, they just sneered and left without doing anything to stop the abuse. On June 14, Du Juan's blood pressure was so low that even an infusion did not help. She was sent to Heping Hospital and was diagnosed with "damage to her left kidney and spleen, along with intestinal obstruction." The authorities were afraid to take responsibility and released her that night.
By that time, Du Juan had suffered a lot of damage to her face, which was swollen and distorted. Her whole body was also covered in bruises. She was unable to straighten her back and had to hold her stomach when walking, and she could only walk very slowly. On June 15, to cover up their crimes, the authorities changed their minds and forcibly sent Du Juan to Heping Hospital for medical treatment. One week later, when her health improved, they once again sent her back to the labor camp. At that time, the guards hypocritically prepared highly nutritious food for Du Juan, which she refused to eat. They force-fed her to demonstrate their concern in caring for Falun Gong practitioners and to deceive and brainwash other practitioners without mentioning how they had persecuted Du Juan in the first place.
The guards also used another way to make Du Juan suffer - no showers. In the hot weather they did not allow Ms. Du to take a shower or bathe for two whole months. Du Juan was provided with only one basin of water, which she used to brush her teeth, wash her face, feet, body and clothes. Even so, they kept continually decreasing the amount of water. Once, the police rebuked an inmate for giving Du Juan a little more water than usual. Du Juan's bed sheet was soaked with sweat but she did not have enough water to wash it. Her hair was greasy and sticky. Her clothes were stiff and she was smelly. When Du Juan protested the maltreatment, the police tried to arouse dissension among the inmates by saying "It is all because you refused to answer the roll call. Now you are making others suffer with you." An inmate said to Du Juan privately, "I would sue them once I get out." The authorities perpetrated this torture while claiming to the public that they were "educating people." When the higher authorities came for an inspection they would often make the labor camp inmates do the cleaning. The floors would be scattered with laundry powder and washed repeatedly with basins of clean water. The windows were scrubbed bright until they shined, and the restroom was doused thick with air freshener.
The guards torture practitioners physically and mentally. The physical torture methods were labeled "strict management" or "consolidation training." The main physical torture was to force practitioners to stand military style or to squat. Victims of this torture were required to keep their body in one position for 17 to 18 hours each day with a short break during meals. After a while, the feet and hands lose blood circulation, which would cause the limbs to swell. Du Juan's feet were swollen all year round. When it was the worst, the swelling would reach her knees and by only lightly pressing on the swollen part, she could cause an indentation. Ms. Du's normal shoe size was 36 but she was unable to fit into size 40 shoes at that time. Sometimes the guards hypocritically allowed her to soak her feet in hot water before going to sleep and seemed to show concern. However they did not stop the torture, which was the cause of the swelling in the first place.
When violence and physical punishment did not work, the guards would try the "soft" approach to get practitioners to renounce Falun Dafa. They would chat with you, hold your hands, gently stroke your hair and show sympathy with tears in their eyes. They would also show concern for you and might even give you some daily essentials for free. They may also make an exception for your visitors or "violate regulations" and allow you to keep some of the items the visitors brought for you. As long as it was helpful in their attempts to "reform" you, they would violate any regulations. However, once they discover that their soft methods were not working, their true colors would show. In the name of "regulation" and "administration," the practitioners suffered brutal and inhuman tortures. "Regulation" became their tools for persecuting and for covering up their crimes. If any inmate showed a little sympathy towards any practitioner, she would be immediately scolded.
Mental tortures were the most widely applied and also the most subtle methods used in reforming practitioners. From the very beginning practitioners were isolated completely from the outside world. No family visits, no letters and no phone calls were allowed. The practitioners were closely monitored 24 hours a day. Almost everything required permission, including going to the restroom, getting hot water, making one's bed, combing the hair, turning around or scratching. Even the sleep posture and the direction to face while sleeping were set. If the "personal cangues" were one meter away from their assigned target, they would be regarded as irresponsible and punished. Therefore, the designated inmate would follow practitioners very closely all the time. There was a time when Du Juan was not even allowed to talk with the inmates in the same cell. Police called it "freezing." Once the "freezing" method did not work, the police changed their attitude and became warm towards her. They kept trying to brainwash her with speeches comprised of evil enlightenment [distortions of the teachings of Falun Dafa], as well as TV programs, newspapers and books that slandered and framed Dafa. Two teams consisting of three collaborators and two to three police officers per team surrounded Du Juan and tried to brainwash her. Sometimes they tried to use false reasoning and hypocritical methods, at other times they applied accusations and insults.
Once, Du Juan was deceived by the police and their collaborators and accepted some false enlightenment. However, she realized her mistake in time, which instigated the guards to apply the "full isolation measure" on her for over seven months. During this period, Du Juan was not allowed to go downstairs. Not once was she allowed to go outside to breathe fresh air or practice the Falun Gong exercises. In this environment Ms. Du's health became progressively worse, especially in the hot months of June and July. To prevent her from even making eye contact with other fellow practitioners, she was not allowed to open her cell door. The inmates in her cell could go outside to breathe fresh air but Du Juan had to bear the dirty hot air inside the cell all day long. In August, an inmate contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. Because this inmate was poor and could not pay for medical care, the labor camp did not allow a medical check-up on her in time and therefore did not take proper isolation measures. This inmate was one of the ones assigned to closely monitor Du Juan. Soon Du Juan was infected with pulmonary tuberculosis. At that time, she did not show any obvious symptoms and she continued to do heavy labor. However, in November, she had severe breathing problems and was diagnosed with "secondary pulmonary tuberculosis" and "chest hydrocephalus on both sides." The labor camp even wanted to use this incident to slander Falun Gong. Police officer Chen Yanyan threatened to use the X-ray films to prove that practicing Falun Gong caused tuberculosis. However, Du Juan's X-ray, taken at the time of the entrance medical checkup, was normal. She was infected in the labor camp because the labor camp did not take measures in time to isolate the contagious patient. No matter how the labor camp denies this fact with all kinds of excuses, they cannot shirk their responsibility for Ms. Du's illness. Only when Du Juan suffered from high fever and had severe difficulty breathing, did the labor camp allow her to go home.
Now there are still many practitioners detained illegally in forced labor camps in China. They are suffering inhuman tortures and maltreatment. We hope that more kind people in the world will pay attention to this persecution of belief in China.
September 1, 2005