Stories of Slave Labor and Psychological Torture at Xin'an Forced Labor Camp
From 2001 and 2002, Falun Gong practitioners, imprisoned in the No. 1 Team of Xin'an Women's Forced Labor Camp in Beijing, were forced into slavery. The hours and the amount of slave labor peaked in 2001 and 2002. Every day practitioners had to wake up before 6:00 a.m. Immediately after they made their beds and washed, they were made to start the day's slave labor.
Some practitioners were made to knit sweaters while the rest had to wrap disposable chopsticks and skewer bait fish. Each practitioner was given a daily quota. One sweater that met the quality standards had to be delivered within a day or two. In order to meet the quota, many practitioners often had to stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. or even until dawn. Sometimes a sweater was returned to be altered because it failed to meet the size standard, but the daily quota still applied. Hence, those whose sweaters were returned had no choice but to stay up all night. Despite going without sleep, some practitioners were unable to catch up with the quota.
A group of practitioners who failed to meet the quality standard were made to dig a ditch after they completed a batch of their other work. Everyone looked ashen because they were completely worn out.
Everyone who was ordered to skewer bait fish, including those practitioners in their late 60's, was given a daily quota. Those who failed to meet the daily quota at the 10:30 p.m. inspection were denied sleep until they finished the quota. Moreover, every practitioner was forced to write articles to criticize or to confess their thoughts and feelings. There was no allocated time for writing during the slave labor. Practitioners had to sacrifice their precious sleep time to write. Even illiterate practitioners were required to write articles, so they had to dictate the articles to other practitioners.
Wrapping disposable chopsticks is also hard work. The No. 1 Team was located on the third floor. The chopsticks came in large burlap bags. They were delivered to the first floor of the building or the courtyard. Practitioners had to carry the burlap bags to the third floor, about 100 meters. Each day over 100 burlap bags of chopsticks would arrive. Each bag of chopsticks weighed over 60 lbs. on average. Sometimes there was a shortage of people, and even an elderly practitioner near 60 years old had to carry these heavy sacks to the third floor. But the weight of chopsticks was nothing compared to the bait fish. Each sack of bait fish weighed over 100 lbs. Moving a sack of bait fish to the third floor was a struggle even for two women. It usually took two to three younger practitioners to drag one sack of bait fish to the third floor. Dealing with each sack was a back-breaking struggle.
Despite the long hours of strenuous slave labor, the No. 1 Team recorded their hours of work to be 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Practitioners were forced to slave seven days a week, but in the administrative logs they were ordered to record having the weekend off. Before an inspection from upper management, Chen Li, captain of No. 1 Team, met with a former practitioner who had renounced her belief in Falun Gong under torture and ordered her to report the "labor hours" according to the log.
One time, a released practitioner reported the truth about the slavery in Xin'an Women's Forced Labor Camp to the Forced Labor Bureau, and one day the bureau had a surprise inspection. The inspectors controlled the telephones as soon as they entered the camp so that no one could warn of the inspection. The bureau discovered the truth about the slavery in the camp. However, the only "punishment" was that the captain in charge of "slavery production" was transferred to another team. She then escalated the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners after the transfer.
After that, all the inspections and tours were highly scripted. Once the camp was notified of a surprise inspection, every practitioner was ordered to stop working and move everything to the warehouse. As soon as all the materials were put away, younger practitioners were ordered to go out to play ball games, jump rope, or do aerobics. Those practitioners made to stay indoors had to sit in perfect order with a book in their hands. If the camp was notified in advance, the inspection would be much more scripted. Even the menu was orchestrated.
Psychological Torture Used on Practitioners to Force Them to Renounce Their Faith
Once assigned to a group in Xin'an Women's Forced Labor Camp, each practitioner would be immediately surrounded by a few former practitioners that had renounced Falun Gong. They took turns brainwashing the newly arrived practitioner in order to force her to abjure Falun Gong.
For the first two or three nights, the practitioner would be deprived of sleep. She would be allowed to sleep if she agreed to renounce Falun Gong. If not, she would be subjected to long hours of brainwashing speeches, and she would not be allowed to sit during the forced brainwashing. Instead, she would be forced to stand still or squat during the long hours of brainwashing. She might be allowed to sleep for two to three hours with the captain's (policewoman) permission after midnight if she was lucky. If she did not renounce Falun Gong after a few days, she would be put in an isolation room for escalated brainwashing.
During the second half of 2001, a 23-year-old practitioner Ms. Chen was transferred to Xin'an Women's Forced Labor Camp. Prior to the transfer, she had already suffered from very severe torture, which resulted in an endocrine disorder and amenorrhea. A few days after her arrival, everyone who came in with Ms. Chen had given in and renounced Falun Gong. She became the only target. If she refused to renounce Falun Gong, the team's "job performance" and the captain's bonus would be mitigated. Hence, they escalated the persecution against her. She was put into an isolation room where she was bombarded with forced brainwashing speeches. When the former practitioners failed to brainwash her, they had drug addict inmates do the work. Everyone could foresee what was to come because those drug addicts would not think twice or blink an eye when it came to cursing or using violence.
Chen Li, Captain of the No. 1 Team, tacitly allowed the drug addicts to use violence on her. Every day Ms. Chen was made to stand still. Her legs were so swollen that she couldn't possibly bend her knees, and she had difficulty walking. She was assigned to the top part of a bunk bed, but she was unable to climb up into it given her condition. She was not even allowed to sleep on the bottom part of the bunk bed for two to three hours when it was not in use.
Once Chen Li saw someone delivering a meal to the door of the isolation room. She said, "Why are you giving her a dish when she refuses to renounce Falun Gong? A bowl of soup is enough. Three steamed buns is too much. Give her less." But practitioner Ms. Chen was a young woman. She needed more food than an elderly woman. Each day she was starving when she returned from the isolation room after a long day of torture. Fellow practitioners offered her buns they had saved for her, but they were stopped. Ms. Chen was subjected to this torture for over two months.