Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp Officials Accuse Practitioners of Being "Unpatriotic" and Use It as Excuse for Torture
(Clearwisdom.net) In 2001, China successfully landed the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Chinese officials promised better human rights as a condition for the bid, and then turned around to use it as a tool for justifying its persecution and suppression.
After the bid efforts began, Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp officials organized a meeting to demand that Falun Gong practitioners talk about the significance of the Olympics bid. However, the Falun Gong practitioners declared that they did not support the regime's claims in making the bid. The labor camp authorities then labeled the Falun Gong practitioners as being against the Party and against China, and then proceeded to escalate the persecution.
The officials stepped up their brainwashing efforts and increased the manual labor quotas. They increased the workload for dirty jobs like cleaning raw wool by removing manure, stones, bugs and other things from it. They also made practitioners dig ditches for laying sewers and other physically demanding jobs. In addition, they enforced a rigorous calisthenics program. Guard Liu Guoxi forced this on practitioners, including Wei Rutang, Geng Honghai and others. He said, "I must train you well so that you may experience first hand how hard our national athletes might train to win glory for our motherland at the Olympic Games. Then I will see whether you, ignoring the honor of our country, will continue to oppose our bidding for the Olympics."
Many sports fields and facilities were built in the labor camp. This included the large drilling ground divided into seven or eight basketball courts, a small drilling ground, tennis courts, horizontal bars & parallel bars, weightlifting facilities, table tennis tables, a man-made rock climbing wall, and grassy areas that could be used as a soccer field. The officials had people paint the Olympic five-ring symbol and other slogans on the perimeter walls.
Guard Liu chose the tennis court as the main drilling ground. The main program he used was long-distance running, followed by push-ups and other drills. Two or three prisoners were chosen to help monitor the practitioners as they were put through the exhausting programs. They were first ordered to run laps, and if it was not done quickly enough, they were forced to repeat the laps. If they got too tired to finish, they would be dragged along by the prisoners. If they fell to the ground from exhaustion, they were kicked and beaten. After these exercises were done, the practitioners were immediately sent, without rest, to perform their regularly assigned labor. As part of the program, they were not permitted to sit down even during meals.
The practitioners were drilled so hard that they wore out their shoes, but since they were not allowed to be visited by relatives and had all packages sent from the outside confiscated, they could not get replacement shoes. Their health suffered so much that the "training" had to be stopped after one month.
The camp authorities also forced the general prison population to do daily exercises in a "show of support" for the Olympics. We practitioners did not see ourselves as prisoners and refused to participate. We were then dragged along to run laps or stand in a fixed position for long periods of time. Afterwards many practitioners, including Deng Huaiyin, Liu Jiankai, and Zhao Hui and others were sent to the training team to be shocked with multiple electric batons.
Guard Yue Qingjin sent me there, and he shouted at me, "You are against the bid for the Olympics. You don't love your country and resist reformation. Even if we kill you, we'll claim that you committed suicide." Several guards put me on a cotton quilt and tied my four limbs down with strips of fabric. They yanked the stripes in four different directions, which caused terrible pain. They shocked me with electric batons, shouted at me and ordered me to give up my belief. When they saw that I was about to faint, they stopped and forced-fed me with some water. The prison doctor came to take my blood pressure and said that I was fine. They continued shocking me, and I lost consciousness after another half an hour or so.
The Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp is given special attention by high-level Chinese officials. After each inspection visit by these high-level officials, the persecution was intensified. Many Falun Gong practitioners have been sent here over the years, and the camp has been a place for officials to curry favor and win big promotions and pay raises. Deputy camp head Zhuang Xuhong and education section deputy head Jiang Haiquan are two examples of those who have profited greatly from the persecution.
Labor camp doctors also take part in the persecution. They watch the torture sessions and suggest when they should be stopped, just before the practitioner is tortured to death. During the Falun Gong practitioner hunger strikes to protest the persecution, these doctors are in charge of brutal force-feeding. A prison doctor poked a tube into my nose and throat during my hunger strike and made my nose bleed profusely and my throat swell up. This kept me from speaking normally for a long time.
After a long period of preparation, one day the labor camp welcomed a group of domestic and foreign reporters to visit. That day, there were flowerpots and fish tanks in the dormitories. Prisoners were engaged in various activities, such as jumping rope, playing tug-of-war, and other games. When prisoners were interviewed, they answered the questions as they had been trained. Some prisoners impersonated Falun Gong practitioners. They said that they were well-treated and supported the regime's story of improved human rights. The real practitioners were hidden in storage rooms or workshops.
Practitioner Xiang Wujun stayed in a "training team" for six months for brainwashing, and Qing Wei was forced to work in the workshop. Qing Wei is a painter. The labor camp officials ordered him to paint some Olympics-related posters and pictures. They promised him money and better treatment, but he refused. They then intensified the persecution against him and extended his term. The practitioners who refused to give up Falun Gong had another six months added to their terms. Qing Wei was only permitted brief sleep while being forced to work daily in the workshop. Aside from eating and sleeping, he was forced to spend all his time processing nails with a chemical adhesive. They were made for nail guns, which were destined for export to Western countries. Qing Wei' s hands were callused, his back was bent, and the chemical adhesive irritated his skin. But these hardships were much less harsh compared to tortures in the "training team."
The day when the visiting reporters arrived, the quality of the food suddenly became much better than usual. At the conclusion of the interviews, those prisoners who had answered questions according to the previously agreed-to answers were commended. Several days later, labor camp officials pronounced the reception for the reporters to be a great success, saying that everyone in the labor camp, including the Falun Gong practitioners, proclaimed their support for China's bid for the Olympics.
In July 2001, Beijing was awarded the Olympics, and the labor camp officials were commended for their performance. After that, the labor camp still carried out pretenses of improvements. They issued a press release saying, "The CCP government really cares for prisoners and improves their lives at great cost." But in fact, the Falun Gong practitioners' food quality is at the lowest level. Daily meals are steamed buns and cabbage soup, consisting of water with a few pieces of cabbage. In the "training team," the food consisted of millet and cabbage soup. There were often cases of food poisoning in the labor camp.
In order to reduce pollution for the Beijing Olympics, the labor camp converted their coal-fired heating system to the city's hot water heating system by laying down a pipeline to bring in the hot water. As the regime intensified the persecution, the number of inmates at the camp increased greatly. The pipeline couldn't meet the demand and had to replaced. The inmates had to dig trenches for installation of the hot water heating ductwork. The Falun Gong practitioners had to do this heavy, backbreaking labor, even the old and the weak. They stipulated a workload for every practitioner and punished anyone who fell short of the quota. For instance, Wang Sili, a retired official in his seventies, couldn't fulfill the workload. He was sent to the "training team," where he was subjected to corporal punishment and brainwashing. The trench-digging project lasted from summer to autumn. Falun Gong practitioners worked from early morning into the night. They often fainted from the heat, and were constantly at the verge of exhaustion. By the end of the project, everyone was dark and gaunt-looking.
For those who may think that awarding the Olympics to China will help the human rights situation, they only need to look at how they were deceived by the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp. Only when China allows an independent investigation to take place, will all of the facts be revealed.