Severe Abuse and Deaths at Mudanjiang Prison
(Clearwisdom.net) The Xian District Court in Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province illegally sentenced Falun Gong practitioners Zhao Boliang, Li Haifeng, and Li Yongsheng to prison, despite a complete lack of incriminating evidence. They were sent to different divisions at the Mudanjiang Prison around February 18, 2009 and forced to do slave labor. Li Yongsheng is disabled, yet he is still made to paint eyes and eyebrows on dolls' faces.
Mudanjiang Prison, with its 22 divisions, is nicknamed "death
camp." With the exception of Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4, detainees in the
other divisions work from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On October 1, 2007, the end of
the workday was changed to 5:00 p.m. Each detainee works 11 to 12 hours a day,
seven days a week, or more than 77 hours a week. The division heads often
petition their superiors for permission to force the detainees to work until
9:00 p.m . Now the camp is threatening to extend the workday to 14 hours per
day. The detainees are not issued protective gear, which poses serious health
and safety risks.
The prison assigns profit quotas to each division head, which means each division head must hand over a certain amount of money to the prison administration. To have enough money for themselves, the division heads exploit the detainees as much as possible, without paying them a single penny. The prison officials even contracted the cafeteria to the guards and stated that the guards must pay the prison administration 1.5 million yuan a year profit. If the guards did not lower the quality of food they would be unable to make the 1.5 million. As a result, the living and working conditions are as bad as one could imagine. As the detainees describe it, "We eat worse than pigs, work more than donkeys, go to sleep later than dogs and rise earlier than roosters."
1. Compulsive and Excessive Forced Labor Caused Several Practitioners' Death
(1) Mr. Pan Xingfu's Death Due to Torture and Forced Labor
Practitioner Mr. Pan Xingfu from Shuangyashan City was transferred from the Qitaihe Prison to Division 16 of the Mudanjiang Prison in May 2003. The guards savagely tortured him and forced him to do hard labor. His feet swelled, to the extent that he could no longer walk at the end of 2003. He was extremely weak, but the prison authorities waited until May 2004 to take him to the prison hospital. He was diagnosed with pleural effusion, peritoneal effusion and tuberculosis. Deputy prison head Luan Jinghe did not want to be held liable should Pan Xingfu die in prison. He told political head Zheng Yuhe to process medical parole papers for Pan Xingfu. Zheng Yuhe repeatedly ordered Pan Xingfu to write a guarantee statement, but he refused. He returned home in July 2004 and died in January 2005.
(2) Jin Youfeng was a physical education teacher at the Mudanjiang Normal
Institute. He was arrested and taken to the prison's Group Drill Division at the
end of March 2004. Practitioners are forced to work in the workshop during the
day and at night in the cell. Jin Youfeng did not meet the workload quota. The
abusers tortured him with the method called "Riding an Airplane." [In
this torture, the head is bent down until it cannot go any further, while the
hands are pulled up and held as high as they will go. The hips have to point up.
The person is forced to keep this position for a long time. The body in this
position looks like an airplane. See illustration at http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/9/29/52921.html].
Jin Youfeng did not cooperate with the perpetrators, and guard Zhou Shaokun
ordered inmates Liu Daqing and others to barbarically attack him. He was locked
in solitary confinement, was shackled and held in place with a wooden rod. He
was force-fed pepper powder on September 4, 2004. After Mr. Jin left solitary
confinement he joined other practitioners in resisting slave labor. The
practitioners were held in the Group Drill Division for one year.
Jin Youfeng was transferred to Group 1, Division 7 on May 26, 2005. He was assigned the same heavy workload for refusing to renounce his belief. He and other practitioners again refused to work. The next day, on May 27, 2005, official Luan Yu handcuffed Mr. Jin to a metal bar outside the workshop window for the entire morning. That afternoon, Division head Zhu Zailing instructed guards to put a handcuff on each of his wrists and hang him from a beam in the corner. On May 29, head Zhu ordered four prisoners to brainwash Mr. Jin and monitor him closely. Since Mr. Jin still refused to give up his faith on May 30, 2005, Zhu cursed the prisoners and threatened to not give them any points to reduce their terms. The prisoners then took Mr. Jin to a bathroom, beat and kicked his face and lower back and twisted his arms. Another prisoner, Liu Yong, was assigned to watch him. Mr. Jin was not allowed to sit down and was threatened with electric batons and hung up.
Jin Youfeng developed severe tuberculosis. He was finally given one year of medical release on June 6, 2008 as he lay dying. He died at 9:00 p.m. on January 21, 2009 at the Mudanjiang City Contagious Diseases Hospital.
(3) Du Shiliang was a practitioner from Hailin City. Officials at the prison's Division 3 forced him to do heavy labor during the day and forbade him to sleep at night. Inmate Shen Fuzheng beat and tortured Du Shiliang many times. Practitioner Du Shiliang eventually informed guard Wang Yongfu about the abuse, and Du Shiliang finally stopped assaulting him.
Officials at Division 3 forced six practitioners to do manual labor in April 2005. Du Shiliang developed symptoms of severe high blood pressure (due to the heat and exhausting work), his systolic reaching 220 mmHg. Following a one-week break, he had to take out garbage and transport water. This was even more difficult, as he had to push a large cart filled with clean water from the dormitory water room to the workshop every morning for the use of all prisoners in Division 3. He sweated profusely and was exhausted afterwards. He had to do this taxing labor until he died in January 2006. It was too much for someone in his late 50s who was forbidden from doing the Falun Gong exercises or reading Falun Gong books. Division 3 group head Gai Fu and political head Hou Jian arranged all the abuse and mistreatment of Du Shiliang.
2. Disability Due to Forced Labor
(1) Practitioner Yu Zonghai sustained an injury to his left eye while he worked in the machine room in late August 2006. His tear gland was torn. Prison hospital medical personnel suggested he be treated at an outside hospital. The guards from Division 6 demanded money from his family; otherwise they would not permit him to get outside treatment. The guards said, "If his family does not pay, we don't care if he goes blind."
His wife and sister were held at Harbin Women's Prison, and he was destitute.
His brother finally paid the money, and Mr. Yu had an eye examination at the
Hongqi Hospital in Mudanjiang City. Unfortunately, too much time had elapsed.
The best outcome for surgery would be that he would produce excessive tears for
the rest of his life.
(2) Xie Yunhuan is a practitioner from Jidong County. He was sentenced to ten years in prison in August 2002 for distributing Falun Gong flyers. He is now held at Division 10 where he is forced to work more than 10 hours a day.
In order to centralize control of imprisoned practitioners, the authorities
transferred more than ten local practitioners including Xie Yunhuan to the
prison where they were made to do manual labor 16 hours a day. Prison officials
forced detainees with computer knowledge to play Internet games and score high
points to exchange a large amount of cash. Through such kind of intense mental
labor by forcing detainees to play video games, the officials try to numb the
detainees' minds and turn them into machines to make money. Practitioners'
family visits are limited to only 30 minutes each month. The officials would
terminate the meeting right away if a "sensitive" topic came up during
a supervised conversation. In this case the family is punished afterwards by
being deprived of visitation rights for up to six months.
Tang Xiaohui, head of Division 8, and political head Chen Zhanfeng were newly promoted in October 2005. They escalated the persecution after being assigned to Division 8 and made the practitioners work even more time without a break. They focused on utilizing the other inmates to torment the practitioners. Chen Zhanfeng refused to let the practitioners use tools, forcing them to work with their bare hands and assigned two inmates to watch one practitioner. He also encouraged inmates Li Xiaowei and Wang Lijun to beat the practitioners. Tang Xiaohui and Chen Zhanfeng personally orchestrated each abusive incident. They refused to listen to the practitioners when advised that doing wicked deeds would bring them harm.
Practitioners Guan Wenlong, Huang Guodong, Xu Xiangdong, Liu Jun, Zhang
Shijiang, Zhou Wuqing, Huang Yaoxiang and Cheng Zhongqiang are held in Division
A few simple statistics illustrate the prison officials' contempt for human life. Among the 4,700 detainees, 29 died in 2004, representing 6% of all detainees. That is twice the national average natural death rate in China. About 180 Falun Gong practitioners are held here. More than ten practitioners died as a result of abuse and mistreatment at this prison between 2004 and 2006, including those who died soon after being released on medical parole, which means the annual death rate is more than 4%.
3. The media lies and deceives the public
The Minister of Justice came to inspect the prison in 2004. The prison officials completely overhauled the prison and provided detainees with good food 20 days prior to the official's arrival, including stir-fried vegetables and meat. They were unsure what specific day the unannounced visit was going to happen; otherwise they would never have "wasted" so much good food on the detainees. A few detainees thought the Communist Party had begun to change because the food got better and the work hours were reduced; but most detainees saw through the farce.
The prison head let it be known that if the minister found anything wrong,
the head of that division would be fired on the spot. The prison officials were
nervous wrecks when the minister arrived, because they are terrified of higher
Party officials. They had rented flower-pots from the market, each one costing
between 10 and 60 yuan and they turned the prison into a "flower
market." Each cell originally held 30 detainees, but they left evidence of
only four beds in each cell. They also hid detainees who they thought were most
likely to speak out about the actual conditions in the prison. These people,
along with all practitioners, were put in the large root cellar underneath the
building. They also dispatched guards and inmates to watch the cellar entrance,
to make sure no one would get out during the minister's visit. This was
commonplace at the prison: a grand show for higher officials, and a small show
for lower officials.
Officials from the Ministry of Justice came once again to inspect the prison. Officials at the Group Drill Division hid about 12 Falun Gong practitioners in the brainwashing room and assigned 23 inmates to monitor them.
Sometimes when the inmates did not get a chance to wash their face they would secretly get some water from the water heater's radiator in the cell. Once the officials learned about it, they added a red colored, poisonous chemical to the heating water. Using this water with the added poison made inmates, including practitioner Gao, suffer from allergic reactions. Practitioner Gao had bumps all over his body for more than one year. He also got diarrhea at the prison, which did not stop until he left the prison.
New detainees at the Group Drill Division do not even get a chance to wash their face or clothes. Fleas were all over their beds. More than 50 people sleep in one cell about 30 square meters [323 sq. ft.].
A practitioner related the following conditions: We eat our meals squatting in the hallway. More than 200 people at the Production Division eat their food squatting in a corner of the workshop. We wash our bowls in the bathroom, where there's rarely any running water. The few occasions we got meat twice a week would be broadcast all over the news and TV channels. When the media stopped blasting the "heartwarming care" showered on the detainees, the meat would disappear from our food. Once, guard Zhuang Yixin and a few others called all practitioners held in the Group Drill Division to the Education Room. The practitioners sat down as the guards told them to, and videotaped them. In the evening it was on the TV news, which claimed that Falun Gong practitioners in the Group Drill Division at the prison were "reformed" with the help and care of government officials.
The Minister of Justice and other officials did not come to safeguard justice; they were merely playing along because they know everything is staged. Their inspection route is always pre-arranged. They never request to inspect any place not on the pre-set itinerary. They do not want to know the truth, either.
The Communist regime officials often invite groups from society to visit prisons and show people how well the Party "educates" criminals and how well they have taken care of the inmates. In actuality, they never really "educate" anyone, because the guards only know how to hit the inmates and work them to death.
Groups from Hong Kong and Taiwan came to the prison in 2005. The next day's
prison newspaper read, "Guests from Hong Kong and Taiwan were surprised to
see a huge pot of meat cooking in the prison cafeteria." They always put up
a facade when important people come to visit. We eat terrible food, and most
detainees work 13 or more hours a day "like hamsters on a wheel." Most
detainees are frail from malnutrition because of the poor quality of the food,
and from chronic exhaustion.
The guards never show any kindness toward detainees, and one of their popular sayings is, "We do not pamper the old or the young." For elder detainees, the workload is impossible, as it's difficult for even healthy young people to complete. They beat detainees all the time, and when they become disabled or no longer able to work, the officials would kick them out and rid themselves of any liability. They do not spare sick detainees, either. Some guards swear with filthy words in front of inmates and subordinates, and they speak like gangsters. The guards live a very comfortable life. They have inmates who work as secretaries to fabricate various forms that record their conversations with the inmates, evaluation of the inmates, and reports on studying so-called Party role models. Some guards have inmates give them massages on a regular basis, and some high level guards have inmates cater to them from head to foot, who provide them with expensive dietary and nutritional supplements. The inmates who do these things for the guards have a high status in the prison and they no longer need to work. Many inmates bribe the guards to buy sentence reductions and immunity from slave labor.
Slave Labor Products
Disposable chopsticks and children's clothes made at Mudanjiang Prison are all exported to Japan. The children's clothes are made at the prison but labeled with Huilinkai Corporation in Beijing. These products carry lots of bacteria, germs and fleas, because the detainees who make them cannot wash for up to 20 days. They work 12 hours a day and are forced to do more work after returning to the cell at night if they didn't meet their daily quota. As a result, many people do not get a chance to wash their faces and miss the time window allotted for washing. The guards beat people who are sick. More than 2,000 people produce clothes daily. They scratch themselves, and the skin that sloughs off their bodies have psoriasis and scabies on them and they soil the clothes. The prison blocks this information, and whoever leaks it to the outside receives savage beatings from the guards and inmates.
One inmate wrote down the bacteria and germ issue with the chopsticks on a piece of paper in 2004, and he slipped the paper into a pile of chopsticks hoping the buyer would see it, but the guards found out, and they nearly beat him to death with electric batons and wooden sticks. They took him to the hospital but did not allow any treatment to be given. He died a few days later. When his family came to see him, the prison would not allow any meeting, and they refused to tell them anything about what happened.
Also produced at the prison are car seat mats, toothpicks, soy protein, and children's toys, among other things.
The high walls and electric barbed wires of Mudanjiang Prison surround a hell on earth where the Communist Party brutalizes anyone perceived as a threat. Even disabled people are forced to do slave labor. The Party goes to great lengths to cover up the horrors that take place inside these four walls. This ruthless machine runs without mercy or rest. Detainees here are deprived of their dignity and the most basic rights as human beings.