Instructor from the Communication University of China: The Persecution Many Practitioners and I Suffered at the Shanxi Women's Labor Camp and a Few Other Facilities
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Huang Ling, and I am an instructor at the Communication University of China. My husband, Hu Chuanlin, works at the Division of Academic Affairs at Beijing Second Foreign Language University. We both practice Falun Gong. Right now, I am unconstitutionally incarcerated at the Shanxi Women's Forced Labor Camp. I want to share how my family has suffered as a result of the persecution during the past several years.
More than 30 officers from the Beijing Police Department and from the Fengtai Police Department arrested my husband and me from our jobs on September 11, 2007. They ransacked our home and interrogated us; fabricated criminal charges against us, and took us to forced labor camp(s). The entire process was kept secret from our families and the public.
I was taken to the Fengtai Detention Center at 3:00 a.m. on September 12, 2007. My husband and I were both held at that center between September 12 and October 17, 2007. During this time, Fengtai Police Department officials interrogated me twice. They repeatedly asked me whether I still practiced Falun Gong and what I had done. I told them that Falun Gong is the most righteous and teaches people to be good. We practice Falun Gong, so we should tell people of the facts of the persecution.
At the same time, Domestic Security agents took my husband to a hotel and pressured him, between September 11 and September 17, 2007, to reveal where we keep our Falun Gong books at home. They threatened him with a chemical spray that could cause suffocation.
Officials from the Beijing Police Department and from the Fengtai Police Department went to Dingfuzhuang No. 2 Elementary School and called my daughter out. They interrogated her for two hours and asked her whose homes her parents had visited. My eight-year-old daughter could not withstand the pressure and said, "Dad and Mom visited Ms. Xuan." They immediately arrested Ms. Xuan Jinge, an instructor at the Media Management School of the Communication University of China, at her home. They subjected her to two years of forced labor, claiming they found a Falun Gong flyer at her home.
While Ms. Xuan was in the Fengtai Detention Center, her father, who lived in Xinjiang Province, heard of her arrest. He was ill already, and the news made his illness worse. He passed away within a few days, never being able to see his daughter again before his death. As of this writing, Xuan Jinge is also being held at the Shanxi Women's Forced Labor Camp.
We were taken to the Beijing Dispatch Division on October 18, 2007--all labor camp detainees have to be taken there first. Fu, head of Division 16, took me to a room and ordered five drug addicts and prostitutes to attack me and try to coerce me to write the guarantee statement. I refused. They forced me to squat and held me down.
Over time, more than ten officials arrived to brainwash me, which they called "mind work." They wouldn't let me stand up and wouldn't let me use the restroom. I went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse, and the head guard force-fed me water and food. The police instructed the five criminals to write vicious and slanderous words against Falun Gong on a piece of paper. Against my will they pressed my fingerprints on the paper, claiming I had written it, and then taped it to my body. I had to squat from 9:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. They would physically assault me whenever I tried to get up. When I finally stood up I could not straighten my legs. My right thigh hurt for nearly a year after this experience. Whenever I got up from a sitting position I would feel intense pain and I would limp along for quite a while. I learned that another practitioner held at the Dispatch Division was also subjected to this torture. Her legs remained swollen for many days afterwards.
I was transferred from the Dispatch Division to the Beijing Women's Labor Camp on November 21, 2007. About 600 practitioners were held there; more than half were over than 50. The officials tried to coerce me to write a guarantee statement and didn't allow me to sleep. Several guards stood around me and took turns bombarding me incessantly with lies and propaganda. They kept me up until past 2:00 a.m. and started all over again at 4:00 a.m. I said to them, "The Communist Party is violating human rights in its persecution of Falun Gong." They could not refute me. They also removed the wall clock so I could not see the time.
Furthermore, I was forbidden to use the restroom and was compelled to stand for a long time. They swore at me and threatened to send me to a prison if I kept my belief. Eventually they didn't let me meet with my family.
I was held at the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp for 239 days. The only contact I had with the outside world was visits from my family, but soon I was deprived of this as well.
I saw another practitioner, Ms. Yan Yuqin, 49, from Yanqing, who suffered a non-stop torture-induced nervous breakdown. She was brought to the labor camp the same day as me. I tried to stop the inmates from beating her. The guards threatened and verbally insulted me. Ms. Yan was locked in solitary confinement when I left the labor camp, kept under surveillance by an inmate. They hired a psychiatrist to evaluate her but never publicized the result and only claimed she was diagnosed with a neurosis.
The guards woke me up at 3:00 a.m. on July 17, 2008, told me to put on clothes, and took me into a room. They said something was going to happen and sent someone to pack my stuff. At 5:00 a.m. they put me into a bus labeled with the word "judiciary." About 50 other practitioners were also put on the same bus. After a seven-hour drive we arrived at the Shanxi Women's Forced Labor Camp. No one explained why we were transferred there, except one guard who secretly told us, "The Party wants to ensure stability during the Olympics." Sixty practitioners were taken from Beijing to Shanxi; ours was the fourth group of practitioners to be transferred out of Beijing. The first three groups were transferred to either the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province or labor camps in Nei Monggol AR.
One hundred-plus practitioners were held at Shanxi Women's Forced Labor Camp. The oldest is 68 and the youngest is 26. The camp officials resort to violent methods to try to "reform" us. During the first six months of 2008, the guards assigned to the Specially Controlled Division made the practitioners remain standing for nights on end. The torture was exposed online many times, and numerous guards were listed as evil perpetrators responsible for the gross abuse and mistreatment. Falun Gong practitioners inside and outside China called the labor camp officials and told them to stop this abuse. That restrained their behavior somewhat. No longer did they force someone to stay up all night for days, but they still used sleep deprivation on determined practitioners, such as not letting them sleep until past midnight and waking them up at 5:00 a.m. They order inmates to follow the practitioners everywhere and isolate and insult practitioners who persevere in their belief and even extend their terms.
For instance, division heads Lei Hongzheng and Liu Zhongmei extended a practitioner's term of forced labor because she refused to give up Falun Gong. At first they added one month to her term, but extended it by another two months eventually. She refused to sign the document and confronted the officials about the unconstitutional term. The officials claimed they reported the extension as one month but said the Labor Reeducation Bureau agents changed it to three months. The practitioner was eventually isolated from other practitioners.
Thirty practitioners who were brought here with me were taken to the Specially Controlled Division. Practitioners Li Xiuzhen, Feng Yunqing, and others firmly withstood the brainwashing. Division head Lei Hongzheng did not let Li Xiuzhen sleep for three days and three nights, and she sent Li Xiuzhen and Feng Yunqing to the isolated group on the fourth day. The location of the isolated group is known for its filthy rooms and vicious abuses.
Practitioner Hao Jinjing from Beijing and I were sent to the isolated group on September 19, 2008. The guards assigned two criminals to watch one practitioner. We were forbidden to speak with each other; they watch our every move. The guards would reward any inmate who succeeded in preventing contact among practitioners. If they could not prevent us from conversing or failed to report what we said and did, the guards would punish the inmates. The inmates observe the slightest change in the guards' moods and try to please them as much as they can.
Countless practitioners are physically and mentally attacked under this system and are completely deprived of rights and freedom. The inmates are used as tools and are turned into scapegoats when the guards need to shirk their liabilities.
Practitioner Gao Suying wrote an appeal on August 8, 2008, to demand an annulment of the forced labor term unconstitutionally imposed on her. The guards ordered five drug addict inmates to beat and kick her. She was terribly bruised from the beating. Her chest hurt for three months from repeated sadistic kicks. Guard Chen Chunxiang told the inmates to lie-- "Change the story and say that Gao Suying beat you!"--and subsequently extended her term by three months. When she tried to write another appeal, guard Chen Chunxiang ordered the inmates to take her pen and paper. They tore up her paper whenever they saw her writing something. She is still without pen and paper, even now.
The law states detainees have the right to communicate with their families, yet Falun Gong practitioners are prevented from making phone calls to their families or answering their phone calls. I didn't talk to my family on the phone for nearly six months.
The regime allocates 140 yuan per person per month for food at every labor camp, but the labor camp uses less than 60 yuan of this per person per month, which means the officials keep more than half of the official funding. Many detainees are so starved that they smuggle steamed buns from the cafeteria back to their cell. Once the guards discover this, they not only fine the detainees but also torture them ruthlessly. One person was forced to eat 12 buns in front of everyone until she vomited uncontrollably.
The regime officials arrest old people in their 60s and people with infectious diseases such as hepatitis and skin diseases, and keep them in the same room with healthy detainees. They never allow treatment for the sick and ignore protests from the healthy. They force ill detainees to do the same heavy manual labor as the rest. One 14-year-old girl was also held at the labor camp. The guards knew she was a minor, but they still accepted her. She did the same amount of work as the others until her father bailed her out two months later.
Our work hours increased again before the 2009 Chinese New Year. We worked standing up for eight hours a day. The Shanxi Fen Wine Factory established a profit-sharing relationship with the labor camp. Three labor camp divisions were assigned to make wine package boxes. We made 40,000 boxes before the Chinese New Year. The labor camp's profit from this venture was at least 24,000 yuan. People held in the Specially Controlled Group also made 200,000 pairs of antithetical couplets and lucky characters for the New Year holiday season, adding another 20,000 yuan in profits to the camp's treasury.
At least 200 detainees are forced to do hard labor here. In a regular factory, each worker would be paid at least 500 yuan a month. Taking all the detainees, the total monthly salary for all of them would 100,000 yuan; and if they work ten months a year, the annual salary a company would have to shell out would be one million yuan. Yet, the detainees didn't get any pay, and the labor camp officials, wine factory owners, and other regime officials divided all those profits among themselves.
The labor camp officials and their cronies abuse, mistreat, and grossly torment Falun Gong practitioners, making huge profits from their labor at the same time. Many practitioners refused to work. Division heads Chen Huiru and Chen Chunxiang forced them to stand for long periods of time. When the practitioners sat down, the heads would order drug addict inmates to take the stools away. Once a drug addict took practitioner Li Xiuzhen's stool and shoved her to the ground. Other practitioners went to Chen Chunxiang and asked, "Did you tell the inmate to do that to her?" She refused to answer. When we told her what happened she shouted, "I didn't see anything; I don't know anything." Another time we confronted guard Chen Huiru about instructing inmates to bully practitioners. She refused to acknowledge what she had done and said, "I was borrowing her stool." Once, she made a practitioner on work strike stand facing a wall. Guard Chen Chunxiang made several practitioners stand outside after they refused to work on the morning of November 25, 2008. She screamed, "If you don't want to work, get out and freeze!" They remained outside for more than an hour; one of them was in her 50s.
Officials from the Judicial Department came for an inspection on December 1, 2008. The labor camp officials forced detainees to lie about their life at the labor camp and ordered them not to tell the truth about working long hours. Instead, they told the detainees to say they studied in the morning and worked in the afternoon for two or three hours at most, with a 15-minute break. They also prepared a party for the judicial officials.
All three members of my family--my husband, my daughter and I--are still separated as a result of the persecution. This is the personal story of an ordinary Chinese citizen who is being persecuted for her belief.