[Minghui Net] I am an ordinary Chinese Citizen. In June 1996, I was very fortunate to start practicing Falun Dafa. It was Teacher Li's Falun Dafa that brought me out of misery in life, and made me understand the real meaning of human existence. However, I can never believe that such a great practice, which has enabled people to attain health and high moral standards, would be slandered and so brutally repressed by Jiang Zemin's regime.
In order to explain that Dafa was innocent, I went to Beijing to appeal four times. The last time was on October 6, 1999. Shortly after I was arrested, I was sent to the vicious Masanjia Re-Education Through Labor Camp. I will briefly share with you my experience of being persecuted at the Masanjia.
On October 29, 1999, about ten practitioners from Jinzhou and some practitioners from other areas in Liaoning Province were the first ones sent to Masanjia. At that time, all the buns provided us to eat were raw inside. Later, we went on group hunger strike, and held group practice and group study. Su Jing (female), Section Chief of Women's Second Section, and Shao Li (female), Team Leader, used electric batons to shock Chen Liyan (female, college student). Later on we found out that in each of our cells there were two inmates who were gangsters, prostitutes, or drug addicts who claimed to be practitioners. One identified herself, the other one didn't. They reported every move of practitioners in their cells to the supervisors. The supervisors in turn punished those who were very committed to the practice.
At the beginning, when we practiced the exercises as a group, we would be dragged out and beaten severely by other inmates. Later, Team Leaders personally used electric batons to shock practitioners. Every session lasted over an hour. Sometimes, three Team Leaders shocked one practitioner at the same time. So, the electric shocks often left practitioners incontinent. Moreover, going to bathroom was timed. Sometimes, when practitioners had just reached the toilet, they were dragged out by force. We ate corn buns, and the dishes were nothing more than a few vegetable leaves boiled in water with a layer of tiny bugs floating on the top. We were never full. Some practitioners had to refrain from drinking water so they could reduce the need to use the bathroom. We were forced to purchase all of our amenities, which cost much more than on the outside. We were not allowed to talk or to move our legs and arms casually all day long. They didn't even let us shut our eyes and forced us to listen to lies that defamed Teacher. On top of this kind of treatment, the Team Leader asked other inmates to scold and beat us. We completely lost the rights and freedoms of human beings. Our families were even forbidden to visit us. [Note: Women's Second Section was formerly called the Sixth Team, and used to detain male inmates. There were no walls in the yard before, and there was one 3-story building. At the beginning, the first floor was occupied by male police who were standing by to torture us. Falun Gong practitioners were detained on the 2nd and 3rd floor along with some regular inmates who were assigned to monitor us. The male cells were located in a one-story building about 2 meters (approx. 6 feet) away.]
One time, when female inmates were beating up practitioners in a cell, we called out to stop then. Shao Li, the Team Leader, asked four inmates to drag Zhang Fengyan down from the bed. Shortly after, many male police officers came in and dragged Zhang out and beat her. They used rods with little hooks to hit her first followed by electric shocks. At that time, Zhang was only wearing underwear. After she was sent back to the cell, Zhang couldn't get up for two days, and vomited a lot of blood. Later, Zhang Fengyan was forced into brainwashing for a while. I don't know how she is doing now. Almost every practitioner went through this kind of vicious beating. This is just one example of the persecution that Dafa practitioners endured that I witnessed at the Women's Second Section.
After about two months of my detention at the Second Section, suddenly one day, a few practitioners including myself were transferred to the First Section. The difference between the First and Second Section was: besides having male cells, the Second Section detained only Falun Gong practitioners. The main goal was to blunt practitioners mentally and to force them to convert. In the First Section, Falun Gong practitioners stayed together with other inmates. The main objective was to engage in heavy labor. Even though we were not in the same yard with the male cells, we could see male inmates working in the fields on the other side of the wall. Except for these two sections for women, the rest of Masanjia were male cells. Female inmates were engaged in making clothing while male inmates planted rice and vegetables. According to the supervisors, there were over 1,000 police officers within Masanjia's boundary of 18 li (approx. 6 miles) in radius.
In the First Section, practitioners endured double hardships: intensified physical labor plus forced brainwashing. The tribulation practitioners endured exceeded what ordinary people could imagine. We got up at 5 am every morning, and went to bed sometimes at 11 pm. Sometimes we weren't even allowed to go to bed until 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. We worked about 15 -- 18 hours a day. We lived with regular inmates who were instructed by the Team Leader to watch us. If we practiced the exercises, the Team Leader would penalize these inmates by extending their sentences. So, whenever the inmates saw us practicing, they beat us viciously and scolded us. In addition, they often stole our personal belongs. Practitioners were not able to take showers regularly. We had to pay in order to take a shower every three months, and there was a time limit imposed on the shower. In winter, we often showered in cold water.
They shocked us with electric batons, deprived us of sleep, and tried to brainwash us. We were made to study materials prepared by them (Zhao Yuzhen has a detailed report on this). Li Yulan (female), a practitioner over 50 years old, was tortured so severely that she had a nervous breakdown. During her breakdown, Supervisor Gu Quanyi often shocked her with electric batons and other inmates often beat her. Wan Zhongmei (female), another practitioner who was still in her twenties, also went insane as a result of their torture. During her breakdown, Supervisor Gu again often shocked her with electric batons. Inmates also asked Wan to learn how to bark like a dog. They stole her clothes and money. Wan could no longer bear it and wanted to commit suicide numerous times.
In addition, those who accepted brainwashings got many illnesses, yet they didn't have money for treatment. Masanjia commanded a high living expense and medical expense. One outgoing phone call cost a minimum of 15 Yuan (Chinese dollars, the monthly salary of an averaged worker in cities of China is about 500 Yuan). One incoming call also cost a lot more than it should have. Families were only allowed to visit those who had been converted. If the family members bribed the Team Leader during their visitation, the visitation time could be extended. The Beining and Jinzhou Public Security Bureau in Liaoning Province told a fellow practitioner that after sentencing, if the family paid tens of thousands of Yuan, the jail sentence could be served at home.
I was detained in both sections at Masanjia. One thing noticeable was that practitioners were moved around frequently.
Eighteen Dafa practitioners lived and worked with other inmates. But the guards often asked practitioners to come out during work to either watch the so-called news on CCTV or watch brainwashing video programs. At other times, because there were people either visiting or inspecting the facilities, they would transfer all determined Dafa practitioners to a different place. In addition, supervisors and team leaders told those practitioners, "If you don't convert, you will end up either being mentally ill or being a political prisoner." After Luo Gan personally inspected Masanjia last October, the tragedy of 18 female practitioners being thrown into male cells took place. Zhao Yuzhen (pseudonym) was one of the 18 women. She is still detained at Masanjia. These 18 determined practitioners not only treated the hardship with optimism, but also treated others with compassion, including the inmates. Many inmates obtained the Fa through them, and said they would practice the exercises after they were released.
Among these 18 determined practitioners (on the 3rd floor with the First Team) are Liu Fengmei, Cui Yaning, Xie Baofeng, Dong Guixia, Jiang Wei, two sisters with the last name of Xu, Li Ping, Luo Li, Li Yingxuan, Li Zemei, Bai Shuzhen, and others. They are now with the Third Team (first floor).
The Second Team of the First Section still has more than 20 very determined Dafa practitioners: Yang Hong (from Huludao City), Feng Li, Nie Jing (Jingzhou), Gai Yongjie, Sun Guilian, Zhenghong (Huludao City), Qi Zhenrong, Chen Liyan, Wang Manli, Zhao Suqin, and others. These practitioners, over 20 of them, stayed with people who were already converted (when I was there last September). When I was at the First Section there were 50 to 60 very determined Dafa practitioners. The above was what the situation was like when I was at Masanjia.