Masanjia Labor Camp Forces Practitioners to Make Products for Export (with Illustration)
(Clearwisdom.net) I was illegally detained in Masanjia for over seven months. While many practitioners detained there are mentally and physically tortured, they are also forced to make large quantities of products for export. The following is an account of what I myself experienced there.
As soon as I was unjustly brought to the Masanjia Concentration Camp, the police ordered the collaborators [former Falun Gong practitioners who have gone astray due to brainwashing and torture] to take turns attacking me. Some of them appeared to be kind on the surface and tried to influence me by making deceptive statements such as that going to Beijing to appeal was not only illegal, but also disruptive to police officer's lives and it made my family worry about me. Some others were fierce at the very beginning. They defamed Falun Dafa, our Teacher and Dafa practitioners. These collaborators interpreted Dafa works in a distorted way. Under the orders and incitement of police, they teamed up with criminal inmates to actively persecute Dafa practitioners, beating and kicking them and subjecting them to various means of physical punishment (e.g., forcing practitioners to stand, squat, or bend their bodies for long periods of time). They deprived practitioners of sleep, even stripped off their clothes and used various torture devices on them (such as electric-shock batons, burning cigarettes, etc.). Sometimes the leaders of our section, Wang Naiming and Qiu Ping, tortured Dafa practitioners themselves using extreme torture methods, including confining them to solitary cells. From time to time, I could hear the sounds of practitioners being beaten and shocked with electric batons from the section where I was being held. One day, a practitioner named Yan Baoju rushed out of No. 4 cell, her whole body twitching. Later, I learned that one of the two section leaders had beaten and shocked her repeatedly with an electric baton. The same thing also happened to many other practitioners. The perpetrators also imprisoned practitioners for longer terms than initially specified and prohibited their families from visiting them.
It was the end of July when I was unjustly taken to Masanjia. At that time, it was required that four practitioners sleep together in beds formed by putting two single beds together. Since there weren't nearly enough beds for everyone, the cement floor was so full of people that it was hard to turn one's body during the night. Due to the overcrowding, we were sweating profusely and could not fall asleep. Many people developed rashes on their skin. We got up at 5:00 a.m. every day and started to work at 5:30 a.m. Each cell held about forty people. Only fifteen minutes were allowed for all practitioners to use the bathroom, wash their faces, and brush their teeth before returning to the cell. Sometimes the allotted time was even as short as ten minutes. Because of the large number of people and the short time allotted, sometimes we had to come back to the cell without getting a chance to relieve ourselves. More often than not, we had no other choice but to give up the part of washing our faces and brushing our teeth to save time for using the toilet. In the summer, our clothes were washed once a week, but in the winter it was once every two weeks. Sometimes, it was even longer than that. It was a long time before we were allowed to take a shower. Because of the crowds and the short time allotted for showers, it was hard for us to wash our bodies clean. When there was no work for us to do, we were always asked to write statements or watch videos that slandered Falun Dafa. Every day we sat on small plastic stools for as long as thirteen or fourteen hours. Our lower backs and legs became sore because of this. After sitting on the small stools for a long time, the bones in our buttocks were in extreme pain and the skin turned black.
Our section (No. 1 brigade) was mainly responsible for making paper flowers, fabric flowers, and other decorations like small circles, small towers and heart-shaped ornaments. We also knit flowers on sweaters and sewed colored beads to various products. Many of these products were for export. The work appeared to be easy, but it was not. For each flower, we had to attach a paper strip to a metal wire by squeezing the paper until it stuck to the wire. Then we used the paper-wrapped wire to make the flowers. First, we attached six to ten 2-inch long strings (with a small ball at each end of the string) to the paper-wrapped wire. Paper strips were then attached to the balls and protruded about 2". The paper strips were squeezed to hold tight to the balls. Quite substantial kneading and squeezing forces were needed to hold them tight, otherwise they would come loose. We do not know how many paper strips we have squeezed and kneaded each day. Many practitioners' fingers were bleeding due to the repeated kneading and squeezing actions. When practitioners failed to hold the paper strips tight to the wires due to injured fingers, they would be sworn at by the section leaders. Practitioners were not allowed to sleep if the assigned work could not be completed. There was no exception, even for somebody who was over 60 years old. When several fingers in our right hands became swollen and the bones ached, we had to use our left hands. Eventually, our left fingers were also swollen and aching, and our hands could not move due to the pain. Our thumbs and index fingers hurt the most. Every morning, we had to practice bending and straightening our fingers and enduring the pain. We did this for a while before we were able to start working again. After some practitioners were released and went home, they could not bend or straighten their thumbs properly for eight to nine months.
The trademark of a product produced in Masanjia.
Sewing colored beads to sweaters was also not an easy job, because the entire front half of the sweaters needed to be covered with the colored beads. While sewing, the colored beads needed to be arranged in rows. To do this, we had to count the number of knitting knots in the sweater. The beads were required to form a pattern of color. If we made a mistake in counting the number of knitting knots in the sweater or in forming a wrong pattern of beads, we had to redo it. Those practitioners that could not finish their work during the day would be put together into a cell where they would continue working overnight under dim light. Since the sweaters were in black and the wool threads were quite fine, it was very hard for us to count the number of knitting knots under the dim light. Our eyes quickly became sore under these conditions. Since it was hard for us to see, we had to get our heads as close as possible to the sweater, until they almost touched the sweater. Upon finishing the work, our necks were so sore that we could barely raise our heads. Our shoulders and lower backs were also in too much pain to be moved after a long day's work. In the summer, it was so hot that we could hardly breathe. Our bodies were full of rashes and covered in sweat. During work, we had to sit straight. Sometimes our bodies were tilted so that we could pick up some tools that fell onto the ground. When the police saw this they would shout at us. They also purposely assigned extra work to those who were firm in cultivating Dafa. Practitioner Zou Guirong was once punished by being forced to work on sweaters overnight. From 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day, we did nothing else but work on the products, except for mealtimes, brief bathroom breaks and the one hour noon break. Sometimes when extra work needed to be done, the noon break was canceled. We were not allowed to talk while we worked. If we talked while we worked and were spotted by management, we would be sworn at. When a practitioner developed a stomachache or was menstruating and needed to go to the washroom, he or she had to first make a request to the head of the cell. The head of the cell had to report it to the warden who in turn had to report it to the director of the entire brigade. Only after the director of the entire brigade approved the request could this practitioner go to washroom. One time, practitioner Wang Junying requested several times in vain to go to the washroom because of her period. Because warden Xie Ping did not approve her request, practitioner Wang's pants became wet, and she cried about not being able to change her pads. The head of her cell made a special request to warden Xie for her by putting in some good words about her, and the warden finally allowed her to use the washroom. Later, we found out that the warden did not dare to let her use the washroom, because the director of the brigade was away at that time.
In addition to the physical and mental torture, we were served meals that were hard to swallow. For breakfast, the main food was corn paste and corn cakes that were poorly made. The side course was boiled cabbage, radish or other vegetable blended with salt. For lunch, the main course was rice served with a simple vegetable soup. For supper, the only food was corn cakes served with vegetable soup. The texture of the corn cakes seemed quite hard sometimes. The corn flour that was used to make the corn cakes was moldy sometimes. The rice was not cooked properly from time to time. There was basically no meat served except that on rare occasions there was some pork fat in the vegetable soup, with a black layer of fat formed on top of the soup. A lot of people would vomit as soon as they saw the soup. It was very unappetizing and few could stomach it. When inspectors or journalists came to visit the camp, authorities would put on a show, covering up the true circumstances. Around the Spring Festival of 2001, a reporter came to visit officers Wang Naiming, Qiu Ping, and Zhou Qian. They picked a practitioner called Wang Yaling (No. 1 squad, No. 1 brigade), a woman in her fifties who was in poor health, and asked her to go to another room. They had someone bring a few apples to the room on purpose. To show off, officer Qiu Ping peeled an apple and handed it to practitioner Wang as the reporter videotaped the entire scene. This is nothing but deception.
I will never forget my miserable and painful experience at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp.