(Clearwisdom.net) On the afternoon of April 3, 2002, Zhao Ming gave a speech at a meeting in Geneva during the 58th session of the UN Human Rights Commission. In his speech, Zhao Ming shared personal experiences of his 22 months of illegal detention and exposed the "State Terrorism" of Jiang's regime in China. The following is Zhao Ming's speech:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you my labour camp experience in Beijing.
I am a Master Degree student in Computer Science at Trinity College in Ireland. I am also a Falun Gong practitioner. Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It has five sets of gentle-moving exercises that have brought both health and spiritual benefits to tens of millions of people worldwide.
I began my study at Trinity College in March 1999, and at the end of the year I returned to China for Christmas. While in China, I went to the Office of Appeals in Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. In the Office of Appeals, upon learning that I was to appeal for Falun Gong, the police arrested me and escorted me among other detainees to the police bureau in my hometown, Changchun City. Although they later allowed my family member to take me home, they confiscated my passport so that I could not return to Ireland on time to continue my studies.
After staying at home for more than two months, I went back to Beijing. On May 13, 2000, when I was visiting a student, I was arrested in his dormitory. This time I was detained for more than one month and then sent to Tuan He Labour Camp in Beijing. I was held in custody for 22 months before I was released on March 12, 2002.
While I was in the Haidian Detention Centre, I went on a hunger strike to protest for the detention, because I had done nothing illegal. I was force-fed with liquid food by a few inmates in the cell. Several inmates pressed me firmly to the ground and held my nose tightly. When I opened my mouth to breathe, they quickly poured liquid drinks into my mouth. Soon my mouth was full of the liquid, and I had no way to breathe anymore. Finally, the liquid went down into both my oesophagus and trachea, which made my lungs very painful. Such force-feeding is very dangerous. Ms. Yulan Mei, wife of a fellow practitioner whom I knew in the same labour camp, died while being force-fed this way at a Beijing detention centre.
At Tuan He Labour Camp, what I went through was beyond imagination. All Falun Gong practitioners at the Camp were pressured to renounce Falun Gong. Those who refused to do so have all experienced a very hard time. Everyday we were forced to study so-called anti-Falun Gong books, watch videos, and listen to audio tapes which were full of fabricated stories and smearing propaganda. We were often deprived of sleep.
One day during the first month I got there, I was beaten badly by 10 inmates who later told me that they were ordered to do so by the police. They punched and kicked me violently with fists and knees on my body. My thighs went completely black and blue, and I could not walk for two weeks.
As my first one-year labour camp sentence came to an end, I was physically tortured again for two weeks. I was locked on a chair for the whole day. During the daytime, several inmates screamed at me, hit my head, kicked my lower legs, which made my legs bleed. For the first two days, I was not allowed to sleep for one minute. They ordered some inmates to take turns to watch me at night. As soon as my eyes closed, they pushed me awake. Later on, I was only allowed to rest on a small chair for 1 to 2 hours each night. And they forced me to do "military squatting" and "driving plane" (head towards the ground, the back and arms to the wall) for over 10 hours a day. Now I am still suffering from being unable to feel the lower part of my legs. If I stand or walk too long, my feet will feel very painful. Finally, two days before I was due to be released from the labour camp, they staged a plot to extend my labour camp period. They organized a study class and asked each person to read an anti-Falun Gong book. When it was my turn, I refused. The next day, I was informed that my labour camp sentence was extended for another 10 months because of "violating the labour camp rule" and "spreading degenerated thoughts"(referring to my comments on Falun Gong with others).
Two weeks before I was released this year, five policemen tied me tightly on a wooden bed and shocked me with six electric batons simultaneously. The electric voltage was tens of thousands of volts, which caused my whole body to shake violently and one of my legs to go into spasm. The experience in the labour camp has harmed me enormously both mentally and physically.
I was not the only one that was persecuted. All practitioners who refused to give up Falun Gong are experiencing a difficult time. One practitioner on the upper floor was beaten until paralysed. Many practitioners in the Camp had a good educational background. Some had Master degree or Ph.D. degree. Some were university professors. Our families were suffering a lot as well. My mother had difficulty getting to sleep each night when I was in the labour camp. Some practitioners' children stayed alone at home with no one to look after them. Some families are separated as a result, while many others have no money to feed themselves. So tens of millions of Chinese people from different walks of life are being persecuted for their belief in Falun Gong.
The right to freedom of conscience, expression, and association is a fundamental human right. Yet, forced brainwashing is happening everyday in China's labour camps. When the international community showed grave concern about the situation in labour camps, China decorated a few labour camps for foreign visitors, instead of truly improving its human rights situation. But the torture tools are completely hidden and not known by visitors and the media. Three of the five policemen who used electric batons on me were department chiefs of Turn He labour Camp, and they knew what they did was illegal.
The above are an abbreviated account of my experiences from the Beijing labor camp. I hope that it will enable people to become more aware of the actual situations in China's labour camps, so as to help save tens of thousands of detained Falun Gong practitioners who are still being tortured daily. Human rights are a moral issue, and they are about human diginity--about protecting individual's right to basic freedoms. And I hope that all kind-hearted people and the international community will continue to speak out and help stop this modern-day atrocity against Falun Gong practitioners in China.