My Experiences in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province
I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1999. Reading the book Zhuan Falun completely changed my way of thinking. I used to indulge in gambling, such as playing cards and Ma-Jong [a Chinese gambling game played with small pieces like dominoes]. I never played again after I began practicing Falun Dafa. Many of my illnesses, such as vertigo, vasculitis, and nephritis, and other maladies disappeared in less than two months, and my body felt very light. Through constantly studying the Fa and practicing the exercises, I gradually realized that this is a great Buddha Fa that has profound meaning. To uplift myself, I must look inside, upgrade my Xinxing [heart/mind nature], consider others first, be kind to people, and strive to be a better person.
However, since July 20, 1999, I have been persecuted for not giving up the practice of Falun Gong.
On July 22, 1999, policemen Duan Wenjiang (30), Li Zhen (25), and Zhang Lie (20), from the Banshigou Village Police Station, drove to my house. I was away at the time but they searched my home and confiscated my Falun Dafa books, exercise music tapes, lecture tapes and any other Dafa materials that they could find while I was gone. When I later questioned them, they replied, "The country does not allow you to practice."
I replied, "My illnesses were cured through practicing Falun Gong. If my illnesses return, will the country takes care of me?"
Policeman Zhang Lie said, "We don't care about what you are saying."
Unable to communicate with the police, I went to the provincial government appeals office and explained how I had benefited from practicing Falun Gong both physically and mentally. The staff in the office stated, "It was outlawed by the central government. What can we do about it?" Later, two people approached me, claiming to be representatives from the appeals office and police department in Jinzhou. They threatened to arrest me and pushed me out the door. Upon arriving home, Niu Guangchun (male), the chief officer of the Banshigou Village Police Station, tried to force me to write a guarantee to quit practicing Falun Gong. When I refused, the police confiscated 500 Yuan [the average monthly salary for a Chinese urban worker] from my family members.
On September 4, 1999, more than ten practitioners and I went to Beijing to appeal. Officers from the village police station and Linghai City Police Department abducted us at the North Sanhe County train station. They took us to a police station in Sanhe and tortured us using the following methods: punching, kicking, whipping with leather belts, and shocking with electric batons. The police from my town later came to bring me back. Niu, the police station chief, stole 700 Yuan from me and illegally imprisoned me for 45 days. During my detention, Wang, the head of the detention center, dragged me around by my hair; much of my hair was pulled out. One cold morning in October 1999, when it was still dark outside, more than ten practitioners and I were practicing the exercises in our cell. The guard poured cold water on us and took us outside; we were wearing only one layer of wet clothing. To resist the persecution, I began a hunger strike, even refusing water. On October 12, the third day of my hunger strike, the local police station confiscated 1000 Yuan from my family and released me. However, I did not have my freedom after I returned home. I had to ask permission to go outside the house and was constantly followed.
On October 15, 1999, my sister Li Yin, her husband Liang Gang, and I again went to Beijing to appeal. Because the local police had blocked the road to Beijing, we had to climb up a hill and go through the woods. We walked two days and one night to circumvent the blockade. Our feet were swollen and our legs were sore; we ate cold buns, drank cold water, and rested on the side of the road when tired. Then, we were able to take the train to Beijing. At Tiananmen Square, the Beijing police arrested us and took us to a police station near the square. More than 100 practitioners, as old as 80 and as young as 8-years-old, were being detained there at that time. The police did not allow us to go to the toilet or to eat. I witnessed them beat many practitioners. Some practitioners' legs were tied up with ropes wrapped around them in various ways, from their ankles to their thighs, and their hands were tied in awkward and painful positions. Because I would not divulge my name, more than ten police took turns punching and kicking me. They tried to force me to bend down, and when I refused, they dragged my head down by my hair and beat me. One police officer sat on my head for a long time and did not quit until I could not tolerate the abuse any longer. My swollen hands turned black and blue; the skin was broken. My hair fell out. I was brutally tortured for a total of six to seven hours. Unable to endure, I told them my address. They sent me to my province's office in Beijing, which then had officers bring me back to my town.
The police station's chief, Niu, again searched me, taking the one Yuan that I had, and sent me to the Linghai Detention Center. There, because I attempted to practice the exercises, the police handcuffed me to a metal window frame for several hours and my feet could barely touch the floor. I went on hunger strike, without water, to resist the persecution. On October 30, the sixth day of my hunger strike, I was illegally sentenced to two years and was sent to the second female station in the notorious Masanjia Forced-Labor Camp.
On November 3, 1999, 80 to 90 practitioners from six cells on the third floor, including me, gathered in the hallway to practice the exercises. We quietly finished practicing the four sets of standing exercises and recited the 72 poems from Hong Yin before a gang of male police officers arrived with electric batons. Also present were female police officer Su Jing, the head of the facility; Wang Naimin, the leader of the main squad; and the leaders of the other squads, including Huang Haiyan and Zhang Xiurong. They opened the iron gate and pounced on us. They punched, kicked, and shocked us. Some of us had our hair pulled, and some were beaten. More than ten of us gathered in a cell and blocked the door. We recited Dafa articles together. The police could not get into the room and started to drag us out one by one. They beat and shocked us and sent us into five other cells. After beating a practitioner who was more than sixty-years-old the guards then shocked her. Indeed, it was a bloody oppression.
On November 4, 1999, during our group Falun Dafa study, a female police officer tried to end our study session by striking us. To avoid having our books confiscated, we interlocked our arms and formed a wall so that she and other officers could not get through. [While being imprisoned, many resourceful practitioners are still able to obtain Dafa books and other study materials.] This lasted for one hour. More guards were called in, and they hit us with electric batons, forcing the practitioners apart. From then on, with the electric batons, the police beat whoever tried to study the Fa or recite Teacher's recent articles.
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, I have my belief in Falun Dafa, and I am trying to be a good person. I had done nothing against the law and arresting me was wrong. They ordered me to memorize the 30 jail rules and forbade me to recite my Teacher's articles. They forced me to do military drill style exercises, to walk around and forbade me to practice the Falun Dafa exercises. When I did not cooperate with them, they hit me and gave me electric shocks. Almost every day in November, I was beaten and forced to perform physical tasks several times a day. I was forced to squat and crouch in a bathroom stall. Whenever team leaders changed shifts, they would hit me. Whenever the inmates had nothing to do, they would also beat me. One night, when they had finished beating me, they took me to the toilet and handcuffed both of my hands to the cubical door so that I was hanging. They made a hole in the woollen collar on my jumper and tied it with cord to the radiator, forcing me to crouch. After I was finally returned to my cell, I was again forced to squat. Zhang Xiurong (team leader) ordered inmates Liu Ying, Li Fenglian and Zhang Jie to swear at me and force me to perform physical tasks.
During that month, because I refused to recite the jail rules, Zhang Xiurong dragged me to the exercise ground and opened the buttons on my clothes. She handcuffed both of my hands to the basketball net pole and faced me towards the north, facing the cold wind, which was blowing snowflakes and sleet into my face. These felt like sharp needles. (I remember that it was especially cold during that winter.) I do not know how long I was forced to stand there but I lost consciousness, and my entire body was freezing. My body was covered with a thick layer of snow. Later, Zhang Xiurong and Zhang Jie opened the handcuffs and dragged me back to an empty cell. The snow covering my body melted, drenching my clothes, but I was not allowed to change them. My face was blistered from the cold, and my lips were purple. My wrists were swollen from the handcuffs. Zhang Xiurong threatened to expose me to the cold and snow again soon.
In that same month, because I refused to march, Zhang Xiurong and Zhang Jie dragged me to the toilet and started to kick me. [Camp guards wear pointed, hard leather boots] Additionally, they pulled my trousers down to my knees and then kicked my bare legs and buttocks. They even pulled out the long wooden plunger used for the toilet and beat me with it. My entire body was covered with purple bruises. After one hour, I was dragged back to the cell and forced to squat for another few hours.
On November 29, 1999, Zhang Xiurong, Huang Haiyan and Zhang Jie dragged me into the team leader's office, and all three of them beat me with electric batons at the same time.
One morning I was practicing the exercises with practitioners Qi Zhenrong and Che Li inside the cell. Other inmates reported us to the team leader; soon after, the guard Jie Li brought us to the team leader's office, and three of us started to recite Teacher's articles aloud. The guards forced us to stand the whole morning and would not let us eat at lunchtime. Next, we started to practice the exercises, and the inmates came in and began slapping us. They viciously said, "This is what you get for practicing!" After lunch, a few male police officers walked in and sarcastically said, "You are practicing? The labor camp would only allow you three to practice?" At that time I was squatting. Two officers walked over and ordered me to stand up. When I refused, they kicked my legs, and the intense pain flowed right into my heart. Three years have passed since then, but there are still marks on my legs. Pulling my legs and hair, they lifted me into the air and then threw me to the floor. They repeated this a few times, sadistically enjoying themselves.
Another morning, while I was practicing the exercises with practitioner Qi Zhenrong, two inmates came in and dragged us to the water dungeon; there, they punched our faces until blood was pouring out of our noses, down our bodies, onto the ground. The vicious inmates then used small buckets to pour garbage and the water that collected at the bottom of the rubbish bin on to us continuously until we were covered with the foul garbage. Then we were dragged back to the toilet stalls and forced to crouch. They took off Qi Zhenrong's clothes and forced her to crouch next to an open window so that she would freeze in the cold wind.
One night, because I was practicing the exercises, one of the inmates forced me to crouch in an empty room. During the second half of the night, I fell asleep on the concrete floor, so an inmate carried me onto a bed. Zhang Xiurong saw her and said, "Don't let her sleep. Handcuff her to the bed, standing. The more she wants to sleep, the more we won't let her sleep." I was forced to stand, as Zhang Jie handcuffed both of my hands to the headboard rails of the bed; my arms were stretched straight out so that I could not move. I was forced to stand like this until 7 am the next morning.
During the entire month of November, my days at the Second Female Jail were filled with verbal abuse, beating and being forced to perform hard physical labor.
On November 30, 1999, police transferred me and more than 20 other practitioners from the Second Female Jail to the First Female Jail. There, we were forced to work like slaves. We had to make clothes; we started at 6:30 am and finished between 10 pm and midnight. If a batch of clothes was due early, we had to work overtime until 4 am. Once we forced to work continuously for 36 hours. If we did not finish the amount of labor allocated to us, the head of the labor force (an inmate) verbally abused us and doled out all kinds of punishments. While working, we had to withstand great mental pressures, and food was very lacking. The two meals in the morning and night were steamed bread made of corn and sorghum, corn porridge and pickled vegetables. We weren't allowed to maintain adequate hygiene. Three people had to sleep in two single beds, and showering was only permitted two to three times per year. (We have to pay for it.) With our own money, we had to pay for all own work equipment, protective gear and our daily supplies. The guards charged us two to three times higher than the fair market value for all items. Falun Dafa practitioners were rarely allowed to see their families and were often not released when their sentences expired. They were watched 24 hours per day by inmates and were not permitted the simplest of freedoms. Practitioners were violently brainwashed, hit, electrocuted and severely tortured, both physically and mentally.
After I was released from Masanjia Forced Labor Camp and returned home, on December 28, 2001, I was once again forced into a brainwashing class. Afterwards, I was continuously harassed, and in order to avoid being arrested again, I had to leave my home to avoid further persecution.