An Account of the Persecution of Practitioners At the Weining Forced Labor Camp in Benxi City
(Clearwisdon.net) I began to practice Falun Gong on June 4, 1995. Before practicing I suffered from a number of illnesses, including high-blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, tuberculosis and neurasthenia. Six months after I began to practice the exercises, all my illnesses miraculously disappeared. Before I practiced Falun Gong I had a very bad temper. After I practiced I became compassionate and kind. Since I became a Falun Gong practitioner, I have had a more harmonious relationship with my husband and relatives. My husband and child said that I have changed into a new person. They all said that Falun Dafa is wonderful.
On July 20, 1999, the persecution on Falun Dafa began. In the morning of July, 20 policemen in Benxi City recklessly arrested practitioners. I was among the 38 who were arrested. On the way back home after practicing the exercises, a plainclothes policeman, Li Yu, of Cuidong Police Station dragged me off to the Pingshan Police Sub-bureau. They interrogated me through the night and then imprisoned me at Laodong Guest House. People from the police bureau, police station, the neighborhood committee and my work unit were present. They threatened and tried with all their might to get me to partake in broadcasting on television slanderous information about our Teacher and Falun Dafa. My determination in steadfastly cultivating Dafa remained unchanged. However, I later succumbed to those who "enlightened" along an evil path. This was because I had not studied the Fa (1) thoroughly and was unable to enlighten to the righteous path.
On October 25, 1999, when the National People's Congress was in session, I went to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Dafa and for our Teacher. However I was unable to get close to the delegates. I was arrested because I recited Lunyu in the Great Hall of the People. About 100 practitioners were arrested. They were forced onto two buses and taken to a detention center at the outskirts of Beijing. We were detained there for 36 hours. Then I was turned over to the policemen from the Benxi City's Beijing Office. Cao Zhongliang and others from the Cuidong Police Station escorted me back to Benxi City.
Weining Forced Labor Camp established the No. 6 Division specifically for the purpose of persecuting women who practice Falun Dafa. During November 19 and 20, a total of 21 female practitioners were sent to No. 6 Division. The head of the division was Li (surname) and the political Instructor was a woman named Chong (surname). The division was divided into two groups. The leader of the No. 1 group was Ai (surname) and the No. 2 group was Liu Yasu. Each was allotted 4 to 5 guards. I was assigned to the No. 1 group.
The next evening they tried to have us recite the "Six Not Allowed" (2), which is designed to enforce the ban on the principles of cultivation. We refused. I raised my hand and asked permission to speak, while group Leader Mao tried to persuade us to quit our cultivation. However he did not give me permission to speak. The head of the division, Li, was pacing back and forth in the classroom. He left the room after a period of silence. Shortly after, he returned with many guards from the Security Section. They handcuffed Ms. Jiang Gaoting, Ms. Xie Xiufeng and I. We were pushed and dragged downstairs and kept separately in the offices where we were tortured. Three or four policemen tortured me by a very cruel method, called tying the ropes. (3) They tied me with a thin rope with one of the guards' riding on my head. They tied the rope really tight. However, they still thought it was not that tight so they used sticks to assure further tightening and until they were all flattened. They loosened the rope after ten minutes. Then they used electric batons to shock my face, neck, head and back. Then they tied me again. They repeated this torture twice.
They used a thicker baton when they shocked me the second time. After that they put the electric baton down my back, underneath my clothes. By that time my heart beat rapidly and I felt insulted. It was hard for me to bear it any more. I thought that I would rather die than live like that. I did not maintain my Xinxing (4) and therefore agreed to recite the "Six Not Allowed." Consequently, they no longer shocked me with the electric baton. The three of us all agreed that we failed to pass this test. When we were taken upstairs we heard the Political Commissar Chen Zhong swearing at Falun Dafa practitioners. They were forced to stand still for a long time and slander Dafa and our Teacher. We all felt terrible.
On the following day, I could not lift my left arm and had difficulty putting on my clothes. Fellow practitioners helped me with my grooming, because all ten finger-tips had become numb and remained so for half a year.
At the beginning of our detainment, we thought that we must act in accordance with the requirements set by our Teacher and be a good person wherever we went. We wanted to show to them that we were good people. We tried to do everything well and they really thought we were doing very well. However we actually had accepted their arrangements. In other words, we went along with the arrangements by the old forces.
We got up at 6 o'clock and groomed ourselves. At half past 6 we did physical exercises, had breakfast and then cleaned our room, corridors, toilets and the office of the Division Head. At half past 8 we went to class. We would first have to recite the rules and regulations of the forced labor camp and then we would have exams. This was the path arranged by the evil. After Teacher hinted repeatedly, we understood that we shouldn't bear all this passively. We should diligently study the Fa and practice the five sets of exercises. In the beginning, whoever had enlightened to this point would practice the exercises. One day when Ms. Sun Dianzhi and Ms. Meng Xiuzhi did the exercises at midnight, team leader Zhang Xue and the Division Chief Zheng saw them. They ordered Ms. Meng Xiuzhi to do physical exercises continuously and locked Sun Dianzhi downstairs. We did not immediately find out what torture they suffered.
One day the Falun Gong practitioners got up at 4 a.m. and started to do the exercises. After political instructor Chong found out, he ordered us to go downstairs, line up in the corridor and do the body-folding (5). We were forced to bend our body to form a 90-degree angle stretching our two arms backward and resting on the back. Those who were unable to hold this position would be shocked with electric batons. Then we were forced to go outdoors where it was piercing cold. That day was the coldest day since the beginning of December 1999. The guards forced us to do physical exercises and run around the drill ground. We were forced to stay in the piercing cold for more than two hours. My nose had blisters from frostbite. Practitioner Ms. Ma Na's ears were swollen and 3 of practitioner Ms. Zhang Guishuan's fingers were frostbitten.
After breakfast they continued to torture us. The guards asked us to line up in two rows in the corridor and bend our body to form a 90-degree angle, with our arms stretching backwards. We were told to change our posture from time to time. The guards asked us to stand in the posture like a motorcycle rider with our upper body straightened up, legs and thighs were in 90 degrees, squat down with the toes on the floor but not the heels, and the arms stretching forward. After a while we trembled, as our weight was on our toes and we had to hold this position for a long time.
We were called downstairs one by one. There were team leaders in each of the offices. There were security guards in some of the offices. In each of the offices there were police ropes and electric batons. I was interrogated many times in these offices. The question was "Will you continue to practice the five sets of exercises." If we answered in the affirmative, we would be made to suffer before going upstairs.
That day all of us were tortured for an entire day and most of us suffered from the cruel torture of tying the ropes and were also shocked with electric batons. Falun Dafa practitioner Ms. Ma Na was only 21 and a student of the secondary specialized school. It seemed that everyone liked her. When it was her turn to be tortured, several of the guards' did not have the heart to torture her. But eventually they said everyone would be tortured despite their ages.
When it was lunch-time I noticed that some of the practitioners had just been tortured. They still had tears in their eyes.
When it was getting close to half past three only three or four practitioners were left. I was one of them. Wang Jun from the Security Section and team leader Wei called me to the office and talked to me for about half an hour. They said it was my turn to be tortured now. That day I had no fear. Finally they begged me to promise not to practice the exercises that particular day, so they could report to Political Commissar Chen that they had succeeded in their assignment. I told them I could not make the promise and said as a practitioner I would not lie to them.
Ms. Ren Xiangzhi was the last one remaining. The guard told her to stand in front of the classroom for a while and then let her go back to her seat.
Ms. Ren told me later that day she was determined not to let Falun Dafa and our Teacher down no matter how the police would torture her.
One day a dozen practitioners practiced the exercises. At the time when we were punished, a group leader from the Security Section told us that the head of the Correction Division Wu Gang asked him to relentlessly punish and to utilize all kinds of torture methods, before leaving. Such torture methods would include "rabbit jump", running and so on. However the group leader did not obey the orders. He only asked us to run and bend over for a while, because he did not want to punish good people. After that, we had another group practice, but the guards no longer tortured us. They just asked us to go back to work. Later, a group leader warned us that if we practiced the exercises again he would send us to the male inmates cells.
In the middle of January 2000, twenty more female practitioners arrived at the labor camp and were dispatched to the No. 1 Team or the No. 2 Team. With the increase of the number of Falun Dafa practitioners the treatment by the guards worsened. Male guards would disregard if the cell held males or females. They just entered and searched dormitories. They also ordered us to have our dormitory door open for several days, in an attempt to stop us from practicing the exercises.
One day some of us practiced the exercises. The guards caught us. They forced us to do body-folding (5) in the corridor. After breakfast we were forced to run on the drill ground as a punishment. Ms. Zhou Ying and Ms. Ding Yanying were summoned to the Security Section where they were tortured by the methods "tying the ropes and shocking with electric batons." Then they were locked up in small cells (6) and were ordered to lie on the floor facing down, with four limbs stretching out in the form of a star. The two of them were kept in that position for six days. Two mornings when we prepared to do group exercises at about 5 a.m., team leader Mao would ring the bell for everyone to get up. This guard was very cruel, and determined to make Falun Gong practitioners suffer.
They wanted to make it more convenient for the guards to torture us, so they hung six pairs of handcuffs in each cell. In our cell three pairs of handcuffs hung on my bedside and another three on Ms. Zhang Gui's bedside. The guards handcuffed her from behind the bed head and prepared to handcuff her legs in the same way. However, Ms. Zhang was not very short so they handcuffed her one ankle with one cuff and pulled her leg with force to handcuff the other cuff on to the bed head at the other end. She was handcuffed in that position for the whole night and could not move at all. On the next morning Ms. Zhang Gui's legs were swollen. She was very firm and did not moan at all. In the morning when the guards changed shift they had no choice but to only handcuff her one arm onto the bed head. The punishment lasted for three days.
Ms. Qi Yuyan and Ms. Mou Hengren were also handcuffed in bed for three days and three nights.
Ms. Zhou Ying and Ms. Ding Yanying had been stretched out for four or five days. At this time we could not act as one body. At about 10 p.m., seven practitioners from two cells practiced the exercises. They were seen by Liu Dadui and group leader Ai, who were making the rounds of the cells. They asked us to go to the other side of the corridor and wait outside the on-duty office. They forced us to do the body-bending and wait for more severe punishment. Ms. Wang Guizhi was the first one to receive electrical shocks, followed by Ms. Qiu Guizhi and Ms. Wang Liqing.
The next day Ms. Qui's face was swollen beyond recognition and her legs were also very swollen. Ms Wang Liqing had blisters all over her face.
Generally, we worked during the day and would continue to work after dinner until 9:20 p.m. However during that time, we were forced to work until midnight. They wanted to make sure that we were too tired to get up early in the morning to practice the exercises. Such methods were used to persecute us.
Division Chief Li was in charge of No. 6 Division. She said to us one day that they were unwilling to torture us, however they had to report to the leaders one level up daily.
The Head of the Correction Division Wu Gang was very cruel. Every time we were tortured he would be present and almost every time he would torture us. He was mean and ruthless. He considered Division Head Li to be too soft when dealing with us.
On January 22, 2001, the leaders of the forced labor camp decided to let male and female Falun Dafa practitioners meet in the meeting room of the No. 6 Division. About 60 practitioners sat in two rows and formed a circle. The Head of the Forced Labor Camp Jiang Zili, Political Commissar Chen Zhongwei and the Head of the Correction Division all attended the meeting. Guards from the Security Section who were armed to the teeth also attended. They sat at the two ends and the middle of the practitioners. It could be described as heavily guarded.
After the Head of the Forced Labor Camp made a speech, two male practitioners read out their statements of guarantee. We understood that they acted against their will, because they could no longer bear the torture. When it was the turn of the female practitioners to make a speech the police asked Ms. Wang Guizhi to speak. Although Ms. Wang did not directly talk about Falun Dafa, what she said was in a way glorifying Falun Dafa. The leaders of the forced labor camp flew into a rage, accusing her of spreading Falun Dafa in a roundabout way. Ms. Zhou Ying was smiling beside Ms. Wang Guizhi in support of her speech. Wu Gang ordered the police from the Security Section to take Ms. Zhou Ying to the No. 8 Division, which was the place where they detained male inmates. (Ms. Zhou was locked into the stretching room where the victim had to stand up with two arms stretching upwards. Two pairs of handcuffs cuffed her wrists onto two rings. Two legs were parted. Because she was short, the evil police placed two bricks under her feet and then cuffed her ankles onto two rings which were fix on the floor.) She was punished for a whole day and was released only after Division Chief Li phoned Wu Gang begging for leniency. She was locked onto her bed and stretched out on the bed after she returned to her cell.
The above were the ordeals I had experienced during three months in Benxi City. On February 15, 2000 we were taken to the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp.
(1) Fa - Law and principles of Falun Dafa
(2) Six Not Allowed - Not allowed to hold any activities to defend Falun Dafa, such as appeals, sit-ins of any other actions. Falun Gong practitioners cannot gather or do exercises in groups; they are not allowed to hand out any materials that help promote Falun Gong, not allowed to put up or hang banners or messages with Falun Gong symbols or Falun Gong terms, and more.
(3) Tying the ropes - The police tie up the practitioner with a thin rope, circle the rope around her neck, and tie her hands behind her back. Then the police would use all the force they could muster to tighten the rope. The rope becomes tighter and tighter around the body of the practitioner, and makes it more and more difficult for her to breathe. The pain is so intense that the practitioner sometimes loses control of her bladder. There are instances when the rope was tightened enough to break a practitioner's arm.
(4) Xinxing -- heart or mind nature, moral character
(5) Body-folding - This refers to standing with two legs straight and close, and bending the head down as far as it will go toward the feet, in front of the knees. The fingers point to the ground, the head is upside down, making the body form a 90-degree angle. The victim is forced to keep this position for 17 to 18 hours a day except when eating, sleeping and using the toilet.
(6) Locking up in a small cell - The detainee is locked up in a very small cell individually. The guards handcuff practitioners on their back in a fixed position, in which the practitioners can neither move nor lie down. The small cell is very damp and no sunshine comes in. Detainees have to urinate and defecate in the cell. Only half of a regular meal is served to detainees locked up in a small cell during the daytime. During the night the rats are running around. The stench in the small cell is so bad that it is difficult to breathe.