Inside the Strict Control Unit in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp
(Clearwisdom.net) Masanjia imposes the so-called "strict control" program on steadfast practitioners. Under strict control, a person's movements, words and thoughts are tightly regulated. Practitioners are forced to sit on benches, and are subjected to small cell confinement, solitary confinement and many other forms of mistreatment. These methods are intended to destroy the practitioners' spirits and wills.
The Strict Control Unit of the No. 5 Team of the No. 2 Brigade in the No.2 Women's Ward at Masanjia was established in December 2004. The unit leader Wang Zhengli, Qi Fuying and Zhang He rounded up practitioners who refused to participate in hard labor, do the morning exercises, recite the prison rules, sing the party's songs, attend brainwashing sessions, or those who declare their previous guarantee statements to be void. Dozens of practitioners were crowded into two rooms at the west end of the third floor. These two rooms are 40 square yards in size and hold 20 beds. In the winter, it is cold and damp inside, and filled with a putrid smell coming from the moldy walls. Practitioners are being tortured in such an environment.
The No. 2 Women's Ward is notorious for its continuous and brutal persecution of the practitioners. One torture method is sitting on a bench for an extended period of time. When one sits, one can only take up to one tile of about a quarter of a square yard, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. They can only use the washroom or eat once in the morning and once in the afternoon. They spend about 14-15 hours on the bench and cannot walk freely. In addition, those under strict control are not allowed to receive visitors, make phone calls, or take hot showers. They are only allowed limited items for purchase from the labor camp.
Before these practitioners were placed under strict control, many of them endured mistreatment such as being held in a small cell, long-term standing, force-feeding, and extended periods of hard labor. They often sustained injuries from the harsh treatment. Now they are put under strict control, before their bodies have a chance to recuperate.
Ms. Xin Suhua, 55, was kept in a small cell. As a result, her legs, feet and hands no longer function well, and she is unable to even wash her own clothes. When she walks, she wobbles. Ms. Renli, 51, refused to cooperate with the evil, and as a result, she was not allowed to go downstairs for one year. She now has high blood pressure and her hair has turned grey. Ms. Zhou Yuzhi, 40, has been force-fed for over two months. She has been diagnosed with uremia and kidney problems, and is extremely weak.
Around the spring festival time in 2000, a 50-year-old practitioner said to the guard. "We are good people and innocent. Why can't we go home to spend the New Year?" A few days later, several guards came, handcuffed her and took her away. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
Ms. Wang Ling, 50, resisted the persecution, clarified the truth, and shouted "Falun Dafa is good". Having endured many tortures and being locked in a small cell, her hands and feet became numb. She was also taken away. The guards said that she was sent to Dabei Prison. The authorities terrorize the place by having regular meetings trying to "transform" practitioners and threatening harsh terms for non-compliance.
Ms. Mi Yanli, 40, refused to watch programs like "Focal Point" that smear Dafa on Chinese Central TV, so she was put into a small cell twice. The guards physically abused her, and she suffered severely in both body and mind. Later, due to her heart problems, she was let out of the small cell. She could not eat for forty days, but lay on a bed. She needed someone to take her to the washroom. She was given only a few bits of lettuce and cold food each day. They did not release her, nor did they notify her relatives. When her family found out and traveled from Lingyuan to Shenyang to see her, the brigade leaders, Wang Zhengli and Zhang He, sent them away. They said that those who refused to "reform" are not allowed to receive visitors.
In spring 2000, the authorities in the camp extended the terms of three practitioners who refused to turn against Dafa. During a public trial, everyone in the camp was rounded up and taken to the field, with male guards surrounding them. Su Jing presided over the trial. When she read the sentence, Li Dongqing shouted three times, "Falun Dafa is good." Su immediately added three more years to the term, so Ms. Li received a seven-year term. All those present shouted, "Falun Dafa is good. Cultivation is not a crime." The guards stormed in to pull them by their hair and tape their mouths shut. They punched and kicked the practitioners, and then detained them in a room with their mouths taped. At the end of the meeting, all those who shouted had their sentences increased by three to six months.
In Masanjia, a dozen small cells are located to the west of the front gate. Each cell is six feet high, five feet wide, and less then six feet long. In the middle of the cell is a chair with an iron frame and a wooden seat. One sits in there, with legs and hands cuffed. The chair has a low back, so one cannot fall asleep. Behind the chair is a small window about half a foot wide and one foot high. There is no heat, and the room is like a freezer in the winter.
Once you are in there, you stay from one to three weeks. The guards arbitrarily decide the duration of confinement. While a practitioner is in there, he or she cannot sleep at all, day or night. From 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. deafening defamatory information is blasted into the room. The three daily meals consist of corn meal and pickled vegetables. In the winter, they can only use the washroom twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. There is no exception even when female practitioners are having their menstrual periods. Some of them had their menstruation disrupted due to the harsh cold. Even in the winter, they are only allowed to wear one undershirt or a sweater plus the nylon uniform. As a result, many of them suffered from different degrees of frostbite and debilitating injuries. After Cui Yaning was in there for nine days, her fingers turn crooked with frostbite, and her feet were covered with blisters so badly that she could not walk. After the confinement, just about everyone comes out with obvious weight loss, frostbite, swollen hands, legs, and feet. That is only the physical damage. It is harder to describe the emotional suffering.
In the No. 2 Brigade, No. 5 Group, after three months of strict control, many practitioners suffered tremendously, especially when practitioners were not allowed to move, and were forced to sit on the bench for three months, from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with only one hour of lunch break. Many practitioners' buttocks turned raw, scabs formed, and blood seeped through their underwear. If they continued to sit on the wound, the pain would be excruciating. Their lower limbs were numb and swollen, and could not function properly. Some people said, "The Communist Party is really evil. They don't have to hit you or curse at you. All they have to do is put you on the bench. Then you would rather die than live." On April 1, 2005, Masanjia set up another strict control Brigade headed by Li Mingyu and Xie Chengdong, with two team leaders for each sub-group to continue their persecution of practitioners who refused to transform.
Another form of abuse is to make practitioners eat rough grain. Rice is only served on Saturday and Sunday. On weekdays, corn meal buns and pickled vegetables are served. The cornmeal is usually old and moldy, and looks brown due to too much yeast used. After eating the cornmeal, people sometimes suffer from diarrhea or a sore throat. They have a rule that anyone who refuses to eat for three days will be force-fed. Four to five guards would hold the practitioner in place and pry open her mouth. They would force 800-1000 ml of water or cornmeal soup down the practitioner's throat. Some rolled on the floor from the pain. The feeding tube would be stained with blood when pulled out. Forcing practitioners to eat rough grain is one way of abusing them. Eating rotten cornmeal with excessive amounts of additives for months caused many practitioners to suffer from severe physical problems.
Practitioner Zheng Juxiang was in perfect health when she came to the labor camp. She refused to be "transformed," and therefore was placed with collaborators, who verbally and physically abused her. She was locked downstairs in the storage room for three months, and was forced to do hard labor and survive on rough grain. As a result, her eyes became dull and the muscles of her legs atrophied. She wobbled when she walked and was experiencing mental disorientation. The hospital said that it was due to serious malnutrition and the lack of potassium in her body. They confiscated all her money, and forced her to walk up and down three floors in order to eat. They even laughed at her, saying that she was mentally handicapped.
Studying the Fa or doing the exercises is strictly prohibited. Talking about Falun Gong is also forbidden. The guards find excuses to search the cells and take away Teacher's articles. They are afraid that they might be accused of breaking the law, so they take away anything related to the law. They never issue a receipt for the items they take. They search the cells thoroughly when no one is there.
If a practitioner is found doing the exercises, he or she is physically abused, cursed at, locked up in a small cell while handcuffed, or has his or her term extended. When some practitioners shout, "Falun Dafa is good," a group of guards surround them and cover their mouths with their hands or cloth, drag the practitioners to where no one can see and tape their mouth shut, shackle the practitioners to a radiator, or force them to remain standing for an extended period of time.
Every cell has a wide-range surveillance camera. The collaborators were placed on duty to monitor the speech and behavior of all those inside. They have to keep a log and report to the brigade captain. If one is found violating the rules, her term is extended, her behavior is recorded, and she is subjected to other punishment.
One way to extort money from practitioners is sending them to a doctor, if they cannot find another excuse. Elderly practitioners are also forced to sit on those benches for 14-16 hours. If they cannot take it, the brigade head drags them to the hospital and forces them to take medication or injections. The only purpose is to take their money. One practitioner from Fushun is 65 years old. She was forced to go to the hospital to have her blood pressure checked because they knew that she had over a thousand yuan in her account. For those who do not have money, even though they are sick and would like to go to the hospital, they cannot.
For practitioners, not allowing visitors is a way to prevent Teacher's articles from being brought in. Lack of contact with the outside, including visitors, phone calls, letters, and conversation intensifies the suffering. For long periods of uninterrupted time, practitioners are locked in a small room with the windows covered with opaque tape, with only a peephole left for the guards and collaborators to check on them.
Ms. Liu Cuimei, 34, from Jinzhou City, was not allowed to receive any visitors for over six months. Back in May and June of 2005, her mother and brother came to see her, but as she was refusing to wear the camp uniform, she was not allowed to see them. Her mother, who suffers from carsickness, traveled a long distance with her brother from Jinzhou City by train to see her. Meanwhile, her father was seriously ill and bedridden. In spite of that, they were not allowed to see Cuimei.
Depriving the Practitioners' Sleep
Since strict control started, every day they go to sleep from 9:30 p.m. to 4:50 a.m. The authorities leave two 40w lights on all night until 4:30 a.m. in the morning, and the guards and inmates on duty come into the cell from time to time just to disturb the practitioners.
There are continuous broadcasts of radio and TV programs, book reading, military songs, party songs, other Qigong, and meetings. The purpose of all this is to confuse the practitioners and weaken their faith, so that they will give up their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
Profiting from Forced Labor
Masanjia is a forced labor camp disguised as an education center. They receive funding for "transforming" the practitioners and at the same time, they force practitioners to do hard labor and profit from it.
For example, it's not uncommon for practitioners to be forced to work until midnight, although they have backed off a little bit recently due to external pressure. The work tends to be very difficult, such as peeling onions, making crafts, cleaning the camp grounds and the guards' quarters, etc. .
The camp assigned a sack of onions (90 lbs.) to each practitioner. The camp can get 0.2 yuan for a finished sack. In a room where 20 practitioners live, the smell of the onions filled the air. Many people had breathing problems and skin reactions triggered by the onion fumes.
Making String Crafts
Depending on the size of the craft, the camp is paid 6.5 yuan, 5 yuan, or 3.5 yuan. For those that pay 6.5 yuan, each practitioner has to complete one and a half in a day, which makes 10 yuan for the unit. Popsicle sticks are four yuan a box. Every one has to make one box of popsicle sticks a day to meet the quota. The brigade contracts for these tasks and the profit goes to the brigade. Practitioners have to complete their assignments from both the camp and their brigade, so two levels of the camp authorities are exploiting them.
Peeling Corn in the Fields
Female practitioners go out to work with the men. According to the local farmers, no one wants the job, even though it pays 30 yuan per day. All of the practitioners, old, weak, or sick, have to go do this work. In the morning, they drag practitioners into a vehicle and drive them to the field. The camp is paid 30 yuan for every person there. Work in the fields lasts more than 14 to 16 hours per day most of the time. Working continuously for 14 days, the practitioners are exhausted and sustain much damage to their bodies. This however, is a most effective way for the authorities to profit. Some guards said shamelessly, "We know that you are innocent, but if we let you go home, how will we get paid?"
The above are only a glimpse of how practitioners are being persecuted in the "strict control unit." During the past few years, Masanjia has followed the directives of the Chinese Community Party to persecute the practitioners in an attempt to get them to renounce their faith in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. They use force and coercion to destroy the practitioners' minds and bodies. They even spread their expertise in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners to other provinces' forced labor camps and brainwashing centers to intensively transform the practitioners.
At present, over 600 practitioners are being illegally held in Masanjia.
Partial list of Masanjia's guards
No. 2 Brigade:
Captain: Zhang Xiurong
Assistant captain: Zhou Qian
Team leaders: Zhang Zhuohui, Wang Zhengli, Dai Yuhong, Lu Yaoqin, Wang Xueqiu, and Ma Xiaodan
No. 1 Brigade (strict control)
Captains: Li Mingyu, Xie Chengdong (male), and Wang Shuzheng
Team leaders: Cui Hong, Huang Haiyan, Qi Fuying, Yang Xiaofeng, Zhang He, Zhang Huan, Zhang Lei, Ren Hongzan, Pei Feng, Liu Hui, and Guan Lin
Medical staff: Cao Yujie, Chen Bing
Announcer: Xiang Kuifeng, Fang (designated persons to transform practitioners)
No. 2 Brigade: 86-24-89210074