Persecution at Beijing Women's Labor Camp and Beijing Women's Prison - Part 1
(Clearwisdom.net) Lawless officials in Beijing have been recruiting and mobilizing police from different areas in China to go to Beijing to aid in the persecution of practitioners that travel there to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. The local guards invented inhuman and cruel methods of torture for practitioners that are steadfast in their beliefs. They categorized the secret and vicious torture of practitioners as "education," "reformation," and "salvation." Every practitioner who has ever been detained in the labor camp has suffered under these repugnant tortures.
Below are some facts of what practitioners experienced and witnessed at Beijing Women's Labor Camp:
1. Social Segregation -- a Torture More Sadistic than Beating and Cursing
In modern medicine and psychology, an experiment has been performed in which a person's whole body was wrapped with cloth to effectively separate the person from the outside environment. It did not take long before that person exhibited a number of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and ultimately - mental disorder. In psychology, this is called social segregation - cutting off all normal contact between a person and the environment and taking away the person's social rights and privileges.
The method detailed above is used to torture firm practitioners at Beijing Women's Labor Camp. In the No. 4 Group, under Director Li Jirong and Vice Director Li Ziping, firm practitioners are often isolated and deprived of sleep. They are forced to stand or squat facing a wall and systematically harassed by over 10 inmates. The monitoring never stops; the practitioners are monitored closely even when using restrooms. How much practitioners' eat and drink is recorded. The practitioners are not allowed to talk to anyone, including the guards. When they are forced to squat in a fixed position, they are not allowed to stand up except when using the restroom. They are forced to squat from 6 a.m. - 12 a.m. daily, even while eating. They are punished if they cry. When a graduate student arrived, the guards ordered the inmates to torture her mentally and physically. Besides the "squat" torture described above, all the inmates were ordered to torture and abuse her.
The brutal "social segregation" and physical punishments were called "improving the understanding" by the guards. This method caused many practitioners to be harmed in mind and body and made them lose their confidence and courage. The practitioner mentioned above, who used to be confident and have an excellent memory, changed completely after being tortured this way. After she was released, she did not have her period for 9 months and she could no longer remember even one phone number.
2. "Reformation" and Fabrication
"Reformation" harms practitioners more than beating, force-feeding or killing them. Many practitioners who share experiences after the fact say the same thing: "I would rather die than be reformed."
When practitioners enter the labor camp, they are not put in cells and treated as regular inmates unless they write all the following statements: guarantee statement (not to hurt oneself, not to hunger strike, not to practice exercises and not to teach Falun Gong to others); "guilty plea" (admitting one's action as a practitioner has harmed the society and violated the laws); and, "renuncation statement" (renouncing belief in Falun Gong). Practitioners who did not admit to violating any laws were brainwashed, and all of their rights were taken away (including the right to sleep). Many collaborators surrounded the practitioners all day long. In the beginning, the collaborators praised the practitioners with flattering words. When they discover the practitioners are firm in their belief, the collaborators beat and curse the practitioners and viciously attack Teacher and Dafa. If the practitioners refuse the write the aforementioned statements, the collaborators incessantly curse the practitioners, Dafa and Teacher. When practitioners are forced to listen to the curses, they suffer tremendously. The collaborators use all conceivable methods to destroy practitioners' willpower. When some practitioners exchange their conscience and sign something in order to gain some momentary reprieve from the torture, the collaborators then force the practitioner to admit that they are helping themselves by "reforming" and to "joyfully" tell the news of their "reformation" to their family members. This method is used by the collaborators to break down even more innocent practitioners. Being able to fake happiness is used as the criterion of a practitioner's complete "reformation."
When leaving the labor camp, a practitioner cried. When the inmates on duty asked her why, she said, "I think the labor camp is like a brothel: everyone here is selling and betraying different things." Labor camps controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are like mental brothels - forcing people to betray their souls with a fake smile on their faces. It is exactly like what was said in the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party." "When you are used as a means of attacking others, you need to thank the Party for appreciating your strength; when you are hurt, you have to thank the CCP for "teaching you a lesson"; when you are wrongfully discriminated against and the CCP later gives you redress, you have to thank the CCP for being generous, open-minded and able to correct its mistakes."
Persecutors in the labor camp put in a lot of effort to cover up their crimes, including telling family members of the tortured practitioners that the tortures are good for them. A female practitioner had lived a harmonious family life. She was sent to the labor camp and tortured there for refusing to "reform." Persecutors in the labor camp told her husband, "This is because you have treated her too nicely and even supported her cultivation - see what happened now: She is in the labor camp and your family is torn apart. You should treat her a little more forcefully." When the practitioner was released after spending 18 months in the labor camp, the practitioner persisted in practicing the exercises, but her husband, remembering the "advice" from the labor camp staff, beat his wife and tried to get her to give up Falun Gong practice.
When anyone visits the labor camp intending to uncover the conditions to the outside world, the persecutors move all practitioners who have obvious torture wounds to another location. They also let practitioners under prolonged physical punishment rest for a while on a stool. To show their "democratic behavior," the persecutors also conduct anonymous surveys sometimes. The surveys ask questions such as: "is the food good?" or "have you been beaten or seen guards beating inmates?" However, the inmates surveyed are almost always the heads of the cell, who are all controlled by the guards. After one is "reformed," most people do not dare to write the truth on the survey, for if they are implicated for it, they would be tortured even more brutally and all inmates in the cell would be punished. The guards call telling the truth "damaging the reputation and image of the labor camp."
When international visitors come, the guards find some "reformed" practitioners who can speak English and have them memorize answers to possible questions. The guards also monitor the conversations between the visitors and the inmates. As a result, the foreign visitors cannot hear the truth. When some people dare to speak the truth, the guards force them to write a repentance statement and deprive them of sleep afterwards.
3. Rules and Regulations in the Labor Camp Violate Human Rights
The rules and regulations of Beijing Labor Camp are used as tools to torture practitioners, and make the tortures appear "legal." The guards use these rules to persecute practitioners consistently and continuously. Because a practitioner helped some other practitioners who refused to "reform," the practitioner was labeled as someone who "violated the rules of the labor camp." Much that she did was regarded as a "violation of the rules," although these things are ignored when other inmates do them. An inmate even wrote a poem to describe her situation, talking about the endless standing, admitting mistakes, writing repentance statements and crying. The guards torture practitioners using twisted and hypocritical logic.
The guards use the aforementioned method to torture practitioners because this method does not require any tools or torture instruments. Such torture can also be executed by inmates and collaborators when the guards are not present. Since officially, the labor camp prohibits inmates from hurting each other through any means, the guards always tell inspectors: "I did not torture them, neither am I aware of any tortures among the inmates." In fact, the guards patrol the cells at least once an hour and thus know everything that goes on in the cells. If they discover the inmates not executing the stipulated physical punishments on practitioners, they punish the inmates. Without secret orders from the guards, the inmates would never dare to torture practitioners.
The guards think that they can cover up their complicity in the crimes by avoiding physical evidence of the torture. They thus avoid leaving scars or marks on the practitioners' bodies. Instead, frequent symptoms are heart attacks or strokes, etc. In addition, the mental torture makes people depressed and stressed, causing them to lose proper judgment and suffer cognitive disorders. However, all such "rules" and "punishments" are unconstitutional and forbidden under Chinese criminal law. The labor camp guards cannot use the excuse that torturing detained practitioners is not against the law!
4. Various Methods of Physical Punishment
(See http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/9/29/52936.html for photos)
(1) "Handcuffing Behind the Back"
The detention centers associated with the Tiananmen Branch of the Police Department, and other branches, often handcuff Falun Gong practitioners' hands behind their backs when they refuse to give their names, verbally defend the innocence of Falun Gong, or practice Falun Gong exercises.
The practitioner's arms are handcuffed behind the back, one from above and the other from below, which is extremely painful. Since it is difficult to handcuff the two arms like this, police often put the arms together suddenly and forcefully while the victim is unprepared, which can easily cause bone fractures.
(2) "Squatting with Hands Holding the Head"
This is a posture Falun Gong practitioners are required to take while waiting to be registered after being sent to the Beijing Prisoner Dispatch Center for assignment to forced labor camps. This center was established specifically for persecuting practitioners.
After arriving there for registration, everyone must squat while holding the head with both hands. Their eyes are only allowed to look at their toes. If someone is discovered looking elsewhere, the prison guard or police officer would beat him or her on the head or neck. Prior to early 2001, people were even required to squat while raising their heels. If someone could not do it, they would be kicked in the buttocks.
Every Falun Gong practitioner taken there for illegal detention was required to write a "guarantee statement" at registration stating, "I was sent for forced-labor reform because I disturbed the stability of the social order. I guarantee that I will follow the rules and regulations of the forced labor camp." Basically, not one Falun Gong practitioner acknowledged that he or she had committed such unusual "crimes" or was "a prisoner for forced labor reform." Virtually nobody cooperated. As a result, the police used violent methods to force them to write the statements, so it took a long time to register each one. In the meantime, the rest have to wait for their turn in this posture. Many older practitioners and those who were very weak due to previous labor camp persecution collapsed or fainted but the police kicked them to make them stand up again.
(3) "Riding an Airplane"
This is the cruelest physical punishment and it is really too painful to describe. After Falun Gong practitioners are sent to the forced labor camps, they are not allowed to join the other "groups" for forced labor and sleep. Instead, they are required to stay in the corridor, the lobby, or the water-house and listen to collaborators brainwashing them with lies that slander Falun Gong. Those who refuse to write the three statements are not allowed to join the "group" and are deprived of sleep. Those who refuse to acknowledge that Falun Gong is [slanderous term omitted] are usually tortured with "riding an airplane."
This posture requires that one's head points downward, the back of the neck is against the wall, and the arms are raised with the hands touching the wall. Most people feel that their head will explode and cannot tolerate it for even ten minutes. However, Falun Gong practitioners have been forced to "ride an airplane" for at least one hour. In Beijing's Xinan Forced Labor Camp, one practitioner was forced to stay like this for a whole night simply because she refused to renounce her belief. The police even encouraged more prisoners to persecute her by threatening to deprive those in her group of sleep and secretly appointing a "monitor" to punish her. The next morning, this Falun Gong practitioner lost consciousness, fell down and rolled underneath the bed beside hers.
At the beginning of 2000, when the first Falun Gong practitioners who were sent to the forced-labor camp for "transformation" resisted it, the police asked the supervisors to force all the practitioners to "ride an airplane" at the same time in a corridor.
Since this torture could easily cause a person's death, the police used other methods to torture Falun Gong practitioners if they still persisted in their beliefs after being made to "ride an airplane." Tortures perpetrated on practitioners include sleep deprivation, forcing them to eat in painful postures, and continuously brainwashing them with slanderous lies about Master and Falun Dafa to confuse them. Since practitioners had benefited both physically and spiritually from Falun Dafa, these twisted lies were the most unbearable abuse. All of these tortures truly damaged them in mind and body.
(4) "Gecko Crawling on the Wall"
This posture requires a person to stand on one leg while lifting the other. The upper body is held against the wall, as are the two arms that slant to the side and cause an imbalance of the body. However, the upper body must always be kept straight.
(5) "Facing the Wall"
This is a common torture method in the forced labor camp, requiring one to stand facing the wall for up to 18 days and nights continuously. Practitioners' legs become swollen to the point of blistering and their feet begin to bleed as soon as they put on shoes. The more extreme form of "facing the wall" requires one to stand with both feet against the base of the wall, heel to heel forming a straight line with the toes facing outward. The whole body, from the head to the feet, must stick to the wall, including the tip of the nose, and the eyes must remain open, staring at the wall. At such a short distance this causes blurry vision and dizziness. If one closed the eyes, the police would hit them on the head since the bruises cannot be seen through the hair.
(6) "Squatting Like an Army Corps"
This is also a routine punishment involving squatting. The police are required by their superior officers to complete an annual drill, which requires them to squat in the sun for several hours with their body weight resting on one leg while their upper body is kept straight and their two hands are placed on their knees. Some policemen will faint on the spot. Knowing how painful this can be, the police modified it to torture Falun Gong practitioners. The practitioners are forced to squat like this for several days, some for more than 40 days without a break. Also, their hands could not be placed on the knees, but had to remain face up in front of them. This gave the police an excuse to beat the practitioners any time they stopped squatting. If a practitioner refused to squat, the police would order over ten people to get together to pull the practitioner's hair, press down on their shoulders, pull their arms and force them to squat.
5. The Guards are the Instigators of All Tortures
Stated in the Nine Commentaries: "According to modern medical studies, many victims of intense pressure and isolation fall prey to an abnormal sense of dependency on their captors known as the Stockholm Syndrome. The victims' moods--happiness or anger, joy or sorrow--would be dictated by those of their captors. The slightest favor for the victims will be received with deep gratitude. There are accounts in which the victims develop "love" for their captors. This psychological phenomenon has been long used successfully by the CCP both against its enemies and in controlling and remolding the minds of its citizens." Guards in labor camps in Beijing usually order inmates to beat and curse practitioners. They also reward those inmates who successfully "reform" practitioners through torture by reducing their terms. When practitioners are tortured to the point when they feel they are in a living hell, the guards would show up and hypocritically show the practitioners their "care and love." Frequently, the practitioners are moved and agree to "reform." In fact, the guards ordered the inmates to commit all the tortures.
In 2001, Guard Li Ziping from the No. 4 Group of the female labor camp ordered 9 inmates in a cell to torture the newly arrived Falun Gong practitioners. The guard threatened to take away the inmates' rights to buy things, see visitors and send out mail if they did not comply. On the next day, the practitioners (who had been sleep-deprived for over 10 days already) were ordered to stand still for a long time as a punishment. On the evening of the same day, seeing that the practitioners still refused to "reform," the inmates tortured them with "Riding an Airplane." When the practitioners lost consciousness, the inmates beat them up and forcibly stamped their fingerprints on the "renouncing statement."
In the labor camps, guards hold great power. Inmates are required to lower their heads and stand by a wall when the guards are around. Inmates have to follow the guards and pay their "respects," when walking together.
One of the criteria to judge if a practitioner has "reformed" is, whether he/she could beat up newly arrived practitioners.
In June 2001, guards in Tuanhe Men's Forced Labor Camp tortured all firm practitioners in the labor camp. On the same night, there was a thunder-storm, during which all trees in the labor camp were struck by lightning.
Freedom of belief is the fundamental core of any society. A person should not be forced to believe in anything, no matter the reason. Falun Gong practitioners lead normal lives as members of society. Falun Gong as a belief does not force or limit practitioners in their role as a member of society. Yet Jiang's regime has held many brainwashing classes and tried to force practitioners to give up their beliefs. No matter how "sincere" they may seem, the reality and the evil nature of their forceful brainwashing cannot be covered up. The "sincerity" only makes the evil nature of the brainwashing more obvious.