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Former Engineer from the Yunnan Province Design Institute Recounts the Persecution He Experienced in China's Forced Labor Camps

June 04, 2006 |   By Wang Xiaohua in Canada

(Clearwisdom.net) During my incarceration at the Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp in January 2002, the labor camp hospital performed a general health checkup on Falun Gong practitioners, which included an electrocardiogram, X-ray of the entire body, liver function serum test, and so on. This type of health check is not regular procedure. I now remember the particulars, given the exposure of the Chinese Communist Party organ harvesting from live practitioners. Now when I recall the health check and "special attention," I shudder.

Before I went abroad, I worked as a textile engineer at the Yunnan Province Design Institute. Because I did not renounce my belief in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," I suffered inhuman physical and mental torture. Between July 2001 and September 2003, I experienced terrible torture in a forced labor camp. My experience is only a drop in the bucket compared to what thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in China suffer.

Publicly Arrested in Office

On the morning of July 21, 2001, Ma Bin of the Politics and Security Section (now called the National Security Brigade) in the Wuhua Public Security Sub-bureau of Kunming City, three 610 Office police officers and staff from the security section at my workplace arrested me in my office. Then they ransacked my home and confiscated my Falun Dafa books, computer, and a printer valued at 10,000 yuan.

They did not allow me to eat for an entire day. That evening they pushed me into a police car through the car window. I looked back at my wife and two-year-old daughter as they chased the vehicle. Watching my anxious wife and crying daughter, my heart was very heavy. I saw that her face was pale and her arms that were holding our child trembled when I was wrenched away from them and taken to Wuhua Detention Center in Kunming City.

Humiliated and Brutal "First Meeting Gift"

At the detention center, the police searched me and confiscated all my money and personal belongings without giving me a receipt. My belt and the button and zipper head on my pants were confiscated. My shoes and socks were removed, although it was cold. I had to hold up my pants and walk barefoot down the long and icy-cold concrete corridor to the cell.

The police opened two heavy metal doors and I was "welcomed" by the head of the cell, nicknamed "Ma Lu." He was big and had black dragons tattooed all over him. He ordered other inmates to pull off all my clothes. I was naked. They checked whether I had brought anything into the cell, and then they beat me cruelly. I felt my head was empty during the beating. I tightly held and protected my head with both of my arms. In fact, every newcomer at the detention center is greeted with this "first meeting gift." People's ribs are broken and some die from the beating. It once happened that a prisoner was beaten to death and his body was left in the cell.

After the beating, my head was shaved. Then I was subjected to the "refrigerator" torture. I was forced to squat on the cement platform underneath the tap, which was just big enough for one person. Then they poured cold water all over me, even though it was the cold season. It was humiliating.

"Squatting Torture" Causes Infection of the Buttocks

The "squatting torture" requires one to put the feet under the buttocks. After a long time, the buttocks develop sores from sitting. It took two months after my release to recover from this torture.

The cell of about 50 square meters held a long board for sleeping at either end. The area between the boards was very narrow. There were over 40 people in the room, besides the head and his favorites. Inmates could only sleep on their sides and were given a smelly and very thin quilt.

Illegal Extortion

I was detained for nearly a month. At the time of my release, Wuhua Public Security Sub-bureau extorted 10,000 yuan as a so-called "bail."

Again Arrested

After my purported release, I realized that they were taking me to a brainwashing center for further persecution. This is one of the most vicious means that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) utilizes in persecuting Falun Gong. When physical torture fails to make Falun Gong practitioners give up their belief, the authorities will detain them in brainwashing centers. In the brainwashing center, practitioners suffer cruel beatings, starvation, and sleep deprivation. Besides that, the authorities try to force practitioners to write a repentance statement and the three statements to give up their belief and to slander Falun Gong. The mental pressure is unbelievable. To resist the persecution, I left home and was sad not to have said goodbye to my wife and daughter. I went to far away Guangdong Province. Within a short time, I found a job in an electric appliance company in Shunde.

However, within less than three months, I was illegally arrested again during a raid by police officers from Guangdong Province and Yunnan Province. A Falun Gong practitioner became a "public enemy" and was on the wanted list. The Ministry of Public Security searched the entire country for missing practitioners. At around 2:00 p.m. on October 30, 2001, a few dozens police officers surrounded the area where my company was located. Among them were police officer Ma Bin of the 610 Office from the National Security Brigade of the Wuhua Public Security Sub-bureau in Kunming City and Jin Jiaming from my former workplace (this person was later promoted from a driver to chief of the security section in the Yunnan Province Design Institute because he actively assisted in arresting me). I did not cooperate with the illegal arrest and loudly shouted, "Falun Dafa is good!" Seven to eight policemen pushed me to the ground, held my arms and legs, lifted me up, and threw me into the police car. The handcuffs dug into my skin. Several people tightly pulled my arms and neck from behind so that I could barely breathe. Afterwards, an insider revealed that during the several months it took to trace me, the 610 Office of Yunnan Province spent several hundred thousand yuan. It is unbelievable how much manpower, material resources, and money the CCP spends on persecuting Falun Gong!

Detention Center is a Den of Monsters and a Slave Workshop

The Yunnan Provincial Party Committee Secretary Bai Enpei persecuted Falun Dafa practitioners relentlessly. He and the committee constructed the "Yunnan Province Falun Gong transformation base" during his term. He was Qinghai Province Secretary before 2000. After I was arrested the second time, the 610 office police detained me at Wuhua Detention Center. I again suffered inhumane torture. There was a slave workshop in the detention center. The detention center often takes in manual work and forces the detainees to work, such as picking dry fruit and vegetables and nuts; putting paper boxes together; packing toothpicks; packing candles; packing tea leaves and sanitary chopsticks, and so on. Detainees will be punished if they do not complete the daily quota. Many people's hands are injured from the manual labor, because their hands are not protected. After picking dry chili with his bare hands for a long time, one prisoner's right eye was infected and he lost his sight. The products made in detention centers were basically for export. It was rumored that the majority of the products were exported to Europe, America, and other Western countries. Of course, the detainees were not paid a cent. Having enough food was the most extravagant hope we had. Basically I was hungry and cold every second and was not granted any human rights.

"Send to the Desert"

I heard rumors that Wuhua Detention Center was the most vicious detention center in Kunming City. The price for daily essentials there is more than twice the retail price at a store. Moreover, we had no control over money and belongings sent by our families. The head of the cell was in control. This prison tyrant randomly cursed at and beat us, but the guards pretended not to hear or see anything. Whenever officials inspected the prison, detainees were told how to answer questions. They had to say that the guards and police were very civilized towards the detainees and did not beat people, and so on. Chief Zhang of the Politics and Security Section (now the National Security Brigade) of Wuhua Public Security Sub-bureau once said, "With regards to Falun Gong, we arrest everyone who practices it. If you do not "transform," you will be taken to a forced labor camp. If you still do not 'transform' in the labor camp, you'll be taken to the desert."

One Year of Forced Labor

Staff from the Wuhua Public Security Sub-bureau sentenced me to one year of forced labor after 40 days. I was taken to the Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp in Dapingba, Luoci Town, Lufeng County, Chuxiong State. I refused to sign the forced labor documentation, but the police said, "It still takes effect even you do not sign." I was sent to the labor camp for further persecution.

Sunburned Heads Covered with Pus and Bloody Scabs

Division 5 of this labor camp is the "intensive training" section. There were a few dozen Falun Gong practitioners in this section. Guard Luo and instructor Liang were in charge of persecuting practitioners. New detainees were forced to undergo high strength and brutal "intensive training," besides heavy labor, such as carrying human excrement, working in the field, extracting stone, and other physically demanding tasks. Despite all that work, we were allowed only half a portion of a regular meal. We were "intensively trained" in the burning sun. Many people suffered heat stroke and fainted. Because everyone was forced to shave their heads, we were not protected against the sun. Everyone's head was burned from the strong ultraviolet radiation and became swollen. The top of our heads were full of blisters that seeped pus and left bloody scabs.

The leaders of the teams were all vicious drug addicts. The police ordered them to torture us, which included methods such as the "frog jump" and "running like a duck." They beat and kicked practitioners. I was manhandled by more than four prisoners who monitored me around the clock, even when I had to use the toilet at midnight. They did not allow practitioners to talk to each other. We were brutally mistreated for even a so-called meaningful glance. Our letters from home were not given to us and practitioners that were not "transformed" could not call their families.

Persecution Increased For Refusal to Cooperate

Because I refused to recite "Order No. 23 from the Ministry of Justice" (the CCP order governing labor camps that every detainee must recite at least twice daily), I was transferred to Division 2 for even more inhuman persecution. Guards Wang and Zhang were in charge of persecuting practitioners. Wu Jibi, the deputy chief, Yang Yongxing, the instructor, former deputy manager Ban Zhigang, who is now the manager, Chen Yingbin of the education section and Qu Kaiming from the security branch often came to Division 2 to harass practitioners. They forced us to watch video footage of CCTV and books that slandered Falun Gong and its founder. The Yunnan Province 610 Office organized many "assisting the education group" to conduct so-called "assaults on fortified positions." They intended to "transform" the detained practitioners.

The Persecution Caused the Death of My Father; My Family Was Torn Apart

After I was arrested and taken to a forced labor camp, my family members were all very worried. My aged father died from myocardial infarction in February 2002 due to the tremendous mental pressure. This was clearly caused by the evil persecution, but the authorities claimed, "Your Falun Gong makes you have no human nature, no sentiment, and caused the death of your father from unhappiness. Do you also want your old mother to die?" They also pressured my wife to distance herself from me and to divorce me. This was so cruel. I almost collapsed during that period.

I firmly demanded to be allowed to return home for my father's funeral. During those two days, Chief Qu Kaiming from the security branch and guard Yan escorted me to my hometown, several hundred kilometers away, to attend the funeral. Qu Kaiming was later promoted to chief of the Administration Section due to his role in the persecution. He was given authority to lengthen or shorten prison terms. They continued to slander Falun Gong's founder and Falun Dafa. The tried their utmost to have my classmates, colleagues, family, and friends hate Falun Dafa and practitioners. Not only did my family welcome them, they also ate, stayed at our home for free, and extorted a few hundred yuan.

"Send Them to a Desolate and Uninhabited Place and Kill Them All"

Mainly male practitioners were detained at the Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp. Many practitioners suffered brutal torture. The police ordered cell heads and prisoners to beat and threaten practitioners, barbarically force-feed them when they were on a hunger strike to protest the persecution, and tie and hang them up. These are just a few tortures suffered by practitioners. Practitioner Jiang Qibo from the Xiaolongtan Electricity Factory in Kaiyuan became mentally disordered due to the relentless persecution in Division 5, but he was still detained in a small confinement cell. Later, the police feared that the abuse would be disclosed, so they transferred him to another division. His whereabouts are unknown.

Chief Qu Kaiming from the security branch publicly said, "You firm Falun Gong practitioners should be send to a desolate and uninhabited place and should be killed." At that time, I thought it was just the raving of an evil person. But after hearing about the organ harvesting and hidden concentration camps, I now believe that he was talking about the death camps.

Illegally Detained for an Extra 280 Days

The forced labor camp has no legal authority to extend detainees' prison terms, but they brazenly violated China's existing laws by lengthened prison terms of steadfast practitioners. As far as I know, the term of Wu Guiyou of Songming County was the longest in that camp, extended by a year and a half. Then he was again sent to Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp for further persecution. My term was extended another 280 days, almost equal to my one-year term. Prison term extensions for practitioners are not rare, but a common occurrence. Due to the inhuman torture in the labor camp, part of my hair turned white within two years.

Vegetables Processing Factory Has Mosquitoes and Flies, Mice and Cockroaches Everywhere

Division 2 where I was persecuted owned some factories and farms, including a vegetable dehydrating processing factory (also called "the onion factory") and a jewel factory. The vegetable factory was in very unsanitary condition, with mosquitoes, flies mice, and cockroaches everywhere. No one was allowed a hot water shower at any time during the year. Sanitary conditions were horrible. Most of people had scabies, big blisters, and other infectious skin diseases. There were very few people who did not suffer from skin problems. Especially at night, the skin itched unbearably. When one touched the area with a finger, it bled or oozed pus. It was disgusting and terrible. After some time, even the fingers were infected and oozed pus, but we still had to work for more than 16 hours a day. No one asked whether the products met sanitary standards as long as the quota was met.

No Mosquitoes and Insects in the Toxic Factory

There were no flies or mosquitoes at the gem factory, where I worked, because the entire workshop was saturated with a green or red toxic dust and mist. Inmates at this jewel factory produced artificial jewels and crystal accessories. The process included shaping the crystal stone according to specific designs and polishing the artificial jewels and crystals. The final products were exported to bring in foreign exchange earnings. The oxidized chromium powder used for polishing is a harmful heavy metal powder. The mosquitoes and flies could not survive in this air, but we had to work in this environment for long hours. Everyone's eyelashes, noses, and ears, even their entire bodies were covered with the different colors of polishing powder. One day we looked green and the next day red. Our throat pain did not stop tormenting us for one moment.

Dying of Exhaustion -- Death Quota

We usually got up before 6:00 a.m. in the morning, began to work at 7:00 a.m., and finished at 11:00 p.m., with no break, and were allowed only a short period for eating. We ate rice mixed with sand and a few pieces of boiled rotten vegetable leaves. Flies and other insects could be found often in our vegetable soup. Every week we were allowed one meal with a little pork. But the meat came usually from a sick pig or a pig that had died of unnatural causes.

Due to long-term heavy labor, lack of nutritious food, and inhumane physical and mental torture, some people died. A strong young man who was in the cell next to me did not show up for roll call one morning. He was found in bed, his body already cold. However the officials of Division 2 were indifferent. They said that death was normal and that they had a death quota.

Half a Day of Rest after Fainting

One afternoon, when I was exposed to the hot and burning sun, I felt nauseated and then lost consciousness. When I woke up, I was lying next to the pond. There was a big cut on my head from the fall. That day I was allowed to rest for half a day. It was the only hard-won rest I had during two years in labor camp. Those who did not complete the production quota were not allowed to rest. Guards often tied them up and beat them after getting drunk or extended their prison term as a warning.

A Special Detail

In January 2002 when I was in Division 5 at the Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp (also called Yunnan Province Chunfeng School), the labor camp hospital (equal to a county-level hospital), performed a general health check on over 60 Falun Gong practitioners. They checked each practitioner's entire body, from internal organs to facial features for half a day. Everyone was given an electrocardiogram, and they x-rayed the entire body. The prison doctors checked their liver and kidneys by pressing on them, did blood tests, and so on. This health check was not performed on regular detainees. At that time, the instructors of each division brought practitioners from the forced labor camp to the hospital by car or on foot. The police said, "The Communist Party cares for you so much. To 'transform' Falun Gong practitioners it does not hesitate to spend all that money."

At that time, we thought that it was one of the CCP's hypocrisies. In order to clarify the truth and exhibit Dafa's wonderfulness, and to prove that practitioners have no physical or mental illness, we actually actively cooperated with them. With what I know now, I realize that I was naïve. After the exposure of the CCP's hidden labor camps, prisons and concentration camps, where organs are removed from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit and their bodies destroyed to hide the evidence, I tremble in fear when I recall this health checkup and the "special attention" that us practitioners were given.

In February 2005, with the help of the Canadian government, I immigrated to Canada.