Non-Practitioner: My Experience in the Tianhe Custodial Station in Guangzhou
(Clearwisdom.net) In 2001 I was arrested for doing multi-level sales (a type of sales pyramid scheme) in Guangzhou and was detained in the Tianhe Custodial Station. That year I saw many Falun Gong practitioners come in and out of the Custodial Station. They looked different from other people. They were kind and gentle.
Whenever I met them, they always told me what Falun Gong was like and why Falun Gong was persecuted and they also asked me to be a good person by abiding by the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." I developed a prejudice against Falun Gong after I watched the TV program about the Self-Immolation in Tiananmen Square shown by the Custodial Station. But Falun Gong practitioners' conduct made me realize that the government was lying. They gave me good explanations and then I understood. Many detainees there were deceived by the Chinese Communist Regime about Falun Gong, but they eventually learned the truth. Some even planned to learn Falun Gong after they were released.
Though those Falun Gong practitioners were very kind and full of compassion, the guards never spared them of abuse. The guards often called them out and had so-called "heart to heart talks" with them. They were very hypocritical and tried to lure them to be "reformed." However, most of them were very determined and refused. I came to know a Falun Gong practitioner by the name of Shi Huiwen who was a postgraduate. The guard insulted him by forcing him to sit beside the water pond for more than two months and demanded that he review his wrongdoing. He was forced to eat and sleep there and do hard labor as well. The guards tied another Falun Gong practitioner Zhu Dezhi to the ground with steel shackles with his arms around the outside of his knees and then cuffed his arms together between his legs (This type of torture was called "thread a needle and nail shackles"). He had to ask someone to help him even when he went to the toilet. Sometimes he had to evacuate his stool into a cup and wash and use the cup again.
The workload in the Tianhe Custodial Station was heavy. We had to work until after 12 a.m. When I saw those colorful light bulbs and plastic flowers before, I found them quite pretty. But now I know they are teemed with the blood and tears of many detainees. According to the law, the Custodial Station was not allowed to make money or profit. But those guards were tempted by profit and in order to get the maximum amount of bonus, they didn't care for the lives of the detainees at all. They called detainees prisoners who needed to be "reformed" through hard labor. According to the Chinese Communist Party's law, before the court gave a verdict, the detainees could not be called "prisoners." And those innocent Falun Gong practitioners, how could they be possibly called "prisoners"? What "reform" did they need? The only reason was that the guards wanted to make maximum profit from us.
Every morning as soon as the door opened, a gust of chilly wind rushed into the cell. There stood the guards and and behind them were several detainees on duty in red vests. On the guards' shoulders were old rifles. With a wave of a guard's hand, the person in charge of the cell handed in yesterday's task forms to him. Then the guard called out the names from the last to the first on the list. At that time every detainee was terrified. The following scene then would be like the one in ancient China when the County Officials judged a case. The torture method, Beating with a Rod, was used. Those who did poorly at work would be ordered to take off their pants and lie on their stomachs. The detainees on duty with the rifles on their shoulders stood beside. They threw the rifles backwards a bit and then beat with force the buttocks of those lying on the ground. The wail of the wind, the sound of the beating and the cries of the torture victims filled the air. It was like being in hell. Before I was sent to the Custodial Station, I had heard that in Southern China it was quite open to the outside world and more civilized and I always longed to go there to have a look myself. It was beyond my imagination that in such a big and modern city there was a barbaric place like this. One Falun Gong practitioner named Wang Jinhua was beaten with a rod five times. As a result he could hardly walk. It was usual practice in the Custodial Station that the guards slapped detainees' faces and put fetters on their feet.
The guards there were not only cruel but also hypocritical. Every time officials from a higher level or from community groups or from the People's Congress Standing Committee came to investigate, they would make the detainees memorize standard answers and would warn them that whoever didn't reply with the standard answers would be punished later on. Here are some examples: If officials asked if they had enough to eat, detainees should reply, "Yes, we have enough." "How many hours do you work?" The standard answer was of course "eight hours." "Do the guards swear at you or beat you?" The answer was definitely, "No, they don't. They take good care of us and often chat with us," and so on. You can see that even inside the Chinese Communist Party, they are cheating each other. They do great evil but still pretend as though they have done good deeds. Even the vicious guards would not be ashamed in front of the officials because the officials are even more vile.