Ten Years of Persecution; Five Years a Captive (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Chen Xuzhong and I am 38 years old. I have benefited tremendously ever since I took up Falun Gong practice.
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began its persecution of Falun Gong in 1999 I was arrested numerous times and sent to forced labor twice. I was a captive and lost my personal freedom for a total of five years during the past ten years. Below I detail the incidents I had to deal with under the persecution.
1. Arrested by National Security Officers; Funds Extorted
A group of six practitioners, including me, were watching one of Master's lecture videos at a fellow practitioner's home on January 23, 2000. The practitioner's colleague from his workplace reported us to the authorities. Xu Bin and a few other agents from Jinchang City National Security Bureau arrived and arrested us. Pretending to be water company employees, they deceived us into opening the door. They confiscated all the Falun Gong books and truth clarification materials in the home before taking the six of us to the police department, where they subjected each of us a 15-day "administrative detention" term and took us to the city jail to serve our time. Our families arrived on the fifteenth day to pick us up. The guards ordered them to persuade us to write guarantee statements. Seeing that none of us wrote such statements, and fearing that we might go to Beijing to appeal, the guards decided not to release us, but instead sent us straight to the city detention center.
As soon as we arrived, we were strip-searched. Our captors confiscated several copies of Master's articles that I had with me. The guards instructed my cell mates to beat me badly and to exert every effort to prevent me from practicing the Falun Gong exercises. About 20 days later someone from my employer, the Jinchang Electricity Bureau, arrived to process the paperwork for me as "awaiting trial at home upon payment of bail." The guards set the bail amount at 2,000 yuan (see below for receipt) and forced me to write a guarantee statement before finally releasing me.
Preceipt of bail money
2. Remaining Destitute to Avoid Arrest
I went to see another practitioner on September 4, 2001. A plainclothes policewoman followed and then captured me. Being put in handcuffs and kept in Xincun Police Station for a night, I managed to loosen the handcuffs and escape at noon the next day. That afternoon, Wang Yongcheng and Wei Fulin from the Xincun Police Station went to my home to look for me. To avoid arrest I went to Lanzhou City, where my newly-wed wife of two months later found me. The two of us wandered around in Lanzhou for two weeks before returning home. Local police station agents pressured me to write a guarantee statement and had me pay a so-called "administrative fine" before allowing my employer to let me resume work.
3. First Incarceration at Gansu First Forced Labor Camp
Peng Weiping, Yongchang County Police Department Political Head, and Li Guoyu, Yongchang County Police Department Political and Security Section head, and their accomplices went to my workplace on March 24, 2002, to find me. Without producing any warrants, they turned my office upside down. Unable to find anything they wanted, they ordered me to the police department "for a talk." I went with them, only to find it was a deception to get me there. They later subjected me to three years of forced labor.
After arriving at the police department, the officers filled out the "notice of summons," began to interrogate me, and took me to the county detention center, where I was kept for 52 days. The police held a so-called "public arrest meeting" in the county stadium on May 14, 2002. More than 20 Falun Gong practitioners, including myself, were made to wear signs bearing slanderous words around our necks. The stadium was packed. The police announced our arrests and terms of forced labor. Then the police paraded us on the street. Thirteen practitioners and I were sent to the Gansu First Detention Center after the humiliating parade. I was given a three-year term of forced labor.
I was detained in Division Five at the labor camp. The guards body-searched me and checked my luggage as soon as I arrived. They made two "monitors" (drug addicts assigned to keep close watch on practitioners) keep me under 24-hour surveillance, forbidding me to speak with anyone. Political head Li Zhengang and cell head Ma Jinzhou gave orders to deprive me of sleep for four straight days and made me stand for long periods of time each day, beginning in the evening. After midnight I was so fatigued that I couldn't help but sway from side to side. As soon as I closed my eyes, the two "monitors" poked me hard to wake me up. I managed to stay awake till dawn, only to find that I had to do hard labor during the day. No nap was allowed at noon. Then evening came, and I had to stand again. After several days of this I became extremely fatigued and was disoriented at times. The two "monitors" said they had learned this tactic from the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, where practitioners were tormented until they bent and gave up their belief.
Camp officials intensified their abuse and gross mistreatment of practitioners in May 2003. Division head Li Wenhui made me do the heaviest job--pulling carts loaded with bricks. At night I wasn't allowed to sleep. This torment lasted for four days.
Between 2002 and 2003, slogans in large print were seen everywhere on the labor camp's red walls; many detainees were ordered to wear a green military uniform. Such an isolated environment made me feel we had been cut off from the rest of the world.
Living conditions were extremely poor. Each cell held about 20 people, yet only one bucket of water per day was rationed. We would be lucky if we could bathe once a month. The workload was excessive, without breaks during the day. We often couldn't even straighten our backs by the end of the day. We had to go out at 6:30 a.m. during the busy farming season and didn't return until 9:00 p.m., working 13-14 hours straight. Our clothes were soaked in sweat, which dried as salt crystals. After a long day of wielding shovels, our knuckles swelled and hurt. We couldn't even straighten our fingers when we rose in the morning. The farm work included raising corn and other vegetables, weeding and plowing. The guards ordered us to work fast, without a break.
For construction work we had to carry bags of concrete and sand, dig ditches, plant trees, and pull carts loaded with bricks. Many migrant workers didn't want to do these jobs, even for pay. But the guards forced practitioners to do the labor-intensive work to make money for them. Digging ditches that were deeper than one person made us exhausted and dizzy by the end of the day. We had to walk long distances when pulling carts loaded with bricks, resulting in leg cramps and blisters on our feet.
In March 2004 camp officials gathered all the detained practitioners into Team 16, Division Six, and dubbed the team "The Falun Gong Special Management Team." When team leaders ordered practitioners in May to write the "three statements" I firmly refused. Deputy division head Wang Xuxing then urged detainee Hou Jun to punish me. I was forced to walk in a military pose during the day and stand for long periods at night. Around midnight, team head Bian Yunsheng took me to his office, where he handcuffed me behind my back and hung me up by the handcuffs to the metal window bar, with my feet barely touching the ground. All my weight was concentrated on my wrists, causing excruciating pain. My hair was soon soaked in sweat, and my arms lost sensation. When I was let down the next morning, my arms felt as if they were not mine. The handcuffs left bloody marks on the backs of my hands and didn't disappear until more than a year later. The piercing pain felt at my fingertips and the numbness in my fingers didn't improve until six months later.
Since I still refused to give up my belief, even after that one-night ordeal, Li Wenhui put me in a confined cell, where he deprived me of sleep for six nights. Moreover, he twisted my hands behind my back and handcuffed them to the heating pipe in such a position that I could neither squat, nor stand for a night and half a day. One of my legs soon became numb, and I was in great pain. I had to put my weight on the other leg. Not long after, both legs went numb. This torture was even more painful than a beating. The guards often used such despicable means to mistreat practitioners.
My wife couldn't bear the pressure of my being detained for the three years and divorced me.
4. Second Incarceration at Gansu First Labor Camp
After I was released from the labor camp in March 2005, my employer treated me unfairly. I was paid a monthly stipend of only 500 yuan for the first year of my return. Local police station personnel created a special "target person profile" of me, and ordered me to sign a document every three months.
Yongchang County Police Department Political head Peng Weiping, Li Guoyu from the Domestic Security Division, and local police officer Zhao Jixiang came to my workplace on August 1, 2006, and took me with them to ransack my home. They confiscated the laptop my employer had supplied and kept me at my home.
I had returned home from outside on August 3, 2006, at around 10:00 p.m., when Zhao Jixiang and a few other policemen followed and arrested me. They took me to the county police department, where Li Guoyu and Chai Zhongxi from the Domestic Security Division interrogated me and attempted to extort a confession from me. I was transferred to the county detention center very early the next day.
The police interrogated me a few more times afterwards. I simply refused to cooperate with them. Without evidence, the prosecutor refused to issue an arrest warrant. Detention center officials had no other option but to issue the release warrant on August 17, 2008, but Domestic Security agents didn't release me until 20 days later.
To extort a confession from me, the detention center guards often incited other detainees to beat me savagely. During my 35 days of detention, I had to daily paste labels on matchboxes from dawn to dusk. A seemingly easy job, this task was daunting and exhausting because of the huge quota of 10,000-15,000 matchboxes per day. If I couldn't finish this quota, I had to stay up to get it done. Not long after, my fingernails came loose, and my fingertips bled.
The police transferred me and another practitioner to a different detention facility on September 9, 2006. Three days later, Jinchang Forced Labor Committee agents put me on "trial." This committee was actually the Jinchang Police Department's Legal Section. The police arrested practitioners and then decided themselves what to charge the practitioners with. At the end of the trial the committee decided that I should serve time outside the labor camp; however, the same committee "tried" me for a second time on the 28th and handed me a two-year forced labor term.
Practitioners Li Yuanji and Qi Manjun were given a forced labor term at the same time.
I was sent to the Gansu First Forced Labor Camp for the second time on October 12, 2006. Because I refused to cooperate, the guards put me in a confined cell for nine days in early November. I was deprived of sleep and had to participate in brainwashing sessions. Political Head Li Wenhui, badge number is 6222238, was the one responsible.
Monitor Zhang Hongniu (a detainee charged with theft) reported me to the guards in May 2007. As a result, I was forced to stand long periods every night for a whole week. The guards didn't let me sleep until after one o'clock in the morning. Two other practitioners, Li Yuanji and Cao Qiang, were also abused this way. Team head Han Ximing, badge number 6222219, was responsible.
Beginning in 2007, camp officials began a more "delicate and disguised" campaign against Falun Gong practitioners. The "new campaign" manifested in two ways:
First, there was less violence but more brainwashing. When no hard labor was scheduled, camp officials would arrange all kinds of seminars for us to watch videos and write our thoughts. Their intent was to instill CCP's lies in us and to slander Falun Gong. The camp held regular meetings at which practitioners were put under pressure and compelled to criticize Falun Gong and break with it. Fearing practitioners might declare their former statements denouncing Falun Gong null and void, camp officials had practitioners regularly write their thoughts. The camp kept newly arrived practitioners in an isolated place and intimidated them into writing all kinds of statements.
Second, superficially viewed, the camp appeared more civilized: no excessive hard labor and lessened beatings. Determined practitioners were still sent to confined cells, though. The guards covered the windows with paper and continued their torture of practitioners inside these cells. The "monitors" actively helped to wantonly abuse practitioners, including beating, brainwashing, and shocking with electric batons. When certain practitioners gave up their belief against their will, the guards and "monitors" would temporarily stop the torture, but once these practitioners declared they would resume their practice of Falun Gong, they were sent to confined cells and suffered again.
My two years of labor camp incarceration ended in August 2008. Following my release, officials at my workplace treated me unfairly and paid me only a monthly stipend of 600 yuan.
The above incidents are recollections of abuse and mistreatment I was compelled to endure over the past nine years.
Written on July 24, 2009