An Account of the Persecution Suffered by Ms. Tan Shaowei from Guangzhou (Part 1)
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Tan Shaowei. I have been illegally arrested, detained, tortured, and persecuted in other ways since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began its persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. I have been detained in the Chatou Forced Labor Camp, the Guangzhou City so-called “Legal System Education School” that is actually a brainwashing center, the Hongshan Addiction Treatment Center in Huangpu, and the Guangdong Province Legal System Center in Sanshui City.
1. Detained in a Detention Center
I started practicing Falun Gong in 1998. I went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong in October 1999 and was arrested on Tiananmen Square. I was detained for over ten days in the Beijing West Train Station Detention Center. There, I was interrogated, beaten, handcuffed in a painful position (one arm over my shoulder and the other behind my back) and verbally abused every day.
I took my son with me to Beijing to display truth-clarification banners in June 2000. The Guangzhou City Puhui Village police heard about it and came to arrest me at home. They later forced me to move from my rented home and told me that my son wouldn't be allowed to attend kindergarten because I practiced Falun Gong. A few days after I moved, the police and the 610 Office personnel started to monitor me around the clock, even when I went to the supermarket. I was also told to report to the police station every day. I was under so much pressure and stress that I left home to avoid further persecution.
I was arrested when I checked into a hotel in Beijing early one morning in July 2000. I had intended to go to Tiananmen Square to validate the Fa that afternoon, but someone had reported me to the authorities. I was taken to Fengtai Detention Center and detained for over ten days. Then, personnel from the Fengcun 610 Office, police station, street office, and residential committee transferred me to Fengcun Detention Center in Guangzhou City.
New detainees weren't allowed to buy their daily necessities and had to use someone else's cast-offs, including toothbrushes, wash towels, and soap. Some people caught contagious diseases because of this rule. In addition, we had to squat down whenever we went in or out of the detention center. If someone didn't squat down, the guards kicked them. My legs became swollen after the guards viciously kicked me because I didn't squat down. Detainees were also forced to do hard labor, making handicrafts for export. I was transferred to Chatou Forced Labor Camp a month later because I wouldn't give up practicing Falun Gong. I was detained there for almost two years.
2. Persecution in Chatou Forced Labor Camp
Soon after arriving at the forced labor camp in September 2000, I was detained in the Second Brigade, and later transfered to the Third Brigade, when the two brigades were swapped. On the day of the exchange, about ten practitioners, including myself, were put into a transport vehicle that had only two small windows. When one of the practitioners shouted a few words in support of Falun Gong, the guards sprayed pepper-spray inside the vehicle. As a result, we had difficulty breathing and our eyes became irritated and sore. A day or two later, we experienced diarrhea and vomiting for an entire night. We weren't taken to a hospital until a security guard came on duty the following morning.
The water pipes that connected the forced labor camp to Zhujiang River in Guangzhou City broke in March 2001, and about 800 people in the forced labor camp didn't have clean water to drink or shower, causing many to contract a skin disease.
To torture steadfast practitioners, the guards forced them to do training exercises outside at about 2:00 p.m., the hottest time of the day, while the guards stayed inside their air conditioned rooms.
As a form of humiliation, whenever family visiting hours were over, for a period of time the guards ordered the criminal inmates to strip-search practitioners to make sure they didn't have any “banned items” hidden on their bodies. I was searched like this twice.
One morning in 2002, when the guards tried to force several practitioners to have a physical check-up, three other practitioners and I shouted words of encouragement to support them. As a result, the guards along with several criminal inmates came to our cells later that night, handcuffed the four of us—Guo Yafeng, Deng Shaoxia, Wang Huimin, and myself—and took us to different areas. My mouth was taped shut, and my hands and feet were cuffed together for about an hour before they carried me to another room. There, they spread my legs as wide as they could and handcuffed me to a windowsill until about 7:00 p.m., when they realized that I had lost consciousness. I had been handcuffed for more than ten hours.
From that night on, the four of us were not allowed to take a shower for 15 days. Each day, we were only allowed to use 250-300 milliliters of drinking water for everything. We wrote a complaint letter together to the Public Prosecuting Office about the abuse at the forced labor camp, but we don't know if it ever got sent. This type of persecution happened to other practitioners as well.
Other forms of persecutions practitioners endured in the forced labor camp included doing forced labor for over ten hours every day; sleep deprivation; being forced to squat when talking to the guards; being forced to write a weekly “thought report”; writing a “review” after watching programs that slandered Dafa; being allowed only ten minutes to shower or do laundry (elderly practitioners were often shouted at for being too slow); being forbidden to use the restroom or to look at other practitioners; and having their cells frequently searched.
Some practitioners were handcuffed with their hands and legs spread and cuffed to the bed posts because they refused to do forced labor. They weren't allowed to use the restroom and had to urinate or defecate in their pants, causing several practitioners' buttocks to become raw and infected. One practitioner's hair turned all gray after being cuffed to the bed for a whole month. When her father came to visit her, the guards dyed her hair black in order to cover up their crime. Practitioners Zhou Jieli and Song Zun were mistreated until they suffered a mental collapse. Their family members have not been able to bring those responsible to justice
Immediately after a practitioner is brought to the forced labor camp, she is closely monitored around the clock. Inmates who were chosen to monitor practitioners were considered the most qualified “ruffians,” and they recorded everything the practitioner said and did, including any emotional changes a practitioner experienced. They reported all of this to the guards. Practitioner Ms. Gu Wanmei went on a hunger strike to protest the vicious persecution. When she was physically and mentally weak from torture, she was taken advantage of by the inmates who monitored her and she signed the three statements.
I was supposed to be detained for only a year in the forced labor camp, but my term was extended an additional 11 months because of my refusal to give up Falun Gong. I was to be released on June 7, 2002. However, without my prior knowledge, I was taken to the Chatou Legal System and Education School instead. There, I was tied to a chair for a long period of time. A month later, they transferred me to a more vicious place, the Huangpu Hongshan Addiction Treatment Center (actually a brainwashing center), where I felt as if I was in hell.
3. Hongshan Addiction Treatment Center
Practitioner Ms. Peng and I were arrested and taken to the Hongshan Addiction Treatment Center in July 2002. While we were being handed over to the authorities at the center, I tried to run away because I was afraid of being persecuted there again. I didn't get far before the police caught up with me and hit my neck from behind. I passed out and was carried to the fifth floor where the brainwashing center was located. Two years later, the wound on my hand and neck from that day still causes me discomfort and I get headaches.
After arriving at the brainwashing center, several employees threatened me, saying, “If you still keep your faith, we want you to know what you're going to suffer. We'll get a psychiatrist to certify that you're ill and you'll be taken to a mental hospital, where you'll get electric shocks. Your husband will be ordered to divorce you. We'll say that you committed suicide if we throw you out the window. We'll hang you up from the ceiling.”
One morning, Qiu Chaohua, the so-called “captain,” angrily entered the cell where I was detained and started beating me. He stopped only after he became too tired to continue. I was beaten so much that I almost lost consciousness and I would've fallen down if I hadn't been sitting down. During the following days, it seemed that I was with the devil himself.
Practitioners detained in the brainwashing center lived in a state of terror if they didn't write the three statements. They were tortured to a state of desperation.
Before I was sent to the Hongshan Addiction Treatment Center, there were already over 200 practitioners detained there and suffering different types of torture. The torture methods used left very few scars on your body, but they made you almost wish to die. On extremely hot and humid days, we were required to wear long-sleeve shirts and thick pants to cover up our wounds when we left the cell. After midnight, they would come to torture us so viciously that our painful screams could be heard by everyone.
(End of Part 1)