Twelve Years of Atrocities at the Yunnan Province Women's Labor Camp
Name: Tao Yonghong (陶永红)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: June 9, 2011
Most Recent Place of Detention: Maoming City No. 1 Detention Center (茂名第一看守所)
Persecution Suffered: Detention, beatings, home ransacked
(Clearwisdom.net) Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began its persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to the Yunnan Province Women's Labor Camp because of their belief.
Initially, both male and female practitioners were incarcerated at the Yunnan Second Labor Camp. Starting in 2000, regime officials put the female practitioners in the Yunnan Province Women's Labor Camp and Kunming City Drug Addiction Treatment Center. The majority of the detainees at the women's camp were female prostitutes. Labor camp officials used them to monitor and persecute Falun Gong practitioners.
The Yunnan Women's Labor Camp consists of three divisions, with more than 300 detainees in each division. Upon arrival, all practitioners received intensified “training” in Division 3 for about one month. Most of them were then sent to Division 1 or Division 2 for full-time labor while those who yielded [to their captors' demands] were kept at Division 3. Practitioners who gave up the practice of Falun Dafa in Division 3 were often subjected to brainwashing. These sessions usually held 50 people and consisted of a half-day of forced labor then a half-day of brainwashing. If someone decided to begin practicing Falun Gong again, she might be put in a solitary confinement cell, or sent to Division 1 or Division 2 for long-term forced labor.
In this article we will discuss the various methods used at the Yunnan Women's Labor Camp to persecute practitioners.
I. Practitioners Died as a Result of Torture
Mistreatment at the Women’s Labor Camp has included brainwashing, forced abortion, torture, and hard labor, among other forms of abuse. At least four Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of torture: Ms. Yang Suhong, Ms. He Meihua, Ms. Yang Sufen, and Ms. Chen Shuqiu.
(1) Ms. Yang Suhong, a 24-year-old practitioner, was sent to the camp on November 30, 2004 by officials from the Xishan District 610 Office in Kunming City and the local Domestic Security Division.
Emaciated and in a life-threatening condition due to torture, Ms. Yang returned home and died.
Ms. Yang was emaciated and near death as a result of brutal brainwashing and torture. She was released in May 2005. She died about one month later, on June 11, 2005.
Physically disabled, Ms. Yang was only 4 feet tall and weighed 51 pounds. Kunming Tumor Hospital physicians diagnosed her in 1998 with late-stage bone cancer. Doctors said she would only live for a few more months. After beginning to practice Falun Gong in February 1998, Ms. Yang followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Her illnesses miraculously disappeared. The doctor who once examined her was surprised, “I cannot believe you are still alive!” (Full story: Disabled Young Woman Persecuted to Death in Yunnan Province)
(2) Ms. He Meihua was an employee at the Jinping County Farm in Yunnan Province. Officials from the Jinping County 610 Office and local police sent her to the Yunnan Women's Labor Camp for a term of one year. Every day, she was subjected to brainwashing and had to do forced labor. Inmates often swore at Ms. He, deprived her of sleep, put her in solitary confinement, and forced her to write the three statements to give up her belief in Falun Dafa. Her physical condition gradually deteriorated and her life was in danger. Labor camp officials finally released her, but she died soon afterwards.
(3) Ms. Chen Shuqiu, a 56-year-old retired worker, was arrested while she was distributing informational materials about Falun Dafa on May 18, 2001. Officials sent her to the labor camp and kept her in Division 2. Guards forced her to watch practitioners being beaten, causing her blood pressure to reach 230/120. Although she needed to rest in bed, the guards still forced her to do labor. Only after a doctor examined her and confirmed her severe physical condition, did the officials release Ms. Chen on medical parole.
After Ms. Chen returned home, agents from the Daguan Police Station in Kunming City often went to her home to harass her. She died in October 2004.
(4) Ms. Yang Sufen was a 52-year-old retiree from Jijie Railway Station in Gejiu City. When she was distributing informational materials and explaining the facts about Falun Dafa on March 21, 2005, agents from the Jijie Police Department arrested her. Officials from the Gejiu 610 Office and local police department sent her to the labor camp for a term of two and a half years. Due to the torture and brainwashing, Ms. Yang's health deteriorated. She was released in June 2007 and died in the Kaiyuan Railway Hospital at 9:00 am on November 11, 2007.
II. Various Means Utilized to Persecute Detainees at the Labor Camp
After a prisoner arrived at the labor camp, they were usually sent to Division 3 to receive military-style training for one month. They were also subjected to the following abuses:
(1) Body search with all clothes removed. Even if the guards did not find anything, they took the practitioners' clothes and soaked them in water. There was no exception, even if it was during cold days in the winter.
(2) Forced to recite camp rules. Those who were unable to recite the rules were deprived of sleep.
(3) Forced drills and marching, even in the hot sun or pouring rain. Anyone who failed to meet the criteria was additionally physically punished by being forced to stand facing a wall or forced to stand under the hot sun for a long time.
(4) Impromptu evening gatherings were also held for drills.
The camp has several monitoring rooms. Falun Gong practitioners were detained in these rooms, enduring severe restrictions. Inmates were assigned to follow them even when they went to the bathroom.
Two inmates were assigned to each practitioner during brainwashing sessions. They monitored practitioners 24 hours a day and forced them to read materials that slandered Falun Gong.
Under orders of Wang Tianxi from the Yunnan Province 610 Office, Yunnan Province officials spent hundreds of thousands of yuan in September and November 2000 to hire “experts” from the Masanjia Labor Camp to come to Yunnan Province. They placed practitioners in solitary confinement and took turns abusing them.
Meanwhile, Wang Tianxi led other officials, including Cai Chaodong and Xiang Xiang, to defame Falun Gong. They also ordered practitioners' co-workers and spouses to come and talk with the practitioners, trying to pressure them to give up the practice.
Officials forced practitioners to work 15, or even 20 hours a day. The officials also utilized other strategies: spouses threatening divorce; elderly relatives threatening suicide, and other forms of severe psychological pressure. All these were used to force practitioners to give up their belief. About 1,000 practitioners from various places in Yunnan Province were sent to the brainwashing center and were mistreated this way.
Physical Abuse and Torture
Yunnan practitioner Ms. Wang Yulan was arrested in June 2002 and sent to the Labor Camp on August 23, 2002. Guards at Division 1 tormented her with intensive labor, including forcing her to carry human excrement. One day, officer Zhang ordered Ms. Wang to dig through a reeking trash pile that was filled with all kinds of insects and maggots. Some of them even crawled on Ms. Wang's feet. The next day her feet were swollen and reddish. She was unable to go to work, yet the guards still forced her to do sewing at the factory unit.
After sitting there laboring day after day, Ms. Wang's feet became more and more swollen. They became so swollen that they began to bleed. She had to tie her feet to her shoes with cloth strips and continued to work as usual.
When inmate Li Xiaodong saw Ms. Wang doing the Falun Gong exercises, she pushed Ms. Wang to the floor, sat on her, and beat her. After a while, she choked Ms. Wang. Ms. Wang was locked up at the labor camp for two years and 70 days.
The following conditions were endured by practitioners while performing forced labor:
The working hours were 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or midnight; sometimes even until 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. Lunch break was one hour; dinner break was one and a half hours.
Grinding, cleaning, and gluing gems: limewater was used to grind and clean gems, which caused the workers' hands to become swollen, torn, and pus-ridden. Due to the long-term exposure to high-intensity light, many people experienced dizziness and reduced vision.
Hard labor: carrying human waste, digging in the field, etc.
Sewing: sewing zippers, embroidery, making bracelets, etc.
Manufacturing toys: often exposed to toxic materials with a pungent odor.
Two to six inmates were assigned to each Falun Gong practitioner. They often checked if practitioners had Falun Gong materials or money. In the evening they forced practitioners to recite camp policies and prohibited them from sleeping if the practitioners would not recite them. In addition, the inmates forced practitioners to watch videos that defamed Falun Gong and tried to make them write the three statements.
Guards tormented and tortured determined practitioners using these methods:
(1) Extending the detention term.
(2) Placing in solitary confinement. Ms. Liao Xiuqiong, a practitioner in her 60s from Jianshui County, had been detained in solitary confinement for more than six months and was sometimes deprived of food.
(3) Forcing practitioners to sit on small stools for more than 10 hour a day, sometimes for several consecutive days. The guards would not stop this torture, even if practitioners had ulcers on their buttocks as a result of the long-term sitting.
(4) Implication: Punishing all inmates in the same cell together with practitioners, in order to stir up hatred against the practitioners.
(5) Beating and covering the mouths of practitioners who did the exercises or called out “Falun Dafa is good.” Because Ms. Yang Luanying called out, “Falun Dafa is good” and, “Restore my Master's reputation,” the inmates pushed her to the floor, gagged her with a dirty mop and beat her.
Torture re-enactment: Gagging with dirty rags
(6) Force-feeding practitioners who held hunger strikes: When practitioner Ms. Yao held a protest hunger strike for 90 days, guards inserted a tube and force-fed her every day. This led to injury in her nostrils and esophagus. She bled after each force-feeding.
Ms. Liu Zhiping is a 32-year-old employee for the Chuxiong Zhou Transportation Corporation. Officials from the Chuxiong Region 610 Office and local police sentenced her to two years of forced labor and held her at the Yunnan Province Forced Labor Camp.
Ms. Liu was already three months pregnant when she was sent to the labor camp. On the next day after her arriving there, she was forced to do hard labor during the daytime because she was found doing the Falun Gong exercises. She was forced to run in the field at night until morning. This continued for one week. One day, after running until 2:00 a.m., Ms. Liu protested by doing the exercises. Two inmates beat her hard, put her by herself in a cell, and handcuffed her hands separately to two beds.
When labor camp officials found out that Ms. Liu was pregnant, they forced her to have an abortion. The first attempt failed. Then, during her fifth month of pregnancy, guards sent her to a hospital again in August 2000 and forced her to have an abortion.
III. Personnel Responsible for the Persecution
Yu Xiaonan, labor camp head: +86-871-7337289, +86-13099416601
Tan Nianping, political head: +86-871-7337382, +86-13099415617
Cai Chaodong, propaganda department officer in Yunnan Province: +86-871-4113986 (Office), +86-871-3197627 (Home), +86-13708768625
Xiang Xiang, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences researcher: +86-871-4154724 (Office), +86-871-4161051(Home), +86-13708796315
Wang Tianxi, head of Yuannan 610 Office
Sheng Yunfu, former head of Yunnan Province 610 Office head (through April 2004)