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Firsthand Account of the Inhumane Conditions at Hebei Province Women's Forced Labor Camp

December 09, 2011 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner from Hebei Province, China

(Clearwisdom.net) Below are what I witnessed firsthand at Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp from 2009 to 2010. Although these are just some snapshots, they are enough to reflect the depth of the evil in this forced labor camp. The guards there are extremely inhumane.

There were four divisions in the camp before 2010. Some individual guards in Divisions I and III were exposed for their crimes, but nothing conclusive was done about it. The guards in Division II have been committing crimes for years and as far as I know, they have not been exposed and are still committing crimes today. They have been able to conceal their deeds almost completely.

Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp was built in 2007. The initial group of employees came from Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp and they were among the most evil guards there. They included: Zang Zhiying (hometown in Handan, her husband also works in the forced labor camp), Liang Xiaohui, division captain Li Yanji (hometown in Chengde), and Fan Biaolu (her husband also works in the forced labor camp) of Division II; and captain Wang Xin, Niu Li, and Zhang Jiwei (transferred to Division II in July 2010) of Division III.

The Crimes of Guards in Division II

The main guards in Division II are Zang Zhiying, Liang Xiaohui, Li Yanji, Fan Biaolu, and Li Xiaoli. In the winter of 2009, Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhao Xiufen was hung on the window of a storage room for 12 hours for not doing the “100 points” (a torture method). The handcuffs cut deeply into her skin. Ms. Zhao said to them, “Do not do this to me. It is not good for you. You will receive retribution for it.” Zang Zhiying then said that Ms. Zhao had cursed her. She tortured Ms. Zhao for several more days and extended Ms. Zhao's detention by one month, and then extended it by another three days every month.

Practitioner Ms. Han Yuheng worked in Qinhuangdao City's education system. She would not compromise her belief, and the guards and collaborators who had betrayed their beliefs took turns to try to “transform” her, but Ms. Han held on firmly. Zang Zhiying asked to transfer Ms. Han to “Class III,” which she managed. Others prisoners would have their detention period reduced by three days every month if they worked, but Ms. Han was forced to work, and her detention period was instead extended by three days every month. Moreover, many times, Zang Zhiying insulted Ms. Han in front of more than 100 people. She forced Ms. Han to stand facing over 100 people and be humiliated and cursed at. Ms. Han was monitored and followed by other prisoners 24 hours a day.

Practitioner Ms. Zhao Yuxiang from Langfang is over 50 years old. When she first got into the forced labor camp, she looked very good and young. But her looks completely changed after she was tortured physically and mentally with all kinds of methods in Division II. At first when Ms. Zhao shouted “Falun Dafa is good!” in the hallway, none of the ordinary prisoners minded. Zang Zhiying yelled at them, “What are you people doing here? Why don't you react when she does that?” The next time Ms. Zhao shouted, “Falun Dafa is good” all of them came at her together and brutally beat her and slapped her face. Ms. Zhao's legs and hip were all purple as the result of the beatings. They were afraid that she would scream when they beat her, so they taped up her mouth. They also taped her entire body sometimes to force her to stop doing the exercises.

Torture re-enactment: Taping the mouth

The class captain, Fan Biaolu, and Division captain Li Yanji where Ms. Zhao was detained also tortured her many times. Fan Biaolu hung Ms. Zhao up on a bed frame many times using handcuffs and only let the tips of Ms. Zhao's toes touch the ground. On the 2010 Chinese Year, Fan Biaolu again hung Ms. Zhao up this way and did not let her down until the fourth day.

Torture re-enactment: Hung up on a bed frame

Fan Biaolu is a very bad person but is very good at hiding it. She is selfish and likes to take advantage of others. She takes all the dirty clothes and bedsheets from her home and has the practitioners wash them. There are cabbages growing at the forced labor camp, and she often takes them home. Division II was processing curtains for a factory, and Fan Biaolu and other Division captains frequently take them home.

Gao Min (from Sichuan, detained for making pyramid sales) and Cui Yuanfeng (from Northeastern China, detained for fighting) became the personal servants and hatchet women for the police. They would beat whoever the guards ordered them to beat. Other prisoners who have helped the guards torture practitioners include Li Na (from Handan, who beat someone to death with her boyfriend, and her family spent over 100,000 yuan so she would only spend one year doing forced labor), Li Xuyang (from Baoding, detained for prostitution), and Bai Qiaolian (from Baoding, detained for theft and prostitution).

Once a practitioner enters the forced labor camp, that night she is not allowed to sleep and the collaborators attempt to “transform” her all night long. Guards take turns yelling at her, and if she does not give up, she will be forced to stand for the entire night and not allowed to sleep, wash, or use the restroom, even on summer days when it is 30 or 40 degrees Celsius. If she still does not give up, she will be handcuffed and they will try to hold her hand to force a finger print on a pre-written "statement." It is said that they are rewarded several tens of thousands of yuan for each “transformed” practitioner. The torture does not end with this forced “transformation.” Each month she is forced to “add 100 points” (a mental torture), and ordered to write slanderous words about Teacher Li and Falun Gong. If she refuses, the torture will continue. The labor camp's rule is that if one does labor, her term will be reduced. But if she refuses to say slanderous words about Teacher Li and Falun Gong, then her term will be increased while she does labor and she will also be punished by being allowed family visits. There is constant mental and physical pain, beginning every morning when she opens her eyes.

Division II captain Li Yanji often says during his “talks:” “Nowadays the chances for reducing one's term are becoming fewer and fewer, but the chances of extending one's term are getting greater and greater.” In the words of the police, Division II does best in “ideology work,” and Division III does best in production work, i.e. it completes the most forced labor products and makes the most money.

A newly detained practitioner can often be seen dragged in by guards while being beaten. Some practitioners who shout “Falun Dafa is good” have their mouths taped shut and are handcuffed and directly taken to small cells to be tortured. A practitioner from Tangshan, Lu Suhua, had her arm broken in Division I because she refused to give up her belief.

Evil Crimes of Guards in Division III

Guards in Division III include Niu Li, Lu Yaqin, Wang Xin, Wang Haiyan, Zhang Jingjing, Zhao Xiaomeng, Zhang Jiwei, and Ding Jiajia. Niu Li often curses at practitioners. Whenever she and Lu Yaqin are on duty, they will gather the monitoring prisoners to have meetings, in which they make all kinds of plans about how to monitor and torture practitioners. Li Mengyun (from Xinji, detained for prostitution) said, “Let me tell you, all these plans are made for you, Falun Gong, and none of them are for us ordinary prisoners.”

The guards often find excuses to torture practitioners. Lu Yanqin changes the methods of torturing practitioners. Practitioner Ms. Guo Ruiyun was detained for one year and nine months. Division I could not “transform” her and thus she was transferred to Division III. Lu Yaqin used all kinds of ways to torture Ms. Guo and once she subjected Ms. Guo to sleep deprivation torture for more than five months. Ms. Guo took the lead in not doing the “100 points,” and it created an atmosphere in Division III. Most of the practitioners who came in later did not cooperate with the guards and did not accept the “100 points.”

In July 2010, Ms. Zhao Limei from Baoding was confined in a small cell for 13 days by Lu Yaqin because she did not squat down and say her number at roll call. It was hot summer at that time. The door and windows of the confinement room are sealed with sponges. The peephole on the door was the only ventilation. It was hard to breathe inside in summer. Ms. Zhao was carried back to the dormitory building after 10 p.m. every night and taken to the confined room before 4 a.m. every morning. She was given one meal a day. There was a bucket in the room that functioned as a chamberpot. It was not emptied even when it was full. The guards just wanted to make her smell the odor. When the guards carried her back to the dormitory building, they hit and kicked her. More than ten days later, Ms. Zhao was very weak and almost died in the confinement room. The guards released her from the room after seeing she was almost on the verge of death.

Ms. Zhang Xingzhuan worked in the daytime and was forced to stand at noon and night. Sometimes, it was more than 104oF during the day and about 81oF at night. The guards did not allow Ms. Zhang Xingzhuan or Ms. Zhao Limei to wash their faces or brush their teeth. Taking showers and washing clothes was out of the question. Sweat marks appeared on their clothes and their hair became matted. When Lu Yaqin beat Ms. Zhang Xingzhuan, Li Mengyun from Xinji City, Zhou Yalan from Bazhou, and Wu Shiying from Zhengding County, Shijiazhuang, helped her to beat Ms. Zhang. Ms. Huang Lanying shouted not to beat practitioners. Lu Yaqin beat Ms. Huang, too, and hung her on a window. Ms. Huang was not let down until more than ten hours had passed.

The forced labor camp requires that detainees sing a song praising the CCP before each meal. In summer, the detainees have to do morning exercises. Those who did not sing the songs and did the exercises were not allowed to eat. In order to get a promotion, chief Wang Xin pushed the detainees to work. According to the forced labor regulations, detainees should work only six hours per day. However, Wang Xin forced the detained practitioners to work for more than ten hours per day. As long as she was on duty, she always forced the practitioners to work overtime. Rest times were canceled at her whim. However, the work hours were not reduced for one minute. Sometimes at lunchtime a delivery truck would arrive, and everyone had to put down their bowls and chopsticks and go to unload the truck. Many women in their 50s and 60s were forced to work like strong men. There were only given a few minutes to wash at night. After a whole day's work, even when there is no need to work overtime, the practitioners have to listen to the “evening comments” at 10 p.m. before going to sleep. The “evening comments” is another way to berate and curse practitioners. After working for more than ten hours loading and unloading two or three trucks, the practitioners are sore all over and cannot turn over when they lie down.

Guard Wang Haiyan ordered the practitioners to memorize the camp regulations “Five Needs and Ten Don'ts” and “Behavior Norms.” Those who did not memorize or recite the regulations were forced to stand until she was off duty at 2 a.m. Those who did not give up their beliefs were not allowed to speak. If one person said a word while marching, Wang Haiyan punished all the practitioners by making them stand for the whole noon time.

Guards Wang Xin, Niu Li, Lu Yaqin, and Zhang Jiwei only gave the practitioners at most ten minutes for mealtimes. Young practitioners could just finish the meal. Elderly practitioners and those whose teeth are not good cannot get a full meal at all. The guards would call them to stand up when they had only finished half their meal. One day, Ms. Cai Wensu tried to finish half a bun while she was walking, and Niu Li forced her to spit it out. Zhao Xiaomeng often finds excuses to curse practitioners. She would sometimes sneak into the restroom to watch practitioners.

The guards punish practitioners for all kinds of things. For example, the third division ordered every practitioner to number off more than 40 times every day. If one did not number off correctly, the guards forced all the practitioners to squat down one after another after counting their number, in order to torture them.

The forced labor camp hardly buys any vegetables. They store cabbage, which was harvested in the fall, under the ground, and prepare frozen cabbage through the winter until April or May the next year. The camp occasionally buys some vegetables, but only chooses the cheapest ones. The camp also plants a kind of vegetable called “genda,” which farmers usually use to feed pigs. The detainees eat genda the whole summer. When eggplants are harvested, the camp just cooks eggplant for lunch every day. When there is an inspection, the camp will change the menu in order to show off. There is a big screen in the cafeteria. When there is an inspection, it will show a weekly menu. On the menu, every lunch has meat dishes. The camp deceives outsiders with this bald-faced fabrication. The forced labor camp regulations state that every detainee should eat 3 to 5 pounds of meat every week. Actually, each one does not eat 3 to 5 pounds of meat per year.

The law states that people who are older than 70 should not be sent to forced labor camps. However the Hebei Women's Forced Labor Camp accepts anyone no matter how old she is or what kind of illnesses she may have. In order to accept Ms. Han Feng'e, the camp changed her age on their records from 72 to 62.

According to the regulations, the camp should not accept anyone who suffers from a severe disease or an infectious disease, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, an infectious skin disease or cancer. In the Fourth Division, there are many persons (non-practitioners) who suffer from infectious diseases. Bowls and chopsticks are shared. And there is no disinfection. How bad the sanitary conditions are can only be imagined.

The camp profits by using the detainees' labor without compensation. Several factories collaborate with the camp.

Two factories mainly collaborate with Division III. One is Qintai Knitwear Ltd. It produces bath towels. The manager is Qin Xu. The other factory is Yikang Knitwear and Cotton Wear Ltd. It mainly produces three-color towels, shower caps, towels, diapers, etc. The products are exported to more than 40 countries, including Japan, Malaysia, Australia, the United States, and Germany. The Second Division mainly packages shower curtains.