China Fahui | Letters from Prison Show Both the Dignity of Dafa and the Horrors of the Persecution (Part 1)
(Minghui.org) Excerpt: I realized that it was no accident that I was aware of the sudden death of the young man. This was for me to expose, and inform his family members. However, in the prison with 24-hour surveillance, I couldn't even have a pen and paper! How could I write anything? Even if I had pen and paper, how would I have time or opportunity to write?
Master has said: “There are reasons behind what everyone does.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Great Lakes Fa Conference in North America”)
Now I know that my decades of editorial experience in the media industry was to prepare me to assist Master in Fa-rectification.
Between the end of 2000 and February 2003, I utilized my writings to clarify the truth and share the goodness of Dafa. I was in prison during the time and wrote appeal letters, letters to family members, and so-called “thought reports” to counter the evil authorities and their brainwashing with wisdom, and to reveal first-hand information about the persecution.
As long as Dafa disciples don't forget that we are Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, and keep our mindset on the Fa, we have the protection of Master's law bodies. We can then overcome difficulties and display the magnificence of Dafa and the boundless compassion of Master.
Just as Master said in “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan:”
“Of course, though, you are Dafa disciples who made vows beforehand after all, and your lives co-exist with Dafa. With such an enormous Fa here, the Fa will be with you when your thoughts are righteous, and this is the greatest assurance.”
I would like to share my experiences of clarifying the truth from prison, and share the insights that I have gained. Please kindly point out any inappropriateness in my understanding.
A Strong Young Man Suddenly Dies
In November 2000, I was illegally arrested under the trumped-up charge of “illegal gathering” and detained at the No. 3 Detention Center in a city. One day at around 10 a.m., two policemen dragged a strong young man into the room. He was handcuffed and shackled.
The police only unlocked his handcuffs, but kept the shackles on him. He stood in the middle of the fifth row, only two people from me. This young man was 38 years old, single. He just finished a voluntary lay-off at his company and had gone to Beijing to validate the Fa and appeal for justice for Falun Gong. He decided that he wouldn't go home until the wrongful situation of the persecution was rectified. Many practitioners had the same thoughts at that time.
Before the young man went to Beijing, he made a lot of copies of truth-clarification materials and distributed them to people. The police arrested him. He was beaten up severely and had bruises all over his body. But he refused to tell his name or home address. So he ended up at the detention Center.
A fellow practitioner leaned toward him and whispered, “Do you need any help?” He looked at the practitioner and said, “Thank you. I have Master and the Fa. I don't need anything else.” This was at the beginning of the persecution. Many of us looked at him with admiration.
In the evening, we heard that the young man was transferred to the No. 6 Ward. It had a reputation for dishing out the worst torture and abuse. It was next door to mine so I could hear everything.
In order to earn bonus points and gain early release, the head prisoner of Ward 6 had tortured a lot of other prisoners and some Dafa practitioners to the point of disability. He had three thugs, also prisoners, under him. Detention centers and labor camps in China use such thugs among the inmate population to manage other prisoners.
At night, the head prisoner latched the door and started the interrogation. First, he asked the thugs to force the young man into the “riding the airplane” position – body bent at a 90-degree angle with both arms stretched out. Then he demanded: “What's your name? Where is your home?” The young man refused to answer.
The three thugs gave him a round of fists and kicks. After a short break, the young man was still silent. The head prisoner thought that the young man was stubborn. He said, “Let's show him some blood and see if he's still so strong!”
The thugs started beating the young man with sticks. Very soon, the young man's leg and two ribs were broken. The young man's screams sounded so tragic. He fainted and was sent to the nurse's room. The young man groaned all night. He groaned and I was awake all night too.
The next day, the prison guard in charge of the No. 6 Ward talked to the head prisoner outside the door. They were right outside of my room and I could hear them clearly. He asked, “Has that Falun Gong confessed?” “No, the guy was quite stubborn. His leg and two ribs are now broken.” The prison guard casually said, “Just pay attention to your approach and strategy. If he is really not obedient and happens to be killed, then that's the way to be. We have two death quotas each year and neither has been reached.” The guard on duty nodded.
One night, the young man was taken to the “discipline room.” According to other practitioners next door to the room, they heard heavy sounds of sticks beating a person. There were screams at the beginning, but it was silent later on.
During the day the young man was groaning in pain. He couldn't eat anything. The doctor told him, “You haven't eaten for four days. If you don't eat your dinner today, you will have to go through forced-feeding. Think it over!”
After 9 p.m., the doctor asked for several people from the No. 6 Ward to help with the forced-feeding. When the doctor stepped out of the room, the three thugs and the head prisoner added a lot of salt into the liquid that was to be fed to the young man.
During the forced-feeding, the young man said, “It's too salty! I'm suffocating! You will meet with with retribution!” He soon lost his voice and could only cough severely. The doctor was angry, “Who did this? Who tried to sabotage me?”
The head prisoner whispered in the doctor's ear. The doctor didn't say anything. Around midnight, no one heard the young man's coughing anymore, only some steps as they carried the body away. The young man had died.
A young man was killed in just two days! It was too horrible! Prisons under the communist regime don't respect life at all. Killing a person was as easy as stepping on an ant. I felt so oppressed.
The detention center held an urgent meeting. The head prisoner had served his term and was released. The three thugs were transferred elsewhere. The detention center spoke to all others who knew about the case. They were going to keep their lips sealed for their own interest and safety. Everything seemed to be back to normal, as if the young man had never existed.
I realized that it was no accident that I was aware of the sudden death of the young man. This was for me to expose, and inform his family members. However, in the prison with 24-hour surveillance, I couldn't even have a pen and paper! How could I write anything? Even if I had pen and paper, how would I have time or opportunity to write?
A retired teacher in my cell knew my thoughts. He said, “No matter how evil bad people are, they have to use others to do their business. If you have the strong wish, maybe we can give you a hand.” I was very happy. I said, “Thank you so much!”
I asked for a pen and paper to write my appeal letter. The prison guard had no response. The retired teacher had a good relationship with him, and helped with persuading him. The prison guard finally agreed to give me a pen and paper.
I finished the letter. The retired teacher already had a plan. He sewed the letter into his winter trousers. He patted his trousers and said, “Don't worry. This is the only thing we can do for the deceased. The young man can now rest in peace.”
I left the detention center soon afterwards. Did the young man's case have any follow up? I didn't know. I only heard that the detention center was reorganized. The leaders there and prison guards experienced a lot of turnover. I believe that Heaven will not let the wicked people go without retribution.
The March 14 Atrocity
Several days before the Chinese New Year of 2001, I was sentenced to two years in a forced labor camp and was taken to the Huanxiling Labor Camp in Jilin City, Jilin Province. The number of Falun Gong practitioners detained there had a sudden increase to 200. The labor camp gathered Falun Gong practitioners from five divisions and formed a single division specialized in detaining Falun Gong practitioners.
The division was composed of three teams: strict control, general control, and loose control. The general control team was on the second floor, strict control team on the third, and the loose control team on the fourth floor.
On March 10, 2001, a practitioner on the third floor bled from his nose and mouth as a result of beatings. He couldn't open one eye. He was also punished for three days in solitary confinement. Practitioners on the third floor decided to go on a hunger strike at breakfast, in protest of the brutality. This would be a collaborative effort for all three floors.
On the fourth day of the hunger strike, the chief of the detention center asked the three teams to send six representatives to a meeting. A 30-year-old practitioner and I were elected to be the representatives of the strict control team.
We submitted three requests:
1) Immediately release the practitioners in confinement;
2) The prison guard who did the beatings should apologize and promise no beatings in the future;
3) Abolish the punishment of “sitting on a plank.”
Other representatives proposed an hour of free time every day. Some requested two hours for Fa study and exercise time. Before all the representatives could finish their requests, the chief pounded on the table and yelled, “This is an institution for dictatorship! Meeting dismissed!”
On the fifth day, a little past 9 a.m. on March 15, 2001, all male prison guards and staff members at the detention center, totaling about 40 people, came with electric batons, toothed clubs, and sticks filled with lead shot. These sticks filled with lead were lethal.
They rushed into the second floor and asked, with the sticks in their hands, “Are you going to eat or not? Those who still refuse to eat step out!” More than 10 practitioners stepped out. They were dragged into the “discipline room” and severely beaten. Several couldn't dress themselves for days.
The guards then rushed to the fourth floor. More than half of the practitioners said they were not hungry. The guards beat them in another crazed round.
The third floor was the so-called “strict control team.” All practitioners on the third floor heard the screams and beatings on the second and fourth floor, they shouted together: “Beating is illegal! This is fascist behavior! You are extra guilty because you are supposed to reinforce the law! You were committing crimes in official uniforms!”
Some of us jumped hand-in-hand to make noises in protest. As they were coming to the third floor, I told everyone, “I dreamed of the sky full of pink clouds and a koi fish more than two meters long flying toward the northeastern direction.”
One practitioners said, “It is quite clear. This is a hint based on the Chinese fable of koi fishes jumping over the dragon gate. If you can make it; you are a god (dragon). If you cannot, you are a small fish. This is Master's hint for us to take this tribulation well.” We all decided to safeguard Dafa with our righteous actions.
The guards rushed to our floor. The first one kicked the door open and yelled, “Why don't you shout anymore!” The political instructor arrived a bit late and said, “No nonsense! Those who still refuse to eat stand aside!”
All of us stood up. The chief said, “OK. You deserve your name on the 'strict control team.'” He directed two guards to drag a Dafa practitioner to the nearby “discipline room.” One guard held the practitioner; the other beat him and shocked him with electric batons. The beating was crazy. They only stopped when the practitioner lost consciousness.
Niu Junhui from Shulan County, a 27-year-old man, was silent at the beginning of the beatings. Then he groaned, “I'm going to die” after his ribs were broken. The guards were out of control. They still beat him like crazy.
Niu was able to protect his head with his hands initially. But after he lost consciousness, his hands loosened up and the toothed club hit the left side of his head. The blood gushed out. A policeman took two rolls of toilet paper and tried to block the gash in his head. Niu had only a very weak heartbeat. He was dying. An ambulance took him away anyway.
Eight practitioners were beaten to unconsciousness in the strict control team. Three were taken to the No. 4 Hospital (the hospital designated for the labor camp) for emergency rescue. Sixty-five practitioners in the whole division were severely injured. One hundred and five experienced “normal” beatings. One died. Another practitioner, Hou Zhanhai from the Jilin City Transportation Team, died two days later, his lungs severely injured by the sticks filled with lead shot.
Dafa disciples inside and outside of the detention center worked together well. The information was soon spread. Sparing no efforts, practitioners outside the labor camp exposed the persecution. They spread the information of the tragic case to the news media inside and outside of China. Some reported this case to the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Some organized family members to demand their loved-ones' release from the labor camp.
“People were killed at the labor camp! Many were severely injured!” “We heard many were hospitalized!” “Can we call them policemen? Even thugs wouldn't do such a thing! It's simply too tragic.”
People started talking about it. Every day, people arrived in taxis or via public transportation to inquire about their family members at the labor camp. Many people stood outside of the tall walls and chain link fence of the labor camp. Some young women cried with their babies in their arms. People worried about their family members.
Due to the public pressure, the Jilin Provincial NPC started an investigation. The labor camp instituted martial law on the first day of the investigation. All staff members had to stay there. No outsiders would go in.
The chief was very nervous. He used all his personal and business relations to seek a way out of his quandary. Very soon, his boss proposed the solution: immediately disperse the 65 severely injured practitioners and send them to four labor camps in other parts of the province. This was to survive the investigation.
The fifth day after the March 15 tragedy, we obtained the announcement: “Board the bus and depart immediately. You are not allowed to ask about the destination. The destination of each person will be revealed later. Those who cannot walk will be boarded on stretchers. Those who have difficulty walking will be carried into the bus. Others will be supported as they walk onto the bus. No matter how much pain you have to endure over the next several hours, no talking, and no screaming. If you are still alive, you have to leave. This is the order!”
Master said in “A Message” in “Essentials for Further Advancement II :”
“Everything that Dafa disciples do at present is resisting the persecution of Dafa and Its disciples. Clarifying the truth, at the same time as exposing the evil, restrains the evil and lessens the persecution; and exposing the evil is at the same time purging from people’s minds the poison of the evil’s lies and deception—it is saving people. This is the grandest mercy, because in the future several billion people are to obtain the Fa, and if people’s minds contain thoughts that resist Dafa, once this evil drama is over a large number of human beings will begin to be weeded out, and people who have a predestined relationship to obtain the Fa or even a larger number of innocent people might be weeded out. Therefore, everything we are currently doing is magnificent, is merciful, and is consummating the end of our path.”
Therefore, I tried by best to expose the evil in a timely manner. Even though the information might not be published on the Minghui website (it was hard to break through the Internet blockade back then), I had to organize the precious first-hand materials about the persecution. This is a historical mission that Master arranged for me.
The writing process was about the same as when I wrote about the sudden death of the young man. It was just much more difficult and with more ups and downs. I had to rewrite it three times after the first two versions were destroyed. In the end, with help from all of the Dafa disciples in the cell, I wrote it during the “sitting on plank” torture.
In February 2003, after I managed to leave the labor camp, other practitioners asked me, “Who wrote about the March 14 Atrocity? It must be written by a witness because it was so specific and detailed! I finished reading it with tears.”
When the March 14 Atrocity was mentioned, I was immediately brought back to the magnificent scene of practitioners safeguarding the Fa and persisting in their belief in Dafa. I thought, “As long as it was read by someone, it's enough. I didn't sacrifice for nothing. I didn't disappoint the responsibility Master bestowed on me. My historical mission is being fulfilled!”
(To be continued)