The Torture I Suffered in Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp
By Shi Xinhong
(Minghui.org) My name is Shi Xinhong and I am a Falun Gong practitioner from the Changping District in Beijing. I am retired from the Beijing No. 2 Woolen Mill. I was overjoyed when I started to practice Falun Gong in 1996, and have benefited tremendously physically and mentally. My health improved rapidly shortly after I began to practice and I was always in good spirits. I strictly followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and the requirements that Master had set forth for practitioners. However, such a wonderful practice was oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the leadership of Jiang Zemin. The persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999, and practitioners were brutally tortured. This is my account of what I suffered for adhering to my faith.
Persecuted in Forced Labor Camps for Four and a Half Years
Because I refused to renounce my belief in Falun Dafa, I was illegally sentenced to forced labor twice, and spent a total of four and a half years in forced labor camps between 2004 and 2012.
The guards at the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp, Squad No. 4, once organized a meeting to slander Falun Gong publicly. When a person cursed the founder of Falun Gong, I stood up and walked toward the podium. Two guards stopped me and asked what I was doing. I told them that I wanted to represent all the Falun Gong practitioners in the squad to make a solemn announcement. I explained to them that I wanted to announce all that had been said and written to slander Falun Dafa at the labor camp was invalid because it didn't reflect our true selves.
The guards panicked and used all their strength to push me back to the office. Team lead Zhang Shoufen threatened to send me to the “intensive training team” of the camp. I told her, “I am not afraid. It's not easy to come here, so I might as well make it worthwhile. I want to see every corner of this camp so when I get out I can tell people about the evil things that happen here.” Realizing that her threat didn't work, Zhang changed her tone of voice and said, “The 'intensive training team' is not a place anybody can go as they wish. They don't have room for you. We will 'train' you right here in Squad No. 4.”
Abuses Suffered in the Forced Labor Camp
After that, the guards started to lock me up every day in the warehouse. They made me sit in the corner of the warehouse on a brick wall less than a meter square and assigned two inmates to monitor me. I was not allowed to go to sleep until late at night or to use the bathroom when I needed to. After a while I was not able to relieve myself and it became extremely painful and itchy to urinate. My abdomen was distended. It didn't matter how I explained to the guards and the inmates that my condition was caused by not being able to relieve myself and having to hold my urine for long periods of time, they ignored me.
One day, I overheard that someone from a different organization was giving a tour at the camp so I shouted, “They won't let me use the bathroom and I have developed a condition because of it--I have blood in my urine.” The guards were all afraid. Team lead Zhang Shoufen said, “I'll take you to see a doctor if you stop shouting.” Sure enough, they took me to the camp clinic. The doctor touched my belly and said that I had a tumor. They called an ambulance and were going to take me to a hospital for surgery. I said, “I don't have a tumor. It is caused by not being able to use the bathroom, and I will be fine as long as I am allowed to use it.” The guard who took me there said, “Don't listen to her. The bathroom at our squad is always open. Whoever wants to use it can use it. Nobody cares.”
I insisted on going to the bathroom at the time, but the guards wouldn't let me. The ambulance arrived after a while. While being escorted to the ambulance, I ran away and went into a nearby bathroom when the guards weren't paying attention. I locked the bathroom door and tried to urinate. The guards came kicking the door and told me to hurry up. Twenty minutes later, I finally was able to urinate. Once I came out of the bathroom I asked to be examined again. After the exam, the doctor said, “Her belly has softened up dramatically. You should not deny her use of the bathroom, otherwise her condition could become a real problem.”
Seeing that their trick didn't work, the guards used a different way to torture me and started to force me to do hard labor. They made me work in the vegetable beds alone during the winter. It was so cold that the top three inches of the soil was frozen and all I had was a shovel as a tool. I didn't know how to make a vegetable plot so I dug a few holes. I worked for a few hours straight and sweat profusely.
As soon as I stopped to catch my breath, they yelled at me and said, “Who told you that you could rest?” I had to work non-stop. Although I was older, I was very healthy since I practiced Falun Gong, and I didn't feel tired at all. The guards all wore heavy jackets over a layer of cotton padded jackets and still seemed to feel very cold. I only had a light blouse and a long sleeve t-shirt on, yet I didn't feel cold. The guards also thought it was odd--they didn't know that it was because I practiced Falun Gong that I seemed extraordinary. I later gradually came to realize that forced labor is also a form of persecution, because I had not broken the law. What is wrong with believing in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? So I refused to work.
An “attack team” was created by the camp officials in March 2006, specifically to persecute Falun Gong practitioners who refused to “transform.” There were three guards assigned to “attack” me, including Li Ziping and Zhang Ran. The guards assigned criminal inmates to torture me every day. My ration of food was not even enough for a child. I protested and the guard yelled, “You think it's too little? Well, you won't be getting any from now on!” After that, I was only given a small piece of steamed bun each day with no vegetables or water. When I ate the small piece of bun, I had to sit on a small stool in a standard military posture.
I was only allowed to use the bathroom once each day at 2 a.m., accompanied by a criminal inmate. Sometimes I was forced to go back before I could finish. My cell was very cold, and I had very little to cover myself with. I was not allowed to sleep very long to begin with, and I often woke up because of the cold after sleeping only for a little while.
In order to “transform” me, guard Li Ziping made me sit on a small stool, put my hands on my knees, and form a line with my feet by putting the backs of my heels together. Then she made me bring my knees together. I couldn't do it so Li Ziping assigned inmates to put their feet against mine to hold them in place, and then pushed my knees toward the center. It hurt as much as being on a tiger bench. The mobility in my legs decreased as a result and has yet to completely recover.
The guards employed numerous methods to torture me. They later made me sit on only one corner of a stool for long periods of time. After sitting for a while, I felt as if I were sitting on the edge of a cliff. It seemed to me that if I moved ever so slightly I would fall into the abyss. The fear of falling made me mentally distressed and physically exhausted. Ever since then, I have experienced pain and numbness from the waist down and have difficulties urinating and defecating.
Retirement Pension Withheld and Pay Increase Denied
I was released when my term ended. I am retired from the Beijing No. 2 Woolen Mill. Li Xinhui and two other company officials refused to pay me my retirement pension for the past two years. They also denied me twice when I was supposed to get a raise. When I went in and asked for my pension, the officials evaded responsibility, and I have not yet been compensated.
What I have been subjected to is only a tiny tip of the iceberg. The Communist regime continues to arrest and persecute practitioners of Falun Dafa. We call upon everyone and all international organizations to uphold justice and help to stop the atrocities against Falun Gong practitioners in China.