Falun Gong Practitioners Tortured in Shanghai Women's Prison
(Minghui.org) I've recently read articles on the Minghui website that expose the outrages taking place in Shanghai Women's Prison. I realized we need to further expose this persecution in order to put an end to it.
Ward 5 of Shanghai Women's Prison is where Falun Gong practitioners are tortured and abused and was specifically built for that purpose. It consists of two divisions, the South (No.1 Division) and the East (No.2 Division). The South Division detains steadfast practitioners and the East Division focuses on slave labor. Many facilities in Ward 5 are used in the persecution. See the Ward 5 plan and the cell plan below.
1. Solitary Confinement
Solitary confinement is used to persecute the practitioners secretly. The area is behind a black metal gate. It consists of a narrow hallway and three small rooms. It is enclosed and airtight. One inmate was assigned to the solitary confinement area to watch practitioners. When she arrived at the gate, the sepulchral darkness and overwhelming horror coming from inside frightened her so much that she insisted on returning to the regular cell.
There are three small cells in the solitary section, one for detained practitioners, one for inmates assigned to watch the practitioners and the other for storage. The inmates in charge of watching the practitioners are the ones who want their detention terms reduced. There are two shifts, two people each, to watch the practitioners day and night. In fact, the guards don't trust these inmates and have them watch each other.
The practitioner in solitary is beaten, cursed, and brainwashed. Her every move and every word is observed. The inmates, especially the inmate head in the solitary area, are very active in brainwashing. They constantly report to the guards and plot different brainwashing schemes everyday. They all hope to use their participation to reduce their terms. What they report are usually trifles, sometimes just a word or a movement. The guards analyze the personalities of the practitioners through these reports and instigate the inmates to implement different schemes in order to make the practitioners give up their faith.
Because the solitary confinement area is at the corner of the far side and is very enclosed, it's difficult to hear the screams of practitioners being tortured. Many secrets of the persecution are hidden there.
2. Use of the toilet
The restrooms in the Ward 5 are not open all the time. They are usually opened twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. If one has to suddenly relieve oneself, one has to use the chamberpot in the cell, thus the cell is very smelly. Steadfast practitioners are often prohibited from going to the restroom. They are also not allowed to empty the chamberpot by themselves after using it, which causes the inmates in the cell to hate and berate the practitioners.
To conserve water, the toilets in Ward 5 are not often cleaned, which makes them very smelly. The toilets often overflow with excrement. It is especially bad in the hot summer. At one point there was a severe pest infestation in the ward.
3. Washroom and bathroom
In the morning, every inmate only has less than three minutes to wash her face and brush her teeth. In summer, one has 8 minutes each day to take a shower and to wash one's clothes. This often forces some to take a shower and wash their clothes at the same time. In the winter, the bathroom can be used only once a week, 8 minutes each time, including the time to take the clothes off and put them back on. Sometimes the first group is still showering and washing clothes, when the second group rushes in. Many senior practitioners often fall down in the rush, their blood pressure goes up and their hearts race.
4. Activity room
The activity room is used by the guards every weekend to give their summary of the inmates' behaviors. In order to further their status, the guards often use this opportunity to slander Falun Gong and practitioners.
There is a row of bookshelves in the room, but they are just for show. Steadfast practitioners are not allowed to read any books except those used in brainwashing.
The room is also used to hold the “exposing and criticizing” meetings. Everyone is forced to give speeches, to repeat the slander about Falun Gong or to read the “exposing and criticizing” articles. Forced to attack their belief, some practitioners are in great pain. They sob each time, which the guards interpret as “being transformed” and “regretting the past.” Those who speak in such a meeting are recorded and get rewarded.
5. Metal gate
The metal gate in the hallway separates the cell area from the public area. Near the gate are two desks, one for the guard on duty and one for the inmate on duty. An inmate must call out her name (report) to the guards on duty to pass through the gate. Many practitioners were punished because they refused to report to the guards. The guards on duty often ignore the abuse being done to practitioners in the cells and sometimes just remind the inmates not to make too much noise. By 2011 practitioner Ms. Zhang Ying had become very weak after being detained and was unable to go the washroom or restroom. Xue Yanli and other inmates often beat and cursed her. One morning in 2011, they were making a great deal of noise yelling at and beating Ms. Zhang, attracting the on-duty guard's attention, so she stopped by. Instead of telling them to stop abusing the obviously weak Zhang Yin, she merely told them to be quieter.
An inmate sits at the desk near the gate. Besides the responsibility of watching the gate entrance, she also patrols the hallway every night to monitor the sleeping inmates. It's her responsibility to prevent the practitioners from doing the exercises and to report to the guards if they do.
6. Cell area
The inmates in Ward 5 are mainly confined in the cell area. There are workshops where they do slave labor, the dining room, the cells for sleep, the restrooms, and the brainwashing classrooms. The dining room is often filled with the hand-made products that are made there. They are very dirty and terrible smells come from the glues used in making the products. The inmates only have a short time to eat the simple food and then they have to go back to the workshop to continue working. Besides doing slave labor, the practitioners are often made to participate in the brainwashing activities and to write the “thought reports."
Bedtime is after 9 p.m. However, steadfast practitioners are not allowed to go to sleep until 11 p.m. Practitioners kept in the solitary confinement cell are forced to stay awake until much later. Two inmates are assigned to each practitioner and their job is to monitor her. There is a spread on each bed that no one is allowed to use--it's just for show. There is a TV in the cell and a surveillance camera above the TV. The practitioners are required to sleep in beds No. 2 and No. 5 which the surveillance camera can easily see.
The atmosphere in the ward is quite tense. Everyone watches everyone else. The guards get the inmates to carry out their dirty work; the inmates use the guards to get their terms reduced and to get revenge for themselves. The prison authorities make the guards watch each other and have the inmates report on the guards as well. In such a vile setting, the inmates become even more depraved and loose all sense of morality. One inmate had a conflict with another inmate over a trifle and threw hot water on her, injuring her. This inmate had been assigned by the guards to watch practitioners at night. She was the only one awake and took the opportunity to get revenge.
After the attack, the inmate's term was extended by one year and nine months. The guard in charge of that cell was transferred. That guard had initially been involved in persecuting practitioners. Just before her retirement, she was transferred to an unimportant position, which would affect her benefits after she retired. The reduction of her retirement benefits is a case of immediate retribution: Good is rewarded with good and evil meets evil. Another guard, Shi Lei, often complains that she doesn't feel well. Many guards in Shanghai Women's Prison have health problems. They are poisoned by CCP culture, which advocates atheism and encourages them to continue doing bad things. If they wake up and stop persecuting innocent people, they may have a chance to have a future.