Lens Article Shocks Readers with the Atrocities Carried Out Inside Masanjia

The Chinese magazine Lens published an exclusive article on April 7, 2013 that documented the methods of torture used in Masanjia Women’s Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province, China. Titled “Out of Masanjia,” this extensive article was reprinted numerous times by major Chinese websites, including Sina, Sohu, Tengxun, and 163. These websites modified the title of the article, but kept the content largely unchanged.

The Lens article focused on several Masanjia victims who were detained for appealing to the government, yet it deliberately made no mention of Falun Gong practitioners who make up the majority of Masanjia detainees.

Despite not discussing the plight of Falun Gong practitioners, the dark side of Masanjia depicted in the Lens article still gave many people chills, and some couldn’t even bring themselves to believe that Masanjia could be that evil. They doubted if the guards had any humanity left, and wondered how the perpetrators could be so heartless in torturing their victims using such brutal methods.

While the Lens article readers were still reeling from the shock of the crimes committed in Masanjia and condemning them, a documentary entitled “Above the Ghosts’ Heads: The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp” held its first online screening on May 1, and put Masanjia back in the spotlight.

The atrocities being committed in Masanjia had been widely reported in the overseas media as early as 2000. The labor camp gained increasing notoriety as it intensified its torture of Falun Gong practitioners.

Inside China however, Masanjia was disguised and beautified. Its atrocities against detained Falun Gong practitioners earned the notorious labor camp numerous awards and significant government appropriations from former Chinese Community Party head Jiang Zemin and his accomplices. The CCP's support of this criminal labor camp underscores the regime's hypocrisy and cunning.

Communist Regime Doles Out Generous Financial Support to Masanjia

The Lens article indicated that “the labor camp buildings were built in 2000 and they looked very spacious and bright.” Below is the truth behind the Masanjia buildings.

After inspecting Masanjia in early 2000, Wang Maolin and Dong Yufa, both officials of the Central 610 Office, sang the praises of the labor camp's persecution of Falun Gong and gave a detailed report to Jiang Zemin. Jiang soon appropriated six million yuan to the labor camp and ordered 610 Office Head Liu Jing to set up “Masanjia Reformation Through Education Base” as soon as possible. The project later swelled to 10 million yuan and Liaoning Province was told to make up the funding shortfall.

Moreover, for each practitioner from Liaoning Province sent to Masanjia, the local government had to give the labor camp 10,000 yuan. From October 1999 to April 2004, Masanjia housed more than 4,000 practitioners. In other words, the funds funneled into Masanjia from the local governments within the province reached more than 40 million yuan.

One high-ranking official from Liaoning Province Judicial Bureau once remarked at a “detainees release” meeting in 2004, “The financial appropriation used to deal with Falun Gong has exceeded that to fight a war.” At that time, it was not even five years into the persecution. Now that the persecution has been going on for 14 years, and one can only infer how much more money has been devoted to the persecution of the practice.

Masanjia’s Ruthless Attacks on Practitioners Won Favor from the Central 610 Office

Why did Masanjia receive such special treatment from the Central 610 Office? Primarily due to its ruthless efforts in making Falun Gong practitioners suffer.

In the early years of the persecution, most practitioners were held in the regime's labor camps. While other labor camps were still contemplating what to do with these innocent people, Masanjia had already implemented a system of torture and brainwashing. Its tactics against Falun Gong won support and praise from Jiang Zemin. No wonder the communist regime kept pumping money into it and showered it with awards and recognition.

Central 610 Office Head Liu Jing and Political and Legal Affairs Committee Secretary Luo Gan went to Masanjia many times to learn about new developments in its anti-Falun Gong tactics. The duo even personally directed the guards to pressure practitioners to give up their beliefs. Masanjia once broadcast Liu Jing’s speech, which was full of lies and slander about Falun Gong's founder.

Luo Gan and Liu Jing helped spread Masanjia's tactics to other labor camps in Liaoning Province, and later popularized them throughout the rest of the country. As a result, all labor camps intensified their attacks on Falun Gong practitioners.

Masanjia thus became a "poster child" in the persecution of Falun Gong by winning support from Jiang and its own devotion to Jiang's policy.

Torture Methods Reported in Lens Article Cannot Compare to Those Used on Practitioners

One torture mentioned in the Lens article concerned victims being ordered to sit on small stools for a couple of hours while reciting labor camp rules.

When the same torture was used on Falun Gong practitioners, it was much more brutal. As a matter of fact, practitioners were often forced to sit on the small stools for nearly 20 hours each day, sometimes for several months straight.

Masanjia even promoted this method to the entire country. In 2005, Yunnan Province Second Women’s Prison sent a group of officials to Masanjia to learn about its torture methods. Upon returning, the delegates not only adopted this “small stool method,” but took it to the next level. Yunnan practitioners were made to sit still on small stools upright without moving for extended periods of time. Any slight movement brought brutal beatings. Oftentimes they were not let off until their buttocks festered and oozed pus.

According to a classified document from the Central 610 Office and Ministry of Justice, as of November 2011, Masanjia had received a total of more than 500 visitors from 25 provinces during 31 trips to the labor camp.

What was exposed in the Lens article was just a glimpse of the big picture. Subsequent interviews with victims mentioned in the article revealed even more shocking details.

Gai Fengzhen from the Tiexi District of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, was one of the victims mentioned in the Lens article, who was twice detained in Masanjia for her appeal. She said, “On the evening of September 9 or 10, 2008, at around 9:30 p.m., on my way to the bathroom, I saw the prison guards torturing two Falun Gong practitioners. Six male guards were beating a female practitioner surnamed Zhang. They used cotton swabs and clamps to stuff her genitalia. In the end, they beat one practitioner to death.”

“Six men wearing white gloves carried her body away, but we didn’t know her name. Several of us detainees witnessed them carrying her body away. The security division head of Masanjia Forced Labor Camp was also present.

“We saw the guards burying something behind the camp. The next day, we saw them dig up some clothing stained with blood--it was a detainee’s uniform. We later reported this to the Chengjiao Procuratorate and brought the prosecutor to the labor camp to collect evidence, but the officials from the Procuratorate and Masanjia both denied this death.”

Masanjia and Its Officers Received Numerous Awards for their Anti-Falun Gong Efforts

Jiang Zemin and his accomplices showered Masanjia with numerous awards, and openly celebrated its brutal attacks on Falun Gong.

On February 26, 2001, various central government agencies, including the Organization Department and the Propaganda Department of the Central Party Committee, Political and Legal Affairs Committee, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Human Resources, and the Central 610 Office, held a conference at the Great Hall of the People. Su Jing, head of Division Two of Masanjia Labor Camp, was invited to give a report. Of course she did not mention the torture of Falun Gong practitioners carried out at Masanjia. She described the brutality as "caring for them tenderly."

Division Two has received numerous awards, including Shenyang City Civilization Model Post, Anti-Falun Gong Model Group at the country and the province level, Liaoning Province 3.8 Red Flag Group, Judicial System Education Reformation Model Group, and Liaoning Province Judicial Bureau Level-two Merit.

Su Jing herself has also been given countless awards, including Judicial Bureau Outstanding Educator, Satisfactory Police Officer in the Provincial Political and Legal System, and Outstanding Public Servant of Liaoning Province.

Concluding Remarks

Masanjia is not the only labor camp supported by the regime's money and fame. All the prisons and labor camps that persecute Falun Gong practitioners are driven by monetary interests and recognition. The crimes continue because of CCP support. The CCP's usual method of operation is to use someone else to do its dirty work, and instigate its followers to carry out its policies by rewarding them with money and fame.