(Minghui.org) Since the detention center was set up, the authorities of the Benxi Detention Center in Liaoning Province have been making a huge profit by forcing detainees to make crafts using toxic materials. The Benxi Police Department, Benxi Procuratorate and Benxi City Commission for Discipline Inspection have all been involved.

Senior officials within the Benxi Police Department went to the detention center in 2013 for an inspection. The detainees in all prison cells continued to work without any interruption while they were there. When provincial government officials visited the detention center, the detainees were forced to deny that they were doing slave labor.

Only One Prison Cell Eligible for One Day Off Per Week

There are close to one thousand detainees at the Benxi Detention Center. The detainees have been forced to make handmade silk flowers for many years to make a profit for the detention center.

The guards assigned a workload for each prison cell. The detainees have to work up to ten hours a day, and were scolded and even beaten if the workload wasn't finished. Only the prison cell that produced the largest number of silk flowers could take one day off per week.

Toxic Effects

Toxic glue and other materials used in making these crafts have an adverse impact on human health. Due to the toxic effects, many detainees have felt nausea, dizziness, eye irritation, pain and numbness.

Ms. Wang Xiuyan, a Falun Gong practitioner over 40 years old, was illegally arrested)) for her belief on April 25, 2013 by policemen from the Benxi Police Department. She has been held in the detention center for almost a year. Back in June 2013, she told her lawyer that the glue used for making crafts was toxic and that she felt nausea, dizziness and numbness.

Ms. Wang's lawyer noticed that Ms. Wang was in poor health when they met. He was very angry when he found out the reasons for her health problems. He right away phoned the staff in the monitoring room at the detention center and filed a complaint, but the staff denied the existence of slave labor. Due to the request from the lawyer, the staff reluctantly agreed to investigate. However, the lawyer hasn't received any response from the staff, nor has the slave labor stopped.

Enslaving Handicapped Detainees

Ms. Wang Xiulian, over 50, lost her left leg in an accident while she was working. She didn't see any good future for herself until she started to practice Falun Gong. She was arrested for her belief on April 25, 2013 by officers from the Mingshan District Police Department and has been held in the detention center since then.

Although Ms. Wang is handicapped, the guards have still forced her to work. One day when she couldn't continue working anymore, the guards handcuffed both her hands behind her back for three hours. They criticized her and blamed her for not completing her work.

Beating for Refusing Slave Labor

The guards were vicious towards detainees. They often shouted at and even beat them. They bullied Falun Gong practitioners if the practitioners remained steadfast in their belief and they continued to meditate.

Ms. Yu Lixin, over 40, is a teacher. She was arrested for her determination in practicing Falun Gong on April 25, 2013. At that time, her back had not yet healed from surgery. She was slapped on her face severely and repeatedly because she refused to do slave labor at the detention center.

Providing Bad Meals

It is well known that the meals served at the Benxi Detention Center are very bad. There is no hot water provided, so that the detainees can only drink tap water all year round. The meals served are often steamed cornmeal cakes and diluted cabbage soup. The cornmeal cakes are thick and taste awful. There may be sand in the cabbage soup. Many detainees can't eat the food provided. They have to ask their families to buy expensive packaged food for them.

Extorting and Blackmailing

The prices for food at the detention center are much higher than those in a market. The detention center takes every opportunity to extort money from the detainees' families. When the family members have sent detainees clothes or other items, they have been forced to pay one {{yuan for a plastic bag to put it in. The guards said that it was a rule at the detention center, but it wasn't written anywhere.

In addition, if the detainees' families deposit some money for them, no inquiries about the remaining cash balance are allowed.

Ms. Li Yan, a Falun Gong practitioner over 40 years old, was arrested for her belief by policemen from the Mingshan District Police Department in May 2013. She went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. Then she was taken to Jinshan Hospital. The detention center staff didn't notify her or her family about withdrawing any of her money. They simply deducted some money from her account for "medical expenses."