Crimes Committed Against Falun Gong Practitioners in Dianzi Brainwashing Center
(Minghui.org) As more and more forced labor camps are being shut down in China since 2013, the Communist regime has been relying on brainwashing centers to continue the persecution of Falun Gong. Dianzi Brainwashing Center in Laizhou City, Shandong Province, is one of the 157 known brainwashing centers in China.
The centers are publicly known as “legal education centers.” The Dianzi facility was set up for the sole purpose of illegally detaining and persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. More than 1,000 practitioners have been held there since March 2001.
In addition to employing intense brainwashing techniques, the guards use cruel methods of torture in an effort to "transform" practitioners. By charging a large sum to cover "tuition" and "living expenses," the brainwashing center officials also put tremendous financial pressure on practitioners and their families.
Their Goal Is to Break Practitioners' Will
To force practitioners to "transform" and renounce their belief in Falun Gong, officials and guards at Dianzi Brainwashing Center do everything they can to break practitioners' will.
Practitioners are often deprived of sleep for days at a time and forced to watch the CCP's propaganda programs slandering Falun Gong. They are insulted, threatened, and tortured. Some have reportedly been forced to stay outside on cold winter days or left exposed to the sun in the summer for long periods of time.
After arresting more than 30 local practitioners and taking them to the brainwashing center in late 2005, the Laizhou 610 Office officials sentenced four female practitioners to forced labor in the beginning of 2006.
Ms. Zhang Xiuqin from Koujia Village, Xiaqiu Township, was beaten severely in the brainwashing center. She was covered with bruises and couldn't get out of bed for more than a week. The guards tried to force her to stand on a picture of Mr. Li Hongzhi (the founder of Falun Gong), but she resisted. When Ms. Zhang couldn't move after severe beatings, the guards put her feet on the picture.
Ignoring the fact that Ms. Liu Yuexiang from Koujia Village was diagnosed with heart disease, the guards handcuffed her and beat her mercilessly with a baton. Ms. Liu had difficulties eating even three weeks afterwards.
Ms. Wang Yuehua from Wujia Village, Shahe Township, was not given anything to eat for the first three days in the brainwashing center. Then she was kicked, slapped in the face, and beaten with a rubber hose. Later, she was taken to the Wang Village Forced Labor Camp.
Large Scale Detention During Olympic Games
Around the time of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, the local 610 Office officials was especially vicious. According to incomplete statistics, 76 local practitioners were arrested and detained in the Dianzi Brainwashing Center that year and about 30 practitioners were sentenced to prison or forced labor.
Methods of torture used during that time included exposure to the sun for long periods of time, sleep deprivation, severe beatings, squatting with a stick behind the knees, and hanging for a long time. Most of the practitioners were interrogated. Also, the center extorted funds from them or ransacked their homes and confiscated their personal belongings.
One of the most commonly used forms of torture at Dianzi is “the big hang-up,” where the practitioner's hands are cuffed separately to the upper rails of two bunk beds or two chains attached to a wall for long periods of time. The person's entire body weight is on the hands and arms.
The following practitioners are known to have been tortured with the “big hang-up” in 2008: Mr. Pan Yujun, Mr. Li Yufu, Ms. Zhai Qie, Ms. Wu Xiuli, Mr. Liu Bofu, Ms. Zhang Baohuan, Ms. Lu Xiumin, Mr. Liu Zhenduo, Mr. Lu Xiyao, Ms. Zhao Huiju, and Ms. Liu Meixia.
Ms. Wang Ping's Personal Account
Ms. Wang Ping, an employee of the Xinhu Book Store, said, "I was illegally detained twice at Dianzi Brainwashing Center in 2001, once in March and once in October, for a total of three months. The second time, I was interrogated by Wang Zengwen and several other guards for eight and half hours. I was beaten, kicked, and forced to squat and stand for a long time with a fan blowing directly on me. The guards totally ignored the fact that I weighed less than 100 lbs and was very weak.
"All practitioners were forced to sit on small stools for 14 days. We were not allowed to talk or move, except for meals and short bathroom breaks. Besides an elderly practitioner who was in poor health and me (I was confined to a small cell at the time), all the other practitioners were deprived of sleep for two weeks. Their legs and feet were so swollen that their shoes no longer fit.
"After visiting an illegally detained family member on May 8, 2006, at the brainwashing center, I was arrested on my way home by six police officers, including Liu Jingbing of the Domestic Security Division, director Xu Qinghua, and Shi Bingtao, and taken to the brainwashing center.
"The police took my keys, ransacked my home, and confiscated my personal belongings, including a computer and a printer. In the brainwashing center, the police interrogated me. A deputy secretary of the city Political and Legal Affairs Committee also participated in the interrogation.
"Because I refused to cooperate, I was forced to stand for a long time. Xu Qinghua picked up a hard plastic pipe and started hitting my hips. She ordered two young policemen to hold me down and others to take turns hitting me with the pipe. Shi Bingtao slapped my face and cursed at me, until I started to feel dizzy and my heart skipped beats. Due to injuries sustained from the beatings I couldn't sit down."
Ms. Yuan Zexiu from Yidao Village in Yidao Township, Laizhou City, passed away at the age of 58. She had been illegally detained in Dianzi Brainwashing Center twice. They extorted 5,000 yuan from her family without giving a receipt. Later, her family found out that the money was split between three guards, Jia Dianliang, Yang Dianxin, and Liu Weibin.
Between 2001 to 2002, more than 10 brainwashing sessions were held at Dianzi, with at least 10 practitioners in each session. The length of each session varied from one to two months. Each practitioner's employer was forced to pay 500 yuan and each practitioner about 1,200 yuan to the brainwashing center.
Ms. Qu Ruopu and Ms. Li Zhenqian from Zhuyou Township each paid 5,000 yuan to the brainwashing center in 2012. The police also confiscated 600 yuan when they ransacked Ms. Li's home.
Mr. Zang Kuidong, a teacher at Huiquan School, found out after being released from Dianzi in 2013 that the city 610 Office officials collected 5,000 yuan from his employer. 5,000 yuan was also collected for each of the three other practitioners who went through the same session. A total of 20,000 yuan was paid to the brainwashing center for a two-week session. The money was used to pay a staff of three people, four police officers from the local 610 Office and police station, and a professional chef to cook for them. Mr. Zang recalled that while the staff and the guards had nice meals prepared for them, the four practitioners often had to share one dish.
Ms. Wang Youqing from Luanjia Village, Tushan Township, remembers that the guards choked her. More than 20 police officers spent more than two hours ransacking her home earlier that day. They ripped up her roof and searched every crack in the wall.
Ms. Wang and her husband, Mr. Luan Shihai, also a practitioner, were taken to the Dianzi Brainwashing Center. After a night of beatings, Mr. Luan was transferred to the Laizhou City Detention Center where he was hung up for four days and beaten. He was released after paying 10,000 yuan.
These are only a few examples of practitioners having funds extorted from them. Exactly how much has been collected over the past more than ten years, we could never know. Most of the money has been squandered and pocketed by officials of the 610 Office and guards at the brainwashing center.