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Jiangsu Province: Harsh Conditions in Changzhou Detention Center Feature Forced Labor "Competitions"

June 05, 2014 |   By a practitioner in China

(Minghui.org) The guards in Changzhou Detention Center are very brutal. For example, Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhou Fenglin was persecuted to death in this detention center in 2001 when guards handcuffed her hands, shackled her feet to a board, and violently force-fed her. She died at the age of 32.

When I was illegally detained in the Changzhou Detention Center, I witnessed some of their outrageous crimes.

Forced Labor

There are five units in the Changzhou Detention Center. The Third Unit was for female prisoners. All units are responsible for polishing diodes. Prisoners usually start their day at 6:10 a. m. and work until 9 or 11 p.m. They are only given five minutes to eat breakfast and lunch. They are not given time to use the bathroom or drink water.

The Changzhou Detention Center has a year-round contract with Jiaxin and Xinghai Electronics Co., Ltd. to process a variety of diodes. If the quality of diodes is poor and they get returned, the guards punish the prisoners who made them. They are forced to sit on a board from 7 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. for anywhere from a week to a month. After sitting for such a long time, they can't walk normally. They are not allowed to take a shower and tortured to the verge of death.

Every inmate is required to polish 10 kilograms of diodes a day, even though this causes her fingers to bleed, her joints to swell, her nails to fall off, and her skin to peel.

The detention center holds a diode polishing "competition" every day. The two inmates who make the least diodes that day have to work two additional shifts. They have to stand up as they work and can only sleep three to four hours. Every inmate works desperately to avoid being one of the slowest two. The fact is, no matter how hard everyone works, there are always two that are the slowest.

The prisoners say: “We live in a lunatic asylum during the day, and we sleep in a barn at night.”

Poor Living Conditions

Twenty to 27 inmates live and sleep in a unit with only 13 bunk beds. The living conditions are extremely bad with poor sanitation. Prisoners are not allowed to wash their blankets, so the smell from the blankets is terrible. Inmates who sleep on the floor are worse off than pigs or dogs. Four people sleep in a one-meter-wide space. They are pressed together so tightly that they can't even roll over. They often fight because they keep each other from having a good night's sleep.

Not only are inmates forced to work at a frenetic pace, the daily necessities and food sold in the detention center cost twice as much as outside supermarkets. Preserved eggs with excessive lead contamination cost 1.8 yuan inside the detention center, while the best eggs cost only 1.2 yuan in a supermarket. A bag of tissue is 0.8 yuan in the detention center, and 0.4 yuan elsewhere.

Even as inmates are used to make money for the detention center, they are treated callously. The food, which is worse than that of pigs, consists of boiled vegetables, seaweed, bean sprouts, tofu, and radishes, all cooked without oil. For breakfast, inmates are given rice with water, and a few pieces of rotten radishes. Inmates that complain are handcuffed to a board or shackled and hung up. Because practitioner Ms. Huang Wenqin protested this treatment, she was handcuffed to a board and shackled. The most common form of punishment is sleep deprivation.