A Film Reminded Me of Abuses in a Changchun Forced Labor Camp
(Minghui.org) Recently I came across a report that reminded me of what happened to me when I was incarcerated in a forced labor camp because I refused to renounce my faith, Falun Gong, a mind and body practice that has been persecuted for the past 19 years.
The report was about the film "Letter from Masanjia," which depicts how a Falun Gong practitioner risked his life to sneak out information from inside Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. Mr. Sun Yi wrote dozens of letters detailing how horribly innocent practitioners inside the camp were tortured, and hid them in the boxes of Halloween decorations they were forced to make night and day. Julie Keith, an Oregon woman, found one of his letters on Halloween in 2012 and uploaded it to her social media account. The letter went viral and the incident was reported by CNN, Fox, The New York Times, and Global Post.
I was incarcerated in Changchun Women’s Forced Labor Camp in 2005. To make as much profit as possible out of our free labor, the authorities forced us to make all sorts of crafts in hazardous conditions for long hours.
We made little Japanese dolls in traditional costumes and umbrellas; glued wings on plastic butterflies; pressed white Styrofoam into the shape of birds and glued sparkling flakes on them; assembled wind chimes; and colored terracotta warriors. The workshop was always full of the pungent smell of solvents that made us sick.
As we put the small birds we made into their individual boxes, a practitioner thought of writing down how we were abused in the camp on the inside of the boxes. We knew that these decorations would be shipped overseas, and people in other countries could learn how Falun Gong practitioners were being persecuted and abused in the camps. We agreed on the idea and started to do it.
Someone at the camp noticed the writing on the inside of a box, prompting all of the boxes to be examined and discarded. That day after lunch, the captain of the brigade made us stand and face the wall. The guards were furious and cursed at us.
The guards searched and interrogated every practitioner, but they didn’t find what they wanted. They arbitrarily extended some practitioners’ terms. Later on one of the captains was removed from her job, because what happened was considered negligence on her part.
What we did truly angered the authorities, who were terrified that the truth of the persecution might be revealed to the outside world.