(Minghui.org) The Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) of Anqing City, Anhui Province set up a brainwashing session on the first floor of Zhenfengta Hotel in early April 2021. Multiple Falun Gong practitioners were held there against their will and ordered to give up their belief. The session ended on April 29 after more than twenty days. According to an insider, authorities had plans to hold another session in May, though it is not clear whether they did.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. In addition to prison and detention centers, many practitioners are being held in brainwashing centers and subjected to covert brainwashing and brutal torture aimed at forcing them to renounce their faith.
It has been confirmed that Ms. Chen Fang, Ms. Wang Qin, Ms. Zhang Xingxi, Mr. Cao Xiongbin, Ms. Shan Chundi, and her sister Ms. Shan Xiadi, were among those who were held in the brainwashing session in Anqing.
In addition, police from Wuwei City travelled about 120 miles to Anqing and arrested practitioner Mr. Shen Zongshan, a native of Wuwei City who has been living in Anqing for the past twenty years. Mr. Shen was taken back to Wuwei City and also subjected to brainwashing there.
On the morning of April 9, Ms. Wang Qin and her husband Mr. Zeng Yilong were stopped on the street. A person tried to grab Ms. Wang and asked her to go with him. When her husband tried to stop the person, a dozen people showed up. Several women dragged Ms. Wang into a car and took her to Zhengfengta Hotel. Several men dragged her husband into another car but dropped him off after driving for a while.
On the same day, Mr. Cao Xiongbin was also taken to the Zhengfengta Hotel by unidentified people. Mr. Cao, 62, is an economist and was the director of the operation at Anqing branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. He has been severely persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. In recent years, authorities have often harassed him on politically sensitive dates.
Ms. Shan Chundi and Ms. Shan Xiadi were arrested and taken to the brainwashing session on April 13.
Ms. Zhang Xingxi was at home on the afternoon of April 16. When her son came home from work, a dozen police took the opportunity pushing him aside and rushed into their apartment. One person elbowed Ms. Zhang’s son on the head and knocked him to the floor. Ms. Zhang was taken to the brainwashing session.
Ms. Zhang’s husband, Mr. Rui Xiaolin, died from torture at the Nanhu Forced Labor Camp in 2002 while being detained for practicing Falun Gong.
On April 22, a group of officers from PLAC, local police station and the residential committee went to Ms. Wang Guihua’s home. They took out paper and pen and asked Ms. Wang to write the guarantee statements. Ms. Wang refused. After an hour of standoff, the officials took her to the brainwashing session.
At the Zhengfengta Hotel, each practitioner was placed in a separate room. They were not allowed to come out of their rooms. Each room had hard foam-covered walls. The only window to the outside was covered with cellophane sheets and metal screens. The windows faced a high wall. The light in the room was on 24 hours a day. Each practitioner was monitored by six people on three shifts, with two on each 8-hour shift. The practitioners were also followed when they used the restroom.
Food was delivered to the rooms every day. In the morning, the breakfast was two small rice balls. Lunch and dinner were usually a carry-out with simple vegetables and occasionally a little meat and egg. The authorities didn’t provide toothbrushes to them, but only a silicon finger protector instead.
Many staff members at the brainwashing session were from local PLACs or Domestic Security Office. Some were retired military personnel. Some provincial government officials sometimes came to inspect the work. Even a monk was hired to brainwash the practitioners. But when the practitioners tried to ask the officials’ names or the agencies they were with, none of them answered the questions.
The officials took turns pressuring the practitioners to give up their belief. They talked to the practitioners from different angles, indoctrinated, and intimidated them. In order to achieve the conversion rate, they only cared about getting the practitioners’ signatures on the renouncing statements, regardless if by force or against the practitioners’ will.
After Ms. Wang Qin was taken to the brainwashing session, a staff member told her that she would be detained for 15 days if she refused to sign her name on the prepared statements. When she refused, three people grabbed her hand and wrote her last name on the statements. She was then released on the afternoon following her arrest.
On April 24, a group of people from the residential committee tried to forcibly take fingerprints from Ms. Wang Guihua. Ms. Wang resisted. The next day, the staff members brought in a monk to brainwash her. On April 26 and 29, they tried to take Ms. Wang’s fingerprint two more times and she fought it off.
April 29 was the last day of the brainwashing session. As several practitioners had already been released without signing the statements during the day, a dozen officers came into Ms. Wang’s room in the evening. A police officer stood behind her and held her head to the bed so that she could not move. Others grabbed her hand and forced her to fingerprint the renouncing statement. Ms. Wang was allowed go home after that.