University Student Expelled for his Practice of Falun Gong Exposes the Persecution He Faced in Beijing's Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp (Part 1)
[Editor's note: Mr. Gong Chengxi, 25, was a former undergraduate student in his senior year, majoring in Administration and Management at the Changping College of the Beijing Politics and Law University. He was from Urumqi, Xinjiang Province. He had been an outstanding student at school who excelled both in academics and personal conduct. He was elected the student association president and the class leader. The school expelled him after the persecution started.]
Gong Chengxi was sent for detention to the infamous Tuanhe Labor Camp in Beijing around the end of 2000 when he was distributing truth-clarifying pamphlets in Beijing. He was sent to brainwashing sessions twice under the persecution, with one of them lasting for more than 10 months. During the two-year-long detention, the guards attempted to force him to give up his faith by using various forms of torture, such as forced standing, squatting, electric shock baton, forced-feeding and deprivation of sleep. He did not waiver once even though he was one of the focal targets for brainwashing and transformation, he received an unimaginable amount of torture both physically and mentally. He was one of the most determined Dafa practitioners at the Tuanhe Labor Camp.
Gong Chengxi walked out of the Tuanhe Labor Camp with dignity in 2003. Unfortunately, he was falsely arrested again in August 2003 and his whereabouts are not known at this time.
I had been quite weak and feeble ever since I was young, and I got sick quite often. I had suffered miserably in health and endured the anguish of being hopeless. I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1998. A miracle happened after about half a month of practice. The pain in my body subsided. My whole body felt like it was being transformed from the innermost part of my soul. Gradually my body became healthy, and my outlook became bright. My whole mental and physical condition improved greatly as I followed the principles of "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance" for my personal conduct. My teachers, classmates, friends and relatives all commended me for my improvement.
Yet, after practitioners' peaceful appeal on April 25th, 1999, I received warnings from the school that I must not introduce Falun Gong to others or I will be dismissed from my position as the class leader. I would have to choose between practicing and school. This caused a lot of undue hardship in my studies and my life.
After July 20th, 1999, the Jiang regime passed down an order to persecution Falun Gong practitioners by the strategy of "ruining [Falun Gong practitioners'] reputations, cut them off financially, and destroy them physically." Countless Falun Gong practitioners were facing a dire crisis in their existence. Unaccountable numbers of innocent families were broken up.
After the summer of 1999, the university's Communist Youth League Committee asked my parents to come to Beijing from Xinjiang, and threatened them with my dismissal from the school in order to have their cooperation in forcing me to abandon my practice of Falun Gong. Faced with such unwarranted and unfair persecution, I had no choice but to go to Beijing to appeal.
I was seized by plainclothes police on my way to the government office in October 1999 and was taken to the Tiananman police station. In the interrogation cell the police forcefully cuffed my hands behind my back and forced me to squat down. They also savagely beat my buttocks with rubber batons. I sweated profusely under the severe pain and the handcuffs bit into my wrist. That evening the school took me back. The Party and League committee applied a great deal of pressure to prevent me from further appeals. In order to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to the government, I was forced to leave home. I returned back to school after a month but was dismissed from school for one year of probation, and my father took me home to Xinjiang.
Due to the nationwide persecution of Falun Gong instigated by the Jiang regime, even Falun Gong practitioners in my hometown were also sent to labor camps. Their phones were being monitored. Everyone had to show his or her solidarity and conformance with the government. Practitioner's relatives were also implicated. My own relatives were in fear too, so they sent me to another relative's home in a remote village. However, even there the police were arresting practitioners. My relatives were constantly living in fright.
On July 22, 2000, I again went to Tiananman Square to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong. I was dragged and beaten by the police and then they shoved me into the squad car. They continued to pull my hair and tortured me in the squad car. Later, close to one hundred Falun Gong practitioners and myself were taken to another police station, where we were forced to get our photos taken and finger printed. I was detained for 48 hours without any due legal process. I was forced to stand for several hours until I was about to faint. That evening I was thrown into a small cell without a bed. The police prohibited me from practicing the Falun Gong exercises or going to sleep, otherwise they would savagely beat me again.
My parents sent me back to school in September 2000 at the end of the one-year school probation. Yet the school did not allow me to resume my studies because I wrote, "peaceful appeal for Falun Gong is not a criminal act" on my application form to resume my courses. This brought forth another round of beating by my father.
In October 2000, I accompanied my parents to tour Tiananmen Square. Before we could go up to Tiananman gate tower, the police forced my parents to curse Falun Gong before permitting us to enter the gate tower.
On December 20, 2000, I was spotted while distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying pamphlets at a branch college of the Beijing University. About 7 to 8 security personnel beat me up in front of a group of people and then sent me to the detention center at the Changping police station in Beijing. In the first two days of detention, one of my legs was badly beaten by inmates and became swollen. I could not walk normally for an entire month. Another practitioner in the same cell was often stripped of his clothes, and several degenerated inmates took pleasure in forcing a toothbrush into his anus. The inmates often used other degenerate and dissolute means to torture and humiliate him.
While I was there, they forced me to sit on hard board for a long period of time during the day. In the evening I could not sleep because I was so cold. I could not even take a bath or brush my teeth. Each day I could only eat stale and hardened corn bread. I started a hunger strike. After three days, the police started to force-feed me. They ordered inmates to drag me executioner style for several tens of meters to the outside. They nearly broke my arms and my shoes fell off along the way. I was shoved to the ground at the gate where cold winds howled. One of the police cursed me saying, "I will stab you to death," and roughly shoved a plastic tube through my nostril. They injected a bowl of either diluted milk powder or corn cereal. Then they quickly pulled the plastic tube out causing severe pain to my nostril membrane. They did not have any sterilization equipment or necessary nursing care. Even the untrained inmates could administer force-feeding. Once, another Falun Gong practitioner in the same cell protested, "You can not treat me like this," while the inmates pushed him onto the ground and forcefully inserted the plastic tube. The policeman kicked him hard on his forehead with his leather boots. His forehead bled for a long time afterwards.
After more than two weeks of treatment I became extremely week. I did not have any strength and was barely able to breathe. Yet the police still forced me to sit on the hard board during the day. At night I was forced to sleep on the bare concrete floor, near the doorway, where there was a cold draft. I could not extend my legs or turn over.
(To be continued.)