A Practitioner in Germany Recalls the Persecution He Endured at the Shanghai Forced Labor Camp
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Wang Zhen and I am from Shanghai. In October 2004 I came to Dresden, Germany, to study at a university.
In July 1997, I started to practice Falun Gong while I was studying at the Department of Structural Engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai. We did the exercises on campus as a group and we studied the Fa, mostly Zhuan Falun, in the faculty lounge.
After the persecution began in July 1999, I refused to give up Falun Gong and was held at Luwan District Detention Center between September 28 and November 20, 2001. Between November 20, 2001, and March 18, 2002, I was held at Group 1, Division 2 in the Shanghai No.1 Forced Labor Camp, located in Dafeng, Jiangsu Province. Between March 18, 2002 and September 27, 2003, I was held at Group 4, Division 5 of the No.3 Forced Labor Camp in Qingpu, Shanghai. The group head's last name was Hong.
I was forced to do hard labor at these camps, such as carrying baskets of animal manure, cutting grass, sewing stuffed toys such as bears and monkeys, and making beaded purses, Christmas gifts and electric connectors, among other things. Many of these products were exported. I worked from 7:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. daily without any salary. In addition, Falun Gong practitioners were treated worse than the common inmates. We were subjected to brainwashing as well as physical torture. The guards forced us to watch slanderous videos and demanded that we write our "understandings" afterwards. They also forced us to read books on the Communist Party's theories.
Because I refused to give up Falun Gong, the labor camp authorities ordered inmates to torture me on April 25,2003. One inmate grasped my hand so that all my fingers were close together. Then he inserted a toothbrush handle between my fingers and stabbed them, which caused great pain. During the torture they kept saying to me, "You have mental problems; you have a screw loose in your head; you are walking down an evil path." They also forced me to sit with my back against a wall while two inmates spread my arms apart and another inmate sat facing me and spread my legs apart until the ligaments tore in both of my legs. I cannot walk normally to this day and cannot bend or stretch my legs. I cannot engage in physically demanding activities.
They also pinned me to the ground and stomped and kicked me, which caused severe back injuries. They burned my fingers with cigarettes and cursed Falun Gong. In order to prevent me from saying "Falun Dafa is good" they monitored me closely throughout the detention period.
Several months later Falun Gong practitioner Lu Xingguo was tortured to death. The labor camp authorities claimed that he died from suicide. To damage Falun Gong's reputation, the newspapers claimed that Falun Gong practitioners who died in labor camps had committed suicide.
Before he was tortured to death in December 2003, I saw practitioner Ma Xinxing at the labor camp. He was skin and bones and had little response to the outside. He didn't dare to talk to us. I know at least two Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured to death and many others who are still being illegally detained.
I was released on September 27, 2003. During the detention I wrote a guarantee statement against my better judgment, because I could no longer endure the constant physical torture and mental torment. In August 2005 I published an article on the Minghui (Chinese version of Clearwisdom) website and reported some of the tortures used on me and on some other practitioners.
On February 9, 2004, I found a job at the Siemens High Pressure Switch Company in Shanghai. They fired me on March 16 after learning that I was still practicing Falun Gong.
My grandparents have been living in fear during the past two years. Their neighbors call them "counterrevolutionaries." Both had suffered mild strokes and were hospitalized.. My mother was illegally sentenced to two years of forced labor for practicing Falun Gong. The persecution has wreaked havoc on my whole family.
I used to have many friends, but they stopped talking to me after they learned that I was still practicing Falun Gong. They did not want to risk persecution for associating with me. This year I learned that another three practitioner friends have been arrested. They are Fa Zhengping, Lu Jinlong and Lin Mingli. Lin Mingli was arrested for the second time. I lost my job, my friends and my freedom to this persecution.
Despite the tribulations, I will continue to practice Falun Gong. I will continue to follow Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. I will never give up.