Wafangdian Detention Center in Liaoning Province Exploits Its Detainees for Profit
(Minghui.org) The Wafangdian Detention Center in Liaoning Province is under the jurisdiction of the Wafangdian City Police Department. In October 2010, I was arrested by the local police and taken to the Wafangdian Detention Center. Below are some of the things I witnessed while detained there.
When they first arrive at the center, detainees are usually held in a cell for about a month to learn how to make the different products. They are then taken to other wards to work. When I arrived, we had to wrap toothpicks. This meant wrapping a colored piece of plastic paper around a wooden toothpick about one-fourth or one-half inch long. Each toothpick was then arranged to look like a small flower before being packaged into a paper box.
The detention center assigns each ward a quota according to the number of people detained in the ward. The detainees are required to produce 4,000 finished toothpicks, including the packaging, each day.
We started work each day before 5:00 a.m. Those who worked quickly were able to finish before 10:30 p.m. Those who worked more slowly had to work until 11:00. Newcomers were usually slower and had to work until 1:00 a.m. The center regulations prohibited an individual from going to bed until the work was finished. In the past, people were jabbed in the head or on the backs of their hands with the toothpicks for not finishing on time.
No Sanitation Standards
The toothpicks are exported to the United States for use in restaurants. To avoid any feathers becoming attached to the toothpicks, detainees are not allowed to wear down jackets. If any feathers are found on the toothpicks, that unit fails the “sanitation requirement.”
In reality, the sanitary conditions inside are truly awful. There is no real restroom, just an open bucket in each cell. The waste accumulates uncovered, and anyone walking into any of the cells feels sick. Also, some people do not wash their faces or hands in such conditions. All told, how could anything in such a place be considered sanitary?
What's worse is that the inmates have all sorts of contagious diseases such as hepatitis, AIDS, and syphilis. Still, they are all jailed together and work together on all the products. The center's only concern is to make money, and sanitation is not a subject for discussion. It is estimated that the detention center makes three million yuan a year.
Mobsters Control the Guards
The management in Wafangdian Detention Center is very evil. The tough bully the timid and the guards pay no attention. Every cell has a kingpin who yells at or beats people all the time and does no work at all.
I could not understand why the guards would let the kingpins act in such a way and not intervene. An inmate told me, "They are all mobsters. The detention center is only a temporary stay for them. The guards are afraid that the kingpins might take revenge on them if they interfere, so they choose to look the other way. The guards yell at others, but they are truly scared themselves."
Falun Dafa practitioners are treated more harshly than other inmates in the center, and one instance sticks in my mind. It involved a practitioner named Mr. Xu Zhibing. Mr Xu, who is from the Jinzhou District in Dalian City, was once stripped of his clothes and dragged into a freezing room. He was left there for four hours because he refused to follow the guards’ instructions. Even though he was not yet 40, he lost all of his teeth as a result of what he endured in the detention center.
I write this so that everyone will know what really goes on in Wafangdian Detention Center.