Facing Shutdown: The Notorious Masanjia Labor Camp
(Minghui.org) Though notorious for its role in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners, the Masanjia Labor Camp has not admitted any new detainees since last October. Instead, all male detainees have now been released. In addition, four female practitioners were released earlier this month, and the remaining eight female practitioners are scheduled for release by the end of August.
Notorious for Persecuting Practitioners
Located in the Masanjia section of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, the labor camp was chosen as a “model labor camp” because it consistently achieved among the highest rates of “transformation” of Falun Gong practitioners. Thus, it excelled in all manner of horrific means of torture, brainwashing and coercion, forcing Falun Gong practitioners to “confess” to practicing Falun Gong and getting them to renounce the practice in writing.
Since high rates of “transformation” was what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wanted, Masanjia was recognized as a model labor camp, and the vicious means used to torture and “transform” practitioners there were widely implemented in other labor camps around the country.
The camp was directly supervised by various central committee agencies in Beijing, ranging from the Organization Department, the Leadership Group for Handling the Falun Gong Issue (which also supervises the 610 Office), the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and the Justice Ministry.
More than 4,000 practitioners were detained at the camp between October 1999 and April 2004. Over 8,000 reports on Minghui.org, dating from 2000 to the present, focus on cases at Masanjia. According to the cases, nearly 100 different torture methods have been employed at the labor camp.
Threats Continue as Shutdown Approaches
Although no new practitioners have been admitted to the labor camp since October 2012, officials continue to threaten and mistreat practitioners.
Guard Zhang Lei once told practitioners, “If you continue practicing after returning home, you will be sent directly to the Dabei Prison” And after all beds and mattresses were removed from the second and third floors in July 2013, Warden Zhang Huan said to practitioners, “You will be sent to the Dabei Prison unless you give up the practice.”
No one is notified in advance if they are to be released; nor are their families.
Strict inspections are undertaken at the time of release. Disciplinary Inspection officers are present to ask releasees if they've been mistreated or beaten while detained. Of course, anyone who tells the truth and admits to the mistreatment is then denied release. In addition, officials in the practitioners' hometowns are immediately notified upon the release of any and all practitioners.
Officials at the labor camp forced practitioners to perform extensive weeding and other types of labor in July and August. Guards Zhang Lei and Zhang Lili often forced practitioners to write thank-you letters to labor camp officers in exchange for reduced detention terms. However, the guards did so simply to shirk the responsibilities of any involvement regarding the mistreatment.
Three Dalian City practitioners returned home in August including Ms. Liu Suyi (August 5), Ms. Chen Guixiang (August 20), and Ms. Chen Haibin (August 21).
Dandong City practitioner Ms. Wang Xuemei returned home on August 13.
As of August 22, eight practitioners remained detained at the labor camp including Ms. Ma Chunling, Ms. Xiao Chunling, Ms. Wang Yan, Ms. Wang Min, Ms. Jia Xiuchun, Ms. Lu Li, and Ms. Zhang Lina. It's been rumored that these practitioners will be released by the end of August.
All male practitioners detained at the labor camp have already been released.
More Labor Camps Face Disbandment; Officials Continuing to Threaten
Xuchang Labor Camp
According to an inmate recently released from the Xuchang Labor Camp in Henan Province, many detainees have been vacated from the labor camp except for drug addicts and Falun Gong practitioners. He also talked about the severe beatings levied upon practitioners at the labor camp, either by guards or by inmates with the approval from guards. Guards stills try to force practitioners into writing guarantee statements to give up their belief, and they use the threat that practitioners will be sent to prison if they fail to sign.
Hebei Province Women’s Labor Camp
As of August 21, three practitioners remained at the Hebei Province Women’s Labor Camp. Among them was Ms. Li Shanshan from Tangshan City. One practitioner from Baoding City is currently on a hunger strike in protest.
Beijing Women’s Labor Camp
The Xin’an Labor Camp and the Beijing Women’s Labor Camp were recently shutdown. According to practitioners who've recently returned home, a meeting was held on January 9, 2013, for officers at the Beijing Women’s Labor Camp. Upon hearing the decision to shelve the labor camp and release practitioners, many officers were either surprised, puzzled, or saddened.
14 Years of Persecution
The persecution of Falun Gong has lasted for 14 years. Although many officers have not thought about the consequences of their involvement in these vicious deeds, many accounts in history have already shown that persecuting righteous beliefs only end in vain. The people responsible for the mistreatment of Falun Gong will be brought to justice.