(Minghui.org) As forced labor camps are being shut down one by one since last year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has quickly shifted gears and started relying more heavily on another location to continue its persecution of Falun Gong—brainwashing centers.

Originating in China's Great Cultural Revolution, brainwashing centers were re-established in 2001, shortly after the persecution of Falun Gong began. Jiang Zemin, the then leader of the CCP, was so pleased with this idea that he gave the peremptory order to “keep them running whatever the human and financial cost.”

Dianzi Brainwashing Center is one of the 157 known brainwashing centers in China, as reported by Minghui . Having only to answer to the 610 Office, an extra-legal agency set up by Jiang Zemin for the sole purpose of persecuting Falun Gong, brainwashing center officials arbitrarily arrest and detain practitioners, without going through legal processes.

Besides illegal detention and intense brainwashing, the guards also employ cruel methods of torture in their attempt to break the practitioners' will and make them renounce their belief, all under the guise of “legal education.”

Entrance to Dianzi Brainwashing Center in Laizhou City, Shandong Province. The plaque that read “Legal Education Center” has been removed.

Illegal Arrests and Detention

Five Falun Gong practitioners from Laizhou City, Shandong Province, were illegally arrested and detained in Dianzi Brainwashing Center between March 3 and March 14, 2014. All five suffered intense brainwashing and torture.

Of the five, Ms. Li Yanhong and Mr. Zang Kuidong were taken from their places of employment in broad daylight by officials from the Laizhou City 610 Office. Mr. Ji Yunfeng, Ms. Jia Shoufang, and Ms. Hou Xueling were followed and arrested while distributing Falun Gong truth-clarification materials.

Ms. Li and Mr. Zang have been released, but the other three were transferred to the Laizhou Detention Center following their brainwashing sessions in Dianzi Brainwashing Center.

Established and directly controlled by the 610 Office, Dianzi Brainwashing Center allows CCP officials to detain local practitioners without going through the courts, nor do they have to follow any legal procedures.

Brainwashing Centers Labeled "Legal Education Centers"

Externally known as a “legal education center,” the brainwashing center appears to be a legitimate school in the eyes of the public. The truth is, detainees are arrested without warrants, orders, or approval of the public security agencies. They are stripped of their basic rights and subjected to intense brainwashing sessions and torture.

The brainwashing center collects a large sum from each practitioner to cover “tuition” and living expenses. They can be forced to pay as much as 5,000 yuan for a 10-day session.

Article 37 of the Chinese Constitution states: “The personal freedom of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable. No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people's procuratorate or by decision of a people's court, and arrests must be made by a public security agency. Unlawful deprivation or restriction of citizens' personal freedom by detention or other means is prohibited; and unlawful search of the person of citizens is prohibited.”

The very existence of brainwashing centers is unconstitutional. Yet, authorities and guards there knowingly ignore and violate the law, all in the name of “legal education.”

Over the past more than ten years, more than a thousand practitioners have been detained in Dianzi Brainwashing Center.

The key officials there include Wang Laizhen, Yuan Jiangang, Huang Yuping, Cheng Jiangtao, Zhang Chen, Yu Zhibin, Liu Jingbing, and Shi Bingtao.

Brutality the Norm

A guard from the Dianzi Brainwashing Center once commented, “If we can make a practitioner hit someone, curse, smoke or drink alcohol, then he or she is considered 'transformed.'”

To achieve this goal, the authorities and guards at Dianzi do everything they can to break practitioners' willpower. For example, practitioners are often deprived of sleep for days at a time, forced to watch the CCP's propaganda programs slandering Falun Gong, verbally insulted and threatened, and ruthlessly tortured.

One of the most commonly used forms of torture is “the big hang,” where the practitioner's hands are cuffed separately to the upper rails of two bunk beds or two chains attached to a wall for long periods of time. The person's entire body weight is on the hands and arms.

The following are three practitioners' account of what they have suffered in Dianzi Brainwashing Center.

1. Mr. Pan Yujun Brutally Tortured

Mr. Pan was arrested at work on June 25, 2008. Police officers of the Laizhou City Domestic Security Division and Laizhou City 610 Office agents ransacked his home and severely tortured him during a 48-hour interrogation session. Mr. Pan became disoriented and his body was covered with cuts and bruises. He experienced numbness in his hands and couldn't stretch his fingers.

Once in Dianzi Brainwashing Center, the guards hung him up on the wall using “the big hang.” Knowing that Falun Gong practitioners don't smoke or drink, the guards inserted burning cigarettes into his nose and covered his mouth, causing him to choke and almost suffocate.

Torture re-enactment: Inserting burning cigarettes in the nose

While several guards restrained him, one grabbed his hair, one pinched his nose, and they tried to pour beer down his throat. Mr. Pan closed his mouth and resisted. Another guard joined in and punched him in the stomach. When he inhaled, the guards forced the beer down his throat. While struggling, Mr. Pan twice pulled the handcuffs off the wall. The guards also stripped him naked and drew pictures and wrote insults on his body.

Later, the guards tied his legs together and hung him by just his hands. They pulled and pushed him so that he swung back and forth, and they beat him mercilessly. The cuffs cut into his flesh and caused severe injury. His rib cage was badly bruised. He was in pain whenever he breathed or coughed. The beating also caused internal injury.

Torture illustration: Hanging by handcuffs

2. Mr. Li Yufu from Guojiadian Town Tortured

While I was reading at home at around 10 p.m. on July 29, 2008, director Xie of the Guojiazhen Township Police Station and more than ten officers broke into my home and arrested me. They didn't show any identification or an arrest warrant. They pushed me down, handcuffed me, and carried me out the door.

I shouted, “Falun Gong is good!” To keep me quiet, they dragged me on the pavement for about 100 feet as they ran. I was barefoot and only had on a short sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts. Rocks, sand, and dirt left scratches and injuries all over me.

I had cuts on my knees, angles, elbows, shoulders, and back. Sand and dirt was pushed into the gaping wounds. Their was blood everywhere. The guards were petrified at the sight of me when they finally stopped. Even so, they still tied me up and left me in the rain once we arrived at Dianzi Brainwashing Center. The pain was unbearable. The rain washed off the blood and stained my entire shirt.

Among those who participated were director Yang Xuandi of the 610 Office, head of the Domestic Security Division Liu Jingbing, guards Yuan Jiangang, Shi Bingtao, Cheng Jiangtao, and another guard named Meng.

Later, Liu took me into a room with two chains attached to one of the walls. He raised my arms and cuffed each hand to a chain. Whenever I dropped my arms, the handcuff cut into my flesh and eventually into my bones.

My injuries got infected and filled with pus. My open wounds were attacked by flies and mosquitoes. The mosquito bites on top of my injuries caused the most painful itch. Three government officials monitored me. They didn't let me go to the restroom and deprived me of sleep. Whenever I dozed off, Shi Jingtao slapped me to keep me awake.

I was once hung up for four days and nights. My hands were completely numb when I was finally let down. I had severe swelling in my hands, legs, and feet, and couldn't even put my slippers on.

After having a few drinks at dinner one day, guards Liu Jingbing and Yuan Jiangang and a few others hung me up again. While one guard secured my head, another pinched my nose and pried my mouth open. They poured beer down my throat again. My teeth were loosened and my nose bled.

They also tried to force me to smoke cigarettes. When I refused, guard Meng blew smoke at me. After days of nonstop torture and sleep deprivation, I lost consciousness and didn't feel anything when they stabbed me with needles.

One time, the guards handcuffed me under a light in the courtyard and called it “feeding the mosquitoes.” It was hot and humid during August and I was left in the heat for three hours.

After a big meal and a few drinks that night, guard Liu Jingbing tried to whip my genitals with a wooden stick. I resisted with all my might and he finally gave up. The guards handcuffed me to the metal frame of a bunk bed and left me in an awkward position where I couldn't stand up straight or squat for the entire night.

I was tortured for seven days and nights in the brainwashing center. The guards tried all their tactics and finally gave up. I was later transferred to the Laizhou City Detention Center.

3. Ms. Zhai Qie's Personal Account

Before the Olympic Games were held in Beijing in 2008, large scale arrests were carried out in many regions in China, including Laizhou City. In the afternoon on June 4, seven police officers broke into my home, confiscated my Falun Gong books and an MP3 player and took me to Dianzi Brainwashing Center.

Torture re-enactment: The big hang

Guard Liu Jingbing started to torture me as soon as I arrived. I was hung by my arms until the pain was unbearable and my entire body started to shake. I felt as if my life was going to end. Recognizing that I was on the verge of collapse, the guards let me down. When a doctor measured my blood pressure, a guard blurted out, “Zhai Qie, why is your blood pressure so high?” I was never told how high it was.

I was then made to sit between two beds with my hands cuffed separately to each headboard. I was deprived of sleep for three days and nights. I was extremely weak and dizzy. I was seeing black and wanted to vomit. My brain just went blank. It is hard to describe how it feels to be pushed to the limit of your endurance.

I was transferred to a detention center after three days, then taken back to the brainwashing center by guard Liu Jingbing and a female guard named Yuan. They cuffed me to the beds for nine days straight. I was not allowed to sleep and forced to watch TV programs slandering Falun Gong with the volume all the way up.

On the fifth day, I was so tired I kept dozing off. Liu sprayed cold water on my face until my clothes were all wet. The guards didn't give me any food or water for days. They also didn't let me use the restroom. The mental torture was worse than the physical pain. I don't know how I got through it.

Once, 610 Office official Yuan Jiangang grabbed my hair, pulled me off the stool, and started to beat me. My hair was pulled out. I don't want to get into too much detail—the guards were crazy, vicious, and inhumane.