Before the 2008 Olympics, Beijing police arrested many Falun Gong practitioners as well as non-practitioners. Those arrested included local Beijing residents, but the majority were foreign people working and living in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police and labour camp committees detained these people for twenty days to a month at the labour camp inmate distribution centre in Beijing, then transferred them separately to labour camps in Beijing or other labour camps in northern cities or provinces.
Transfers from Beijing Labour Camps to Other Labour Camps
The main labour camps in Beijing are the Beijing Women's Forced Labour Camp, Tuanhe Labour Camp, and the Xinan Labour Camp. Out-of-province labour camps include: Masanjia Forced Labour Camp in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province; Tangshan Forced Labour Camp in Hebei Province; Hohhot Women's Forced Labour Camp in Inner Mongolia; Tumuji Labour Camp in Inner Mongolia; Taiyuan Women's Forced Labour Camp in Shanxi Province; and a forced labour camp in Henan Province.
The labour camp committees transferred Falun Gong practitioners to different labour camps for two reasons. One reason is to conceal the persecution and to deceive the international community. The other reason is that the Beijing police arrest people indiscriminately, and the number of inmates at local labour camps in Beijing has exploded, so they had to be transferred to nearby labour camps. These transfers not only occur at the labour camp inmate distribution centre, but they also take place from the Beijing Women's Forced Labour Camp to Masanjia Forced Labour Camp, Taiyuan Labour Camp, and Hohhot Women's Forced Labour Camp.
In 2008, the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp accepted four batches of inmates from Beijing labour camps:
The first group was received on March 28th, 2008, from the Beijing labour camp inmate distribution centre; there were 15 to 25 practitioners.
The second group was transferred on June 18th, 2008, from the Beijing labour camp inmate distribution centre; the number of practitioners in this group was unknown.
The third group was received on July 23rd, 2008, from the Beijing Women's Forced Labour Camp; perhaps all of the 30 to 40 transfers were practitioners.
The fourth group arrived on September 2nd, 2008, from the Beijing labour camp inmate distribution centre; there were over 10 practitioners in this group.
Besides these four groups, another bus load of inmates left the Beijing labour camp inmate distribution centre on September 2nd, 2008. There were over 10 female practitioners on the bus. Its destination was unknown, but it was likely Tumuji Labour Camp in Inner Mongolia.
The Persecution at Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp
The Clearwisdom website article "Practitioners Secretly Transferred from Beijing to Remote Inner Mongolia" mentioned Ms. Zhang Xiao, who was transferred to the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp on September 2nd, 2008. When Ms. Zhang was detained at the Ninth Ward of the inmate distribution centre, she firmly refused to write the guarantee statement to give up practising Falun Gong, so she was persecuted in isolation. Because she called out non-stop, "Falun Gong is good! Truth-Compassion-Forbearance is good," the guards forced her onto the bus first and hid her at the back of the bus to prevent her from influencing other practitioners. After Ms. Zhang boarded the bus, she continued to call out, "Falun Gong is good! Truth-Compassion-Forbearance is good!" She called out the entire trip, which took over ten hours. Ms. Zhang was detained in the First Ward at the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp, where she continues to be a target of persecution.
Because the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp accepted many inmates from Beijing, the number of inmates reached approximately 450 people in the second half of 2008. A third were practitioners, about 150 women. Their sentences ranged from a year to three years, with the majority being two years. Practitioners transferred from Beijing were detained two or two and a half years in general. Only those arrested by the local police departments in Inner Mongolia had one-year sentences, although there were few such cases. Those arrested before 2006 were sentenced to three years.
There are three wards in the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp. The First Ward had an isolated and enclosed management style. Most of the inmates in the First Ward were drug abusers and younger inmates. There were about 40 Falun Gong practitioners and the persecution of practitioners there was the worst among the three wards. The First Ward was responsible for making leather gloves. The Second Ward used a tactic of semi-isolation. There were about 45 practitioners. The labour at this ward included sewing leather handicrafts by hand, making leather gloves, production line dish washing, putting disposable chopsticks into paper containers, among other jobs. The Third Ward had an open style of management, and most of the inmates in this ward were older. There were about 50 to 60 practitioners in the Third Ward. The labour here was sewing leather handicrafts by hand, growing vegetables, feeding pigs and chickens, and cooking three meals a day for all the inmates.
Overall, the persecution at the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp is much weaker at present than when it first began. According to a practitioner who was once detained there, between 2001 and 2004, the upper-level CCP administration required labour camps to show a 100 per cent "transformation1" rate. Every few months an all-hands meeting to "expose and criticize" would be held at the labour camp. The "transformed" practitioners would recite their "guarantee statements2," and if practitioners in the audience protested, then they would be dragged out and beaten with police batons and belts. At that time, several rooms in the labour camp had their windows covered with newspapers, and pitiful screams could often be heard from those rooms. The guards tried to force practitioners to "transform" by pressing the openings of bottles filled with boiling water to practitioners' backs and then removing the bottles. Their skin would decompose by the second day.
However, the persecution is still very serious at Hohhot City Forced Labour Camp. According to reports, there were four steadfast practitioners in the Second Ward. Ms. Ma Xiuqin and Ms. Zhang Xueqing used to be in Tumuji Labour Camp. They were transferred here in 2005. Ms. Ma left in December 2008 when her term expired. Ms. Zhang refused to "transform," and during her three years in labour camp, she refused to do any hard labour, so her sentence was extended by ten days every month. Originally her term expired in September 2008, but it was extended over a year. According to trustworthy sources, the labour camp wanted to release Ms. Zhang as soon as possible at the end of 2008. It is unknown whether she was released or not.
One of the other two steadfast practitioners was also transferred from the Beijing labour camp inmate distribution centre. She should have been with the September 2nd, 2008 group. Since she refused to "transform," she was isolated in a storage room, and it was very difficult for other practitioners to contact her. It is said that she was diagnosed with illness not long after she arrived and it didn't seem that the guards had tortured her severely. Sometimes she could be seen in a corner of the workshop. Since she did not want to give up her belief and she did not do any work for the labour camp, "specialists" were assigned to watch her 24 hours a day. This practitioner left the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp at the beginning of 2009, probably due to being released on bail for medical reasons. Another practitioner worked in the leather crafts workshop. Her condition was pretty good.
Ms. Xi Zhaowen, mentioned in "Practitioners Secretly Transferred from Beijing to Remote Inner Mongolia," could only limp due to severe varicosity.
The practitioners detained at the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp have been allowed to communicate with family members through letters.
The Use of Collaborators by the Guards
In this labour camp, the guards often used collaborators3 to try to "transform" practitioners by misquoting and misinterpreting the Falun Gong teachings. The "transformation" rate, and the actions of these collaborators were directly linked.
The following are the principle people involved in "transformation" work at the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp. They come and go through the three wards:
Hou Yufeng, from Baotou City, Inner Mongolia. She was once a Falun Gong assistant, but later she was "transformed" in the labour camp. After she was released, she gave up practising Falun Gong. It is said that what she says is very misleading. If a practitioner was attached to consummation or time, then it was very easy for Hou Yufeng to baffle them.
Mi Shengli, from Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia. Her background is similar to Hou Yufeng's. She calls herself a "high-level" practitioner.
Li Ping, from Meihekou City, Jilin Province, is the head of the "transformation" team in the Second Ward. She is very obedient to the CCP and takes initiative to devise plans to "transform" practitioners, then organizes collaborators to take turns attacking practitioners. Li Ping is a person skilled at fake compassion. She appears to be very caring and acts like she thinks of others first, which makes her even more befuddling. The guards even named her the head of all Second Ward inmates, creating the illusion that they treat Falun Gong practitioners well.
Wang Shuqin, is from Baotou City, Inner Mongolia. This person was "transformed" not long after she was taken to this labour camp. She did not face a lot of pressure and took the initiative to "transform." She would ridicule and verbally attack steadfast practitioners for their beliefs.
Liu Wenhui, from Hengshui City, Hebei Province, has a Masters degree and began practising around 1998. This is her second time in a forced labour camp. The first time was in November 2000 when she went to appeal for justice for Falun Gong at Tiananmen Square and got arrested. She was sentenced to the labour camp for a year and a half, but because she refused to renounce her belief, the sentence was extended for a year. Liu Wenhui was brutally persecuted and "transformed." This time in the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp, she was "transformed" in less than a week. Since she received higher education, she is relatively kind when she does her "transformation" work.
Even though the overall level of persecution at the Hohhot City Women's Forced Labour Camp has weakened, the guards there continue to persecute practitioners.
1. "Reform or Transform" Implementation of brainwashing and torture in order to force a practitioner to renounce Falun Gong. (Variations: "reform", "transform", "reformed", "reforming", "transformed", "transforming", and "transformation")
2. "Guarantee Statement": A statement to declare that one is remorseful for practising Falun Gong and guarantees not to practise Falun Gong again, not to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, and never again associate with any Falun Gong practitioners.
3. "Collaborators": former practitioners who have turned against Falun Gong under brainwashing and torture. They are then made to assist in brainwashing and torturing practitioners.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2009/4/25/199632.html
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