Recently, the report about the inhumane treatment of Falun Gong practitioners at Masanjia Forced Labour Camp reminded me about the forced labour at Tiantanghe Women's Forced Labour Camp in Beijing.
Regardless of age, all prisoners had to do a required amount of farm work, shovel snow on cold winter days, remove grass on hot summer days, etc. Many didn't have the physical strength required and fainted while working.
We were forced to pack green beans, tea leaves, children's clothes, sugar, stamps and books into boxes – each of which weighed over 50 kilograms (110 lb). The boxes of books were particularly heavy, so loading and unloading them onto trucks was especially difficult for elderly practitioners. A seventy-year-old woman didn't know how to put together a paper box. She was punished by having to sit on a bench for days until her legs turned purple.
Falun Gong practitioners who were detained not only had to do forced labor, but also suffered torture such as being forced to sit on a small iron bench for prolonged periods, or being beaten with electric batons. Several healthy practitioners were tortured so severely that they could only crawl afterwards. Others were unable to stand straight. Some suffered mental breakdowns and a few couldn't recognize their family members any longer.
Chen Jianhua, a practitioner from the northeastern part of China, was beaten by several male police officers who stepped on her head. The injuries caused distortion to her face and head. She cried in pain at night. She asked to see a doctor but the camp officials denied her request. Three officers from the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), the Political and Judiciary Committee and the Domestic Security Division forced her to eat food mixed with unknown drugs. Before long, her entire body became black and blue. A hospital examination indicated that she had been poisoned. Her son came to see her at the camp, but he was threatened by the camp authorities and didn't dare to come back. Ms. Chen's parents wept after they saw how badly she was being treated. Later, they were forced to leave home in order to avoid police harassment.
Inside the forced labour camp, it was common for guards to throw a female practitioner nearly 60 years old against an iron pole so that she would lose consciousness. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police officers acted without conscience. They detained a 20-year-old woman in a tiny windowless room, force-fed her and beat her with an electric baton. I could hear screams from people being tortured. These guards would say, “We work for the Communist Party. Whoever dares to go against us, we will make you learn your lesson.” This inhumane torture is ongoing in all CCP forced labour camps.
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