Ms. Zhang Weidi is a Falun Gong practitioner from Shenyang, Liaoning Province. She used to work at the Education Bureau in Shenyang, and later she opened her own school. On July 4th, 2008, the police followed and arrested her in Beihou Village, Wanghua District, Fushun. She was imprisoned at the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp and subjected to two years of forced labour.
In October 2009, she was beaten in a storage room for refusing to sign an “assessment”1 by guards Guan Lin and Jin Xiaorui. Jin grabbed her neck while Guan covered her mouth and slapped her.
On another occasion, again for refusing to sign an “assessment”, she was beaten by Guan and became mentally disoriented and dull-eyed. It took her two days to recover from the beating.
Later, she fell on the ground and broke one of her arms while doing forced labour. A cast was put on her broken arm. Several months passed. Although an exam showed that her arm had not healed, guards made a doctor remove the cast and she was forced to work. As a result, her arm became very swollen.
The following are some of the cruelties she recorded at the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp in March 2009:
“In October 2008, because of the assessment, all of the practitioners, without exception, were beaten and shocked with electric batons. Ms. Qi Zhenhong was beaten, shocked with electric batons, and hung up for many days and nights. She became mentally disoriented. Ms. Zhang Yinglin was beaten and shocked with electric batons. One of her arms along with her hand became paralysed from the beatings.
“In December 2008, captain Zhang beat Ms. Zhang and broke her good arm. Ms. Lu Lin was hung up twice for many days and nights. Ms. Zong Shujuan was also hung up twice.
“Ms. Xin Shuhua, Ms. Wang Chunying, and Ms. Zhang Guozhen were all hung up twice. Ms. Wang Junyan was hung up multiple times. Ms. Run Junhua, Ms. Wang Haiying, and Ms. Wang Lijun were also hung. I will not list names of all those who were hung up.
“Whether it was being hung-up, shocked with electric batons or beaten, the purpose was to create terror. The goal was to make practitioners give up their belief in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance and force them to “transform” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong]. Did they reach the goal? No. Why? Coercion cannot change a person's heart.
“The fire that broke out at a cotton millinery workshop on December 4th, was no surprise. No governing agent was willing to certify the work environment or the equipment used there. The small area did not have an air filtration system to filter the cotton dust from the air. I would strip peppers there in the summer months. Cotton dust filled the air like snowflakes. The place had very few and very simple fire extinguishers. When the fire started practitioners were stuck inside the room because the fire blocked the door. The practitioners worked together to put out the fire by carrying water in basins.
“The labour camp blocked any news about the incident. The equipment used at the workshop was 69 years old and did not have any of the safeguards that are required today. As a result, a machine clipped the finger of one of the practitioners, and the wound required 19 stitches. The woman who was injured had to pay for the medical expenses herself. Then she was forced to work daily, her prison term was extended, and she was openly criticised in a meeting. The only protection provided for the workers was a mask. The workers were not allowed to take showers after doing heavy labour. The labour camp treated the prisoners like machines, and as a result the prisoners were physically exhausted.
“Coercion was used to “transform” the practitioners and mental persecution served to destroy a practitioner's will. These techniques were used when a practitioner would not admit to guilt or would not sign an assessment. The bodies of practitioners had wounds all over them and were covered in blood after being beaten. Screams were heard one after another and we were in terror all of the time. We witnessed such horrible scenes and we felt so much pain even when others were being beaten. We felt like we were the victims being punished and we also felt the pain.
“In addition to the pain and torment that the regular inmates were subjected to, practitioners suffered from being hung up, shocked with electric batons, and beaten. It's very hard to look back on those days.
“The labour camp received high profit through cheap labour and did not pay any taxes or fees. They claimed that they were offering a training technique so that inmates could make a living. During the New Year, warden Zhou came to the cafeteria and asked if we had enough to eat. The inmates answered yes although they were still hungry. We were given only two meals instead of three during the new year. That morning the menu was the usual, cooked cabbage without oil, and steamed rice. Ms. Lu Lin answered Zhou's question and said, “No.” Zhou showed no sign that he had heard her.
“These are some of the things that happened to the women imprisoned in the woman's section of the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp. There are also testimonies from prisoners of the strict team in the Third Ward, the special management team, the Second Ward, and cases from 2005, 2006, 2007. These stories are shocking and gory.”
1. The camp gives each inmate an "assessment" after a period of time, listing how much they changed after the "re-education" (brainwashing) sessions. Practitioners refuse to sign because they are unjustly imprisoned.
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