Two Years of Forced Labour in a Living Hell: My Suffering in Jilin Province Heizuizhi Forced Labour Camp

Summary of Key Persecution Facts:

Name: Xu Xiuhui
Gender: Female
Age: 64
Address: Wukeshu Town, Yushu City
Occupation: Farmer
Date of Most Recent Arrest:
Most Recent Place of Detention: Heizuizi Forced Labour Camp
City: Changchun
Province: Jilin
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labour, brainwashing, forced injections/drug administration, beatings, hung up, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, rape, sexual assault, force-feedings, extortion, fired from workplace, physical restraint, mental hospital, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of toilet use

My name is Xu Xiuhui, and I'm a Falun Gong practitioner from Wukeshu Town, Yushu City, Jilin Province. When I read the article on, “Investigation of Masanjia Forced Labour Camp a Further Testament to the Atrocities Committed in the Camp,” it brought back memories of what I'd suffered in Hezuizhi Forced Labour Camp. I decided to tell my story so that people could know how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) brutally persecutes Falun Gong practitioners in its forced labour camps.

One Year of Forced Labour Became Two Years

I was arrested on April 3rd, 2002 for appealing for Falun Gong and held in a detention centre. One day an officer from Yushu City Police Department demanded that I sign a paper but I refused because it was the document to send me to the forced labour camp. However, early the next morning, a man and the guards covered my head and carried me to a bus. I was handcuffed to another practitioner. There were more than 30 practitioners on the bus and we were all being sent to a forced labour camp.

That afternoon, Zhang Deqing, head of the politics and security section in Yushu City Police Department called out a name list with the labour camp assignment. I heard him say my name, “Xu Xiuhui, one year of forced labour.” Later that day, I was sent to No. 2 Division of Heizuizhi Forced Labour Camp.

Three months later, guard Wei Dan told me, “Your forced labour term is not one year, but two years.” I was shocked and told her, “That's not right. I heard the announcement clearly - it's one year. The paper I refused to sign also had one year term written on it. I want to appeal my case.” She said, “You can't. It's too late. One cannot appeal her term after she has served more than three months.” Thus without my being informed, my term had been extended and I was given one more year of forced labour.

Suffering Tortures in the Labour Camp

Heizuizhi Forced Labour Camp is also called Jilin Province Women's Labour Camp. Since 1999 when Jiang Zemin's, [former leader of China and instigator of the persecution] regime started to persecute Falun Gong, many practitioners have been brutally tortured there to force them to give up their belief. They've been subjected to many torture methods including electric shock, beatings, handcuffed to the death bed, force-feeding, slave labour, brainwashing, and practitioners' family members have been harassed and threatened.

1. Suffering Electric Shock

On the afternoon of the first day I was in the labour camp, Li Lianying, head of the No. 2 Division, tortured me with an electric baton in the classroom. She kept shocking me while yelling, “Are you going to continue practising Falun Gong?” Even though I was in extreme pain under the shock and kept standing up after falling down to the ground, I tried to tell her my story: “I had a lot of health problems, but I recovered after practising Falun Gong. I cannot tell a lie by saying falsely I would give up the practice. It's against my conscience.” My words sent Li into a rage. After a while, she knew she couldn't change me and gave up. She threw the electric baton on the ground and said viciously, “Throw her into the No. 1 Team. Make sure Wui Dan disciplines her strictly.”

Starting on the second day after I entered the labour camp, and for the next three days, guard Wui Dan ordered the inmates to bring me to the classroom in the morning. They shocked me with an electric baton throughout the morning, sometimes with three electric batons together. As I lay on the ground semi-conscious, Li Lianying shocked the centers of the bottoms of my feet. They shocked me until my entire body shook and quivered and I wasn't able to stand up. Afterwards I lay on the cold concrete floor for several hours in the cold winter.

The names of the guards who shocked me with electric batons are, Li Lianyin, head of No. 2 Division; Ren, deputy of the division; Wei Dan, guard of No. 1 Team, and Guo, guard of No. 5. When I refused to give my fingerprint on a document, guard Guo shocked my hands until the backs of my both hands had many large blisters.

2. Brutally Beaten

Since my mother had just passed away when I was first sent to the labour camp, I wore sackcloth to mourn her and refused to wear the red inmate uniform. The guards instructed the inmates to beat me.

One Sunday, four or five inmates pushed me into an empty room. They stripped all my clothes off leaving me in my underwear. They wrote on my inner clothes, “I am bad. I disrupt the social order.” Then they all began beating me, punching me, kicking me and slapping me with their shoes for the whole morning. I was severely injured. My head and face were swollen; my chest and breasts were covered with bruises. One of my legs was immobile. I asked the inmates why they beat me. One of them said, “Sorry. The guards ordered us to do it, otherwise they threatened to extend our terms. Who doesn't want to go home earlier?”

3. Death Bed Torture

When I was detained in the labour camp, the guards had tried all kinds of ways to force me to give up Falun Gong. After nothing they tried worked, they put me on the most vicious torture called the “death bed.” I was subjected to this torture many times.

The guards stretched my arms out and opened my legs wide, and tied my four limbs with leather belts. I was stripped and lay on the bed. I was not allowed to go to the restroom. They put a lavatory pan under the bed.

Once when I was put on the “death bed” again, I was in extreme pain. The labour camp deputy head, Tian, saw my situation and told the inmates, “You should not tie her this way. Untie her arms and legs. Put a cushion under her.” At that time, I was unable to move at all. If the deputy head hadn't come in time, I would have been disabled.

4. Force-feeding

I was put into a cell just beside the education classroom when I was sent in the labour camp. Every day I could hear the painful screams from the classroom where practitioners were being brutally shocked with electric batons. It was July 2002, and there were about 2600 people detained in the labour camp. Most of them were Falun Gong practitioners and only about 100 people were not.

Because I refused to give up my belief, I was beaten and tortured every day. I decided to go on a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment. To retaliate, the guards ordered the inmates to force-feed me. They grabbed my hair and threw me on the floor. Someone straddled me and others held my legs. They inserted a tube through my nose and forcefully fed me some food with mixed unknown drugs. When the tube was removed, the food mixed with my blood poured out of my nose.

In the beginning, this form of torture, force-feeding, was conducted on me once a day and then it became twice a day. The old cuts inside my nose hadn't yet healed and the next feeding would open them again. My tears kept running and I was in extreme pain. I was tortured this way for two weeks. When it started to look like I was in danger of dying, Li Lianying even said, “We have been informed that we have a death quota.” She implied that she already counted into the death quota.

At that time, my family came to visit me. I was carried out on a bed sheet to see them since I was unable to walk. After everything I had been subjected to, my children couldn't recognize me and cried loudly. They were told I was sick and that they had to pay for my “medical treatment.” My children gave them the money they demanded and they said to me in tears, “Mum, you must come home alive. Come back alive.” I thought, “Yes, I must go home alive.” My children had already lost their father. I must survive and go home to my children. I started to eat.

5. Forced to Do Slave Labour

Every day we were forced to get up by 4:50 a.m. and go to bed at 9:30 p.m. We worked 18 hours a day making craft items like birds or ancient figures. The liquid resin used to make these items is toxic. Smelling it for long hours gave me headaches and made me vomit. The long hours and intense labour caused my blood pressure to rise. Because of the wet and humid environment I had scabies all over my body. I was not allowed to take showers and was isolated during meal times. Sometimes, we had to take work back to our cells and continued working late into the night.

At one point when my children came to visit me they were told to write a so-called “thought report” on my behalf. Because they thought going along with the authorities' demands would help me go home earlier, they complied. When I later found out, I tore the report up. We were frequently forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong and were required to write so-called “thought reports.”

It's hard to recall these painful memories. What I suffered is just one small story in the overall horror taking place in China's forced labour camps. Most of the persecution carried out against practitioners is covered up and hasn't been exposed yet.

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