Xuchang Third Forced Labour Camp, also known as Henan Third Forced Labour Camp, often “purchases” inmates from different cities and counties in Henan Province. About 800 inmates are usually held there. Prior to 2006, the camp paid 150 yuan1 for each inmate. The camp is located in Henan Province, and is one of the places set up by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to persecute Falun Gong practitioners.
As part of their forced labour, practitioners produce wigs for export to countries around the world. Although the wigs are made of artificial materials, camp officials claim they are 100% real hair and label them as such. Because everything produced there is counterfeit, people say that, “Xuchang Third Forced Labour Camp is the largest company in the world that produces lies.” There are over one thousand factories in Xuchang City and the Xuchang Third Forced Labour Camp does business with all of them.
In its reports, Xuchang Third Forced Labour Camp claims that inmates only work half the day and the rest of the day is spent being “educated” to “changing their minds and serving the community.” However, they are not educating anyone. The people detained there are all male, and the majority of them are young men in the prime of life. With the excuse of “serving community education,” they are forced to do slave labour and they are in fact the labour camp’s money making machine.
Under the guards’ supervision, the inmates have to start working at 6:00 a.m. The first hour is the allocated time for washing up, having breakfast and going to the toilet; however, they are also required to wash windows and sweep floors within this time. The inmates must be at the workshops at 7:00 a.m. and begin working. They work until 9:30 p.m. in the winter or 10:00 p.m. in the summer, during which they are only given half an hour for lunch and another short break for dinner.
The CCP often organises inspection groups to “visit and learn” from the Xuchang Third Forced Labour Camp. However, whenever these inspection groups came, the camp closed all the workshops and all work was stopped during the day. Instead, they forced inmates to work at night inside their cells.
Besides producing wigs, the camp also has inmates do farm work such as planting wheat and cotton. If the harvested wheat is not sold that year, the camp puts on new labels and continues to sell it the next year, disregarding any potential health risks the misrepresented goods might pose to buyers. Whenever wig sales go down, the labour camp officials collaborate with factories in the machine industry and other industries and have inmates switch to that work to keep earning profits for them.
This labour camp touts itself as being a place filled with caring and warmth. Is it really like this? In fact it's just the opposite. Rather than educating people to be good, the Xuchang Labour Camp teaches people to be evil. The guards are inhumane and have no morality. They coerce inmates to do evil things to practitioners, have them compete in doing bad things and teach them to act viciously. The worse an inmate acts, the more the guards favour them. The guards even reward inmates who commit the most evil deeds or who they consider most vicious as their “talented person.”
As a result, bad people are rewarded in the labour camp, where they can do bad things unscrupulously. Every day, they not only assist the guards to force other inmates to do slave labor, but also steal or directly take away other inmates’ personal belongings. Although they often beat other inmates, the labour camp considers it “meritorious performance” instead of punishing them.
If a person commits a crime, he fears punishment. If he steals money or others' belongings he is committing crimes. However, such deeds are considered “meritorious performance” in the Xuchang Labour Camp. Inmates who commit bad deeds are rewarded with privileges, reduced sentences, or being promoted to official positions. As a result, those very bad inmates considered the Xuchang Labour Camp as their “home.” Many of these criminal inmates see to it that they return to Xuchang Labour Camp. It's little more than a slave labour factory that produces lies, evil and violence.
The Brutal Methods Used to Persecute Falun Gong Practitioners
Since the CCP began persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999, the Xuchang Labour Camp has been actively involved in the persecution and applying their various methods on practitioners.
They collaborated with the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) and set up a special “transformation task force” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] in the labour camp. Under Li, the local 610 Office head, they threatened and tortured practitioners unscrupulously.
The guards not only make practitioners do slave labour, but also used various brutal tortures to transform them. It was said that guards can earn 30,000 yuan for each practitioner they transform. When a practitioner refused to be transformed, the guards torture him with various means, including solitary confinement, “tiger bench,” handcuffing, roping, electric shock, scalding with hot water and lit cigarettes, sleep deprivation and severe beatings. In addition, the guards deny the practitioners' family visits, and do not allow them to use the toilet. They use every and all means to transform practitioners, even if the torture would cause permanently disability.
When practitioner Mr. Chen Shaomin from Henan Province was detained there, he was subjected to severe beatings and electric shocks. More than 30 times he was handcuffed behind his back by Ward 3 guards Xu Shuiwang, Xu Zusheng and Yan. The guards also assigned inmate Nie Yong to beat and abuse him. Nie once forcibly put his penis into Mr. Chen’s mouth, shouting “if you continue refusing to be transformed, you’ll have to drink my urine.”
Due to the severe tortures he suffered in the Xuchang Labour Camp, Mr. Chen’s left foot was seriously injured and developed gangrene. His left ear also became infected from an injection of an unknown drug. He became emaciated and was often dizzy.
The tortures used in the Xuchang Labour Camp are very brutal. One that is frequently used is called the roping torture, and many practitioners have experienced it. This form of torture was developed by the Xuchang Labour Camp.
Practitioners who've been subjected this torture described it this way: the perpetrators first tie a rope around one's arms a few times, then bring the arms behind the back, and finally bring the rope over the shoulders. The more the rope is tightened, the higher the arms are pulled up behind the body. When the ropes are over-tightened, the practitioner can't even stand up.
The practitioner is in excruciating pain and it only takes a few minutes to disable a person in this manner. When the rope is removed, the bones in one's arms feel like they are breaking, and afterwards the arms are numb for a long period of time.
None of regular inmates can survive this torture more than twice. However, the guards often use it to torture practitioners, subjecting them to it five to six times. Practitioner Mr. Li Xingcheng from Nanzhao, Nanyang City underwent the roping torture seven times. As a result his wrists were swollen and covered with serious wounds.
Another torture used commonly in the Xuchang Labour Camp is the “strait jacket.” Made of tightly woven canvas, the jacket is put on the victim from the front and tightened from behind the back. The sleeves are about 10 inches longer than the victim's arms, with straps on them. The guards force practitioners to wear this jacket, and then cross and tie their arms behind their backs. Then they pull their arms up over their shoulders to the front of their chest, tie up the practitioners' legs and then hang them up in the air from windows or chairs.
According to an eyewitness account, people who suffer this torture quickly sustain broken arms, tendons, shoulders, wrists and elbows. Those who are put through this torture for a long time have broken spines, and die in agonising pain.
Many practitioners were subjected to this torture because they refused to give up their belief. Practitioner Mr. Li Jinke was subjected to this torture from April to October 2003. Every night, his heart wrenching screams echoed throughout the labour camp.
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