The Masanjia Forced Labour Camp in Liaoning gained international notoriety due to an SOS letter found in a Halloween decoration kit purchased by a woman in Oregon, United States, in 2011.
Scrutinised by human rights advocates worldwide, the labour camp was closed at the end of 2013. Its name disappeared from the public's eye, but more revelations have surfaced since then.
“If You Don't Transform [forcibly renounce Falun Gong], You Will Be Sent to Sujiatun”
Dozens of journalists and government officials attended an open house at Masanjia Labour Camp in July 2001.
A reporter asked a detained Falun Gong practitioner: “Will you be released if you don't transform?” The practitioner answered: “I believe justice will prevail one day and I will go back home.”
Furious at the practitioner's answer, a guard said to him in front of the visitors: “You are good as dead, just wait till you get sent to Sujiatun!”
After that, “sent to Sujiatun” became the guards' mantra. They often used it to threaten practitioners.
Where is Sujiatun? And why was being sent there considered such a big threat?
In 2006, testimony from a brain surgeon's ex-wife shocked the world. Sujiatun, a suburban area of Shenyang City, harboured a secret concentration camp where Falun Gong practitioners' organs were removed while they were still alive.
Before the organ harvesting was exposed, practitioners threatened by the guards simply took Sujiatun as a place with escalated torture and brainwashing. No one really understood what the guards meant by saying “You'll never get out of there.” It wasn't until the news broke that many practitioners understood.
Comprehensive Physical Examinations
In 1999 when the persecution had just started, Falun Gong practitioners had to go through basic check-ups such as blood pressure and heart rate measurements.
Practitioners taken to the labour camp after September 2000, however, were brought to the labour camp's hospital for comprehensive examinations.
The practitioners underwent electrocardiograms, chest examinations, blood and urine tests, and gynaecological examinations. The doctors also checked the practitioners' blood type. In addition to blood used for the above tests, they drew an unusual amount of blood from the practitioners and stored it in glass tubes.
The doctors talked to every single practitioner. They were especially interested in practitioners who had rare blood types and asked in great detail about their lifestyle, health status, when they started to practise Falun Gong, and whether they had hereditary diseases in their families, etc.
As the doctors talked to the practitioners, they filled out forms. Every practitioner was given a number, and the doctor asked them to remember their number, so that they could be referred to by their number, rather than name. Practitioners with the more uncommon blood types had a triangle mark in front of their number.
Guard Dai Yuhong once said to the practitioners after the examination: “I have been working here for many years, but I have never seen anyone undergo so many different tests. They brought in expensive equipment specifically for you.”
In the years after 2000, many Falun Gong practitioners were secretly taken away during “transformation campaigns.” No one ever saw them again. Most of them were detained in isolation after refusing to be “transformed.” They were taken away in the evening or late at night in police or military vehicles.
Persecution Driven by National Policy
Closely following former Chinese Communist Party chairman Jiang Zemin's persecution policy against Falun Gong, Masanjia Labour Camp became a “National Model.”
With funds provided by the state, a group of guards, selected from Masanjia by the Liaoning Province Department of Justice, traveled between China's labour camps, prisons and brainwashing centres, to teach using their “experiences” on how to torture and transform the practitioners.
The Liaoning 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) also orchestrated annual intensified brainwashing sessions that lasted between 20 days to a month, to transform practitioners who refused to give up their beliefs.
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