As the year of 2015 was winding down, authorities in Tonghua, Jilin Province sent eight local residents to Xishan Brainwashing Centre in an attempt to force them to give up their belief in Falun Gong.
While seven of the arrested were released by late December, Ms. Zhao Guihua was later transferred to a detention centre, where she remains at the time of writing.
610 Office Behind the New Round of Brainwashing
The brainwashing session was held by Tonghua Municipal 610 Office and its subordinate office in Dongchang District. Officials from Tonghua City and Dongchang District Political and Legal Affairs Committee also participated in the brainwashing.
Created specifically to eradicate Falun Gong by the former leader of the Communist Party, the 610 Office was given absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems. It has been the driving force behind many brainwashing centres across China during the past 16 years of persecution.
Intensive Brainwashing and Intimidation
For years, Xishan Brainwashing Centre has been a centralised place to detain and brainwash Falun Gong practitioners arrested from adjacent areas.
Most of the practitioners detained there were isolated and monitored. They were forced to watch slanderous videos against Falun Gong for long hours each day. The brainwashing centre staff often threatened to sentence them if they refused to give up practising Falun Gong. In some cases, the staff also threatened the practitioners' family members and forced them to persuade the practitioners to give up their beliefs.
With tremendous mental pressure from the brainwashing and intimidation, some practitioners developed high blood pressure and some experienced heart problems.
Arrested for Standing Up Against the Persecution
Among the eight practitioners detained in the recent brainwashing session, five were arrested for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong, and three were arrested for suing former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for initiating the persecution against Falun Gong.
The five practitioners, Ms. Zhao Guihua, Ms. Feng Baorong, Ms. Wei Baoxia, Ms. Liu Yuhua, and Ms. Li Shujuan, were arrested when giving out informational materials on Falun Gong on November 19th, 2015. They were interrogated at Jinchang Town Police Station and taken to Xishan Brainwashing Centre on that evening.
Ms. Liu Yuhua and Ms. Zhao Guihua embarked on a hunger strike at the brainwashing centre. Five days later, Ms. Liu began to take food with her family member’s persuasion, and Ms. Zhao was transferred to Changliu Detention Centre and detained there since.
Despite Ms. Liu’s weak physical condition due to the hunger strike, she was still forced to watch brainwashing videos. Brainwashing centre staff and government officials constantly talked to her and attempted to force her to give up Falun Gong. She was forced to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong before she was released from the brainwashing centre on December 14th, 2015.
Ms. Li and Ms. Feng was released on December 8th, and Ms. Wei was released on December 9th.
The other three practitioners, Ms. Song Dianjie, Ms. Feng Xianzhi, and Ms. Lu Yajie, were arrested between late November and early December for suing Jiang Zemin. Both Ms. Feng and Ms. Lu were harassed by the police before they were arrested.
Ms. Song is the sole caregiver for her 84-year-old mother-in-law. When the police arrested her, her mother-in-law ran after the police to the street, but the police ignored her pleas to release Ms. Song. This was the third time that Ms. Song was taken to a brainwashing centre since 2011.
Ms. Lu Yajie was arrested in the early morning of December 4th, 2015 while she was still sleeping. She was carried downstairs by the police. The police struck her head in the police car, causing her to lose consciousness for several seconds. She continued to experience headaches and dizziness after she was taken to the brainwashing centre.
Ms. Lu was denied visitation from her daughter and husband because she refused to give up Falun Gong.
Both Ms. Song and Ms. Lu were released on December 15th, 2015. Ms. Feng Xianzhi was released on December 10th, 2015.
Perpetrators' Contact Information:
Xue Yuliang (薛玉亮), former deputy head of Tonghua 610 Office: +86-435-3908495 (Office), +86-435-5223195 (Home), +86-13904451512 (Mobile)
Ma Wendong (马文东), head of Dongchang District 610 Office: +86-15504350771, +86-435-3389018 (Office), +86-435-6109428
Zhao Zhongguo (赵忠国), head of Tonghua Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-1389458788
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