My Experiences at the Tianjin City Women's Forced Labour Camp

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The Tianjin City Women's Forced Labour Camp is a hell on earth. Before the No. 5 Division was enlarged, many Falun Gong practitioners were cruelly persecuted there. During the autumn and winter seasons, the cells are very cold and damp. A new detainee is often so frightened that she cannot fall asleep at night. There were heaters in the cells, but they were never allowed to be turned on unless outside visitors or government officials came to inspect the camp. Instead, only the stove in each cell was allowed to burn a small amount of coal. The camp didn’t give any wood for lighting a fire, so the practitioners had to use their wooden stools instead. When all parts of the stools were used up for burning, the practitioners had to buy more stools from the camp’s shop, where everything was expensive and the quality was poor.

The practitioners didn’t use the coal for burning during the daytime because they wanted to save them for use during the nighttime so the cells would stay warm a little longer for them to go to sleep. However, most of the time after the practitioners had just lit the stove, a guard would come into the cell and remove the metal frame so they couldn’t be used. Their cruel reason was because the camp did not allow the burning of coal late into the night. As a result, the cells got very cold and we could not fall asleep. Still, we had to get up the next morning at 3:00 a.m. to go outside and use our bare hands to rub the ground with a brick that had many spots covered with cement. Although it was winter, practitioners were still not allowed to wear gloves, so blood was all over their hands.

Breakfast was at around 7:00 a.m., but as soon as they finished their breakfasts, practitioners had to continue to rub the cement.

In July of 2000, the authorities arrested many Falun Gong practitioners and imprisoned them at the camp. Practitioners were forced to sort beans to make money for the camp. Every day, each practitioner had to finish her quota of more than ten bags of beans to be sorted. Sometimes, the camp would add several dozen bags of beans that needed to be picked later on during the day. The camp unceasingly increased the amount of the practitioners’ work. If a practitioner couldn’t finish her work, she was not allowed to go to sleep. The truck delivering the beans to the camp never left empty since so many practitioners continuously worked and did not even have as much as three or four hours of sleep for several days. Many of them fell asleep while sorting beans.

Practitioners who were younger than fifty years old had to load and unload the extremely heavy bean bags from the trucks. Once I had a fever, but the camp still forced me to load 27 bags of beans on the truck. The camp treated us like animals and would not even allow us to take a shower or change clothes.

Although each practitioner was allowed to have one thermos of water with them, they had to leave it outside of the cell and most of the time, they didn’t have time to drink their water. As a result, the thermoses were frequently stolen by the inmates who monitored the practitioners. If one person needed to go to use the toilet, everyone from the cell had to stand and wait outside the toilet. To be able to finish their quota, many practitioners quickly used the toilet and was not able to spend extra time to have a bowel movement. As a result, several practitioners felt sick from not being unable to have a complete bowel movement. A practitioner who was a doctor told the criminal cell head that a soapy water enema would help people to have a bowel movement. After the cell head asked for instructions from a guard, she brought back a rubber feeding tube. However, the same guard wickedly said, "How can you use a feeding tube to insert into the anus?" and took back the tube.

The cells where we slept were turned into workshops to sort beans. Due to limited space, each person was forced to put her blanket and clothes into a bag to be stored in one of the two unused, wet rooms called the "reserve rooms." We sorted the beans from our bed. If we couldn’t finish our quota, no one was allowed to go to sleep that night. Also, if we couldn’t finish our work, the guards did not give us any time to buy our daily necessities. Later, only the cell head was allowed to help us buy some things, which immediately went into the two "reserve rooms." If we couldn’t finish our work, we were not allowed to open the reserve rooms. When we were finally allowed to sleep for about three or four hours, the guard allowed us to take some things from the reserve rooms. By that time, our food had been eaten by mice and our daily necessities had become mouse nests.


Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2006/6/9/129987.html

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