Jiangsu Province Women's Forced Labour Camp has received many awards and commendations from upper-level authorities in the past, won due to falsifications and deceit by camp personnel. In the pursuit of justice and to keep their evil conduct from spilling over into other camps, I'm making public the true situation.
1. "Ministry-level Modern Civilized Forced Labour Camp" title awarded as a result of deception
At early 2007, Jiangsu Province Women's Forced Labour Camp was awarded the title of "Ministry-level Modern Civilized Forced Labour Camp" by the Ministry of Justice. On the surface, the camp appears to be a great place, especially brigade No. 2. When higher authorities make inspections or special visits, this unit spruces everything up, which misleads visitors into thinking that it looks like a school. Every room has been redone. There are colourful pictures painted on the walls and the quilts and bedsheets are nice and neat.
However, the quilts and bedsheets are merely for decoration. Almost no one dares to use them, because when you do, there is not enough time to fold them correctly in the morning. If the quilts are not folded perfectly, there will be reprimands and point deductions that translate into a longer sentence. Prisoners sleep under dirty, smelly quilts. Over 100 quilts are folded and stored in a dark and airless storeroom every morning. During inspections or visits, this storeroom is locked. Also, these quilts are almost never washed or aired-out. Many prostitutes have serious sexual or female diseases. When I was detained there, a prostitute suffered from a sexual disease and smelled strangely. The quilts are distributed without regard for who used them the night before. The same happens with the ten plastic buckets, actually owned by prisoners. They are used for grooming and washing clothes. The buckets are stored in the corner below the basin, and some are very dirty inside and out.
Bathing water for prisoners is very dirty, as there are 100 to 200 people in a brigade that must share the water. There are only twenty showers, and they are used only by certain prisoners. Most people shower with water in several big buckets. As water is limited in the buckets, almost everyone takes what they can get and doesn't care if the bucket is clean. Often, the first to get water don't have dirty water, but for those who subsequently come, the water will be dirty.
Speaking of deceit, this labour camp has established an "activity centre," where people play cards and chess, drink tea or coffee, have a snack, and do other recreational activities. But this is just a smokescreen. When the guards are informed of inspections or visits, only then are several inmates taken to the "activity centre." Once there, the guards repeatedly tell them to act happy and smile. By the time the cadres arrive, everyone has truly gotten into the act. As soon as the cadres leave, even before they walk out the main gate, the prisoners are ordered to go back to the production workshop at once.
The Ministry of Justice requires every applicant for the "ministry-level modern civilized forced labour camp" title to meet several criteria. Prisoner work days are to be no more than eight hours. However, prisoners in this camp have to work over ten hours per day. If the hours were reduced, the guards wouldn't earn bonuses amounting to several tens of thousands of yuan1 per year. Some of the guards let it slip that one production brigade chief received 80,000 yuan last year, and another one got over 100,000 yuan.
The minute they hear that a cadre from the Ministry of Justice will inspect the premises, they demand that every prisoner cooperate. The reward for good behaviour is extra points, which will be used to reduce an inmate's term. The prisoners are prepped as to how to answer the cadre's questions.
A brigade chief was worried, so he ran a test. He asked, "What time do you get up?" The prisoners answered with one voice, "We get up at 7:00 a.m." Then, "What time do you start working?" The response was, "We begin work at 8:00a.m." Next, "How many hours do you work daily?" The answer: "Six hours. From 8:00 a.m. To 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. To 4:00 p.m. We study or enjoy ourselves during other hours." These answers make the production brigade chief happy.
In reality, prisoners are forced to get up at 5:45 or 6:10 a.m. These times change every five days. We work until around 10:00 p.m. or even later. When we have a deadline, it is not uncommon that we work until midnight or sometimes until the morning. Everyone is stressed out.
Actually, this labour camp is a barbaric place, just the opposite of "civilized." Prisoners often beat and curse people. A drug addict beat me. My head was swollen, but the officer on duty simply laughed and walked away.
In Brigade No. 2, 60-year-old practitioner Qi Shuling was told to sleep on the upper bunk. She almost fell down several times when she got up to use the toilet. But, a drug addict in her twenties sleeps on the lower bunk. Why? Because the elderly lady could not operate a sewing machine and worked slower than younger people. In the workshop, guards often beat prisoners for working slowly. Specifically, production brigade chief Tao beats new prisoners, because they are so slow. Only a few young workers and the so-called "fast workers" can have a short noon break during the summer. Others don't get any rest. We can't speak with anyone else and can't look up. Otherwise, the so-called "team leader"--often a drug addict--beats or curses us. One practitioner's eyes were very red and painful due to the work. She requested a several-minute break from on-duty chief Cao, but the reply was, "Impossible, unless you become blind."
2. The Practitioner "Transformation" Process
The so-called "transformation2" of practitioners is carried out through cruel mental and physical torture. Because this labour camp manages the detained practitioners by following tactics cooked up by Tang Guofang of the Bureau of Forced Labour Camp Education Section, many guards have been trained here. Below are descriptions of some of the torture methods.
Practitioners were generally detained in Brigades No. 3 and No. 4 before 2003. As soon as the practitioner arrives, she was isolated and monitored by those experienced in mistreating prisoners, often drug addicts or prostitutes. First, they are threatened. If threats don't work, meaning that the practitioner will not, for example, write a guarantee statement to denounce Falun Gong, then attacks, humiliation, and other verbal tactics are used. Guards and collaborators take turns playing different roles. They might talk non-stop and not let the practitioners rest or think. At that time, many practitioners become muddle-headed. This might go on for many days. They use every trick in the book to torment their victims until they achieve their objective.
Physical torture especially earmarked for practitioners are inhuman and brutal
a. Use of an electric baton: Between 2000 and 2002, many practitioners were tortured with electric batons, which left deep scars. To avoid others hearing practitioners' painful screams, they used special sound equipment in the torture room. As soon as a practitioner screamed, they turned the equipment to a high volume. However, scars made by electric batons can't be hidden. I personally saw two practitioners' bodies covered with scars after being tortured with an electric baton.
b. Sleep deprivation: Before practitioners write the so-called guarantee statements, prisoners take turns monitoring the practitioners. They make sure that the practitioner gets no or very little sleep. Especially firm and uncooperative practitioners are isolated and deprived of sleep for several days and nights. Some are forced to squat on a small brick, with slanderous words against Falun Gong written under the brick. Some are forced to stand in a fixed position. Even using the toilet is restricted. Nothing is too brutal in their quest to "transform" the practitioner.
c. Incitement of other prisoners: Generally, drug addicts or prostitutes are encouraged to beat practitioners mercilessly and in ways that prevent visible scars.
After the 2004 New Year, practitioner Ms. Gao Yulan from Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, was isolated for "transformation" for the third time. She was locked up in a building called "Dear Ones Living Together." Actually, the rooms for the "Dear Ones Living Together" are on the first floor and are used for prisoners with good behaviour, But, they cost 120 "yuan" per night. The one for the practitioners had a dirty floor and was a dark storeroom. Ms. Gao was locked up in the storeroom, and the first night, she was beaten by drug addicts. When a practitioner forced to assist in brainwashing woke up to the sounds of a beating, she accused them, "How can you beat people? If you continue, I will tell the guard tomorrow." One of the goons immediately told her quietly, "Isn't this what they want? Would we dare do this without their knowledge?" Afterwards, although there were no sounds of beating and verbal abuse, Ms. Gao was forced to take off her insulated clothing and shoes and they poured cold water over her. She squatted on the cement floor and shivered.
When the guards on duty opened the door, she told them what had happened during the night. She said that she was unwilling to see such goings on. The guards said nothing, simply locked the door and walked away. Several days later, when that practitioner saw Ms. Gao Yulan, one of her eyes was swollen and blue, and she could not see anything through that eye.
In this camp, the guards order prisoners to torture practitioners. Guard Tang clamped Ms. Song Cuiping's eyelid and ear. It was extremely uncomfortable, but leaves behind no noticeable scars. Nanjing practitioner Ms. Zhang Benfang became emaciated due to torture. Yancheng practitioner Ms. Wang Jianping was on the verge of death several times due to torture. Guards ordered prisoners to torture Nanjing practitioners Ms. Hu Zhenru and Ms. Zhai Yuxin mercilessly. They were gravely injured. Some prisoners bundled three toothbrushes together to abuse the vaginas of practitioners, including Ms. Xi Liuying. Injuries from such treatment can cause incontinence or lifelong disability.
3. Transferring Practitioners to Camps of the Opposite Sex
Tang Guofang from the Bureau of Forced Labour Camp Education Section and others from the Jiangsu Province Women's Forced Labour Camp and Fangqiang Forced Labour Camp cooked up a new type of torture. They took steadfast male practitioners at the Fangqiang Forced Labour Camp to the Women's Forced Labour Camp, and also took uncooperative female practitioners from the Women's Forced Labour Camp to Fangqiang Forced Labour Camp. Ms. Gao Yulan was once persecuted at Fangqiang Forced Labour Camp. The methods are exceptionally cruel.
When practitioners thought to be stubborn wrote the guarantee statement due to the unbearable situation, the guards at either camp celebrated. All the guards were overly excited, because they received more bonuses for transforming firm practitioners. Many also got promotions.
The above is just a small sampling of what actually goes on in Jiangsu Women's Forced Labour Camp. Others will reveal more and more of the ugly goings on in the near future.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
2. "Reform or Transform" Implementation of brainwashing and torture in order to force a practitioner to renounce Falun Gong. (Variations: "reform", "transform", "reformed", "reforming", "transformed", "transforming", and "transformation")
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2009/7/1/203780.html
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