Ms. Sun Xiuhua, a resident of Donggang City in Liaoning Province, was arrested for clarifying the facts about Falun Gong on April 14th, 2012. She was taken to the Dandong Detention Centre and later sentenced to 18 months in the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp on May 13th, 2012.
The following is her personal account of the hardships that she endured in the camp.
My name is Sun Xiuhua and I am a 52-year-old farmer from a small village in Liaoning Province, China. Before I began practising Falun Gong in 1998, I had suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments. Shortly after practising, all of my symptoms disappeared.
On July 20th, 1999, then-president of China, Jiang Zemin, launched a nation-wide campaign against Falun Gong. To counter the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) slanderous lies, fellow practitioners Zhou Gongqing, Xiu Guixiang and I went to Xingtaidong Village on April 14th, 2012, to tell people the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution.
A person named Xie Guijun reported us to the authorities, and shortly after, officers Qi Ziyi and Wang Quankang arrested us and took us to the Majiadian Town Police Station, where they and officers Sun Defang and Cheng Renpeng interrogated us. That evening, we were taken to the Dandong Detention Centre.
Held in Dandong Detention Centre
After I arrived at the detention centre, I was put in the same cell as Liu Pintong, a fellow practitioner from Donggang. We were forced to work 13 to 14 hours every day.
He Yanting, a female guard, ordered me to recite the detention centre rules. When I refused to do so, a young inmate named Han Xue punched me in the face. This happened on a Sunday, which is normally a day of rest at the detention centre. However, as I would not recite the detention centre rules, the guards forced me and the other inmates in my cell to work the entire day.
When Dai Xiaoming, a new male guard, who the inmates referred to as “director,” arrived at the detention centre, I stood up and explained the facts about Falun Gong to him. I told him that the prison authorities should stop forcing the other inmates to monitor practitioners. I also requested that the practitioners be allowed to talk to each other.
Instead, inmates were ordered to wake me up every two hours and forced me to stand for two hours each night. I found it increasingly difficult to fall asleep. Although I only slept, on average, about three and a half hours a night, I was still required to fulfil all of my assigned work quotas the next day.
Torture I Suffered in the Masanjia Labour Camp
Practitioner Xiu Guixiang and I were sentenced to 18 months in the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp on May 13th, 2012.
I was assigned to the 3 rd Team, which is where Falun Gong practitioners and those who gave up the practice were imprisoned. The practitioners who were “transformed” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] had their sentences reduced by helping the guards force other practitioners to give up their belief. They included former practitioners Wang Wenhong, Liu Kexin, Guan Yan, Liu Jing, Yuan Shuzhen, Yu Haiyan, Wang Yan, Gao Xiuhong, Jin Guimei and Wang Changxiang.
Yuan Shuzhen has been working at Masanjia Forced Labour Camp for 10 years. She was hired to teach former practitioners how to trick and manipulate steadfast practitioners into giving up their belief. She is well compensated for doing this.
When the guards ordered Yuan Shuzhen, along with Wang Wenhong and Liu Kexin, to “transform” me, I told them: “You can say whatever you want, but I will not listen to you. I will never give up practising Falun Gong!” After three days of trying to get me to renounce my belief, they gave up.
The female guards in the 3 rd Team used virtually every torture method at their disposal.
I did not accept or comply with the labour camp rules. One day, guard Zhang Lili approached me and asked me why I did not recite the “38 inmate rules.” I told her that I do not support the CCP and do not consider myself a prisoner, so why should I recite the rules? She snapped back at me, “No one has ever got out of here without giving up their belief.” I then told her that I knew exactly how terrible the Masanjia camp was from reading articles on the Minghui website.
The “Donggang” Torture Chamber
I was severely tortured and exhibited symptoms of high blood pressure. When the guards ordered me to take some of what they called “medicine”, I refused. Guard Zhang Lei then took me to the “Donggang” torture chamber. As soon as I entered the room, my hands and feet were tied to the four corners of a metal bed frame. They then used a tool to pry open my mouth.
As Zhang Lei tried to pry my mouth open, she asked, “Are you going to take the medicine?” When I didn't answer, she tried to pry my mouth open some more. I clenched my teeth so tightly that I found it difficult to breathe. At one point, I thought that I'd rather die than suffer like this. She kept prying my mouth open, and then suddenly said, “I know that I will go to hell for torturing you like this.” Under such excruciating pain, I agreed to take the medicine.
Inside a “Squatting Box”
Female guards Zhang Huan, Zhang Lei and Zhang Lili, and four male guards forced me to squat inside a two-foot-square “squatting box” from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., with only three short toilet breaks in between. If the guards saw me move, even slightly, I was brutally beaten.
I was only allowed one meal a day, which consisted of a small piece of corn bread and a bowl of soup. When I was finally allowed to go to bed at 10 p.m., the guards handcuffed one of my wrists to the metal rail of my bunk bed, making it impossible for me to turn over on my side.
After being persecuted like this for three days, my legs had become so swollen that I could not stand up. Weeks later, I still found it difficult to walk and my heart and head felt extremely uncomfortable.
Forced to Sign a Letter Slandering Falun Gong
Due to the long-term persecution that I had endured, I did not study the Falun Gong well, so my faith in Falun Gong was not very strong. I was forced to put my signature and fingerprint on a letter slandering Falun Gong and guaranteeing to never practise it again.
During the Chinese New Year, the guards forced me to sign a similar letter with the aim of slandering Falun Gong and Teacher Li Hongzhi, the founder of the practice. I then had to read the letter in front of all the other detained practitioners.
“I Will Practise Falun Gong for the Rest of My Life!”
I later sought out guard Zhang Lili and told her, “You forced me to sign that letter against my will. I will write a solemn declaration stating that what I wrote is null and void, and that I will practise Falun Gong for the rest of my life!”
She threatened me: “If you write this declaration, I will send you to the Donggang torture chamber.” I replied: “No matter how many times you force me to write something stating that I will stop practising Falun Gong, I will never stop practising it. No one, including you, can change my decision!”
I returned home on July 7th, 2013.
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