Recollections of a Practitioner Who Escaped from a Labour Camp

After being held for over a year at Shuanghe Labor Camp in Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang province, I escaped. I recalled the days when I was in detention. I remember them all vividly, as if it happened yesterday. Though I have regained freedom, many practitioners are still under detention enduring endless physical and mental torture. I have decided to reveal to the people of the world what I experienced over the past year, exposing the evil deeds of others and the severe conditions Falun Dafa practitioners face in labour camps.

Evildoings in the Labour Camp

Since Shuanghe Labour Camp became a holding centre for Falun Gong practitioners, a strange phenomenon has occurred. The non-practitioner inmates no longer regard themselves as prisoners under rehabilitation. Instead, they now work in conjunction with the guards, following their directions to beat and harass Falun Gong practitioners. The inmates are often even more brutal than the fiercest guards. Among them Zhang Jing and Li Xiaoyang are the cruelest. As a reward for torturing practitioners, Zhang Jing's term was greatly reduced and she was ultimately released.

Another underhanded method used at the Shuanghe Labour Camp is to ask those who have given in to the torture and written "repentance letters" to monitor other practitioners overnight in case they study the Fa[principles of Falun Gong] or practise the exercises.

When I was released from solitary confinement, I joined many others in group practice. Wang Shuxian from Qiqihaer was one who had given in and renounced Falun Dafa. She became angry after watching us practise and jumped into an upper berth trying to hurt a practitioner by attempting to throw her down to the floor. Unsuccessful, she slapped the practitioner on the face. When people asked her afterwards why she acted so irrationally, she said that she had no idea.

Another time when we were practising together, "reformed practitioners" Wang Yakun from Qiqihaer City and Hao Shuhua from Mudanjiang City, camp official Wang Yan and another inmate pulled a group of practitioners aside and beat them up. One practitioner was beaten unconscious.

Officials at the Shuanghe Labour Camp extend the sentences of steadfast practitioners at will. They announce that those who don't give up practising will face a life sentence. They intend to extend practitioners' sentences as long as they continue to study the Fa, practise the exercises or go on hunger strikes. Extensions are typically for one or more months. Once a practitioner's sentence was extended by two months because she had told another practitioner that to give in to the evil force was wrong. By the time I left the camp, her sentence had been extended by a total of 7 months. In addition to extending sentences, the guards also lock up practitioners in solitary confinement.

For steadfast practitioners who don't demonstrate any "improper behaviour," the labour camp police apply the following policy. If a practitioner does not give up practising in the first three months of his/her arrival at Shuanghe Labour Camp, his/her term will be extended by 15 days. For those do not give up in the second three months, their sentence will be extended by 30 days and a 45-day extension is given to any who have not given up their practice after in the following three months. Thus after 9 months, a practitioner's sentence can be extended by 90 days. When the State Ministry of Justice issued a judiciary bulletin (2001, file No. 058) calling for the release of all the practitioners whose terms are due, the police in the labour camp denied it with all sorts of excuses, saying that "to release" were not the exact words in the bulletin.

No matter how hard the police try to stop or delay practitioners' release, they cannot stop the process of the revelation of the truth. Using righteous thoughts, more and more practitioners are able to escape from the labour camp.

Persistance in Practising Falun Gong in the Labour Camp

At the camp's daily physical exercise session on the morning of the Moon Festival in the year 2000, about 80 practitioners started to practise Falun Gong exercises, with one practitioner reciting Teacher's words loudly. The guards on duty were in a state of panic. They tried to stop the practitioners by dragging them inside. Inmates and some of those who had been coerced to renounce Falun Dafa started to beat practitioners and push them down to the ground, but the practitioners got up and continued with the practice. Those who were dragged inside ran out and joined in the practice again. Several policemen punched and kicked one practitioner, saying words like "I bet I can make you beg me to stop!." A tall and strong policeman kicked a practitioner, knocking her down to the ground, but she got up and continued her practice. They kept on beating and dragging practitioners away. Some practitioners pulled others back and said loudly, "Stop the beating." After they came inside, all the practitioners recited "Lunyu" [Note: Lunyu is the preface of the book Zhuan Falun, commenting on Buddha Law] loudly. Despite the shouts of the labour camp warden, the practitioners continued reciting the entire piece. It was a solemn and stirring scene. Later, the police asked those they thought to be the leading practitioners to have a talk and then led them away into solitary confinement as punishment.

Hard Labour Won't Distort the Righteous Mind of a Genuine Practitioner

I was transferred to Team One where the supervising policeman told me that I now had to work in toxic chemical factory. I was told that if I was to give up Falun Gong, I could go home.

We worked on an assembly line in the chemical plant, dumping 60 pound batches of agricultural chemicals [possibly pesticides or chemical fertilizers] from large vats and cleaning the vats by beating the inner walls with wooden sticks. Nine teams worked together dumping the chemicals. The working conditions were horrific with toxic powder permeating the air and the ceaseless drumming noise of the beating of the vats. It was suffocating. Our only break came at mealtime. The rest of each day was filled with long hours of heavy labour. Some people had swollen faces or dizziness from inhaling the powdered and airborne toxic chemicals. Some bled from the nose. Some had sore throats and couldn't swallow food. We were allowed to wear gauze masks, some people even put on two or three masks. Still, the green powder reached into our noses and mouths. Our eyebrows were green, not to mention our clothes, caps, and shoes. Whatever colour of chemical we dealt with, we would be covered in it. Even our underwear was stained by the chemical powder, which wouldn't wash off.

Steadfast practitioners are the ones they send to work in the chemical plant, even 60 year-old women. When there was an urgent order, we would have to work overtime. Some practitioners once had to work until midnight for over ten days. We were fed cornbread with a watery soup. Some practitioners couldn't bear the physical and mental torture and gave in to write statements renouncing Falun Dafa but one practitioner said, "How can we give up practising only because of hardship! How can we write a repentance letter only because of fatigue!" That practitioner was due to be released in October 2000, but remains in the labour camp today after nearly two years of illegal detention. She, like many other practitioners, endure such inhuman conditions with the hope that it will awaken people's conscience.

People With Clear Minds

Among the police guards and inmates in the Shuanghe Labor Camp, there are very vicious people as well as kind-hearted people with clear minds.

1. I Will Light Firecrackers for You When the Truth is Revealed

There are many vicious police guards in Shuanghe Labour Camp, but there are also some who do not slander or curse Falun Dafa. They show care in practitioners' living conditions and only carry out their required duties at work. They never swear at or beat people.

I heard that a policewoman shouted out to the sky one day when she took practitioners out to work, "Why hold these good people here?!" Though she has beaten some one out of habit as a police guard, she still has a clear mind about good and wrong.

There is another policewoman with a kind heart. She couldn't bear seeing practitioners suffer in solitary confinement and went away in tears. I had never heard her say anything against Falun Dafa. On the contrary, one practitioner told me that she once said she would light firecrackers to celebrate for us when the truth clarification is complete.

2. Two Sisters With Clear Minds Refuse to Follow Police Orders

There are two sisters among the inmates who knew nothing about Falun Dafa. A practitioner sleeping near their berth gradually told them about how Falun Dafa teaches people to live their life as good people. With a pure heart, they easily absorbed the ideas in Falun Dafa and expressed their desire to learn. They took part in the group practice once and found the stresses and pains in their bodies appreciably lessened. This helped them in their determination to go on practising.

Seeing that they didn't interfere with our group practice, the police guard called them out and asked why they didn't stop the practising. They said, "Even you guards couldn't stop them. Why do you ask us to?" The guard said, "If you don't stop them, I will extend your sentence." They replied, "We cannot make a living when we return home. It's fine if you hold us here longer so that we don't have to worry about food or lodging." The guard was speechless.


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