I was sent to a labour camp for distributing leaflets exposing the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. This is how I learned of the situation in the labour camp.
1. Falun Dafa practitioners who were sent to the labour camp include teenage students, elderly citizens in their seventies, factory workers, peasants, college students, government officials, well educated intellectuals, professors, and even army personnel. The only reason they were sent to the labour camp was because they practiced Falun Gong.
2. There were many solitary confinement cells in the labour camp. Falun Dafa practitioners were taken there if they practiced the Falun Gong exercises or broke one of the inhumane rules the labour camp made up. Before being thrown into these cells, practitioners were stripped almost completely naked. The cells were very dark and small. A person couldn't even stand straight in there. There were many insects in the cell, and the practitioners were badly bitten. Every day, the guards would throw a few chunks of rice on the ground, and the practitioners had to eat with their hands. The practitioners were detained there until they wrote the "guarantee letter" [promising to give up the practice]. After they wrote the "guarantee letter," they had to announce at the labour camp meeting that they promised to give up the practice. Additionally, they were required to declare their resolve to stop practicing repeatedly; otherwise they would be sent back to solitary confinement.
3. Two convicted criminals watched every Falun Dafa practitioner around the clock. There were numerous unreasonable rules. The practitioners were only allowed to use the restroom at specified times. The guards also forbade practitioners to talk to or see each other. If one practitioner was in the public restroom, then other practitioners weren't allowed to go in there.
4. At the end of the term, the practitioners weren't released until they announced that they no longer practiced Falun Gong, while other people at the labour camp were free to go after their term was over. This meant that for Falun Gong practitioners, being sent to the labour camp was equivalent to a life sentence. If they didn't write the three required letters renouncing their belief in Falun Gong, they could be detained forever. The three letters included a "guarantee-not-to-practice" letter, a letter of repentance, and a letter criticizing other practitioners. If practitioners refused to write them, then every month their term was extended for an additional eight days. At the end of the term, if they didn't change their mind about Falun Gong, then another 3 months were added. For other people at the labour camp, if they behaved well, they were allowed to not participate in hard labour for a few days every month, but for Falun Dafa practitioners, the term just kept growing. This extension happened again and again. Even those who were forced to write the three letters were detained for another 3 to 5 months for the labour camp officials to observe if the practitioners had indeed changed their heart. Only after that would the labour camp officials consider releasing a practitioner.
5. The employees at the labour camp used all sorts of ways to pressure Falun Dafa practitioners, such as playing videotapes slandering Falun Gong, and using other methods to deceive and lie to them in order to make them stray from their beliefs. They often bragged about how many practitioners they had "transformed." They also had long "talks" with practitioners, which sometimes lasted more than 10 hours, and in certain cases, much longer than that. The practitioners weren't even allowed to drink water. The labour camp employees used everything they could to apply pressure to the practitioners, trying to muddle the practitioners' minds.
6. In the labour camp, the practitioners were treated worse than animals and suffered all kinds of torture. Most Falun Dafa practitioners became very weak due to the torture. There were people losing consciousness and being sent to the hospital every day. Many practitioners could no longer walk. Most elderly practitioners were tortured so severely that they developed symptoms of heart disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy, and paralysis. Only then would the labour camp officials ask the local police station or relatives to take the practitioner away to avoid responsibility. They said, "If they die outside [not in the police station], it is easier to deal with." They use this method to avoid responsibility and hide their crimes.
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