February 01, 2014 | By a Minghui correspondent from Shandong Province
(Minghui.org) A common response from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regarding human rights violations in China is that they are committed by a few “rats,” as China is so big. However, the persecution of Falun Gong is systematically implemented and goes well beyond a few individuals or groups. The Shandong Men’s Prison is such an example.
Knowing that new inmates are more likely to be motivated by the prospect of sentence reductions, the Shandong Men’s Prison detain them with Falun Gong practitioners in the No. 11 Ward. There, inmates are rewarded on a point-based system, in which getting a practitioner to renounce Falun Gong earns them 40 points towards early release. For context, an inmate can earn a maximum of 36 points over the period of a year through normal means.
A five-step road map is laid out for practitioners before they are considered for release: torture, severe torture, brainwashing, writing “thought reports,” and videotaped sessions criticizing Falun Gong. If the prison authorities are not satisfied with a practitioner’s thought reports or criticism of Falun Gong, the practitioner is re-subjected to torture and brainwashing.
In addition, the prison layout and where practitioners are held are specifically designed for the purpose of isolation and coercion.
At first, the practitioners in the No. 11 Ward were subjected to brainwashing, but not forced labor. Later forced labor was added as a method of persecution.
Point-Based System: One-Year Term Deduction for “Transforming” Two Practitioners
Rewards are used to encourage inmates to participate in persecuting practitioners. The inmates can earn points through work performed and assisting in “transforming” assigned practitioners.
An inmate can earn one point and up to three points (for team leads) per month through performing labor. In contrast, an inmate earns 40 points if their assigned practitioner gives up Falun Gong.
When an inmate earns 80 points, his term is reduced by one year. Given that many inmates at the Shandong Men’s Prison are serving 20-year or more sentences, the prospect of quickly reducing their sentences through persecuting Falun Gong practitioners serves as an extremely powerful incentive.
The inmates are thus driven to commit crimes against the practitioners. There are posters hanging everywhere in the ward. The newly convicted inmates are brainwashed with slanderous materials during the first 10 to 20 days upon arrival. Then they are arranged to be “personal cangues” to monitor and brainwash the practitioners.
The guards and “personal cangues” are trained three days a week. A TV and a DVD player are set up in every cell to play programs that slander Falun Gong.
There is even a “career path” for these inmates or “personal cangues.” If they perform well, they may be admitted to “The Advanced Committee of Transformation through Labor.” A member of this committee is not required to do forced labor and can quickly earn bonus points towards term reduction. They are granted preferential treatment, such as eggs and ham in their meals. They are called “volunteers” instead of “personal cangues.”
The prison has two thick Falun Gong Practitioner Transformations Manuals authored by Qi Xiaoguang, the prison warden. The prison holds two meetings each week, where the victims are publicly humiliated in a format reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. The practitioner sits between two “volunteers” in front of a podium, and another person reads slanderous materials attacking Falun Gong and the practitioners.
Step 1. Forced to Sit on a Small Stool
If practitioners refuse to give in when they are first sent to prison, they may be forced to face a wall and squat down for long hours, until their knees and legs become swollen. They may also be forced to sit on a 18-cm tall stool for long hours, until their buttocks fester and get bruised.
Torture Re-enactment: Sitting on a small stool
Step 2. Escalated Torture
The prison usually conducts a physical check-up to estimate the limits of a Falun Gong practitioner’s endurance before sending him to the “strict-control” team for more severe torture.
The following torture methods have a designed flow and each lasts about five minutes:
Several inmates hold the victim down and bend his legs, while a stick is placed at the back of the knees. They beat the bottom of the victim’s feet until they are badly swollen. They strike the victim’s buttocks with a wooden or plastic board until it bleeds. They also rake his ribs with shoe brushes, and put toothbrushes between his fingers and turn the brushes forcefully while holding the fingers tightly together.
An additional torture involves scrubbing the victim’s shins with a shoe brush. One practitioner passed out several times while being subjected to it. They poured cold water over him to wake him up and continued torturing him until his leg bone was exposed. While he was unconscious, they held his hand to sign on the “five statements” to give up Falun Gong. This practitioner was released over four years ago. Even now, his lower leg bleeds easily whenever it is lightly scraped.
Step 3. Brainwashing
If a practitioner gives in under the pressure and torture, the inmates involved immediately start celebrating gaining 40 points toward their term reduction.
They then take the third step, which is to reinforce step two with brainwashing. The practitioner is forced to repeatedly write articles against his will, “exposing and criticizing” Falun Gong. The purpose is to break the practitioner’s spirit and drive home their giving up Falun Gong.
If the guards are not satisfied with the results observed during brainwashing, they will torture the practitioner further.
Step 4. Writing “Thought Reports”
In step four, the practitioners are detained with other inmates and forced to write “thought reports” or other articles to “thoroughly break away from Falun Gong.” If they refuse or do not do it to the guards’ satisfaction, they are again tortured and brainwashed. Meanwhile, they are still watched closely by the inmates and guards.
Step 5. Final Blow Before Release
A big gathering is held before a practitioner’s release. He is required to give a speech, which is required to last half an hour or even longer. The speech is videotaped, made into a CD and filed away.
Right before leaving, the practitioner is forced to give an eight-minute speech against Falun Gong in order to be released. In addition, the practitioner’s belongings are checked thoroughly so as to remove any evidence of torture and persecution.
Category: Accounts of Persecution