Tears and Blood in Laodongyue Detention Center, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
I am a female practitioner. On July 19, 2001, I went to Beijing to appeal, to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. A 20-year-old male practitioner Xiao Miao went with me.
At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of July 20,we unfurled a banner with the words "Stop Persecuting Falun Gong" near the People's Monument in Tiananmen Square. We were immediately arrested by the plainclothes police and shoved into a police van parked in the Square. Since July 20 is a sensitive date, there were 14 or 15 police vehicles of different sizes parked in the Square, ready to arrest practitioners. (The persecution of Falun Dafa started on July 20, 1999.) We were cursed at in the van by the police.
At the Tiananmen Police Station, a policeman beat both Xiao Miao and myself. I was slapped in the face, but Xiao Miao endured much more. I felt dizzy under the beating and soon lost consciousness. When I came to, I heard the sound of slaps. It turned out that Xiao Miao was taking the beating for me. The policeman beat him many times. He even took Xiao Miao to another room for the beating. All I could hear is the sound of heavy punches. When he returned, Xiao Miao didn't say anything. He only smiled. I knew he didn't want me to feel sad, but he was covered with dirt. On that day, all the male practitioners were severely beaten. I don't know the whereabouts of Xiao Miao now.
About ten practitioners were arrested that day. Most of them were from the northern part of China. They were sent to different counties in Beijing. An old lady and I were sent to Tongzhou Police Department in Beijing. The old lady was put under detention for an hour while I was held for the interrogation. Two days later, they found out my name through deceptive methods and sent me back to Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. I thought they would release me as they promised. On the contrary, they put me into the Laodongyue Detention Center of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang province.
The umbrella with the Tiantang Brand name [Tiantang means Heaven or Paradise in Chinese.] produced in Hangzhou is of very good quality and one of the most famous. Each stitch on every umbrella, however, is soaked with the tears and blood of the detainees in the detention center. Those who are detained would be given a work number, whether they are convicted or not. In my first week I was forced to kneel down in the women's room to recite the regulations of the jail. The police beat me hard whenever I made a mistake in reciting.
The Housing Condition
There is a strong foul smell in the whole detention center. Twenty or thirty people were held in one cell with the toilet inside. There was only half of a divider in the cell. Those who came in first or those with some "privileges" slept on the board. The rest slept on the cement floor. It was very hot and humid in the room. Most of the female inmates only wore underwear. Some were even naked.
I met another practitioner, Gan, who also went through severe torture. The next day I was transferred from room 5 to room 6. Then the real torment started.
There are two sayings in the Laodongyue Detention Center. "Human life is worthless. The umbrella is valuable." "There is nothing in the eyes of the supervisors except the umbrella."
In each room there was a "head," directly supported by the supervising guards. Their task was to oversee production. They have permission to use any method to guarantee the quantity and quality of the umbrella. Therefore, they adopted hard physical punishment and verbal abuse to motivate the detainees. The guards would just pretend to not see anything.
When going through the body search in the detention center, one had to get rid of the zipper in the pants and the metal brace in the bra. In the cells, however, there was thread, needles, scissors, and other tools. A detainee couldn't bear the hard labor and hung herself in the yard at night. In Room 6 where I was held, a detainee tried to commit suicide by swallowing a pair of scissors. She didn't die of the scissors but was beaten half to death by other detainees, for nobody in the cell was allowed to write letters, meet their families, or buy anything due to the incident.
We had to make umbrellas from morning until night, not even having a chance to use the toilet. At lunch, we had to swallow the food quickly and go back to work. In order to make the newcomers work fast, they beat them ruthlessly. At the beginning, for half a day I could only make one umbrella, so I got a lot of beatings. Later I could make more than ten umbrellas, but each person was required to make 30 to 40 everyday, sometimes even 60 to 70, or 80. Without two or three months of training, no one could make 40 umbrellas in a day. We kept on working like crazy. People came to collect the umbrellas at a certain time each day. If one couldn't finish the work, she would be beaten, sworn at, exposed in the scorching sun, forced to kneel down on the basket made of wood branches or bamboo, or on the top part of an umbrella. The last one is the most severe of all punishments. (It is the plastic top of an umbrella, like a wooden bolt. Later it was made of metal.) People who knelt down on it usually got the leg bone exposed and the trademark imprinted on the knee for months. When kneeling down on the basket, blood and pus would come out, and big blisters appeared. At night, we sewed beads together under the dim light to make a special umbrella. Anyone who got sleepy would be applied some toothpaste on the face as a refreshment. The "head" Wang Youzhen would find an excuse to punish people anytime she liked. She just couldn't bear seeing us happy. If we smiled a little, she would severely punish us. They beat me and tortured me in the yard. Some inmates cried secretly in the cell.
I told the guards and other officers about the physical punishments. A policewoman named Li looked at my wounds and asked questions, but the situation didn't improve. On that evening, I was surrounded by a group of people and beaten up.
The Food and Water Supply
In the name of "saving water," the Detention Center of Hangzhou City only provided water at a certain time of day, around 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon and at midnight. The "quick hands" would take a shower during this limited period of time after they finished the work, but I had to clean the work site. I didn't even have time to use the toilet. After everything was cleaned up, it was time for supper and we were not allowed to use the toilet during that time. So from morning until noon, and from noon until the evening, I was not allowed to relieve myself. The food was very little and very poor. The breakfast was some thin porridge. We drank water directly from the tap. Sometimes I was so hungry that I wanted to eat the toothpaste .
Later I was transferred to Majialong Forced Labor Camp in Ruichang, Jiujiang City, Jiangxi province. The police made the drug addicts "supervise" the practitioners. Most of them were the scum of society. Everyday, they reported their "work" to the guards. The atmosphere was depressing. The mental torture was unconceivable and indescribable. The practitioners were forced to watch videos smearing Falun Gong and study similar materials. The police adopted both soft and hard ways, deceiving and insulting practitioners. They treated good people as insane. All the families of practitioners that came to visit were required to curse Falun Gong and the Teacher.
A police guard put handcuffs on a female practitioner named Yang Dongzhi, who was in her 50's. They forced her to stand spread-eagled and handcuffed her hands and feet to two bunk beds placed on top of each other. Her hands were cuffed to the upper berth of the two beds and her feet to the lower berth. The one who gave the orders for such torture was a policewoman named Luo. She was only 25 years old. The drug addict on duty had a soft heart and moved the two beds closer together. Luo found it out and immediately ordered the beds be moved as far from each other as possible. The drug addicts who witnessed it said, "Aunt Dongzhi is about Luo's mother's age, and she has never done anything bad in her life. She just practices Falun Gong, yet she has been hanging that way for three days and two nights without a break with no food and no sleep. That policewoman is really cruel-hearted."