Weathering the Storm, Chapter 2 of Part Four

Zhong Fangqiong

PureInsight | November 29, 2004

Part 4. Sentenced to Forced Labor

[Note: Inside the forced labor camps, the inmates often loudly yelled to one another, "Do you know what the biggest cult in China is?" "It is the forced labor camp!" ]

Chapter 2. Dafa Particles

Kept in Strict Confinement

[] Starting from July 2001, ten determined Falun Gong practitioners and I were locked up in a small room at the labor camp together. Some inmates were ordered to watch us closely, and did not allow us to take even one step outside. We were forced to sit on small stools with both eyes looking forward, backs straight, and both hands on our laps from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM everyday. During those hours, we were not allowed to close eyes, let alone talk.

The temperature inside the room during the day often reached 50° C (equivalent to 122o F) or higher. Every day, we stayed in the same small room for eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, and sleeping. We were only given one basin of water per week. Because we weren't given enough water and the temperature was so high, many people fainted from heatstroke. Practitioner Huang Lisha developed painful sores all over her body. Her clothes were stained by blood and yellow pus. She was later tortured to death.

"Why are Dafa disciples ruthlessly tortured by the evil? Because they persist in their righteous faith in Dafa, and because they are particles of Dafa." ("Dafa is Indestructible" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)

In September, I was moved to the 9th Platoon of the labor camp. Some practitioners were still locked up inside the small room when I left. I saw fellow practitioners being savagely tortured but could do nothing to help. For example, Zhu Xia was a 32 year old practitioner who was detained in the same labor camp. Zhang Xiaofang, who was the supervisor of the 7th Platoon, told two drug addicts to stuff Zhu Xia's mouth tightly with dirty rags. After that, they dragged her back and forth on the ground covered with sand and cobblestones. When passing in front of the video monitors, they would pretend everything was normal to avoid being recorded. But after they walked past the monitors, they would continue dragging her around. When those two drug addicts grew tired, another batch of drug addicts came over and continued dragging Zhu Xia around. Sand and cobblestones dug into Zhu Xia's back, buttocks, and legs, and she was covered in blood. Zhang Xiaofang then ordered more than 10 former practitioners who had been brainwashed to jump onto Zhu Xia, some pulling her hair, some spitting on her, some pulling her feet or hands, and some sitting on Zhu Xia and beating her. They beat and cursed at Zhu Xia until they were too tired to continue. By that time, Zhu Xia could no longer stand up unassisted. Zhang Xiaofang then asked a doctor to pick the particles of sand and cobblestones out of Zhu Xia's wounds, but it was virtually impossible to get them all out. Moreover, Zhu Xia herself was made to pay for the expensive bill from the doctor.

Zhu Xia was illegally detained at the labor camp for over one and a half years. After that, she was sent to three brainwashing sessions in a row for another 10 months in all (in Pi County, Pengzhou City, Xinjin City, respectively). The brutal persecution and inhuman torture severely harmed Zhu Xia both physically and mentally. In September 2003 when Zhu Xia was detained in Pengzhou City Brainwashing Center, she was already tortured to the point of having hallucinations and talking irrationally. But the head of the brainwashing center He Yuanfu refused to release her. Instead he continued to torture her and try to brainwash her. Her condition deteriorated and she began to have more and more frequent episodes of hallucinations. She suffered a mental breakdown. She was always in an agitated state, crying, laughing, talking irrationally, and hitting her fists against doors and windows. She also littered human waste everywhere. When she slept, she would tear up the quilt cover and used the filling made of cotton to cover herself. After her case was made known to the public, the brainwashing center authorities had to release her on April 2, 2004. Right now, Zhu Xia is at her home but she is still unable to take care of herself. Her 70-year old mother has to look after her, her 3-year-old son, as well as Zhu Xia's father, who is suffering from a mental breakdown he developed after being tortured during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1970s. Zhu Xia's husband Wang Shilin is also a Dafa practitioner. He has been illegally sent to labor camps three times, and is now being held at the Xinhua Labor Camp in Mianyang City, Sichuan Province.

Ms. Zhang Fengqing is a practitioner in her 50s. Police in Longquan fined her more than 10,000 Yuan (about $1,200), detained her several times, and finally sent her to the forced labor. At the labor camp, Zhang Xiaofang hit her with electric batons, stuffed her mouth with rags, and tied her to a big tree. Once she was tied to a tall wooden board, and her hands were tied to two windows. Her body was stretched out in the shape of a cross and she was kept in that position for a long time. One time, seven or eight male guards in the security division pressed her onto the ground and clamped her throat with a lot of force. She could not breathe and almost died. Another time, after she staged a hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment, seven or eight people tried to force pumpkin soup down her throat. One person held her head down while others held her arms and legs down. One person held onto her neck, while others pinched her nose and opened her mouth by force. Pumpkin chunks got stuck in her throat. She could neither swallow them nor spit them out, and almost suffocated to death. She wasn't released from the labor camp until May of 2002. Around August of 2003, she was arrested again and detained at the Pi County Detention Center for distributing truth-clarification material. In the detention center, she was injected with unknown drugs, which led to her mental breakdown and loss of memory. She was also tortured and lost the ability to walk. She was not released from the detention center until January of 2004. She hadn't completely recovered from the ordeal before the authorities illegally arrested her and abducted her from her home for no apparent reason.

The guards at the labor camp either directly tortured practitioners or encouraged inmates to use all despicable and brutal means to torture practitioners. Several guards in the security division cruelly beat practitioners on the day of the Chinese Spring Festival, then tied them up and forced them to stand for a very long time in the rain. Several practitioners lost consciousness from the torture. Guards prompted drug addicts to drag practitioners into the bathroom and force sanitary pad covered with blood down their throats. Guards ordered inmates to strip practitioners naked and then forced them to stand in front of mirrors to humiliate them. Guards incited former practitioners who had been brainwashed or drug addicts to beat practitioners brutally till they fainted. Some practitioners were kept in water dungeons. Some practitioners lost teeth and had their gums severely damaged from the force-feeding sessions. In the intense heat of summer, after some practitioners were brutally beaten, they were handcuffed and forced to cover themselves in thick cotton-padded quilts. The guards even shocked some practitioners with several electric batons simultaneously and continuously. When a female practitioner in her 30s refused to give up practicing Falun Gong, the guards ordered her to squat down and then stand up 800 times. Her pants were torn open and her buttocks exposed. After the ordeal, she was not able to walk a week later, nor could she squat down in the toilet.

Falun Gong practitioners moved and changed many guards and inmates with their compassion. Due to the continued truth-clarification efforts of practitioners, many guards came to know that Falun Gong is different from what the media propaganda said on TV. Later, although many guards were still ferocious on the surface, they told us privately, "We all know Falun Gong practitioners are good people. But we are paid (by Jiang) so we have to follow orders and function like his guns. We can only do whatever we are told to do." Therefore, although these guards committed crimes in the persecution, it is Jiang who is ultimately responsible for the persecution.

Get out of the Evil Den with the Power of Righteous Thoughts

Platoon 9 of the labor camp held Falun Gong practitioners and drug addicts. The guards arranged for two inmates to monitor each practitioner. Everyday, inmates read articles that slandered Dafa out loud and practitioners were forced to listen to the readings. Every Monday, we were forced to express our opinions on the articles. During those sessions, I continued to talk about how the media reports about Falun Gong were false. I often repeated my own story as an example. After listening to my story, the drug addicts all felt Falun Gong was wrongly treated. Although they came to know the truth, they dared not speak out.

One day, a guard with the surname of Hu told me, "Zhong Fangqiong, I think you are a good person. The only problem is that you refuse to give up practicing Falun Gong. What's wrong with giving up your practice? As soon as you give it up, I'll let you go home." She also ordered some former practitioners who had been brainwashed to take turns to talk to me and try to persuade me to give up the practice for three days and three nights. They told me, "How can you leave here without being promising to give up practicing Falun Gong? Do you want to fly out of here?" I told them, "Whoever sent me here will take me home, because there is nothing wrong with my trying to become a better person." The guards told me, "Right now, Falun Gong practitioners are considered to be against the Party and the country. Anyone who is not 'reformed' will be exiled to Xinjiang (a remote area in China) and spend the rest of her life working in the fields there." Many practitioners couldn't bear the torture and promised to give up practicing Falun Gong. All of them were released one after another. On the other hand, not a single practitioner who refused to give up practicing Falun Gong was released from the labor camp. Some practitioners were still detained at the labor camp a year after they had finished serving the original term of her sentence. But in my heart, I knew clearly that I would carry on my cultivation openly and in a dignified manner. I told myself that even if I was executed, I wouldn't let Master Li and Dafa down and I would die with a clear conscience. Everyday, I kept reciting Master Li's teachings. In addition to reciting Hong Yin twice, I also kept reciting the over 40 articles —all the articles from Master Li that I could remember—twice before going to sleep.

Under Dafa's guidance, I used the power of righteous thoughts to get out of the evil den.
On September 30, 2001, it was exactly three months after I had finished serving the original term of my sentence. Around 3 PM, the guard suddenly asked me to pack my things up. I thought I was going to be sent to Xinjiang and spend the rest of my life working in the fields there. So I took all the things with me. After passing the second gate, I saw policeman Wei Daping and some others from Wannianchang Police Station. They had driven to the labor camp to pick me up. So I told the guard who came out with me, "Please bring my quilt back to Platoon 9 and give it to someone else since I will go home and no longer need them." Policeman Wei Daping also said the vehicle was packed with people and there was no room for luggage. The guard refused to take my things back. He insisted, "Since you have brought these things out, they cannot be sent back." It suddenly occurred to me that the reason he refused to take my things to other practitioners is that the guards didn't want practitioners to know that I had been released and allowed to go home.

Cultivating Anywhere

After getting into the car, Policeman Wei Daping asked me, "Zhong Fangqiong, do you still practice Falun Gong?" I said, "Yes, I do." Everyone on the car was laughing at me: "Haven't you learned enough lessons? It is time to wake up. We have a new director named Li. We will tell you more about it later." On the way back, I told them how the guards in the labor camp persecuted Dafa practitioners including me. I also talked about the wonderfulness and magnificence of Dafa, as well as how TV and newspaper made up lies and slandered Falun Gong. I also talked about cultivation stories from the ancient times till nowadays. I asked them not to be deceived, but instead be clear on what is right and what is wrong. One policeman said, "You were sent to the labor camp. Instead of being 'reformed', you are now more and more determined, and even the other way around trying to 'reform' us. You want us to be sent to labor camp just like you?" I replied, "Do you think is it acceptable that the only reason for one being sent to labor camp is speaking the truth and becoming a better person? I hope you will think it over carefully."

We arrived at the Wannianchang Police Station around 8 PM. I thought I was going to be allowed to go home immediately. But Policeman Wei Daping said, "The head of the police station is off now. You have to stay here tonight. We will figure out what to do with your tomorrow." I told him, "No, I want to go home right now. I am innocent and should be free, why do you still detain me here?" Wei Daping said, "I am not saying you are guilty of any crime. You just need to stay here one night." He then forcibly pushed me into a detention room.

I spent the night by myself in the small, dark room that smelled terrible. In the early morning, I started to do the Falun Gong exercises. When the workday started, the head of the police station with the surname of Ran came with a young man carrying a camera. Ran said, "You are quite young and beautiful. How dare you do the exercises here!" I replied, "As long as there is some free time, a practitioner will do the exercises wherever he or she goes." Director Ran then said, "How about you repeating the exercises you just did this morning?" I repeated the exercises to show them. The young man took some pictures. I wasn't sure if they planned to use it as an excuse for persecute me further.

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