Witness: working conditions in Masanjia Forced Labour Camp12/04/2013
(Minghui.org) I was detained in Masanjia Forced Labour Camp twice for a total of two years. Masanjia Forced Labour Camp is located in Liaoning Province and is also called Masanjia Correctional Institution First Section. It is a living hell and notorious for persecuting male Falun Gong practitioners. There are three so-called “teams”, and the third team is where all Falun Gong practitioners are detained. The work that the three teams do used to be different, but by 2012, all were making clothes. The labour camp has made enormous amounts of money from forcing practitioners to do slave labour.
In the summer of 2010, the labour camp was making several products, including copper diodes, disposable shower shorts and vests, and Christmas tree decorations. By 2011, it was mostly making different kinds of winter clothes. I will go over how each was made.
In the third team where all the practitioners are detained, those who newly arrived were usually put in the first squad. There they were forced to make diodes for a factory in Shenyang. The diodes were about 7cm in length. The middle 1cm was the diode with copper wires on both ends.
These diodes came all curled up and we had to straighten them. A leather pad was taped on the table, and we had to wear thick leather gloves and twirl the diodes on the pad to straighten the wire. In the heat of summer, our hands would get very hot and sweaty, but we were not allowed to rest. Usually we used the right hand to twirl the diode and the left hand to constantly adjust the position of the diode. After a while, we would be sore all over and bone weary. Sometimes when we raised our heads or stood up, we could hear our joints cracking. But usually we were not allowed to stand up because the head guard, Yu Jiang, wanted us to suffer as much pain as possible. There have been many reports on Yu and his crimes on Minghui. He was one of most evil guards there, and he personally beat and tortured many practitioners. Yu openly said to practitioners, “I intend to make you suffer. If you don't suffer, then I don't feel good.” However, he was later abandoned by the Communist regime. The new captain of the Third Team is Wang Hanyu, who took over the position a year ago. At that time each of us had to straighten one whole basket of diodes every day. It was a rectangular shaped basket as big as a beer-bottle basket. Even if we worked very hard, it was very difficult to finish one basket a day. But the guards called it “the easiest” task, because many practitioners who got assigned to do this were elderly or those who had been brutally persecuted and were very weak as a result. When I first arrived, because I didn't completely straighten the diodes, the prisoner team lead slapped my face very hard. The guard saw it but didn't say anything. The labour camp made quite a lot of money from the diodes. It was said that the profit for each basket of diode was 10 Yuan (GBP £1).
Our work schedule was brutal. Every day we started at 6 a.m. At noon we had to return to work immediately after lunch. We then worked until at least 5, 6 or 7 p.m. in the summer. But a lot of times we had to work until 10 p.m. to finish and sometimes had to bring it to the bedroom and work until midnight, or even overnight a few times. If one could not complete the “quota” assigned by the guards, not only would he have to work overtime, but also he would be “educated”. On quiet nights, we could often hear the sound of electric batons. That was why the labour camp was built in such a remote area. Outside the labour camp were just corn fields, and the walls around the camp are tall and thick. However loudly people screamed inside, no one would hear it on the outside. Guard Wang Yanmin once said provocatively, “What are the laws? I'm the law here. You must do whatever I tell you to do. If not, I will beat you. You can sue me wherever you want. Will you listen then? If you still don't listen, I'll continue to torture you. You are here for one day, you have to obey the captain for that day. Here, the captain is your dad and your mum. If you don't listen to your parents, we have the right to beat you!”
At one time some of us were assigned to make disposable shower shorts and vests. These were a half-transparent pink colour. Every day each person had to do 200-300 shorts or more than 100 vests. There were a few senior practitioners whose eyesight was no longer good, but they still had to do it. One senior tried to put thread through the little hole of a needle in the sewing machine. He had to hold his head so close to the sewing machine that his face almost touched the machine, but he still couldn't do it. The guards had even higher demands for the sewing work than the diodes. If someone did not finish his quota, he not only had to make it up the next day, but also would be beaten, shocked with electric batons, slapped, and sometimes even put on the “stretching bed”. The stretching bed is an extremely brutal method of torture and has been reported many times by Minghui. If one is killed on the stretching bed, it is hard to tell because there are no visible injuries. Almost every practitioner in the labour camp was put on the stretching bed, but never an ordinary prisoner. Sometimes a practitioner's hand got hurt from the sewing machine's needle, but the guard would force him to finish the task just as usual. If he didn't, he would be beaten and tortured.
In 2011, the sewing work became children's winter jackets and winter clothes. These were sold for more than 300 Yuan (GBP £35) each. There was a Bosideng brand and also a “Wei Shi” brand. They were both from one company in Shenyang, maybe in Liaozhong County. The owner also has these jobs done in jails. I suspect that Shenyang Jail (also known as Dabei Jail) also made these items. It probably has just not been reported yet because those practitioners were given longer sentences. They had to sew the trademark labels onto the clothes. This work is hundreds of times more profitable than the diodes. One piece of clothing would earn 10 Yuan (GBP £1); we were making several hundred items of clothing every day, so we were making several thousand Yuan for the labour camp every day. All of Masanjia Forced Labour Camp, including the Second Section, is now doing the sewing work. As the number of the people dropped in the labour camp, the police pushed even harder. Guard Wang Fei was the one that always forced us to work overtime. Wang is a squad captain, and, after Yu Jiang left, he and Wang Hanyu were the two most brutal guards. They often beat Falun Gong practitioners.
In the labour camp we also made arts and crafts, which were mostly to be sold outside of China. It was said that these were for Christmas presents. Let me say to people outside of China, “When you see these beautiful artworks, just imagine how much blood and how many tears of innocent Falun Gong practitioners went into making them, and what injustice and how many crimes are taking place in the labour camps where those were made!”
How can one Christmas tree have thousands of small round plastic balls? Those were all glued on by hand. It is started with a piece of metal wire, about 20cm long, and each ball is glued onto the wire. The plastic balls have to be put in alternate positions, just like the fruits on a tree branch. About 50-60 plastic balls get glued on this one metal wire. Once several dozen of these “little branches” are done, they are tied together to become the second level of “branches”, and many second level branches are tied together to become the third level of “branches”, and so on, until a huge tree with thousands of plastic balls is created! One person can make several dozen of the smallest branches in an hour. When someone did 50, the guard would say, “You can rest if you can do 60 in an hour.” If he can do 60, the guard would say, “You can rest if you can do 70 in an hour.” That is how the labour camp pushes the people there to make huge profits.
At first, only your hands would be sore. After a while, your arms and half your body would hurt. A little longer, your entire body would hurt. The labour camp does not allow people to stand, walk around, or to close their eyes. One suffers not only physically but also mentally, especially Falun Gong practitioners. They not only have to endure harassment from the guards, but also from ordinary prisoners. These prisoners mostly have done things like illegal gambling, stealing, drugs, rape, fights, and so on. A squad prisoner leader can beat and punish Falun Gong practitioners at will. The guards sometimes even praise them and certainly never stop them.
I ask everyone around the globe to condemn and help stop the slave labour in the forced labour camps in China and push China to give up this evil labour camp system.