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Stories of “Made in China” (2)

Posted by Author on July 17, 2006

flghrwg.net/

France resident: My Experience in a Chinese Labor Camp

Chen Ying I was imprisoned between November 2000 and November 2001 for refusing to give up practicing Falun Gong. During that period of time, I was held in servitude at the Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center and the Xin’an Forced Labor Camp in Beijing.

Products Made

 

  1. Beijing Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center
    • Packaged large quantities of disposable chopsticks. Most of them were for use in restaurants and hotels, while some were exported.
    • Made “Florence Gift Packages”
  2. Beijing Xin’an Labor Camp
    • Packaged large quantities of disposable chopsticks. Most of them were for use in restaurants and hotels, while some were exported.
    • Knit sweaters.
    • Knit woolen gloves (exported to Europe).
    • Crocheted cushions for tea sets.
    • Crocheted hats for a company in Qinghe Township, Beijing.
    • Knit seat cushions.
    • Re-processed sweaters; removed sundries from yarn.
    • Made large quantities of slippers. The job was mainly gluing the sole and the instep together, and the labor camp demanded a high-quality product. When I was there, it was the hottest time of the summer. Many practitioners and I were working in our prison cells. Working in a humid prison cell full of irritating glue odors was suffocating. We worked until midnight or one o’clock in the morning every time there was a shipment.
    • Made stuffed animals, such as rabbits, bears, dolphins, penguins, etc. Major steps included putting the stuffing material inside, stitching the doll together, sewing the eyes, stitching the mouth, etc.

The Sanitation and Living Conditions of the Forced Labor Camp

(1) Beijing Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center

I was locked up with over a dozen other Falun Gong practitioners in a cell that was about twelve square meters (130 square feet) in size. There were only eight bunk beds in the room; thus, some of us had to sleep on the floor. We did everything in this cell, including working, eating, drinking, and using the toilet; therefore, there were many flies and mosquitoes. We were allowed to eat only at certain times. Water was rationed, and drinking water was limited. The prison guards never allowed us to wash our hands before meals. After a meal, we had to get back to work immediately. Twice a day, we were given five minutes for personal hygiene. When the time was up, we were forced to stop and not allowed to take any water back to our cell. If we could not finish the work assigned to us, we were not allowed to clean ourselves. When there was a rush to get products out, we had to work late and go to sleep without washing. There were fixed times for the whole group of practitioners to go and use the toilet. Even then, we still had to ask the guards for permission. We were allowed two minutes to use the toilet each time; thus, many people did not even have enough time to have a bowel movement. We could go to bed only at the specified time; otherwise, we would be scolded and not allowed to sleep. At night, the guards locked up all the cells. A small bucket in each cell was used for a toilet. We were watched even during sleep.

We were allowed very little sleep each day, and forced to start working the moment we opened our eyes. My hands had blisters and thick calluses from working long hours to finish the assigned quota of packaging disposable chopsticks. I often worked until midnight. We were not allowed to sleep unless we finished the quota. We were forced to work over 16 hours every day, and everything was done in our cells. The sanitation conditions were extremely poor. Even though we were packaging disposable chopsticks and the label said the chopsticks were disinfected at a high temperature, the entire process was unhygienic. We could not wash our hands, and we had to package those chopsticks that had fallen on the floor. In order to seek a huge profit, Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center and Tuanhe Labor Camp disregarded the health of the general public and knowingly committed such wrongdoings. Many restaurants in Beijing are currently using these chopsticks. I heard they are even being exported to other countries.

Female practitioners are forced to perform excessive physical labor. We were forced to unload trucks full of bagged materials that weighed over 100 pounds each. We had to carry the bags on our shoulders from the truck to our cells. Other physical labors included digging pits, planting trees, and transporting fertilizers. The police exploited our labor to create illegal income for themselves. The dispatch center did not compensate us for any of our work. In fact, we were forced to do long and hard labor without any compensation.

(2) Beijing Xin’an Labor Camp

Both our bodies and minds were imprisoned and severely persecuted under the excessive workload. The police often prevented us from sleeping at regular hours. When there were work orders, we had to work day and night to produce the best product in the shortest amount of time.

All the work in the labor camp is labor-intensive. Falun Gong practitioners are forced to work until midnight under dim lights, and everyone has a quota to meet. If a practitioner cannot finish the quota, he/she is not allowed to sleep. One time we were making gift items for Nestlé; these items included knitted products and crocheted cushions. In order to meet the shipping deadline, we were forced to work in the hallway or lavatories until one or two o’clock in the morning; sometimes we worked through the whole night. The police used this method to control our thoughts. They would not let us have a single moment of idle time to think calmly, and we were not allowed to talk to each other. They had drug addicts and “transformed” practitioners monitoring us. They wanted us to do nothing but work.

During summer time, our cells were so hot that people sometimes collapsed from heat exhaustion. Many practitioners developed symptoms of hypertension and heart disease from overwork. Their entire bodies twitched.

———

Ms. Chen Ying was detained three times for practicing Falun Gong. She had been sent to a forced labor camp for one year while she was visiting her family in China. Prison guards forcefully injected her with toxic drugs, resulting in damage to the nerves on the left side of her body, spasms, and partial memory loss. Ms. Chen is currently residing in France.

 

 

Stories of “Made in China”: (1) (2)

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