Although the forced labour camp system in China is being dismantled, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in brainwashing centres. Parading as “law education” centres, brainwashing centres have been illegally set up by the Political and Legal Affairs Committees and 610 Offices (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) in local government branches. Practitioners are sent to these places after being arrested, or soon after being released from prisons or forced labour camps.
The brainwashing centre run by Mishan City Political and Legal Affairs Committee in Heilongjiang Province is one such place. Mishan Brainwashing Centre is located in northern Sanheqiao, Mishan City. Although it's called a “Law School,” it is actually a black jail.
Mishan Brainwashing Centre was opened in June 2011, and 22 practitioners had been incarcerated there by 2012. In 2013, officials from the Mishan Political and Legal Affairs Committee promised their superiors–the Heilongjiang Province Political and Legal Affairs Committee–that they would “transform” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] ten practitioners. After they met this quota, they would be awarded 200,000 yuan1. The average reward is 20,000 yuan for "transforming" one practitioner. Driven by greed and the promise of advancement, another wave of persecution started in June 2013.
Taking Falun Gong Practitioners to the Brainwashing Centre by Force
In this new round of persecution, officials from the Mishan City Political and Legal Affairs Committee first selected certain practitioners, then ordered local government authorities to take the selected practitioners to the brainwashing centre. If the practitioners refused to go, they were arrested and taken by force.
Arresting Practitioners at Home
Ms. Yao Tiemei was at work on the morning of July 27th, 2013. Wang Xiaoping, head of the Mishan Brainwashing Centre, and four or five police officers told her that since she didn't sign in to the brainwashing centre last year and still didn't go after being notified, she had to go this year. They took her to the brainwashing centre by force.
Several brainwashing centre employees went to Ms. Zhou's home in July 2013, and demanded that she go to the brainwashing centre. She refused. They started to argue, and Ms. Zhou passed out. Seeing her laying on the ground unconscious, they didn't take her to the hospital or try to help her. They just drove off. The neighbours contacted her husband, and he hurried home.
Threatening Local Government Officials to Cooperate with the Persecution
On June 24th, 2013, Wang Kuixiu, deputy of Mishan Political and Legal Affairs Committee, pressured Liu Chenzhu, head of Fuyuan Township, and Wang Puxiang, the township Party head, urging them to send Ms. Wang Yunying to the brainwashing centre. The local leaders told Ms. Wang's husband that if she didn't go, the family would be in trouble. Ms. Wang was taken to the brainwashing centre on June 25th.
Sending Arrested Practitioners to the Brainwashing Centre for Further Persecution
Mr. Hou Baohua was arrested on July 11th, 2013, by officer Ji Jingbo from Tielu Police Station, and taken to the Mudanjiang Detention Centre. After being detained there for 28 days, he was sent to Mishan Brainwashing Centre for another 15 days.
Colluding with Other City 610 Offices to Persecute Practitioners
Ms. Wei, 38, was a practitioner in Daqing City. She was about to be released after serving five years in Harbin City Women's Prison, but her family hadn't arrived to pick her up. The authorities wanted to send her to the brainwashing centre. The other brainwashing centres had refused to take her, but Mishan Brainwashing Centre did. On August 29th or 30th, 2013, she was escorted more than 350 km (217 miles) to Mishan Brainwashing Centre.
Using Violence to Try to Brainwash Practitioners
Falun Gong practitioners are tormented physically and mentally in the brainwashing centre.
Ms. Liu Meizhang Dies of Spleen Injury Sustained in the Brainwashing Centre
Ms. Liu Meizhang was sent to the brainwashing centre on the afternoon of June 25th, 2013, by Mishan 610 Office agents.
While she was there, she accidentally slipped and fell, injuring her spleen. Even though she was in extreme pain, she was never treated, and was detained in the brainwashing centre for an additional 36 days. She was released on July 31st, 2013.
Ms. Liu was then taken to the hospital, where she died at 4:00 a.m. on November 8th, 2013.
Related report: Ms. Liu Meizhang Passes Away After Three Arrests in Three Years
Ms. Ma Xiuqin's Blood Pressure Shoots up to 160
Ms. Ma Xiuqin was arrested by plainclothes officers waiting for her near her home at around 11:00 a.m. on August 30th, 2013. Yu Xiaofeng, head of Mishan City 610 Office; Zhang Zhongren, a Mishan Brainwashing Centre guard; police officer Chen Jinlei; and an unidentified woman took her to the brainwashing centre.
Yu Xiaoping, head of the brainwashing centre, forced Ms. Ma to watch video programmes that slandered Falun Gong, and pressured her to write statements promising to give up her belief. Ms. Ma became very weak, started coughing, and couldn't sleep or eat. Her blood pressure shot up to 160.
She asked to go home for medical treatment. Wang Xiaoping told her, “We can't let you go. People will blame us for your condition.” She was finally allowed to go home after being detained for 22 days.
Ms. Wei Threatened with Organ Harvesting
After Ms. Wei refused to write the three statements, she was shown two boxes, and told, “If you don't sign on it, we'll cut open your chest and sell your organs.” She was not allowed to sleep for three days and nights.
The 610 Office agents extorted funds from practitioners and their families. The money was not only used to maintain the brainwashing centre, but also on their own gourmet food and travel, and to line their own pockets.
The brainwashing centre ordered Ms. Ma Xiuqin's husband's employer to pay 4,000 yuan to hire two people to watch her in the brainwashing centre.
His employer threatened Ms. Ma's husband, and said he had to pay it. Her husband, who is around 70, earns a meagre income by pedalling goods on his tricycle, and could not pay.
Mr. Hou Baihua was also the victim of extortion. The brainwashing centre ordered him to pay 4000 yuan. Since his family was unable to come up with the money, the local township government had to come up with the funds.
Partial List of Mishan City Brainwashing Centre Staff Members:
Wang Kuixiu (王奎秀), deputy head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee
Yu Xiaofeng (于晓峰), head of the 610 Office
Wang Xiaoping (王晓萍), head of the brainwashing centre
Fu Xiuli (付秀丽), collaborator
Chen Jinlei (陈金雷), police officer
Niu (牛), guard, brother-in-law of Wang Xiaoping, retired from a factory
Zhang Zhongren (张忠仁), guard, retired from Mishan criminal police division
Qiu (邱), education assistant
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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