Persecution at the Xinjin Brainwashing Centre in Chengdu

The Xinjin brainwashing centre in Caiwan Village, Huaqiao Township, Xinjin County, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, is officially named “Chengdu Municipal Law Education Centre.” Yet there is no number or name of the organisation on its outside. Since the persecution against Falun Gong began in 1999, this place has been frequently used for detention of Falun Gong practitioners. Many cases of torture and death have happened here. The earthquake in May 2008 damaged the six-story building. Since then, the municipal government combined the dental school next door with the original brainwashing centre. After renovation, both are being used for brainwashing.

Persecution and Extortion

Xinjin Brainwashing Centre is not only a place for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to detain persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, but also a place for the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), National Security, and Domestic Security to extort money.

A person familiar with the situation said that every time a Falun Gong practitioner is detained, the brainwashing centre demands 10,000 yuan1 from its supervisor organisation for its expenses. Where does this funding come from? First, government funding. Second, robbing of Falun Gong practitioners' personal assets. Third, extortion from Falun Gong practitioners' workplaces. Fourth, fund-raising by the neighbourhood associations. How is this money spent? In Chengdu, the 610 Offices from Chenghua district, Wuhou district, Jinniu district, Qingyang district, and Jinjiang district, as well as State Security Bureau and Domestic Security Division personnel all take turns visiting the brainwashing centre, just to get a share of the money. As revealed by Wang Pengfei with the Domestic Security Team of Wuhou District, the brainwashing centre received 200,000 yuan just for the detention of Zhong Fangqiong. In addition, other detention centres in Sichuan and even other provinces have sent staff to Xinjin Brainwashing Centre for training. One of the collaborators said that the brainwashing centre was an extremely inhumane place. Despite her cooperation with the authorities, she, too, was mistreated.

Just behind the gates of the brainwashing centre, there is a big sign that reads, “Welcome to Chengdu Municipal Law Education Centre.” This is where Falun Gong practitioners are detained. The building has three floors. There is an entrance security office on the right hand side of the gate, with monitoring equipment.

Detention of Falun Gong practitioners at the Brainwashing Centre

On June 8th, Falun Gong practitioner Wei Kedong went from Jilin Province in northeastern China to Chengdu in southwestern China to research the tea market. At about 8 p.m. the next day, he was detained at his hotel by 30 plainclothes Domestic Security police from Chengdu. The police told surrounding residents that they were arresting a drug addict. Wei's family members inquired with many agencies before learning that Wei had been detained at the Xinjin Brainwashing Centre. Wang Hongxia from Anyue, Sichuan and Shi Bingjun from Wuxi, Jiangsu were arrested at the same time. They were also Falun Gong practitioners just getting into the tea business.

Wang Hongxia is a 46-year-old teacher at the Anyue Normal School in Sichuan. Since she started practising Falun Gong, she became a model citizen. However, during the persecution, she was sent to a labour camp twice and was tortured. Her family members were affected as well. Her son is 20 years old but could not find a job. She knew her son liked working with computers, so while working in the tea business, she also collected a number of outdated computers and parts, so that her son may be able to open a computer repair store to make a living. Having learned this, the 610 Office in Chengdu thought that it would be a good opportunity to request money from its supervisor agency for Wang's detention, since Wang knew a lot of people and her arrest could mean a lot of reward for the 610 Office. In the meantime, they also took away all of the computer equipment in Wang's house.

A former staff member of a brainwashing centre said that arrests are a collaborated effort between the 610 Office, State Security Bureau, Domestic Security Division, and even the neighbourhood organisation. The brainwashing centre is only a scapegoat. Yin Shunyao and Bao Xiaomu, who work for the brainwashing centre, said that arrests and releases are decided by the 610 Office, State Security Bureau, and Domestic Security Division. Some practitioners already had internal injuries when they were taken to the brainwashing centre. When they died later, the brainwashing centre was blamed for the deaths.

Xie Deqing, a retired worker from HydroChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation, was arrested by a group of people from the Engineering Corporation, the Funan Neighbourhood Office, the 610 Office, the Shirennanlu Community Office, and Funan Police Station. At the police station, Xie was beaten by police director Liu Chuan and others. He was later sent to Xinjin Brainwashing Centre and died about 20 days later.

Family members make phone calls to the police to investigate brainwashing centre

On July 7th, Wei Kedong's family members and friends came to Xinjin Brainwashing Centre, demanding the release of Wei and condemning the brainwashing centre for detaining Falun Gong practitioners. At first, two female guards said that Wei was being monitored by a number of different agencies and they would need clearances from all agencies before Wei could receive visitors. Ten minutes later, three male guards came and said that there was no one by the name of Wei Kedong. The visitation request was rejected.

Afterward, Wei's family and friends called the police to report on the brainwashing centre. A policeman named Chen (ID Number 016936) and an assistant police came. They entered the brainwashing centre and confirmed that Wei was detained in Room 13 of the first floor. Wei's family members said that the detention was illegal, and that the police should follow the law and release Wei. Policeman Chen said that the brainwashing centre is a classified space, and that the police cannot control their illegal activity. The family asked which agency could correct such illegal activities. The police said that the information is also classified, and that the family should wait to be notified. Then the police drove away.

Family members' shouts exposed the lies

Wei Kedong's family members travelled thousands of kilometres across China to Chengdu, but their visitation request was denied. They stood outside the brainwashing centre and shouted out Wei's name. Wei was very excited to hear his name, and opened the curtain to respond. He said he was innocent and would not give up. Other detained practitioners, including Wang Hongxia and Shi Bingjun, also responded to their family and friends with excitement. They said they would not give up and it was not wrong to have faith. When someone tried to prevent Wang from standing by the window, Wang shouted, “Falun Gong is great!”

Family and friends made the authorities fear their crimes being exposed

When the family members and friends of Falun Gong practitioners continued to shout outside the walls of the brainwashing centre, the authorities at the centre felt great fear. They were afraid that the public would learn the facts and the events could gain more attention. They were afraid they would be injured or killed if the family members became too outraged. A Falun Gong practitioner recalled that when the police tried to arrest her, her husband, who was not a practitioner, said, “Whoever dares to arrest my wife, I will kill him!” Since then, no police dared to harass her.

Around noon, one family member threw a brick into the brainwashing centre. The director of the brainwashing centre became afraid. He drove his vehicle (Licence Plate Chuan O-A8788) to call assistance from the 610 Office and Domestic Security. About 20 police came in two vehicles (license plates Chuan A6310 and Chuan A4054), led by an officer named Yu (ID Number 017023). Yu asked Wei Kedong's family and friends to leave. The family and friends gave their reasons and pointed out that the brainwashing centre and the 610 Office broke the law. They requested to meet with Wei and asked for his release.

After a period of impasse, the directors of the 610 Office and the brainwashing centre agreed to let the family and friends enter the brainwashing centre. They met in the conference room. Yin Shunyao made another unreasonable request: he asked the family members to show documents proving their relationship, otherwise he would not allow visitation. He also refused to release the Falun Gong practitioners.

Detention continues

On the morning of July 9th, Wei Kedong's family and friends again came to Xinjin Brainwashing Centre to request visitation and the his release. This time, Yin changed his approach. He opened the gates of the brainwashing centre and was all smiles. He welcomed Wei's family members and allowed a meeting with Wei. When Wei saw his son, he became very emotional. His hands were shaking. He said he never expected to meet his son at the brainwashing centre. Wei also said that his money and ID were taken away by Domestic Security. He hoped his family members could retrieve them.

At the same time, Wang Hongxia's friend was still waiting outside and was not allowed in. She stood in the street outside of the brainwashing centre and shouted out Wang's name. Yin and another man (possibly his son) rushed out the gates of the brainwashing centre to order Wang's friend to leave.

On July 10th and 11th, Wei's family members continued to call Yin, but Yin refused to answer. On July 12th, one of Wei's family members came to the brainwashing centre for the third time, demanding the return of Wei's ID and bank cards. They had already spent all the money they brought to Chengdu. However, he was not allowed in. The guard at the door tried to deflect the question yet did not want to take the responsibility of rejecting him. So the guard called Yin. Yin fearfully asked the guard how many people came. When he learned there was only one, he still didn't dare to come forward, and did not return Wei's ID, money, or bank cards.


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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