More than 1,000 residents of Hubei Province have been forced to go through brainwashing sessions during the past decade at an unmarked location in Qiaokou District of Wuhan.
Known to locals as the Wuhan City Brainwashing Centre or Qiaokou District Brainwashing Centre, this extra-legal facility is charged with making Falun Gong practitioners renounce their belief.
Overseen by the Wuhan City 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) and Qiaokou District Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), the brainwashing centre is under constant pressure to meet or exceed its “transformation quota” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong].
In order to have enough practitioners break away from Falun Gong, the guards use every means possible to weaken practitioners' willpower. Those who “transform” more practitioners are often rewarded with fatter bonuses and more job promotion opportunities.
The tactics used against practitioners include various forms of physical torture, mental abuse, and coercive brainwashing. When all else fails, the guards resort to poisoning practitioners with drugs that damage the central nervous system. They either lace practitioners' food and drinks with such drugs, or outright inject them with the drugs.
Some practitioners became mentally disoriented or have even died as a result. The guards, however, are perfectly fine with those outcomes. In one man's words, “Our job is to make you lose your mind and jump off the building! We'll then tell everyone that you went insane and committed suicide because of Falun Gong!”
Practitioners Poisoned at the Brainwashing Centre
The unknown drugs administered to steadfast practitioners often cause great damage, both physically and mentally. Some practitioners exhibit poisoning symptoms right away, while others don't show any discomfort until much later. Below we document four known poisoning cases at the brainwashing centre.
Case 1: Wang Yujie Dies of Drug Poisoning at 24
Twenty-four year old practitioner Wang Yujie (王玉洁) from Xiantao District in Wuhan City was injected in her right arm by agents at the brainwashing centre. Upon returning home, she started foaming at the mouth and vomiting. She could not keep any food or water down. Her whole body hurt so much that she could not stop crying. She became blind and gradually deaf, as well. Her hands became curled up and after four months of agony, she passed away in September 2011.
Case 2: Xiao Yingxue Still Recovering from Complications of Drug Poisoning
Xiao Yingxue (肖映雪), who was formerly an employee at the Qiaokou District Trade and Industry Bureau, was injected three times in 2011. In the subsequent years, she has continued to suffer from frequent headaches.
Case 3: Ms. Wang Became Disoriented after Eating Poison-laced Food
Practitioner Ms. Wang was arrested and taken to Qiaokou Detention Center on April 7th, 2013 after someone reported her to the police. She was taken to Qiaokou Brainwashreg Centre on April 19th.
She recounted: “At the brainwashing centre two female agents, one supervisor Zhu Laxiang and the other Ms Liu, often criticized Falun Gong. Police officers Liu and Cai beat me. Cai frequently made me stand still as punishment. Agents stuffed a pen and paper into my hand and wanted me to write my name and address, but I did not comply. I felt very ill at the brainwashing centre. My head felt swollen and my thoughts became addled and slow. I could not sit still. When I returned home on April 21st, I continued to experience the same symptoms. I eventually recovered through practising Falun Gong.”
Case 4: Zhang Huifen Suffers from Restlessness and Insomnia
Ms Zhang Huifen (张惠芬) lives in Qiaokou District. She was formerly head of the finance department in a toy factory in Wuhan City. She was arrested on July 11th, 2014 and taken to the brainwashing centre by 610 officials eight days later. When she kept refusing to listen to brainwashing tape recordings, the agents took the recording to her bed and played it. Still she refused to give in.
The agents then laced her food with poison. Seven days later, Ms Zhang began to feel unwell. She felt giddy and could not sleep for many nights. She was released on August 8th. At home, her responses were slow and sometimes she could not control her movements. She would walk backwards uncontrollably.
Xie Xiaofeng, deputy head of Qiaokou District 610 Office, is in charge of the brainwashing centre. She visits the centre several days a week, meeting with staff and handing out new job assignments. Zhu Laxiang is the supervisor who carries out her orders.
Upon admission to the brainwashing centre, each practitioner is watched around the clock by three monitors, two from the residential committee and one from the brainwashing centre. The monitors even accompany the practitioner to the toilet.
There are surveillance cameras in the building watching and listening to practitioners 24 hours a day. Meals are brought into the cell and practitioners are not allowed to do the Falun Gong exercises. Windows are sealed with paper so that the prisoners cannot see outside. The practitioners' every move is recorded around the clock.
Practitioners are taken to a classroom every morning and afternoon. Four to five agents make them listen to or watch Party propaganda against Falun Gong, with the volume turned all the way up, for several days in a row. If practitioners refuse to listen, the tape recordings are then placed next to the bed and played continuously.
The guards also use former practitioners who have given up the practice to indoctrinate determined practitioners with fallacies, in hopes of making them renounce their faith. In the meantime, they force practitioners to write reports on their thoughts everyday.
They also hold regular meetings where they make practitioners read aloud materials criticizing Falun Gong and sing songs praising the CCP. The district 610 Office head usually concludes each meeting with a speech demonizing Falun Gong.
Agents often grab hold of practitioners' hands and try to force them to give their thumbprint on documents stating that they have given up Falun Gong.
Practitioners who give up their belief under pressure have to pass a 610 Office test to determine if they have truly severed ties with Falun Gong. They are allowed to return home only after they have demonstrated that sufficiently.
Practitioners who refuse to give up their belief are beaten, made to stand still for long periods of time, hung up by the handcuffs or subjected to other forms of torture. Some are later sent to labour camps or prison.
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