The Chinese Communist Party's Use of "Personal Monitors" and "Reformation" as Forms of Torture

I recently read a copy of the Handbook for Personal Monitors that describes the methods the Xinhua Labour Camp in Mianyang, Sichuan Province uses to "strictly control" Falun Gong practitioners. It's not a new concept, as there have been many reports on how guards in many labour camps use inmates as personal monitors to persecute Falun Gong practitioners.

Perhaps the term "Personal Monitors" itself does not imply obvious cruelty, thus the labour camps have openly made this method a regular persecution technique used on Falun Gong practitioners.

The Xinhua Labour Camp's Handbook for Personal Monitors requires those chosen to closely follow and strictly guard Falun Gong practitioners. Their specific duties include "four ways to accompany" (meaning to accompany Falun Gong practitioners when they eat, sleep, study brainwashing materials or go anywhere) and "four preventions" (namely preventing practitioners from escaping, going on a hunger strike, practising the Falun Gong exercises and making hand or eye gestures). There are different kinds of "personal monitors"--from "one to one;" "four to one" to "many to one." The personal monitors are most strict and watchful on occasions when practitioners are forced to attend meetings, do slave labour, study brainwashing materials, and assemble together, and when they eat, engage in activities such as training, walking, medical check-ups and going to the toilet. The handbook also has clear instructions on "emergency prevention and control" that applies when Falun Gong practitioners refuse to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) persecution by proclaiming their principles, doing the Falun Gong exercises, going on a hunger strike, making contact with one another, gathering together, or spreading views and opinions. Then the personal monitors are trained to immediately cover the practitioners' mouths, grab their bodies tightly from all directions and put them under immediate physical control. Personal monitors nearby should do their best to assist and apply forcible measures. To achieve the best results, the labour camps concurrently also institute an implication policy concerning the personal monitors. The handbook stipulates that those who fail to fulfil their duties or those who go to sleep when they should be on duty will be severely punished.

The handbook is a clear demonstration that if the labour camps and prisons deprive people of normal personal freedom, then the "personal monitors" are to completely deprive Falun Gong practitioners of their most basic personal freedom at the places where it is available to other common inmates. This in itself is a form of cruel torture.

It is commonplace in China for CCP judiciary organs to violate human rights. In order to comply with the so-called "establishing a harmonious society" the Ministry of Justice published in a high tone the "Six Prohibitions for the People's Police in Labour Camps" in 2006, which include prohibited/forbidden acts such as battering, physical punishment, bribery and gambling, and so on. From these prohibitions, one can imagine how severely the police abuse the people's human rights.

Even so, before the persecution of Falun Gong started, there were no regular "personal monitors" in labour camps. Why is it that they only use "personal monitors" with Falun Gong practitioners? It is because this persecution of Falun Gong practitioners does not have any legal basis.

According to the Chinese Constitution, practising Falun Gong is protected by freedom of belief. In terms of conduct, cultivating "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" does not bring about any harm to society. The slanderous propaganda that blames Falun Gong for killings and arsons is all fabrication, to cook up an excuse for the persecution. Even though the CCP can deceive some common people who do not practise Falun Gong, as for Falun Gong practitioners themselves, they know Falun Gong is good and brings only benefits to society. So, during their unlawful detention, they do not plead guilty for practising Falun Gong and for resisting the persecution by clarifying the facts. If they do not plead guilty, how can the Party persecute them? That is why the CCP needs to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief and to acknowledge that the persecution is reasonable--to justify the persecution. The so-called "reformation" forces Falun Gong practitioners to write so-called repentance statements, saying they will give up their Falun Gong practise. This method of writing forced statements has become a main tactic the Jiang clique uses to justify the persecution, and the "reformation rate" has become their major targets.

However, the regime, which advocates atheism, can never understand what true faith is. They have used all kinds of methods, soft and hard, and dispatched experts in various fields to labour camps and brainwashing centres to try to "reform" Falun Gong practitioners. But nothing can shake the righteous faith of genuine Dafa disciples. What do they want to reform "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" into? How could people who have insights into the truth of the universe be easily moved by false Party's doctrines?

Some people from the Proposal Committee of the Political Consultative Committee in Sichuan Province went to inspect the Xinhua Labour Camp in Mianyang from October 12th to 13th, 2006. In Their inspection report acknowledged that "it is rather difficult to re-educate and reform Falun Gong practitioners."

Genuine Falun Gong practitioners refuse to "reform," and yet Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan and their gang are demanding a "reformation quota." People in various institutions at various levels who are charged with bringing about the "reforms" thus become extremely cruel. They use inmates as personal monitors against Falun Gong practitioners, and this has become a major evil characteristic of the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong.

All Falun Dafa practitioners at the Xinhua camp are surrounded by personal monitors who follow them 24 hours a day, in everything they do. They may have one, or three, or four or five, even six monitors around them. Falun Dafa practitioner Zheng Fangjun was once surround by nine personal monitors. These inmates are told to watch every single move of a practitioner. If anything "goes wrong," the personal monitors will suffer punishment themselves, perhaps even have their terms extended. Some inmates used be sympathetic toward practitioners, and some of them used to cherish some code of brotherhood and justice, but because the policy of "personal monitors" also targets their personal interests, they have to use all kinds of tactics to control Falun Dafa practitioners and also develop hatred toward them, beat them and swear at them.

According to a report on a Falun Gong related website, the vicious guard Zhang Xiaogang at the Xinhua Labour Camp severely punished personal monitors who did not actively participate. In one incident three personal monitors washed clothes together with a Falun Dafa practitioner. One of the monitors finished washing first; after this inmate put out the washing and took the basin back to the cell, Zhang Xiaogang saw him and blamed him for "leaving his post" (the labour camp required that the three personal monitors should be with the practitioner all the time) and punished him by reducing his scores and extending his detention term. He was also made to write a self-criticism report. On another occasion, two practitioners exchanged one sentence while lining up. Their personal monitors did not stop them immediately. This was reported later, and Zhang Xiaogang punished one monitor by reducing his scores, extending his detention, making him clean filthy toilets, and to stand and recite the Handbook for Personal Monitors until midnight. Such punishment went on for a whole week.

A dark labour camp like this where practitioners are persecuted was even awarded the title "Advanced Unit for Civilised Law-Enforcement in Labour Camps and Prison Sectors in China." The so-called "advanced units" were awarded recognition simply for having followed Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Zhou Yongkang and their accomplices by inciting hatred toward Falun Gong.

Dafa practitioner Li Xinze, detained in Team 3 of the 6th Division, died as a result of such evil persecution.

Such inhumane persecution in the labour camps not only tortures the victims, but even the abusers and onlookers suffer physical and mental torment.

In February of 2006, an investigation team from the Jilin Province Prison Management Bureau went to eight prisons and found that 44.6% of the prison guards had psychological problems, and 11.5% were psychologically impaired; in almost all work units there were two or three guards suffering from mental disorders. Incidents of police officers committing suicide by jumping off a building or shooting themselves also happen regularly. Three young policemen died in one prison in one year. The investigation found that 42.7% of prison guards suffer from depression, and 10% developed anxiety disorders and other mental impairment. As many as 62.3% of prison guards suffer from some form of minor depression, and another 7.3% have developed symptoms of depression. It is true that working in a labour camp or a prison is different from working somewhere else; however with regard to the despicable means used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, the degeneration of people's conscience and indulgence in barbarism, how can it not add to and magnify the psychological burdens of those who work in that environment?

Falun Gong practitioners are cultivators who have learnt the truth of the universe. The use of the cruel personal monitors and their "reform" efforts will never succeed in forcing genuine cultivators to give up their righteous belief. There are many groups of victims in this persecution: Falun Gong practitioners and those working in the judiciary systems! Only by stopping the persecution, disintegrating the evil CCP and bringing Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan and their gang of accomplices to justice can we truly put an end to this tragedy, and only then can our nation have a new future.

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