Experience of Making Forced-Labour Products in Chinese Labour Camp

By Yufei Song
Forum on Human Rights in China, 214 Wellington Building,
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa
May 27, 2009

My name is Song, Yufei. I started to practice Falun Gong in 1997 when studying for a Master degree in Changchun City, Jilin Province. Many of my professors and classmates were also practicing Falun Gong. I found Falun Gong was teaching people a traditional meditation practice and the values of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance which were the foundation and root of our Chinese culture and tradition.

In July 1999 the Chinese Communist regime started the nationwide persecution of Falun Gong and the a massive defamation campaign to demonize Falun Gong in order to justify their illegal crackdow. All media was used to spread hatred against Falun Gong and Falun Gong were not allowed to comment,.

On Jan. 23 2001 the regime set up the most evil act. They created the self immolation in Tiananmen Square, where they stated that 5 people set themselves on fire in the name of Falun Gong. Every day ugly pictures of burnt bodies poured into the news, including the pictures of a little girl who was burned at the scene. The plot was done so well that Chinese people started to hate Falun Gong. Because the regime had banned and destroyed all the books of Falun Gong majority of public had no chance to read that Falun Gong strictly prohibited suicide and killing because this was looked at as the biggest sin a human being could make. There were many discrepancies in the episode to show it was a framed piece, but people who do not pay attention to details would not noticed them. The public were deceived.

I was working as a software engineer at Lenovo China in Beijing then. In December 2001 I posted on the Beijing University Internet Bulletin Board System an article revealing that the self-immolation incident was a set up by the government to frame Falun Gong. As China's Bulletin Board Systems were under the control of the regime, Chinese police found out my IP address with the internet surveillance system and help of Lenovo Company, and kidnapped me on the morning of December 25, 2001.

I was sent to the Detention Center in Beijing. That day I was interrogated until 2 in the morning, and was not allowed to drink or eat anything. Then, I was taken to a cell, and ordered to sleep on the wet cement floor, with my head touching a toilet barrel...

I started a hunger strike to protest against the illegal arrest. The third day into the hunger strike inmates force-fed me under the order of the guards. Two inmates held my body, my arms and my head tightly against the floor, another one rode on my stomach and held my legs, and the fourth inmate force-fed me by sticking a long tube down my nose and into my stomach. It hurt badly. Without any legal processing I was sentenced to 16 months in a Reducation-Through-Forced-Labor -Camp.

I was forced to do hard labor, including packaging disposable chopsticks, making Motorola V70 mobile phone promotion brochures, and making candles for export to Germany. I was forced to get up at 6 am, and work until 10 pm. All those under 55 years old were forced to wrap over 7000 pairs of chopsticks and those over 55 were forced to wrap over 5000 pairs of chopsticks each day. Some old ladies working slowly would be forced to continue till 12:00PM or 1:00AM till it was done. One day an elderly practitioner lost consciousness after she was forced to stand by a wall from 10:00PM to 12:00PM after a long day of hard labor because she did not finish the work quota.

Fifty days later I was taken to the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp. About seven hundred Falun Gong practitioners were being held there, that took about 80% of the total detainees there. Immediately after my arrival I was deprived of sleep for three days and nights, and was forced to watch, read and listen to hate propaganda against Falun Gong for the purpose of brainwashing me. In the camp, the mental torture is worse than the phsycal abuses.. Half of my hair turned white during the 16 months of detention at the camp. I was only 29 at the time.

Guards regularly tortured practitioners. Some practitioners were deprived of sleep, and of the right to use toilets, to have a bath, and to wash own clothes. I have seen one practitioner tied to a bed for seven days and nights. Eating, drinking and excretion were done on the bed. It was called “death bed.” Two elderly Falun Gong practitioners in their seventies were also detained in my cell. They were beaten and hit by policemen and almost half their teeth were broken. They eat very slowly and were unable to finish their meals with the short time limit. So they always starved, and were skinny.

Those who refused to give up their belief in Falun Gong were sent to a confinement cell. Everyday they were forced to stand on their feet for the whole day with only 2-hour sleep. Some were tortured to lose their consciousness. One practitioner I knew was deprived the right to have showers for 6 months and her body was covered a thick layer of dead skin shells. The lasting torture drove them to the edge of physical and mental collapse.

Sometimes they arranged some brainwashed practitioners to receive media interviews set up by the police. I remembered that one brainwashed lady got 3-month penalty reduction after receiving a pre-arranged interview with a western media where she made up some scandals to attack Falun Gong.

When I was released in April 2003, I learned that the Levono China had already fired me. My husband divorced me under pressure. My parents had suffered a lot due to my detention. Their health deteriorated. My mom was half-paralyzed. She also suffered from severe depression, and often wanted to commit suicide. My parents were so traumatized that whenever I mentioned Falun Gong they got very scared.

Upon the coming of the Beijing Olympics six Falun Gong practitioners that I had contact with were secretly and illegally arrested. My parents were so scared on learning the arrests that they requested me to leave China immediately. At the time, I already got married. With my husband's Canadian immigrant status I was able to come to Canada three months ago.

Now I am enjoying the freedom in this free land, however hundreds of thousands of practitioners in China are still facing kidnapping, detaining, imprisonment, torture and killing in every minute. Today I stand here to appeal to people with kind heart to stretch your hands to help stop the 10-year persecution in mainland China.