Saturday, April 13, 2013

The West Should Dig Into Masanjia Labour Camp


China’s labor camp system is controversial. Police can send people there for up to four years without a trial. But the human rights abuses inside have never received widespread attention with the Chinese public. That’s because most of the claims so far have been made by practitioners of Falun Gong. The Communist Party has persecuted and discredited the spiritual practice since 1999.
But “Walking out of Masanjia” may be changing that. The article by China-based Lens Magazine exposed in gruesome detail the torture at one of China’s most notorious labor camps, something not done before by Mainland Chinese media. 
The Falun Dafa Information Center monitors the persecution of Falun Gong. Its Executive Director, Levi Browde told NTD’s China Focus that the article should prompt further investigation.
[Levi Browde, Executive Director, Falun Dafa Information Center] 
“Clearly there are voices inside China trying to get the abuses out. And I think it’s very important for those in the West to step up and take that momentum and dig deeper into the story. There is much more to Masanjia than was reported in the report, although it was a good initial start. It’s important we don’t let it stop there, because clearly there is a lot of conflict about some people trying to get this report out, and we need to carry that out.”
The Lens Magazine article did not mention Falun Gong. The persecution is off limits for Chinese media. But it did identify a “special group of people” who are primarily targeted for certain torture and abuse.
Liu Hua, who wrote the diary “Walking out of Masanjia” was based on, said she witnessed Falun Gong practitioners being tortured in the labor camp.
[Liu Hua, Former Masanjia Inmate] 
“All her teeth were knocked out from beatings. She went there in 2010, and wouldn’t sign any repentance letters, so a team leader in the labor camp beat her, when she left on July 15, 2012, she didn’t have one tooth left. They were all knocked out.”
The Lens Magazine article has clearly unnerved some in the Chinese leadership. After surviving online over the weekend, Internet censors moved in. Now most of the reposts, including the original have been taken off line.