In an interview with Sky News Australia’s Andrew Bolt, host of “The Bolt Report,” a former prisoner in one of China’s labor camps said he was “beaten, starved, and tortured” during his two-year sentence.
The former prisoner, Tony Liu, said he was arrested because he was a Falun Gong practitioner, a spiritual movement in China that involves meditation and slow-moving exercises that is banned by the Chinese Communist Party.
“I was arrested because I was a Falun Gong practitioner who didn’t want to renounce this belief,” Liu said. “It was in November 2006, the police actually – I was starting in China University of Petroleum and I was a student then. Then the police came to my university – came into my dormitory. They found Falun Gong news material on my computer, that’s why they arrested me.”
Liu said that after an “illegal procedure,” he was sentenced to two years in a labor re-education camp. While he was in the camp’s dispatch center, he was locked up with drug addicts. Some of them began kicking Liu in the back but were stopped by another prisoner, who, according to Liue, said “do not damage his organs.”
“I thought to myself if it was really for helping me he would have said ‘please do not hit that person.’ They would not say: ‘do not damage his organs,’” Liu said.
Once he was moved into the labor camp proper, he said, the “torture got worse.”
“I was not allowed to move, I was asked to sit on a small bench for the whole day,” Liue said. “I was not allowed to move. As soon as I moved, somebody would hit me. For a period of time I was not allowed to sit down, I was asked to stand for a long period of time.”
Liu said he was also not even allowed to use the bathroom.
Bolt asked Liu why he thought he was spared from being killed for his organs. Liu appeared to misunderstand the question, and seemed to explain instead why he thought he was in the camp for his organs.
“Because when I was in the labor camp, at least one or twice a year, we were asked to have a physical examination,” Liu said, noting it was performed in the camp’s hospital center and that he “was bladder tested and x-rayed.” He said one of these examinations really stood out because authorities “took two tubes of blood from me,” but never gave him any results for the examinations.
“The way they treat us – it was like torture – so I don’t think this was for our good,” he said.
In order to get released from the labor camp, Liu said he had to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong.
“I did that against my will and it’s because I really couldn’t take it anymore physically,” Liu said. “It was a terrible feeling because it is like you suffer spiritual death.”
Liu also said that from a young age, people in China are “brainwashed” to believe the Chinese Communist Party “was always correct and that it was as dear as our own mother.”
Liu now resides in Australia. His account of torture lines up with what previous prisoners have said about the Chinese labor camps. In October, another former prisoner said she was tortured while imprisoned and that others in the camp were routinely tortured and sexually abused. She was led to believe the inmates were being used for human experiments. Earlier this year, a report showed that China has far too many organs available on-demand for them to just be accepting them from death-row inmates who offer them voluntarily.