NEW YORK -- Several reports recently issued by the Minghui.org
website show that abductions and torture of Falun Gong practitioners in China continue on a daily basis, despite closures of some forced labor camps in recent months.
The reports also demonstrate a vast majority of Falun Gong practitioners are being sent to brainwashing centers and prisons, reversing a trend of the past 14 years, which saw the majority of detained Falun Gong practitioners being held in forced labor camps.
Brainwashing centers are makeshift detention centers located throughout China that typically use psychological and physical torture on detainees to induce "thought reform."
"I think it's clear from these numbers that the move to close some forced labor camps in China does not translate into a change of policy toward Chinese citizens that practice Falun Gong," says Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center. "Anyone who practices or is supportive of Falun Gong remains at risk of being abducted and thrown into a brainwashing center or prison."
The number of Falun Gong practitioners arrested in the first half of 2013, by region.
The Minghui reports also provide statistics compiled in the first six months of 2013, including:
- 43 deaths from torture
- 2,101 abductions
- 14 labor camp sentences
- 445 "show trials" and/or prison sentences
20 additional deaths of practitioners that occurred prior to 2013 were reported for the first time in the first half of 2013, underscoring how timely or complete collection of such data remains extremely difficult and dangerous in China. Due to fear of reprisal or a lack of open Internet channels, a significant portion of abuses suffered by Falun Gong practitioners go unreported.
Of the 43 deaths in the first half of 2013, 34 occurred during, or shortly after, extended periods in prisons, labor camps, detention centers or brainwashing centers. The remaining nine deaths occurred after individuals were released, often with life-threatening injuries from prolonged abuse while incarcerated.
The reports also classify all known prison and labor camp sentences over the past fourteen years, approximately 11,500 and 25,400, respectively, by date and province. The highest number and most severe of abuses come from north and northeast China, including Shandong, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Jilin provinces. It is in this region where house raids, abductions and torture are part of daily policing activities.