A human rights activist who witnessed the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of people arrested for their faith said that the CCP wants to control people’s minds; their biggest fear is people’s persistence with their faith.
Witness: There is discrimination in a Chinese prison
In an interview with Epoch Times, Ma Yongtao 马永涛, a director of China Human Rights Watch currently living in the Netherlands, described the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners that he witnessed during his illegal detention in April 2014.
In a 35-square meter (holding) cell at the Haidian Detention Center in Beijing, where 29 people were detained, Ma Yongtao noticed that Falun Gong practitioners’ vests (which must be worn by all detainees) are of a different color from the others. Their vests are green, while others are yellow. Falun Gong practitioners are “strictly controlled.”
He explained that two chiefs are in each cell and are “allowed to do evil.” It means that the warden does not intervene and authorizes the chief to do evil deeds.
For example, the heaviest corporal punishment in the labor camp was “squatting” (also a form of torture), which is a sitting position on an upright hardboard, about 40 cm high, with both legs shackled, hands on knees, and forced to sit upright for hours at a time. Failure to sit up straight results in punishment such as an extra two hours added for “on duty” at night.
The so-called “on duty” means that while others are asleep, the prisoner must stand upright between the bunk beds, feet wide apart, arms hanging loosely. This is a form of torture; sometimes, the prisoners are punished for one night, standing for one night and then “sitting on the board” the next day.
If they do not follow the “teachings” of the warden and the cell supervisors, they will also be punished with “marching on the street,” feet shackled, with handcuffs and feet shackles locked together. They are then forced to “march on the street,” following the police to pass through more than 20 cells, shouting: “Everyone, don’t follow me. I’m (punished) like this because I messed up the prison.” The punishment can last for weeks, and even when going to the toilet or to eat, the prisoner is in the state of”marching on the street.”
Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, is an ancient Chinese spiritual discipline of the Buddha School, centered on Truth, Benevolence, and Tolerance, incorporatiing five qigong exercises.
Ma Yongtao said that the Falun Gong practitioners he met were not at all what the CCP’s media outlets propagated. “They have good personalities and are very calm.”
Ma said it is difficult for the average person to understand live organ harvesting, but it can be analyzed from some facts. The number of death-row inmates in China and the number of organs transplanted annually in China do not match, and the gap between these two numbers is enormous. Where do all the organs come from?
After a death-row inmate in China is executed by a firing squad, all the family members receive is an urn (of ashes), which means the body belongs to the government.
As a human rights activist and prisoner of conscience, Ma Yongtao confirmed that he was also subjected to blood tests and health checks while he was in illegal detention. “It’s unfortunate; if they (my organs) fitted the body of a great leader, they would be removed,” he said.
Ma Yongtao said, “Through various phenomena, I am fully convinced of the claim that the CCP engages in organ harvesting.”
The CCP wants to dominate the “ideological front” and suppress freedom of religion
Ma Yongtao believes that the CCP controls people’s thoughts and minds using the state apparatus. The CCP’s dictatorship also does not tolerate other beliefs and wants to use communist ideology to dominate people’s “ideological front.” For example, in rural China, one can often see slogans on the walls that say, “Let communist ideology and socialist ideology take over the ideological front of people.”
In an article on Xinmin Evening News on January 16, 2019, Jiang Tusheng (Associate Professor of Chongqing Normal University, Branch Center, Research Center for Systematic Theory of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics) commented, in the words of the General Secretary and reinforced Marx’s point of view, “in the new era, in order to do a good job of ensuring comprehensive ideological security, an advanced socialist culture must be used to occupy the position of thought.”
The “Learning to strengthen the country” movement is a theoretical learning platform led by the Central Propaganda Department, with Xi Jinping’s speeches and thoughts as the main content, including a mobile application and a website launched on January 1, 2019. “Learning to strengthen the country” is a wordplay with Chinese homophones, which can be explained as “follow Xi Jinping and turn the country into a great power.”
Ma Yongtao said: “To control people’s minds, the ‘Learn to strengthen the country’ application is installed on mobile phones of all civil servants. Civil servants are required to open the app to learn daily with reviews, all are Xi Jinping Thought, how many points will you earn for reading an article, how many points for watching a video, how many points for viewing a photo. And the points are linked to productivity and salary. This is a good example of filling your mind with communist ideas.”
The New York Times, on September 4, 2020, displayed an article about how the Beijing government used the WeChat application to control people. For most Chinese in China, WeChat is a kind of all-in-one app: a way to communicate, pay bills, collaborate with colleagues, post holiday photos, purchase goods, and read the news. As WeChat has grown in popularity, it has become a powerful tool for social control, a way for Chinese authorities to guide and control what people say and read.
Ma said that the CCP had invested a lot in propaganda; even many official overseas WeChat accounts have been acquired by the Communist Party and fall under the category of major foreign propaganda. In addition, the CCP is best at inciting the masses with patriotism. In other words, they know that if a person is brought into the mass movement, they will follow the party with an almost zero IQ.
“If you don’t tell the truth, many outsiders really don’t know. The CCP propaganda is even more deceiving.”
Ma Yongtao said that he is grateful to Falun Gong practitioners, as he has benefited from firewall software developed by Falun Gong practitioners in China, such as Freegate and Freestyle; otherwise, he would not be able to distinguish the lies of the Communist Party, “because the CCP silently covers your eyes.”
With this software’s help, Ma Yongtao could read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and trustworthy news from the outside world.