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Chinese, 2013/01

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Above the Ghosts’ Heads 小鬼頭上的女人
The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp
Dai Yi 戴藝

Masanjia Women's Labor Camp was founded in October 1999. Since then it has received praise from the Central Committee of the CPC, the Ministries of Public Security and Justice, and judicial authorities at all levels for its 「glorious victories」 in compelling petitioners to abandon their quests for justice and Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith. Masanjia has been promoted as a model and example of best practice for other labor camps across China. It has declared that the police officers working in Masanjia have always acted in accordance with the law when 「reforming」 inmates and 「turning them into people useful to their country」, and that inmates have never been abused in their facilities.

Yet Liu Hua rips apart Masanjia with her eyewitness recount, giving insight into its atrocities. Despite only having had five years of schooling, Liu managed to secretly record the slavery, abuse, and torture that female inmates suffered in Masanjia. Liu worked daily to commit her writings to memory, eating each page once she had memorized it, for pencils, paper, and writing were all strictly forbidden inside the camp. The brutality inflicted upon the Masanjia inmates was by no means an isolated case, but echoed by hundreds of labor camps across the country.



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