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Sometimes practitioners of Falun Gong would disappear from Masanjia Women’s Forced Labor Camp without a trace. Their clothes and other belongings would remain behind, but the practitioners could not be found.
Only later did Ms. Xie (full name withheld to protect her identity) come to understand the significance of those disappearances. (Ms. Xie’s experience at Masanjia is told at greater length in “Woman Recounts Torture in Most Notorious Labor Camp in China” )
Xie endured 17 months in Masanjia. Upon being admitted to the camp in November 2005 she was given an extensive—and costly—medical exam. At the time she was told that if the camp’s doctors found she were not healthy enough, she would be sent home.
X-rays were taken and an ultrasound was given. Her liver function was tested and urine was collected. Xie says an extra-large syringe was used to draw her blood.
Of course, she was not sent home. At Masanjia, torture has killed and disabled many practitioners. Health is not a concern.
In March 2006, a family came to visit their daughter, a Falun Gong practitioner named Liu Mingwei.
When Liu’s family was refused entry, they began shouting outside the camp that they would expose the gruesome practice of live organ harvesting to the world if prison officials would not let them visit their daughter.
At that moment, Xie recalled how the police had often said to her, “If you don’t give up practicing [Falun Gong], you will be taken to climb up the chimney [the chimney of a crematorium].”
She had thought this was a serious death threat, but she hadn’t known before about the organ harvesting.
Shortly after Xie was released from Masanjia in March 2007 she met with an ex-colleague, Li Shiying. Li told her that his wife just had liver transplant surgery at the 301 Hospital (The General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army).
An organ was found very quickly—from admission to release took just 21 days.
“The doctor said the liver was donated by someone who practiced qigong. It was definitely a healthy liver,” Li told Xie.
Hearing Li’s story, Xie felt a moment of gut-wrenching panic. The medical exam she had been given—the information about her organs must have been entered into a computer database somewhere.
Any time in Masanjia, she could have been trundled off for surgery. She could have disappeared as mysteriously as the inmates whose clothes had been left behind, vanishing like a puff of smoke in a March breeze.