On April 6, an article in Lens Magazine, known for its photography, detailed torture implements with names like the "Tiger Bench" and the "Death Bed" that were used against prisoners in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. It immediately triggered an online outcry from hundreds of thousands, furious at the authorities for what the article depicted. The piece was quickly deleted from web portals. The article mentioned that the tortures were initially implemented upon "special groups," while not specifying the name of the group. It’s widely believed that the group refers to Falun Gong, a meditation practice suppressed by the authorities since 1999. The following is an excerpt from one of the documents obtained by Chinascope, showing that the Party was advocating labor camps to transform Falun Gong practitioners.
On August 23, 2000, Li Lanqing, former vice premier of the State Council and head of the "610 Office" (the department in charge of handling the suppression of Falun Gong), sent a personal letter to the “Experience Exchange and Commendation Meeting of The Ministry of Justice on Education and Transforming Work (i.e., Brainwashing),” complimenting the labor camps for their excellent work in transforming Falun Gong practitioners.