Skip to content

BBC Chinese: Party Is Split Internally over Media Report on Labor Camp Torture Cases

BBC Chinese carried an analysis of the recent media reports about the disclosure of the incidents of torture at Masajia Labor Camp. The article suggested that there was an internal split among the party leadership about the labor camp system and about Falun Gong issues and that the differences among the leadership will cause this forbidden topic to become known to the outside world.

According to the analysis, after Len’s Magazine‘s breakthrough in reporting on this sensitive subject, a few media and reporters openly challenged the notice banning the topic. The analysis stated, “All of those facts suggest that the views among the party’s senior leadership are split about both the labor camp system and about Falun Gong issues.” “Even though the article did not mention Falun Gong, a sensitive topic in China, many media, including Associated Press and the South China Morning Post, have noticed that the details about the torture revealed in the article were identical to the claims that Falun Gong adherents made 10 years ago.” The article concluded that torture cases have existed in China for at least a dozen years, but China’s media system has covered them up.

Len’s Magazine published the article “Stepping Out of Masanjia” on April 6. On April 9, the Central Propaganda Department issued a notice to quash the article. However China Woman Daily and Legal Daily continued to cover the topic including interviews of the main characters. On April 19, Liaoning Province made an official statement claiming that “distorted facts were found in ‘Stepping Out of Masanjia.’" Xinhua and Legal Daily followed up with the same type of articles. Yuan Ling, the author of “Stepping Out of Masanjia” issued a statement on his micro blog in Sina stating the article was written on a factual basis and requested an apology. Guangming Daily published a commentary calling for the application of legal measures to dig out the truth. It also noted that the article by Xinhua did not have an author. In Hong Kong on April 27, Du Bing, an independent filmmaker released a documentary movie called, Above the Ghosts’ Heads: The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp. Du told Apple Daily that the truth of the torture should be made known to people around the world.

Source: BBC Chinese, May 2, 2013