Breaking footage: China’s Brutal Labour Camps, Part 1

Breaking footage: China’s Brutal Labour Camps, Part 1

Watch footage here:

Today we begin a special series on the shocking conditions within China’s “re-education
through labour” camps. Now, with cell phone camera footage that has just
been smuggled out of China, the international community is being given a rare
glimpse of life within these camps.

This is Masanjia Labour Camp, also referred to as the Ideology Education School
of Liaoning Province. Practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual practice as
well as house Christians are held here, often without trial or formal sentencing.
Forced labor is one of the tactics used here to reform what the Communist Party
considers improper political or spiritual beliefs. Prisoners at Masanjia often
work from 5a.m. to midnight. Sometimes, they’re forced to work through the night
without sleep. If they are given a chance to rest during the day, it’s on the
factory floor.
Mealtime means a few scraps of cornbread, and maybe some congee or a tiny portion
of vegetables. Then it’s back to work.
In this footage, eight Chinese prisoners can be seen straightening electrical
components called diodes. Not shown here is some of the other work they’re forced
to do, including manufacturing Halloween decorations-like skulls and plastic
tombstones-for export to the United States. Some prisoners have to handle toxic
substances without protective gear, causing itching, throat pain, and lung problems
over time.
In this place, not every prisoner is able to survive the conditions.
Mr. Dong Chen was a Christian from Fuxin city in Liaoning Province. Because
of his affiliation with an underground church, he was sentenced to two years
of re-education through labor. As told by his fellow prisoners, in December
of 2007 he became severely ill with high blood pressure, and was sent home to
be hospitalized. But after a week, his family could no longer afford medical
treatment, so Dong was taken back to Masanjia Labor Camp and resumed his heavy
workload. On the afternoon of May 25, 2008, he vomited and lost consciousness.
Prison guards ignored him for several hours, until he died at around 9p.m. He
was 56 years old. Labor camp officials later told Dong’s family that he had
died from natural causes.
This is just one of many examples of life and death within China’s labor camps.
Other such camps are scattered throughout China. Although it’s impossible to
get an accurate official count of how many prisoners are being held in these
camps, human rights groups estimate it’s in the tens of thousands or more.

Be sure to stay tuned over the coming weeks as NTD and its media partner, The
Epoch Times, continue this in-depth series on the secret world of China’s labor

Posting date: 1/Oct/2008
Original article date: 23/Sep/2008
Category: Media Report



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