Chinese Citizens Speak Out Against China's Prison Labor System
Created: 2012-12-27 14:47 EST
After a US resident found a note in one of her Halloween decorations claiming to be from a Chinese labor camp, the US Homeland Security has been investigating labor conditions of Chinese made products.
It's also reopened the discussion on China's controversial labor re-education system.
NTD spoke with Gu Chuan, a visiting scholar at Columbia University. He says that China's prisons and labor camps do not rehabilitate people, and the international community should pressure the Chinese regime to reform the systems.
[Gu Chuan, Visiting Scholar, Institution for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University]:
"The labor through education system is for the purpose of persecuting people. Not only the Chinese labor re-education system but all the punishment systems that use labor are very bad systems and should be abolished under pressure from the international community."
A netizen from Shanxi province agrees. The person, who goes by the online alias “Shenmafuyun”, says the Communist regime will not reform on its own.
[Shenmafuyun, Shanxi Netizen]:
"If the international society puts pressure on it [the Chinese Communist Party], the situation may improve a little. Some people were exposing officials' corruption on the internet a while ago, and they were suppressed. People in China still can't speak freely. We still need the international society to give the Communist Party pressure."
A resident from Sichuan province says foreign countries could impose trade sanctions against China as one way to stop forced labor.
[Mr. Zhang, Chinese Citizen from Sichuan Province]:
"Labor re-education is in fact to torture people. The re-education through labor system is the main reason that prisoners are treated so harshly. It's not right. That is why [the government] tries to hide it. If it was something good, the People's Daily would have flaunted it."
China's re-education through labor system dates back to the Cultural Revolution when political prisoners were forced to do manual labor in the country side.
Today, the state actively uses its prison labor program to produce cheap goods and to punish prisoners. Individuals can be sentenced up to three years in labor re-education without any legal procedure.