News on the Net (Bio and Archives) Thursday, December 27, 2012
NEW YORK – A US newspaper reports that a letter hand-written by a prisoner in one of China’s most notorious labor camps was secretly stuffed into a holiday decoration product that was purchased at Kmart (story). Published on Christmas Day, the newspaper corroborates numerous testimonies from labor camp survivors taken over the last decade of how, under brutal conditions, Chinese prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, are forced to make products often sold in the West.
The Oregonian picked up the story from a resident of Portland, Oregon, who found the hand-written letter squeezed between Styrofoam Halloween decorations. The letter was a plea for help from a prisoner at Masanjia Labor Camp, one of China’s deadliest facilities, and known to be especially dedicated to torturing and “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners.
Written in choppy English, the letter ends by describing the people in the labor camp: “Many of them are Falun Gong practitioners, who are totally innocent people…They often suffer more punishment than others.”
Over the past decade, the Falun Dafa Information Center has received an abundance of testimonies from labor camp survivors. The most vicious accounts have consistently been from Masanjia, where 14 – 18 hours of labor a day is the norm for those who are not being held in isolation.
“Sometimes it would be 20 hours or more, if they needed a product urgently,” said Ms. Jia Yahui, who spent fourteen months in Masanjia between 2007 and 2008. Ms. Jia, a Falun Gong practitioner, was abducted in a “pre-Beijing Olympics round-up” and was forced to mostly make products meant for export, including toys, flowers, toiletries and numerous food products.