Wednesday, 23 November 2011
China´s dark secret: Millions of prisoners in state sponsored slave labour camps
"We were not paid at all, we were forced. If anyone refused to work, they would be beaten, some people were beaten to death."
Charles Lee, former prison inmate
Al Jazeera is to be congratulated for producing and showing one of the most important investigative television documentaries in recent years: Slavery: A 21st Century Evil - Prison slaves
The documentary shows how communist China - the world´s number one exporter of consumer goods - is running a system of state sponsored slavery consisting of more than 1,000 slave labour prisons with more than five million prisoners. Tens of thousands of these slave workers are political or religious prisoners:
Once an isolationist communist state, over the last 20 years China has become the world's biggest exporter of consumer goods. But behind this apparent success story is a dark secret - millions of men and women locked up in prisons and forced into intensive manual labour.
China has the biggest penal colony in the world - a top secret network of more than 1,000 slave labour prisons and camps known collectively as "The Laogai". And the use of the inmates of these prisons - in what some experts call "state sponsored slavery" - has been credited with contributing to the country's economic boom
Read more here
The Chinese state sponsored slavery is wellknown to the US and the European governments, but they all choose to ignore it, because they do not want to disturb the trade and political relations with the eastern giant. "They just care about the money", as one of the persons interviewed in the programme puts it.
Shame on Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy, Cameron and all the rest!
Watch the programme, if you have not already seen it, and you will most likely agree.
The Laogai Research Foundation site has a lot of useful information about the slave labour camps here.