Liu Jie, 60, a former business executive from Heilongjiang Province, served a two-year sentence for “disturbing social order,” punishment for releasing a public letter demanding political and legal reform. She described how roughneck inmates violently imposed the guards’ will in return for reduced sentences. One particular thrashing cost her several front teeth and left her temporarily blind in one eye.
When she complained about dizziness from the paint used to make paper lanterns, Ms. Liu said, she was hogtied to a chair for a week, a dreaded punishment known as the “tiger bench.” Deprived of food and water for several days, she said, she repeatedly lost consciousness. “When they unshackled me from the chair, my legs had turned black with bruises.”
In a 2009 report, Chinese Human Rights Defenders documented what it called a “hotbed of injustice,” with inmates sometimes working 20-hour days to produce chopsticks, firecrackers, cardboard boxes or handbags.
December 15, 2012
"It’s high time we demolish this unconstitutional and abusive system that violates basic human rights, fuels instability and smears the government’s image."
An end to China's system of re-education-through-work camps?