China may close reeducation prisons – Mark Magnier

From The Los Angeles Times:

The former prisoner runs a dirt-stained hand over a scar on his forehead and recalls the pain of near-daily whippings by police guards at the Fuxin Reeducation Through Labor facility in northeast China.

“Since we didn’t get enough to eat and the work they forced us to do was so hard, we’d collapse, leading to a bad beating,” said Liu Jun, 36. “It was also a way for the police to remind you that bribing them would give you less work and more food.

“They enjoyed hurting you so much, sometimes we’d dream of killing them.”

Liu said his only crime was having the same name as a criminal; local police served as both judge and jury.

For 50 years, China’s Mao-era reeducation through labor, or laojiao, program has allowed police to sentence petty criminals or anyone they consider troublemakers to as many as four years of incarceration without trial. China’s parliament will consider reforming or abolishing the system during its annual session, which begins today, the state-run English-language China Daily said last week. [Full Text]

March 5, 2007 9:43 AM
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Categories: Law, Politics