The Wall Street Journal reporter Gordon Fairclough interviewed one of the victims of the Shanxi Brick Kiln forced labor case and published a detailed story on how Li Yaokai, one of the first abducted children to “give an extended interview to the foreign press”, got kidnapped at Zhengzhou Railway Station and was transported to Shanxi to work as a slave laborer at a brick kiln.
At the kiln, Li subsisted on a diet of bread, noodles, and water. Although he did his best to avoid irritating the overseers, he got beaten twice when he was too exhausted and weak to work quickly, said the WSJ report.
The brick kiln where Li toiled was set up by the Communist Party chief of the village and run by his son, the WSJ said, quoting Chinese authorities. The party chief has been sacked.
From The Wall Street Journal:
In early March, Li Yaokai, a skinny 18-year-old from this small mountainside village in central China, embarked on his first trip to the provincial capital. It didn’t take long for him to get dragged into a huge forced-labor scandal whose gruesome details are now coming to light.
Mr. Li had set out in search of work to help support his family. Instead, the teenager ended up being sold into bondage at a brick factory.
Moments after he stepped off the train in Zhengzhou’s cavernous rail station, he says, a middle-aged man appeared and asked if he was interested in a job. Mr. Li followed the stranger outside where two others emerged from the shadows, grabbing him and shoving him into a white minivan.[Full Text – subscribers only]
For more reports, see CDT hot topic Shanxi Brick Kiln
(photo: slave laborers were rescued from a brick kiln in Shanxi Province, WSJ-AP)