For his latest contribution to the Hexie Farm CDT series, cartoonist Crazy Crab comments on recent reports of the torture of detainees at the Masanjia women’s detention center in Liaoning. A report in Lens magazine alleged that prisoners were malnourished, forced to work up to 14 hours a day, and subjected to electric rods on a regular basis. The report has since been removed from the magazine’s site and the Central Propaganda Department has banned any reporting or posting on the story.
Hexie Farm’s cartoon depicts a prisoner hidden underground as the national flag is raised above her head. The image alludes to words by former Masanjia detainee Liu Hua, translated on Twitter by activist Zeng Jinyan, about the detention center.
The title of Hexie Farm’s drawing is a line in the tweet*:
We are women above ghosts’ head twitter.com/zengjinyan/sta…
— zengjinyan (@zengjinyan) April 15, 2013
In 2012, an American found a letter asking for help allegedly written by a detainee at Masanjia and hidden in a graveyard kit that was part of a Halloween decoration package sold at K-Mart.
Read more about Hexie Farm’s CDT series, including a Q&A with the anonymous cartoonist, and see all cartoons so far in the series.
[CDT owns the copyright for all cartoons in the Hexie Farm CDT series. Please do not reproduce without receiving prior permission from CDT.]
*Correction: This post was edited to reflect that the translation by Zeng Jinyan was not a poem, but words from an interview.