Atrocities Behind the Products Made by Slave Labour in Inner Mongolia Women’s Prison

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Women's Prison, also known as the “Yinghua Garment Factory,” enslaves their detainees, which include criminal inmates and innocent Falun Gong practitioners. The prisoners make uniforms for the Public Security and the Industrial and Commercial agencies. They also adorn embroidery on sweaters, make fringe for scarfs, pick loose wool and small objects off sweaters, package disposable chopsticks and toothpicks, and sort buckwheat. The semi-finished products arrive at the prison, go through a finishing process and become end products with a “Made in China” label on them. Most of the products are exported through foreign trade, including the sorted buckwheat.

The Inner Mongolia Women's Prison, formerly the Inner Mongolia First Women's Prison located in Huhehaote City, Xiaoheihe District, was relocated to Shuaijiaying Village in November 2003. The Inner Mongolia Second Women's Prison, formerly located at Baoanzhao of Hinggan City, also relocated there. The two prisons make up the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Women's Prison located in Shuaijiaying Village.

The Inner Mongolia Women's Prison, under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)has been a dark den where imprisoned female Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted, subjected to slavery, and pressured to renounce their faith. The unyielding practitioners are brutally tortured.

Heavy Workload

The Inner Mongolia Women's Prison uses the detainees as source of cheap labour to generate profit and earn dirty money. Sometimes, the Public Security and the Industrial and Commercial agencies place rush orders for uniforms, which creates a very tight timeline for the prisoners. In order to finish on time, the workers are often forced to work overtime and given very short breaks. Sometimes they work 24 hour days for several days in a row, and this has caused workers to pass out.

The break time allotted for meals is under twenty minutes, and the workers don't have time to use the toilet. As soon as the bell rings, people have to rush and quickly form a line. They go out to the workshop and start working like machines. Some prisoners have to fight the urge to use the toilet while working in the workshop because they didn't have time use the toilet during the break. Some don't wash their hands before meals or after using the toilet. It's not because they don't care about personal hygiene, but because they are not given time to do so. The prisoners are under a lot of pressure and are constantly in a hurry. Their quality of life is worse than that of cattle. Some of the prisoners with long prison terms get very emotional and have said that the machines are better off than the prisoners. While the machines get to have breaks, the prisoners always have tons of work to do and never get a break. They comment that they'd rather become a cow than be in this place.

The prison guards often use “losing money” as the reason to force prisoners to work overtime. After returning from working the night shift, the prisoners are forced to do handwork in their cells to make more money for the prison. Some of the prisoners stay up till 3 or 4 a.m. to meet the quota, some of them have died in the prison before their terms ended and some could not endure various torture and committed suicide.

The toilets at the prison are under strict control. Each worker can only use the toilet once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If someone has a stomach flu or simply has to go, it can be painful. The prisoner who is in charge of the toilets often gets small favours or gifts from other prisoners. The prisoners give away their only “luxury items,” just so they can use the toilets when they need to. Some prisoners don't have the money to make bribes. Therefore, it often happens that when a person cannot hold it anymore, they go into the piles of finished garments where the guards cannot see them and either urinate into a plastic bag or directly onto the clothes. Workplaces receive the finished clothes with stains on them. Some people might think that the clothes got wet during shipping. It may be water, or it may very well be urine.

Unsanitary Products Made and Exported

At the Inner Mongolia Women's Prison, the water supply is often cut off. The prison guards purposely cut off the water supply in order to save money. There are also technical failures. The water outages sometimes last for about ten days, however, they never affect production at the workshop. There are always various products still being produced. In such cases, none of the prisoners wash their hands after using the toilet while at work simply because there is no water to wash with.

During the SARS outbreak, face masks were in short supply in mainland China. The Inner Mongolia First Women's Prison had workers working 24 hour days producing large quantities of masks. These products were produced under very unsanitary conditions. The prison guards never stressed the issue of sanitation during production, but instead pushed the prisoners to get more work done so they could make a profit. However, the guards were in the habit of washing store-bought clothes before they wore them. They mentioned that they worried about the clothes being produced by slave labour at some other prison.

When picking loose wool and small objects off sweaters, the prisoners who could not finish their quota on time would do anything in desperation to finish. Some would brush the sweaters really hard using a shoe brush, some spit onto the sweaters and then would try to smooth it out by rubbing it with their dirty hands. The sweaters would then be turned in well folded.

When the chopsticks and toothpicks that needed to be packaged were not straight, some of the prisoners would simply sit on them to straighten them out. When packaging toothpicks or sorting buckwheat, prisoners would use a small container, or a bowl, as a tool. Sometimes, they would use a “special container,” the one in a small basin that the prisoners use at night to wash their private parts.

In the prison, water is a luxurious item. Being able to take a shower is a luxury. Some of the Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in the prison have not been allowed to take a shower for months or longer. The prisoners get two mugs of water every day: one at noon and one at night. They save the mugs of hot water they get at night to wash their private parts in a small basin. During the day, this small basin is used to package toothpicks or sort buckwheat.

The sorted buckwheat is mainly for export and making money off foreigners. When foreigners buy products labeled “Made in China,” they may not even think about what's behind these slave labour-made products. Buckwheat is a food item and toothpicks are used in the mouth. How many people know the hideous crimes and sad truth behind these slave labour-made products?

Each ward at the Inner Mongolia Women's Prison has prisoners that are sick or elderly. These prisoners cannot work at the workshops because of their health conditions.However, they must also do the handwork, including picking loose objects off sweaters, making fringe for scarfs, packaging toothpicks, and sorting buckwheat. Some wards have cells full of sick people with various contagious diseases, and there is a high concentration of viruses and germs floating around the prison. The prisoners do not have the means for better hygiene. It seems very likely that the products they produce contain germs or bacteria. Most of these products are exported to other countries.

Some of the prisoners dislike the guards' lack of conscience and the way they make dirty money, and they have reported the truth about how chopsticks and toothpicks are packaged and how buckwheat is sorted to the related inspection departments through special channels. When the departments receive this type of report, they often visit the prison to investigate without prior warning. Then prison officials, including the guards and the warden, panic, and the guards make the prisoners hide the handwork materials. This happens often.

Even if inspectors find some violation, however, there are often no consequences.As long as the officials of the Chinese Communist Party are well bribed, they give the ok and ignore the crimes being committed.

Ignoring Prisoners' Health

The Inner Mongolia First Women's Prison produces large quantities of products, and the prisoners have heavy workloads. Their living conditions are bad and their diet is even worse. The prison guards order food regularly for the prisoners, but most of it is of poor quality or expired. The commodities sold at the prison such as toothpaste and laundry detergent are mostly counterfeit.

In the prison compound, each ward has its own “Pickle Pit.” These pits are very deep, of decent size, and dug by the strong prisoners. An outsider would not be able to guess what these are for. They are for storing pickled vegetables. In October of each year, large quantities of Chinese cabbage are sold very cheap at the market. The prison staff would buy a lot of cabbage, throw it in the pits without washing, dump in water, and cover the pit with plastic and then a layer of dirt. After about a month, the cabbage would ferment and taste slightly sour. This is the right time to eat a pickled vegetable, before it starts to stink. However, at the prison the cabbage is not eaten until the end of April or beginning of May. It would then be prepared for the prisoners every day, until August.

The pits used for pickling vegetables are outdoors, and they often have dead rats in them. During the summer, there are also cockroaches, maggots, and bugs, such as flies, all over the pits. No matter the conditions, the prisoners have to eat the pickled cabbage without complaint. The smell of rotten cabbage reeks. The prisoners say that even a pig would walk around this cabbage and not touch it. However, the prisoners and persecuted Falun Gong practitioners have to eat it for almost half a year.

An Appeal to All People

The Inner Mongolia Women's Prison conceals the fact that it abuses and exploits prisoners. It is an institute for criminal correction, but it is also a place where CCP officials persecute the innocent, enslave prisoners, and overlook criminal behavior by the staff. When the prison is visited or inspected, the first action taken by the guards is to hide the Falun Gong practitioners and have them closely monitored by the prisoners. They fear that the practitioners will tell the truth. They hide and disguise things that are unscrupulous.

The Chinese Communist Party not only brutally persecutes Falun Gong practitioners but also other prisoners. In order to make a profit, low-quality and filthy products are sold inside China and exported to foreign countries. The CCP spreads its evil practices overseas when it sells these harmful products to foreigners, while at the same time ruining the reputation of the Chinese people. We hope that international human rights organizations inspect and investigate the prisons under the communist rule and that people around the world will condemn the Chinese Communist Party for its abuse and blatant disregard of human rights.

Personnel involved in the persecution at the Inner Mongolia Women's Prison:
Yang, Political Committee: +86-471-2396666 (office)
Ni Rongxiang, deputy director: +86-471-2396668 (office)
Bai Guirong, guard: +86-13847107932 (mobile)
Zhang Yan, chief of Discipline Section: +86-471-2396581 (office), +86-471-2396559 (office)
Wu Guiqin, assistant head of Ward No.1: +86-471-2396728 (office)
Han Xiaoli, head of Ward No. 2: +86-13948117078(mobile)
+86-471-2396736 (office), +86-471-2396738 (office), +86-471-2396740 (office)
Liu Qiong, dead of Ward No. 3: +86-471-2396665 (office)

Sun Yufeng, warden


Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2012/2/19/253254.html


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