Target: Human Rights Watch, China Director Sophie Richardson
Goal: Convince the Human Rights Watch to take definitive action following the discovery of a letter from an alleged inmate of a Chinese Labor Camp.
A haunting, unsigned message was recently discovered inside a package of Halloween decorations purchased from an Oregon K-Mart. The anonymous letter, written in a mixture of Chinese script and broken English, briefly describes labor camp horrors and pleads for help. While U.S. Authorities on China and the Human Rights Watch took note of the letter, they maintain that there is little an investigation will do, even though, “it is fair to say the conditions described in the letter certainly conform to what we know about conditions in re-education through labor camps” (Sophia Richardson to Oregon Live).
China’s system of “re-education through labor” allows remand and punishment without trial. Various sources suggest that followers of groups banned by China’s government – such as members of the spiritual group, Falun Gong – are sent to such re-education camps. The anonymous letter supports such claims, stating that, “People who work here, suffer punishment 1-3 years averagely, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment). Many of them are Falun Gong practitioners, who are totally innocent people only because they have different believe to CCPG. They often suffer more punishment than others.”
The writer also adds that laborers at the camps work under horrendous conditions: “People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement [sic], beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month).” 10 yuan is approximately equal to $1.61.
Multiple sources confirm that the government has taken advantage of the system of “re-education through labor,” and is using it to unlawfully punish Chinese citizens. Sign the petition below to demand that the Human Rights Watch take decisive action to put a stop to the human rights violations occurring in Chinese labor camps.
Dear Ms. Richardson,
Recently, an anonymous letter from a possible victim of a Chinese Labor Camp was discovered in the United States. The Human Rights Watch has yet to take decisive action against these camps, despite multiple sources that suggest that such labor camps perpetrate heinous human rights violations.
Please, do not ignore the letter found in Oregon. I ask you to take significant steps to investigate and put an end to these crimes against humanity. Do not aid the Chinese government by allowing the perpetuation of unjust detention.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: informatique via flickr.com