Related News

Home » Nation

Anhui cops free slave laborers

MORE than 30 mentally challenged slave laborers have been rescued from two brick kilns in eastern China's Anhui Province, two years after a major forced-labor crackdown in Shanxi Province.

Police in Anhui's Jieshou City seized 10 suspects, including kiln owners and foremen, and rescued 32 people, aged from 25 to 45, who had been forced to work a dozen hours a day and were often beaten, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Most of the mentally retarded victims were believed to be from Anhui and neighboring Shandong and Henan provinces, the report said.

Only some of them could tell police where they were from. About one-third have been sent home, while the others were waiting for their families at a welfare facility.

Police had received reports that two brick kilns in Jieshou were using slave laborers and dispatched more than 80 officers to set them free, the report said.

Two years ago, a similar forced-labor scandal in northern China sparked outrage among the public and drew the concern of national leaders. The laborers were forced to work long hours without pay in brickyards, mines and other industries.

Private brick kiln owners in Shanxi Province were found to be abusing workers in June 2007 after more than 400 parents from central China's Henan Province posted a petition on the Internet on June 7. They called for help in rescuing their children, who had been kidnapped to work as forced laborers.

Those parents also said in an anguished posting they had met stiff resistance from local authorities in the province, where most of the kilns were located. Police action soon followed.

Officers rescued about 1,500 people, many of whom were children or mentally handicapped, from forced labor in brick kilns, where they worked 18 hours a day and were beaten if they tried to escape.

Ninety-five officials in Shanxi were punished, and about 30 others, including kiln bosses, foremen and watchmen, received sentences ranging from imprisonment to the death penalty.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend