Print This Page Email This Page
Horrific Slave-labor Case Unearthed

Police in northern Shanxi Province have rescued 31 people forced to work for a year as slaves at a brickworks run by the son of a local Party official.

They were fed with only steamed buns and cold water and received no pay.

Eight of the workers were able to remember only their names, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

It was unknown if this was a result of torture they experienced or they had been mentally retarded before they worked there.

The workers were heavily bruised. All over their bodies were wounds and burns, as they were forced to carry uncooled bricks and walk barefoot in the kiln, the newspaper said.

Their faces were covered by long hair and beards, and their bodies emitted foul odors because they hadn't had a shave, a hair cut and a shower for more than a year.

The grime on their bodies was so thick that it could be scraped off with a knife, the newspaper added.

Hired roughnecks carrying iron clubs watched over the workers at the factory in Caosheng Village in Linfen City of the inland province.

The police said 23 of the 31 saved were lured to work at the factory from railway stations in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, and Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province.

They were made to work from 5am until 1am the next day.

Where they lived was a dark room, in which there was no bed. They had to sleep on the cement ground covered by just a straw mat, even in winter.

The roughnecks drove them into the room like livestock every day.

Vegetables never appeared in their meals. And they were required to finish each meal within 15 minutes.

Any worker believed be not toiling hard enough was bashed.

One laborer, identified as Liu Bao from Gansu Province, was beaten to death by one of the roughnecks. Police swooped soon after to set the others free.

Zhao Yanbing, from Hubei Province, bashed Liu over the head with an iron shovel, leaving him in comma. Liu died in the dark room the next day.

His body was wrapped in a plastic cloth and buried in the mountains.

The boss was believed to be able to get away with it because of his political connections, the newspaper said.

Local villagers said that had Wang Dongji not been the Party secretary of the village, the apparently illegal brickworks would have been discovered a long time ago, the News claimed, referring to the father of boss, Wang Binbin.

Heng Mingyang, son of the factory's foreman Heng Tinghan, and one of the hired roughnecks have been detained by police, but four are at large, the report said.

The workers are still living at the brickworks while the local government tries to get their wages.

But the eight migrant workers have no idea where their homes are, and the local government is trying to find them out, the newspaper said.

(Shanghai Daily June 9, 2007)

Related Stories

Print This Page Email This Page
Foreign Firms Lend a Hand to Flood Victims
100 Mln Illiterates Learned to Read and Write in Decade
New Moves to Guide Buying of Medical Equipment
First Half Summer Grain Output Rises Despite Disasters
Tibetan Electricity Deal Inked
Ministry Strengthens Water Quality Monitoring

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys