Changliu Detention Center of Tonghua City, Jilin Province Exports Filthy Toothpicks Produced By Slave Labor For High Profit
(Clearwisdom.net) The Changliu Detention Center of Tonghua City, Jilin Province has been using enslaved detainees to produce packages of toothpicks and has been making a large profit from it for a very long time.
Toothpicks produced in the Changliu Detention Center
In the detention center, each cell holds over 30 inmates and measures 28 square meters, of which the toilet takes up over 2 square meters. The rest of the cell space is used for eating, sleeping and working. Sometimes there are over 40 inmates working in a cell. Inmates have to lie on their sides to sleep and there is no room to turn over. The guards appoint an inmate as the cell leader, who usually is a gangster, big and strong. The cell leader is in charge of assigning spaces for sleeping and usually gives the space near himself/herself, where it is more spacious, to those inmates who obey his/her orders to beat other inmates. These inmates, called "prison tyrants," are close to the cell leader and help him/her maintain order in the cell. They beat other inmates and extort money from others at will. Both the cell leaders and prison tyrants enjoy services from their designated personal servants. In the morning, someone will prepare the water for washing their faces and squeeze the toothpaste onto their brushes for them. Their meals and beds are prepared for them, and other inmates do their laundry. They are virtually the emperors of the cell. The rest of the inmates have to wait in line in the morning to use tap water. Very often they have to eat breakfast without washing their faces or brushing their teeth because the line is so long. While eating, inmates sit down in two rows facing each other. If there is any food on the floor, inmates have to mop it clean with a wash cloth and then sit down to do inspection, sitting up silently with both hands on their laps. There is one chance to use the toilet for urination in the morning and another chance in the afternoon. There is one chance to use the toilet for defecation in the latter half of the sleeping hours, but only when there is no extra overnight work to do.
The detention center amasses huge profits illegally from making and exporting toothpicks. They achieve this by minimizing the living cost of the inmates, cramping over 30 people in a cell of 28 square meters to live in inhumane, unsanitary living conditions. In the hot summer days, inmates wear only shorts (no tops), sweating all over their bodies, and make the toothpicks while sitting on the floor. The cell is filled with the smell of sweat and feet. Toothpicks for export are made in such an environment.
In the third week of August 2001, the detention cells experienced a plumbing incident that mixed drinking water with sewage water. During the twenty days of which the plumbing was broken, over 200 inmates contracted dysentery, fevers and diarrhea of various degrees.
Each detention cell is assigned a work quota. If the quota is not met, no one is allowed to sleep. The cell leaders and tyrants beat those inmates who cannot meet their quotas. Every day each inmate is given two buns and two bowls of vegetable soup without any oil. Work starts as soon as the sun is up until late after midnight. The inmates' physical and mental health is damaged due to the hard manual labor, day in and day out. At the beginning, people can meet the daily quota. But gradually those aged inmates or inmates with poor health cannot keep up. Then the cell leaders and tyrants will beat them relentlessly, cutting into their sleep time. If the quota is still not met, the inmates will be stripped and whipped every day with wood sticks as wide as a thumb and 1.5 feet long. The punishment is meant to be a warning to others. To avoid beating, some inmates give up their sleep time, some give up their bathing time. Due to lack of sanitation, the work place is filled with fleas and some inmates have blisters. This is the place where the "finest" toothpicks are produced and these are the people who make the products.
Since July 20, 1999, when Jiang's regime started persecuting Falun Gong, the Tonghua City authorities have been arresting, detaining, and sentencing Falun Gong practitioners to the Changliu Detention Center. Recently, practitioner Sui Yanzhang was tortured by the guards, cell leaders and cell tyrants to a skeletal state. The same type of slave labor is happening in detention centers all over China.
To where are the toothpicks exported? They are distributed all over the world in the name of international trade. When foreign buyers come, Chinese Communist Party officials will take them to a production base which meets all the established quality standards. When asked for a quality sampling check, the CCP officials will show them good quality products to get the purchase orders. If the foreign buyers find problems in the quality of goods, the CCP officials will win them over with bribes. The CCP officials' use of bribery is unique and well known.
During the first half of 2001, in an attempt to get more of a bonus, the guards of the Changliu Detention Center instigated Ding Yan, an inmate tyrant from Shihu of Tonghua City, to savagely beat a suspect of one of their investigations, which led to the suspect's death. The autopsy was performed at the Tonghua City's Health School. The name of the victim was unknown.
List of personnel at the Changliu Detention Center:
Deputy Director of the detention center: Lu Dianxi
Prison doctor: Jiang Zhongjie
Head, Division of Monitoring: Xu Quanfeng
Guards: Jiang Hong (who once beat practitioner Zhao Shumei), Li Xinchun, Guo, Shao, Yu, Wang Yuewu, Gong, Du, Li Xiangxin, Wang Jun, Cai Yiping, Zheng Dadui, Tong Dadui, Xu Deming (promoted to political instructor)