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Eyewitness: Shanxi Province Women's Prison a Processing Facility for Counterfeit Drugs

August 09, 2010 |   By a Falun Gong practitioner in China

(Clearwisdom.net) In 2007, the Shanxi Province Women's Prison was rated as a "Civilized Prison," but based on what I saw there, I think it would be more appropriate to call it a "processing site for counterfeit drugs."

I was illegally detained in the prison's processing facility. The workshop facility processes almost everything, from food and clothing, to items used on a daily basis. Two rooms on the second floor were used to package many different kinds of fake drugs. The majority of the drugs processed were used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure. There were also diet pills, eye medication, and drugs to enlarge the male reproductive organ.

As soon as it was known that the authorities were coming to inspect the site, the guards immediately locked those two rooms and gave the prisoners working there other tasks to perform. When the inspectors arrived, the guards claimed that those two rooms were used for storage only and they would not be inspected. Fake honey was stored in the restroom of the workshop. It consisted of water, food coloring, and an unidentified sweetener. The packaging was very nice and pretty. One year, there were several buckets of leftover fake honey that the buyer did not want, so the pseudo honey was poured into bottles and given to the prisoners as a Chinese New Year gift.

The prisoners also put tapioca starch into nice packages that were labeled as "lotus root flour." The camellia tea was an unfinished product, which was put into a bag, sealed, and boxed. The tea boxes looked even better than the ones in the market. The workshop was filthy. A layer of dust would form on clean glass in less than 20 minutes. The prisoners also made clothing and cellphone covers, and glued paper shopping bags. A few wooden planks were used to cover a small area for packaging food items, a practice that would not meet the requirements set by the Health and Disease Prevention Center.

I also witnessed two bags filled with pills and capsules dissolved in buckets of water and then dumped into the sewer. I guess they were afraid to leave them in the trash can and they certainly did not want outsiders to see them. Post office trucks were used to transport goods out of the prison, in order to avoid inspection. It seems that the profit margin for processing drugs is very high. I have seen the prisoners stop packaging drugs immediately when visitors or inspectors arrive at the prison, then resume their tasks as soon as they leave.

The prisons are part of the law enforcement system, but at this facility the law is constantly being violated. This place has become a safe haven for processing and packaging counterfeit products. When legitimate factories urgently need the products produced here, the prisoners work overtime, including holidays. They will also work at packaging drugs all night. If the prisoners cannot finish their jobs on time, except for the three days during Chinese New Year, they are not allowed to sleep. The doors of the workshop are sealed shut. Sometimes, when the workshop is full, the packaging task is moved to the corridors of the dormitory or the TV room. This is done for the sake of making more profit. The prisoners are treated like slaves. But in order to reduce their sentences so that they can reunite with their families, the prisoners do not speak up. They work very hard, and saying to "no" to the authorities would be ignored or result in dire consequences.

July 30, 2010