Products Made Using Slave Labor in Qian’an Detention Center, Hebei Province
(Minghui.org) Qian’an Detention Center has actively participated in the persecution since the Communist regime started persecuting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. The detention center moved to Maojiawa in June 2007, and has since become a place where detained Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners were forced to do slave labor to make money for the detention center.
1. Making Hats for Changli County Hat Factory, Qinhuangdao City
The Changli County Hat Factory sends materials to the detention center, most of which are semi-finished products. There are six or seven different kinds, and the factory has very strict quality requirements. The practitioners have to sit on their beds or on the ground in their cells and make the hats. The process is very complicated. After a hat is made, it has to pass a quality inspection by certain personnel. Sometimes the factory returns the hats to the detention center to have them re-done.
The practitioners often suffer from back pain after working on the hats for prolonged periods of time. Their eyes also become very tired, and their necks hurt as well. The hats have a very strong and irritating smell of oil paint, and the entire cell becomes filled with the smell. Sometimes the wool from the hats comes off, and after working on the hats for hours, the practitioners' skin becomes very itchy.
2. Extracting Pits from Hawthorn Fruits for Canning Factories
In the Fall, practitioners in the detention center have to extract pits from hawthorn fruits for two food canning factories from Lanruoyuan in Qian’an. The steel tubes they use to extract the pits are very sharp, and because the hawthorn pits are very hard, the practitioners can easily injure their hands while doing the work. They are not allowed to take breaks however, even if their hands are injured, and they have to keep working despite any wounds.
The detained practitioners have to extract the pits from about 50 pounds of hawthorn fruit every day. After working for long hours, their hands become covered with blisters and calluses. Sometimes in order to finish the work on time and meet the deadline, the practitioners have been forced to get up at and start working at 5:00 a.m. The prison guards keep urging those who don’t finish their task to work faster, and if someone can't keep up, the detainees in the same cell are also punished. Their food is reduced to half or they may not be given any food. It was common for them to be subjected to physical punishment such as being forced to sit in the cell for prolonged periods of time. Some are given barely enough to eat, and then their food is often taken away as a form of punishment. In desperation, some ate the dirty, rejected hawthorn fruits to fill their stomachs, which often causes diarrhea.