Unwholesome Food Products Produced in Forced Labor Camps and Prisons in China’s Gansu Province

August 20, 2010

(Clearwisdom.net)

In hotels, restaurants and supermarkets in Gansu Province, it is easy to find beautifully packaged peeled garlic and peeled melon seeds. These things seem to be clean; however, they were processed by people who lost their freedom in prisons, forced labor camps, drug rehabilitation centers and detention centers. The camp authorities collude with merchants who buy garlic and melon seeds at low prices, and the citizens detained in the camps are forced to peel them day and night. The products are then packaged and sold wholesale to supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.

In these disgusting sweatshop conditions, there are no sinks to clean the products and the people processing them. The inmates have a quota of 500 grams of peeled melon seeds per day. They are guarded and supervised by other inmates. In order to finish their tasks, the detainees must first scrub the seeds with their feet, then peel them by hand. Some seed shells are very strong, so the inmates have to break them open with their teeth and then peel them. Some peels are very dry and hard and have to be moistened first. But the detainees have limited water quotas – not even enough for their everyday needs. So the detainees used recycled shower water and sink water to moisten the seeds. Some drug addicts and criminals used urine to moisten the seeds and then used their feet to scrub them. After some time, their hands, feet and lips were all festered, bleeding and oozing pus. However, they were not allowed to stop working. Criminals were all very angry, but they did not dare to slow down production. They vented their anger on the garlic and melon seeds, spitting, blowing their noses, and even mixing dead germs and flies into the products before handing them in.

Among the detainees, many are sick. Some even suffer from communicable diseases, such as hepatitis, phthisis (atrophy of body parts), and HIV. Last May and July, two groups of drug addicts were transferred from the drug rehabilitation center in Yuzhong County to the First Labor Camp in the province – about 150 people in total. They were said to be peeling garlic there, and their hands and feet were all festered. One person in the forced labor camp was sent to an aluminum plant in the fourth team and died not long afterward because his phthisis was not taken care of. Another was diagnosed to be HIV positive in the hospital of the forced labor camp.

Some Falun Gong practitioners were detained in Yuzhong County Forced Labor Camp and various detention centers in the city. They follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and won’t do bad deeds. When they could not moisten the garlic and melon seeds, they had to peel them dry with their hands. Therefore, they were very slow. The guards then did not allow them to sleep, and made them work long hours and even day and night. Some Falun Gong practitioners refused to work. Guards would shock them with electric batons, torture them on stretching beds, confine them in small solitary cells, and/or extend their terms of confinement.

The guards in charge of production said they felt sick thinking of these garlic and melon seeds, to say nothing of eating them. But such is the fate for numerous Falun Gong practitioners and others in China’s forced labor camps.

Chinese version available

———————————————————————————