China shelter 'sold 70 mentally disabled people into slavery'
Beijing (AFP) Dec 15, 2010
The operator of an unlicensed shelter for disabled people in southwest China sold at least 70 mentally ill workers into slavery in recent years, local authorities told state press Wednesday.
Investigators made the discovery after China's latest slave labour scandal erupted this week when authorities shut down a factory in Xinjiang in the nation's west where 11 workers sold by the shelter had been enslaved for years.
"Since 1996, Zeng Lingquan has sent at least 70 mentally disabled people to work in Beijing, Tianjin and other cities," the China Daily quoted Yi Hongqu, a county-level civil affairs official in Sichuan province, as saying.
"Zeng does not even know the names or the exact number of those abused."
Yi said investigators found the number 70 in a 2008 account book kept by Zeng, who was arrested on Monday night on charges of selling workers into slavery.
The case comes three years after a major slavery scandal in which thousands of workers were found to have been forced to work in brick kilns in central and northern China.
Police on Tuesday also arrested Li Xinglin, the owner of the Jiaersi Green Construction Material Chemical Factory in Xinjiang, who was attempting to return the enslaved workers to the Sichuan shelter, the report said.
Li claimed he had contracted the workers from the shelter, paying a lump sum of 9,000 yuan (1,350 dollars) for the delivery of five labourers and then an additional 300 yuan per worker per month, earlier press reports said.
The workers worked long hours in polluted and unsanitary conditions, suffered regular beatings and were given the same food as the dogs belonging to the factory boss, the Beijing News said on Tuesday.
None of those enslaved at the factory were paid, the reports said, and some of them had been working for up to four years.
They were between 20 and 50 years old but the nature of their mental illnesses or disabilities was not specified.
In 2007, thousands of people were found to have been forced to work in brick kilns in the provinces of Henan and Shanxi, where they were subjected to regular beatings and near-starvation. The revelations shocked the country.
Although no official numbers have been reported on how many were enslaved, a parliamentary investigation said some 53,000 migrant workers had been employed in more than 2,000 illegal brick kilns in Shanxi alone.
Since then, similar cases of slavery have been reported sporadically around China.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
China News from SinoDaily.com
Beijing (AFP) Dec 10, 2010
China's state press on Friday compared the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to a cult ritual, saying the event to take place in Norway was a "farce". Friday's ceremony honouring this year's peace laureate, jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, has angered China which has orchestrated a huge clampdown on dissidents and exerted pressure on other countries not to attend the Oslo event. "It's unimaginable ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|