Jiamusi Prison in Heilongjiang Province is one of many prisons in China where prisoners are exploited as cheap labour to sort and package different kinds of products. Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned there are no exception from this type of exploitation. The prison received a shipment of popsicle sticks, toothpicks and disposable chopsticks in late 2012. The prisoners were then forced to sort and package them.
The 2nd prison section at Jiamusi Prison holds more than 300 inmates. The dining room located on the second floor of this section is where every inmate is forced to sort and package popsicle sticks. Each prisoner has to sort more than 10,000 sticks every day.
The To-be-released Prisoner Section is assigned to sort and package the toothpicks, while the more than 200 prisoners at the Training Section as well as in other sections are forced to package the disposable chopsticks.
The prison authorities don't implement any type of hygienic practice when handling the products to be packaged. The products are scattered all over the ground and anyone can walk over them with their dirty shoes. Furthermore, those who mop the floor let the dirty mop touch the materials. The prisoners don't wear plastic gloves or wash their hands before handling the materials. Many times, inmates are seen sneezing or coughing directly at the items. Many prisoners with contagious diseases are also assigned to do the work.
According to several prison guards, the prison authorities have signed a contract with a factory for more items to be delivered to the prison for sorting and packaging. The factory delivered the items to the prison in two truckloads, licensed DH1043, on July 18th. Sorting and packaging the materials at the prison is the factory's last step before shipping out their products.
The prison is aware that it's illegal to conduct business using inmates as slave labour in extremely unsanitary conditions. To hide their “business” from the public, they confine every prisoner in their cell and don't allow them to talk or move around when people from the outside visit the prison.
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