Germany: German Federal President Requested to Lodge a Complaint Concerning the Labour Camp System During his Visit to China

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German President Horst Koehler was asked to lodge confidently and publicly a complaint concerning human rights during his May 23rd to 26th state visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), based in Frankfurt encouraged him to include this subject on his agenda.

In particular, Koehler should lodge a complaint concerning the Laogai (labour camp) system that is set up in the form of labour camps and re-education camps, demanded the ISHR. The ISHR reminded Koehler that the Bundestag (German Parliament) had enacted a resolution against the Laogai system that included voices of the Unions, SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany, FDP Free Democratic Party in Germany and the Green alliance. Koehler is scheduled to meet the Chinese President of State Hu Jintao on May 24th in Beijing. Hu, as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sole responsibility for the Laogai system that includes the inhuman treatment perpetrated in that system, such as torture, capital punishment, the death penalty and the persecution of members of the religious community that are not state sanctioned, according to the ISHR. ISHR also reminded Koehler that his predecessor Johannes Rau and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed human rights violations while in China.

Marking goods from China

The People’s Republic is governed by communists and maintains the world’s largest re-education and labour camp system in the world, according to the ISHR. It provides the national economy with slave labour. Inmates in these camps have to achieve the highest quotas imaginable for the right to receive food and then are mistreated and exploited. According to public statements, there are 200,000 inmates in the Laogai camps. According to research by the Laogai research non for profit foundation the numbers are at least ten times higher than publicly known. Many Chinese citizens were imprisoned in these camps for political reasons. This is definitely true for Tibetans, Uigures, Christians, Falun Gong adherents, democrats, trade union members and human rights advocates. Goods for export are produced by forced labour, including television sets, radios, computers and textiles. China exported last year goods worth 48.8 billion Euro to Germany. “This is another reason why such products from the PRC must be identified as produced by slave labour,” said ISHR speaker Martin Lessenthin.

Human Organ Trade

One year before the Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese leadership has not shown that it implemented an observable betterment concerning human rights. Alas, the situation turned for the worse. In March of this year, the Canadian human rights attorney David Matas and former member of Parliament and former Secretary of State of the Government of Canada for the Asia Pacific region David Kilgour reported on the human organ trade in China. The organs were taken from detainees of the Buddhist meditation school Falun Gong. The organs were removed from the still living bodies of victims in state-run institutions. Then, they were implanted in wealthy people in need of organs. The detainees either died during the operation or were murdered afterwards. The corpse was then cremated.

Originally published in German at:

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