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China Is Keeping Drug Offenders in Labor Camps

A few weeks ago, Chinese officials made international headlines when they announced that they would formally end the policy of “re-education through labor”, which force inmates to work long hours in factories under terrible conditions. But according to this report, many of the forced labor camps will remain open, and simply change their name to drug rehab centers. Though many inmates—whose crimes range from petitioning the government to being a part of banned religious groups—have been freed since the announcement, tens of thousands of drug offenders remained subject to forced labor. Most of them, have never received a trial. Human Rights Watch estimated that this year, about 60 percent of prisoners within China’s labor camp system were there because of crimes related to drugs. And though the prisons do technically have drug detox programs, the inmates are still forced to work in factories for up to 15 hours a day making products, some which are bound for the United States …

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