Dark Secrets Behind Flashy Merchandise – Slave Labor Products by Sichuan Province Women’s Prison (Part 3)

October 17, 2013 | By a Falun Gong practitioner from Sichuan Province

(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 2:http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2013/10/11/142653.html )

Yue Embroidery

All the sketches shown in the photos are Yue embroidery designs.

Are these embroidery designs not pleasant to the eyes? Certainly, silk bed covers embroidered with these designs, using colorful silk threads, are appealing. At a bargain price, who wouldn’t buy them? After all, it is quite unlikely that anyone would even dream that behind these colorful products with their intricate designs are heartbreaking stories.

Additional patterns: http://pkg2.minghui.org/mh/2013/8/26/yue-xiu.zip

Seventy individual patterns are combined and embroidered on bedcovers by Falun Gong practitioners and other inmates. Yet, they are not paid.

For certain, these embroidered products are elegant and to be admired. However, before becoming delighted by the bargain price one should ask, “Under what circumstances were these products produced?”

Embroidered products are desirable if produced by a willing workforce, but for prisoners who are persecuted for their faith, producing these products is an agonizing process full of suffering. These prisoners are forced to produce large quantities and given a untenable quota. Besides there are deadlines that are very difficult to be met.

The workers are given the bare minimum of raw materials. Any faulty embroidery is cut off and redone. Anyone who doesn’t meet the deadline and quota is subjected to physical punishment and torture. Many relatively rich inmates are paying skilled inmates to do the work and in some cases they bribe prison guards to get a free pass.

When working on embroideries, inmates have to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time with no break. This is devastating to their health. In addition, they are allowed only a short time for eating and restroom visits. Besides, any time away from work has to be approved by a prison guards.

Producing these embroidered products is heartbreaking work. Sitting there and embroidering all day long is already difficult, but the worst is the fear that they may be punished if they don’t meet quotas and deadlines.

It is hard to imagine that these people have to work despite suffering back pain. Also, many develop poor eyesight due to the dim light in the workshop, which doesn’t get better when transferred to other jobs.

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Dark Secrets Behind Flashy Merchandise (Part 1) – Slave Labor Products by Sichuan Province Women’s Prison

September 13, 2013 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Sichuan Province, China

(Minghui.org) Colorful butterflies; cute beetles; adorable puppies and kittens; eye-pleasing apples, bananas, and grapes; and cartoon images decorate beaded handbags and backpacks for teenage girls and ladies. But how many people know the sad story behind these beautiful products?

For practicing Falun Gong, the communist regime sentenced me to Sichuan Province Women’s Prison in Yangmahe Town, Jianyang City. The above images are copies of designs we used to make beaded bags in prison. I secretly traced the patterns on carbon paper while making the products. According to a technician sent by a manufacturer to assist production and quality inspection, these bags were for export only.

No one knows for sure what percentage of the made-in-China merchandise is produced by slave laborers in prisons. While incarcerated, I worked on a number of jobs: inserting real hair into a rubber scalp; making shoe heels; making paper boxes for moon cakes, and making envelopes. We were forced to work extended hours for days without a break. One inmate was so tired that she pierced her finger with the sewing machine needle. These jobs usually had a deadline, so we were forced to work day and night. Those who were old or weak were ordered to do simple jobs such as knitting, making embroidered insoles, and making fireworks.

After my earlier arrest at the end of 1999 in Chengdu City, I was sent to Ningxia Street Detention Center. I shared a cell with about 40 people and it was so packed that we could only sleep on our sides like sardines. People had to sleep next to the toilet and under the bed. The place was filthy and humid. Even in such a dirty place, we were forced to make dry tofu bundles with toothpicks and sausages for hot pot. We made candies, assembled medical syringes, and made plastic bags for chemical fertilizer.

We worked long hours. The plastic bags were very dirty and smelled awful. The workplace was dusty and the chemical dust made it hard to breathe and caused rashes on the skin.

(To be continued)