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15,000 Sign Petition to End Forced Labor Camp System

On Monday July 7, more than 15,000 Chinese scholars and experts signed a petition, calling on the government to end China’s forced labor camp system. They believe that the forced labor camp lacks legality, and it may lead to administrative power abuse. They also pointed out that the system failed to protect citizen’s rights.

The forced labor camp system was introduced in 1956 from the Soviet Union. Under the system, the government can send undesirables to do hard labor in a concentration camp without any trial. The Chinese government uses it to punish Christians, Buddhists, pro-democracy activists and Falun Gong practitioners.

Fan Yafeng, a sponsor of the petition and a Beijing-based social scientist said that the petition was intended to ease the worsening tension between the people and the government.

Source: Voice of America, July 8, 2008