Laogai Research Foundation 勞改紀念館

1734 20th Street NW / (202) 408-8300 / laogai.org

Established by survivor, Harry Wu, to gather information on and raise public awareness of the Laogai - China's extensive system of forced-labor prison camps. LRF also works to document and publicize other systemic human rights violations in China.

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friendsofaiweiwei:

Ai Weiwei In Collaboration with Laurie Anderson:

“Greetings to the Motherland”
On June 16, 2013 at the Luminato Festival Ai Weiwei will skype in from Beijing and join Laurie for a dual rant about China and the United States. Joining them onstage for this historic exchange will be renowned musicians Greg Saunier, Eyvind Kang and Doug Wieselman. Says Laurie: “Writing songs with Ai Weiwei has been a blast. Since both of us share a fascination with our giant countries and the way they use power, images, public relations, lies, money, war and words we decided to do a kind of duet/rant about China and the United States. It’s been really exciting to write in this context of the double superpowers. Ai Weiwei will also be describing his time in detention- a really hair raising personal story.”http://nyti.ms/16qObW5

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friendsofaiweiwei:

From Our Series of Limited Edition Posters:  Several Still Available.

Behind Cry for Help From China Labor Camp

MASANJIA, China — The cry for help, a neatly folded letter stuffed inside a package of Halloween decorations sold at Kmart, traveled 5,000 miles from China into the hands of a mother of two in Oregon.

Scrawling in wobbly English on a sheet of onionskin paper, the writer said he was imprisoned at a labor camp in this northeastern Chinese town, where he said inmates toiled seven days a week, their 15-hour days haunted by sadistic guards.

“Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization,” said the note, which was tucked between two ersatz tombstones and fell out when the woman, Julie Keith, opened the box in her living room last October. “Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

The letter drew international news media coverage and widespread attention to China’s opaque system of “re-education through labor,” a collection of penal colonies where petty criminals, religious offenders and critics of the government can be given up to four-year sentences by the police without trial.

But the letter writer remained a mystery, the subject of speculation over whether he or she was a real inmate or a creative activist simply trying to draw attention to the issue.

Last month, though, during an interview to discuss China’s labor camps, a 47-year-old former inmate at the Masanjia camp said he was the letter’s author.

Read more.

Photo: The administrative building of the Masanjia labor camp and other facilities in China. © The New York Times

Independent filmmaker Du Bin disappears in Beijing

Beijing-based documentary filmmaker Du Bin disappeared in the Chinese capital - days ahead of the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown last week - causing concern among his family and human rights advocates over the journalist’s likely detention by security organs.

The 41-year-old reporter, who had worked as a photographer for the New York Times, has not communicated with his family since the evening of May 31, his younger sister Du Jirong told the South China Morning Post.

"I don’t know where he is," Du said. "Online, people say that he is in jail in [Beijing’s] Fengtai district. He must be miserable, he has never been to jail."

Relatives found a summons order by the Fengtai Public Security Bureau in his deserted home, Du Jirong said. The bureau has yet to reply to her multiple requests for information on his whereabouts.

Read more.

Du Bin pictured at a forum showing an edited version of his film, Above the Ghosts’ Head : The Women of Masanjia Labour Camp, in Hong Kong in April. © Jonathan Wong

In Washington to call for greater action on human rights ahead of a U.S.-China presidential summit, the daughters of three prominent political prisoners spoke to RFA’s Mandarin service about their relationships with their fathers and their hopes for the future.

friendsofaiweiwei:

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 One Way to Send a Message To Obama and Xi to Discuss Human Rights and Free Expression while meeting in California this weekend. 06.10.13

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He was just a small potato and a tool manipulated by others.
Wang Fandi, who lost his son during the Tiananmen Massacre, on Chen Xitong (June 4th Crackdown Mayor Chen Xitong Dies)

(via chinadigitaltimes)

How China Made the Tiananmen Square Massacre Irrelevant

Today marks the 24th anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square massacre, and as in previous years, the occasion will be met by a familiar pattern of events. Thousands will gather for a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park. The United States will urge China to improve its human rights record. China will tell the United States to mind its own business. And, in China itself, the anniversary will pass without any public acknowledgement of the massacre.

China has achieved the impossible: They’ve made Tiananmen Square irrelevant.

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Photo: Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park Monday, June 4, 2012 to mark the 23rd anniversary of the June 4 Chinese military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing. © Kin Cheung/AP

China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom

BAGHDAD — Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world’s top oil producers, and China is now its biggest customer.

China already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, and is angling for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake now owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq’s largest oil fields.

“The Chinese are the biggest beneficiary of this post-Saddam oil boom in Iraq,” said Denise Natali, a Middle East expert at the National Defense University in Washington. “They need energy, and they want to get into the market.”

Read more.

Photo: An oil refinery in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, in which China has a stake. China has poured money and workers into Iraq. © Nabil Al-Jourani/Associated Press