Trick or treat from laogai

From The Week in the January 28 issue of National Review:

A woman in Oregon bought some Halloween decorations at Kmart. When she opened the box, she found something unusual: a letter from an inmate of the Chinese gulag. In broken English, mixed with Chinese, the inmate issued a plea for help. He or she — the letter was unsigned, of course — talked about the brutal conditions in this particular camp. These conditions are especially brutal for Falun Gong practitioners, the letter-writer said. Inmates are overworked, needless to say, but they are also tortured and killed. The letter in the Halloween box was like a message in a bottle. Amazingly, it floated into someone’s hand. Slave labor in China is one of the most under-reported stories in the world. The Chinese gulag itself, laogai, is underreported. It took extraordinary courage for that inmate to secrete that letter in the Halloween box — no matter that the letter was unsigned. It can be tracked. China is full of courageous people, and maybe they will break free someday.

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