Less than 6 months ago, China claimed that they had ended their [policy of political] re-education through labor camps. The labor camps released all of their prisoners
/residents and will no longer be “re-educating” people at these camps, or will they?
To say the least, these camps have been questionable. These labor camps
are ideally were not just for criminals, but also for thos spreading anti-communist thoughts in China. The problem here is the lack of any sort of trial, and the absolute power that the government and police have over these camps. Anyone the police arrested, thought had broken the law, or even just didn’t like was could be thrown into jail. If the government had any reason at all to suspect you were an anti-communist they had you could put you in one of these labor camps without a trial. What happened in these camps is a mystery, but it certainly wasn’t the Hamptons. [Many years ago I used a book written by someone who spent years in such camps for having the wrong parents… I assume there are other English-language accounts.]
It is obvious why these camps are bad, and it seems like great news that the camps have closed, but this may not be the case. While some camps have in fact closed, it seems as if China has opened other more secretive camps. Some people were released from the camps then put back into these secretive camps. And when the reporter of this article took a trip to one of the “closed” camps, he was stopped by guards at the gate. These guards claimed they didn’t know what was going on in the camp, but no one could enter. Other camps have been restructured as “drug rehabilitation centers” and other types of centers, but no one is allowed inside.
It is unknown as to whether or not these camps have closed, but the evidence would point that they have not. Unfortunately, what seemed like at human rights win in China, may have just been a PR ploy.
Further Reading at NPR.org