A 16-year-old Chinese boy, Chen, an ex-slave, told his story to the media this week. He reported that he accepted a job at a factory from a man that approached him at a train station.
He said that he was taken to a brick yard, where he was fed minimally, beaten, and forced to work without pay. As a result, his body is pocked with sores from being beaten by the guards.
Recently police have raided thousands of Chinese coal mines, freeing hundreds of workers.
The boy claims that until the raid, police were bribed by the owners of the mines. He went without a bed, shower, health care, or hair cut. Chen said that he was beaten the guards with iron bars, sticks, or bricks if he worked too slowly.
Chen and his family are now worried about the possibility of retaliation by the brickyard and they agreed to be interviewed by media only after receiving assurances that the exact location of their home would not be identified.
Since the coal-mine scandal broke last month, more than 8,000 kilns and small coal mines in Shanxi and Henan provinces have been raided, with 591 workers freed, including 51 children.
About 160 suspected kiln bosses have been detained, and at least one village-level Communist Party secretary expelled from the party after his son was found to be operating a kiln where 31 slaves were found laboring under harsh conditions.
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