Relating to a Plea from China

Last month a Falun Gong practitioner and former prisoner in China admitted to writing a letter found by an Oregonian woman in her K-mart Halloween decorations. The letter alleges the product was made in a Chinese labor camp by prisoners who work 15 hours a day and face torture and abuse. It requests, “Sir: If … Continue reading

Desperation in Guantanamo Bay I really appreciated this NPR report and interview on the hunger strikes happening at Guantánamo Bay. Former inmate Omar Deghayes’ recollection of communicating through the walls reminded me of stories from the communist gulags. Listen in to learn more about what’s really going on there, and how the hunger strikes could be … Continue reading

Potential Step Forward on Forced Labor in China

In November 2011 I visited the Laogai Museum here in DC and spoke with its founder Harry Wu. You may remember from that interview that the Laogai system is a form of “re-education through labor” used in China against dissidents for the last 50 years. In that interview Wu said, “No one should be able … Continue reading

When Your Own Prison Camps Just Won’t Do

(WARNING: Adult Language in the video links from this post) A few weeks ago I wrote (and tweeted!) at length about the North Korean prison camp system. But did you know North Koreans don’t always work in labor camps inside their own country? No sometimes the Dear Leader, and now his son, ship them to … Continue reading

Tweets Re: North Korean Gulags

Thank you to everyone who followed along yesterday with my live tweets from the Hidden Gulag conference here in DC. It was a really fascinating event, and as you could probably tell I tried to capture as much as possible on Twitter. Before I post any further thoughts and resources, I wanted to give you … Continue reading

Hidden Gulag – Live Tweeting

Hey everyone! Don’t forget I’m live tweeting today from Hidden Gulag – a conference at the Peterson Institute in DC on the prison camp system in North Korea. It’s hosted by The U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea – a non-governmental research and advocacy group working for the end of oppression in DPRK. … Continue reading

Prison Hodgepodge

First off, let’s talk about how 40 years of solitary confinement is just too long. People left in solitary for that kind of time end up with serious physical and emotional problems. Unfortunately, it happens every day in America. National Geographic made a documentary on this problem that I found pretty helpful. You can watch … Continue reading

Guantanamo: Ten Years Later

Tomorrow Guantanamo turns 10, and all over the country protestors plan to mark the day with calls to close the prison center. In particular, activists will travel from around the United States to Washington, DC, for a rally and human chain meant to stretch from the White House to the Capitol. In the last 10 … Continue reading

Human Rights in China: An Interview with the Laogai Museum’s Harry Wu

I recently visited the Laogai Museum and wrote a bit about it for We Love DC. In the process I also spoke with the museum’s director Harry Wu. Wu is a survivor of the Laogai prisons – a forced labor system in China to which he was sentenced for political crimes. After moving to the … Continue reading

Washing Our Hands of Iraq’s Missing Million

I mentioned some scary numbers in yesterday’s post – in particular that anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million Iraqis have disappeared in recent years and not yet been found by their loved ones. These numbers come from three major eras in Iraq’s recent history: War with Iran: Enforced disappearances occurred relatively often in Iraq during … Continue reading

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