Despair of labor camp victim CHEN Qingxia has been confined to a room in a row of houses that used to be a mortuary for more than three years, with posters bearing cries for mercy acting as her only form of communication until her story was reported this week. "My family has been broken up by the labor camp system," said Chen, a resident of the Dailing District of the city of Yichun in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Chen and her family first felt the pain of a labor camp in June 2003, when her husband Song Lisheng was sentenced to one year and nine months in a labor camp for destroying public property. Chen said her husband was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2001 following a dispute with a neighbor. After her husband served his sentence, Chen and her family traveled to Beijing in 2007 to protest at his treatment, as she believed his mental condition should have been considered in when sentence was given. However, more tragedy awaited her in the capital. "Government staff from Yichun separated me from my only son when we traveled to Beijing in 2007 to protest. He is still missing," Chen said. Chen was sentenced to one year and eight months in a labor camp in her home city as punishment for protesting. Although she was permitted to leave the camp around the end of 2008, the local government was not yet ready to truly set her free. They settled her in the house that formerly served as a mortuary, where she has lived ever since. She is monitored by government staff and is not allowed to leave the house, although local officials have given her permission to speak with others following a report by China National Radio on Thursday that detailed her plight. Public criticism of the re-education through labor system has mounted following several recent incidents. Last August, a woman in central China's Hunan Province was sentenced to 18 months in a labor camp after demanding tougher penalties for the seven men convicted of abducting, raping and prostituting her 11-year-old daughter. Tang Hui was released within a week following complaints from academics, state media and the public. It was announced at a national political and legal work conference in early January that the government would work to reform the labor camp system this year. The Dailing District government, pressured by mounting public criticism regarding Chen's case, has said it will take care of her out of humanitarian concerns. "The government settled her (in the house) due to medical convenience, as it is located near a welfare house and a hospital," said Xia Jingtao, head of the district government. Xia said the district government had found a new apartment for Chen to live in and was looking for her lost son. Despair of labor camp victim -- Shanghai Daily | ä¸Šæµ·æ—¥æŠ¥ -- English Window to China New ******************************* This is the state of affairs in China. This is not from the western media, but from the Cantonese speaking China, which has always been different from the Mandarin speaking China and because of their new found wealth have mustered courage to speak out, even though in muted tones. I am sure the Chinese posters will not be able to howl that this is western propaganda. It also give credence to the Al Jazeera secret documentary on the Laogai system for which Al Jaqzeera was thrown out of China. This story gives out the horrors of the Laogai system of China which is still prevalent and the after effects as indicated here is an indication of the low tolerance the Chinese Communist system have of the individual right to live as a family with some basic human rights! We have been bombarded by our Chinese posters about the great achievements of China ad infintum, but never of the real China. Here is real China amidst the glitz and glamour. It is understandable that the Chinese posters cannot showcase these stories or else it will be a one way ticket to the Laogai for them and face the same consequence as this unfortunate soul of Communist China.