Dictatorships throughout history have relied on fear and control to maintain power. The world has resoundingly condemned the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet Gulag, and many other systems of repression around the globe, but has remained largely silent on one of the most extensive and repressive prison camp system in the world: the Chinese Laogai. Since the early 1950s, China has used the Laogai to crush dissent and root out potential sources of opposition, whether political, economic, or religious in nature, while simultaneously exploiting prisoners as a source of free labor.
The text is taken from the Laogai Research Foundation website
Harry Wu was a political prisoner in China for nineteen years after being labeled as a counter-revolutionary by the government. Originally from Shanghai, he was part of the so-called bourgeoisie class and was a university student in Wuhan before he was unjustly imprisoned, without even a trial.
Largely filmed inside China, this film also included an extensive interview with Harry Wu and much of the footage of the Laogai that he filmed when he went undercover in the 1990s. This exposé details how China forces its 3-5 million prisoners to perform hard labor in unsafe conditions, while exporting the products they make to the international market. The film aroused strong reactions in the international community, once again making the Laogai - the darkest corner of human rights abuse in China - a focus of attention.