Chishan Prison
LocationYuanjiang, Hunan, PRC
StatusActive
Security classRe-education through labor camp
CountryPeople’s Republic of China

Chishan Prison, also known as Hunan Provincial No.1 Prison, is a prison in Hunan of the People's Republic of China.

Overview

Chishan Prison is located in Yuanjiang in China's Hunan province.[1] The Prison houses a number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.[2] The prison practices reform through labor (known as the Laogai system) with prisoners being forced to work in for profit prison industries.[3] The prison industries of Chishan Prison operate under the names Yuanjiang Electric Machinery Plant and Dongtinghu Farm.[4]

History

In 1995 a letter was smuggled out of the prison written by political prisoner Yu Zhijian and addressed to the National People's Congress which alleged mistreatment and physical violence directed by guards towards prisoners. Chinese authorities questioned the authenticity of the letter but it was believed to be genuine by global NGOs.[2]

As of 2018 prisoners were allegedly forced to work for more than ten hours a day without any days off.[5] This violated Chinese prison regulations which limit work to eight hours a day, five days a week.[3]

Prisoners

Zhang Jingsheng

Zhang Jingsheng is a Chinese singer-songwriter who has composed a number of songs based on his time in Chishan. He is a significant artist of the Prison song genera, a genera of traditional music that predates the Communist takeover.[6] Zhang Jingsheng is alleged by fellow inmates to have been tortured and otherwise mistreated during his time at Chishan.[2]

Zhang Shanguang

Zhang Shanguang is a labor organizer who spent several years in Chishan Prison. He was sentenced to prison in 1989 due to his work organizing the Hunan Workers’ Autonomous Federation. He was released and subsequently imprisoned at Chishan again in 1998 due to having contact with a Radio Free Asia reporter.[7] In 2001 Zhang Shanguang was severely beaten by guards after organizing a petition to end torture and long working hours at the jail.[8]

Yu Dongyue

Yu Dongyue is a Chinese artist arrested for a provocative piece of performance art that insulted Chairman Mao. Yu was transferred to Chishan prison in 1990.[4] In 2004 it was reported that Yu Dongyue had been tortured to the point of mental collapse by Chishan prison authorities.[9]

Shi Tao

Shi Tao is a Chinese journalist and poet who served time in Chishan prison during his ten-year imprisonment which started in 2005.[10]

Li Wangyang

Li Wangyang was a Chinese labor activist who served ten years in Chishan Prison from 2001 to 2011.[11] He was sentenced for "inciting subversion of state power."[12]

Lee Ming-che

Lee Ming-che is a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist imprisoned in Chishan Prison since 2017.[13] In 2018 Lee was transferred to a prison in Hebei before being transferred back to Chishan.[14] From 2017 to 2019 his health deteriorated and he lost 30kg.[1][15]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Aspinwall, Nick. "Taiwan Warns Against Travel to China, Hong Kong After Detention of Taiwanese Nationals". thediplomat.com. The Diplomat. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: TORTURE / ILL-TREATMENT: YU ZHIJIAN, LI WANGYANG, AGED 36, WORKER, ZHANG JINGSHENG AND OTHER POLITICAL PRISONERS AT HUNAN PROVINCE NO 1 PRISON". Amnesty International. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b Hsiao-hwa, Hsia. "Jailed Taiwan Rights Activist 'Treated Inhumanely' in Chinese Prison: Wife". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b Chong, Denise (2011). Egg on Mao: A Story of Love, Hope and Defiance. Random House of Canada. pp. 130–150. ISBN 978-0307355805.
  5. ^ Sherry Hsiao, Lu Yi-hsuan and. "Prison suspends Lee Ching-yu's visits until April". Taipei Times. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  6. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (7 July 1992). "For a Chinese Songwriter, Stone Walls Can Make a Tune as Well as a Prison". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  7. ^ State Secrets: China's Legal Labyrinth. New York, NY: HRI China. 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Zhang Shanguang Beaten by Prison Guards". clb.org.hk. China Labor Bulletin. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Mao Portrait Protester Tortured to Mental Breakdown in Chinese Jail". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  10. ^ ""Race to the Bottom": Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship". Human Rights Watch Short Reports. Human Rights Watch. 18 (8): 107–110. 2006.
  11. ^ "Former June Fourth Prisoners Still Paying Heavy Price". duihuahrjournal.org. Due Hua Human Rights Journal. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Activist Free after Ten-Year Term; Three Writers to Be Released This Month". hrichina.org. Human Rights in China. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  13. ^ Rogers, Benedict. "Beijing's Chilling Imprisonment of a Taiwanese Critic". The Way Street Journal. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  14. ^ Ko Lin, Miao Zong-han and. "No explanation over prison transfer: wife of jailed Taiwanese activist". focustaiwan.tw. Focus Taiwan. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  15. ^ Legerwood, Racqueal. "Taiwanese Activist at Risk in Chinese Prison". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 18 September 2019.