Laogai Research Foundation

December, 1995 Newsletter

Foundation News


House Subcomittee Holds Hearing to Investigate Political Repression

The House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights held a hearing on September 8, 1995 to investigate political repression in the People’s Republic of China. Invited to speak were Harry Wu, executive director of the Laogai Research Foundation (LRF), Ching-Lee Chen, secretary-treasurer of the LRF and Harry Wu’s wife, and Jeffrey Fiedler, member of the LRF’s Board of Directors. Ching-Lee thanked the American government for its efforts in gaining Harry’s release. Jeffrey Fiedler described the steps taken to have Harry released, starting with a press conference in Washington, D.C. and ending with a massive effort from U.S. government officials, foreign government officials, human rights organizations, and grass-roots supporters in putting pressure on the Chinese government.

He especially thanked Ching-Lee Chen for working so tirelessly on Harry’s behalf. Harry Wu spoke about his experience with his recent arrest and also thanked those responsible for his release.


Harry Wu Guest of German Green Party

 In December, Harry Wu was invited by the Green Party of Germany to speak in front of the German Parliament. Harry asked Wei Shan-Shan, Wei Jingsheng’s sister, who lives in Germany, to attend the speaking engagement with him.


Media Banned from Laogai Camps

According to an April issue of the Hong Kong newspaper, Sing Tao Jih Pao, the Propaganda Department of the CPC Central Committee decreed that all media from outside the Chinese border were banned from visiting mainland prisons, education-through-labor centers, orphanages, and psychiatric centers. Also banned form visits are old people’s homes, welfare centers, and detoxification centers.

Reporters from inside China are also to be strictly limited from visiting these institutions. If Chinese reporters want to visit these centers, they must submit reports for approval, and they are required to report from a positive angle.

This was done to prevent the International Human Rights Conference of the United Nations from gathering data on China’s human rights conditions. The government also hopes to avoid any big issues related to these facilities in the future.

Some Hong Kong media recently applied to visit the aforementioned institutions. All applications were denied.


Anti-Slavery Organization Awards Medal to Harry Wu

 On November 16, Harry Wu was awarded the Anti-Slavery Medal for his work in exposing the P.R.C.’s forced labor camp system. This award is given by the Anti-Slavery International, an organization dedicated to the abolition of all forms of slavery.


Harry Wu Honored with Prestigious Award

Harry Wu was awarded the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey, an organization which promotes nonviolent social change. Harry and his wife, Ching-Lee Chen, traveled to Massachusetts on September 14, 1995 to accept the award for their work in exposing human rights abuses in China’s Laogai system. Past recipients of this award have been the Dalai Lama, Rosa Parks and Benjamin Spock. In a reception before the event, poet maya Angelou met with Harry and Ching-Lee Chen. 


For more information about the Laogai Research Foundation, please contact:

The Laogai Research Foundation
P.O. Box 361375
Milpitas, CA 95036-1375

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