Laogai Research Foundation

September, 1996 Newsletter

Images of the Laogai

Palto Gyatso

Tibetan Monk — Longest Serving Tibetan Political Prisoner

Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan monk, spent 3 decades in prison. Released on August 25, 1992 from Drapchi prison in Lhasa, Palden Gyatso, age 64, has served more years behind bars in Tibet than any surviving Tibetan who has managed to reach the West.

In April, 1995, he testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. Chaired by Representative Chris Smith, the hearing focused on the Chinese labor camps and included testimonies from a Chinese student, a Christian, and others.

When U.S. Ambassador James Lilley visited Drapchi Prison in April 1991, Palden Gyatso and other fellow prisoners tried to present a petition providing details about torture in the prison. The petition was snatched away from the Ambassador’s hand and handed over to the head of the prison administration. After the Ambassador left, the Army was called in and political prisoners, including Palden Gyatso, were beaten. Several were wounded, beaten unconscious or put into solitary confinement.

Xinkang Asbestos Mine

Also known as: Shimian Labor Reform General Brigade

Xiayeping, Shimian County, Sichuan Province 

Established in 1951, includes 2 open-pit mines, 2 rough enrichment plants and 2 refined enrichment plants. Production capacity is 30,000 tons of asbestos per year.

The mine is the biggest asbestos mine in China, with the largest output and most mechanization in the country. Produces "Kangyin™" asbestos. Products won Provincial Quality Award. Total output is approximately 1/7 - 1/5 of the nation.

Exports some products, also produces "China Red Ganite".

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

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

or send e-mail to