Man faces death for China slavery

One man has been given the death penalty for killing a worker.

    Chinese media have accused
    the authorities of ignoring the case [AP]

    Liu Jimin, the high court judge, said: "These cases have had a vile effect both domestically and overseas and can only be handled... in the most severe fashion."

    His ruling was broadcast live on state television.

    "Only with a fast verdict can we deter these crimes and safeguard citizens' lives," he said.

    Hundreds of farmers, teenagers and children had been forced to work in kilns like the one Zhao helped run, enduring prison-like confinement and beatings.

    The story surfaced last month after 400 parents posted a plea on the internet about their children who had been sold into slavery in China's northern Shanxi province and neighbouring Henan.

    The internet postings led to state-run television broadcasting images of abused and emaciated workers being freed from brick kilns, with some young men too weak to stand.

    Officials say 576 enslaved workers have since been rescued.

    According to victims' families, as many as 1,000 youths had been working as slaves, but only 41 of those people rescued are children.

    Government involvement

    Wang Bingbing, the brickyard owner, was given a nine-year sentence.

    The kiln was located in a courtyard belonging to Wang's father, a local Communist party village chief.

    Six government workers were also charged. 

    State media have argued that the government was eager to close the case and had no intention of hold high-ranking officials accountable or to tackle corruption.

    "This way, people's feeling of powerlessness always persists," the Southern Metropolis Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday.

    The editorial accused the government of ignoring the media and the hundreds of parents who believed their children were trafficked to the Shanxi kilns.

    However, investigators had found no evidence of corruption.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.