China abolishes its labour camps and releases prisoners
China appears to have fulfilled a promise to dismantle hundreds of labour camps and release tens of thousands of people who were imprisoned in them without trial.
A series of visits to six enormous labour camps on the outskirts of Beijing suggested that four had been shut down, with their signs removed. Staff said all their prisoners had been released and they were waiting for further orders.
The other two camps had been converted; one into a drug rehabilitation centre and the other into the second cell block of a local prison.
Interviews with former labour camp prisoners across China also confirmed that the system has been disbanded and that they had not been placed in any other type of detention.
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