CHINESE MAN GETS DEATH FOR SLAVERY SCANDAL
July 17, 2007: China sentenced a man to death and jailed another 28 people for their roles in a massive slavery and child labour scandal involving scorching brickworks.
The owners, managers and thugs at the prison-like kilns which state media said numbered in the hundreds in the northern province of Shanxi were convicted of charges including forced labour and illegal detention, an official said.
Zhao Yanbing received the death penalty from the Linfen Intermediate People's Court for fatally maiming a worker at a kiln in Hongtong county. Heng Tinghan, who ran the kiln where 31 workers (including nine with mental illnesses) worked 14-16 hours a day for little or no pay, was jailed for life. The Chinese authorities said in June that hundreds of farmers, teenagers and some children had been forced or lured to work in kilns like the one Zhao helped run, enduring prison-like confinement and brutal beatings. (Sources: Reuters, 17/07/2007)