American University Students Tour the Laogai Museum

A group of students from American University's human rights program visited the Laogai Museum on January 27. The students received guided tours of the artifacts on display in the museum from Laogai Research Foundation staff and were treated to a presentation delivered by Executive Director Harry Wu on his experiences in China’s laogai system.  Issues discussed during the tour included how the Chinese Communist Party has maintained power over the decades and what China’s human rights legacy will be as it becomes more of global power. 

The Laogai Museum features exhibits, archived documents, and original artifacts depicting the horrors of China’s laogai system, China’s vast system of detention facilities in which countless political prisoners are incarcerated. The museum exists to raise awareness of the laogai system and human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

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Laogai , the abbreviation for Láodòng Gǎizào (勞動改造/劳动改造), which means "reform through labor," is a slogan of the Chinese criminal justice system and has been used to refer to the use of prison labor and prison farms in the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is estimated that in the last fifty...