New Telegraph

Dongguan: Intervene Before More Nigerians Die in Chinese Prison, FG Urged

The inmates of Dongguan Foreign Prison, many of them Nigerians, have endured unimaginable suffering and injustice, according to their heartbreaking testimonies. This labour camp masquerading as a prison has become a living nightmare for over 5,000 Nigerians, many of whom are innocent of the crimes they were charged with.

One former inmate, Mr. Onowu Chukwuemeka, who spent 15 years in the prison, painted a grim picture of the daily horrors the prisoners face. He revealed that the majority of Nigerians incarcerated there were wrongfully accused, with their courtappointed attorneys often compromised and working for the Chinese government. The inmates are forced to work gruelling hours for eign Prison. For Stuart Foster, an American, if not for the intervention of the American embassy, he would still be in prison assembling Christmas trees for companies, without pay.

“Being an American, I was spared the harshest of punishments. Thanks to the Consulate’s involvement, the prison adopted a “hands off” approach and I was rarely beaten or physically mistreated”, he had said.

He continued: “Other foreigners, such as Africans, sometimes languished for over a year without a court date or outside communication. Likewise, most of the other foreign prisoners, Africans and even some Chinese prisoners had simply disappeared from the outside world without their families knowing if they were dead or alive. Without the U.S. Consulate, today I would still be assembling Christmas lights for no pay and sleeping on a concrete floor while surviving on rice, turnips and a little pork fat.” In what seems to corroborate what Onowu Chukwuemeka narrated to our correspondent, Wikipedia also had this to say about Dongguan Foreign Prison: “Prisoners at Dongguan Prison are reportedly forced to work manufacturing goods and are allegedly routinely beaten.

In 2013, former inmates told The Australian Financial Review that they were forced to make disposable headphones sold to major airlines for the equivalent of around £0.85 per month. They said they were beaten, tasered, or put in solitary confinement for failing to achieve production targets. “Similarly, Der Spiegel interviewed several ex-inmates of Dongguan Prison in 2019.

They described overcrowded living conditions and sweltering heat in the summertime. A German ex-prisoner said that the prisoners were forced to work nine-hour days, six or seven days a week, manufacturing model Porsche cars, Samsonite-branded luggage locks, and transformers. Several ex-inmates described torture and abuse of prisoners, including the strapping of prisoners to a torture chair for days or weeks, and electric shocks.” Reacting, the Executive Director of the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma decried the situation, urging the Nigerian authorities to take action to secure the lives of her citizens in the prison.

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