New Zealander Describes Ordeals in Chinese Prison (+ Video)
New Zealander Describes Ordeals in Chinese Prison (+ Video)

Ex-prisoner Danny Cancian holds up placards detailing the injustices he suffered in Chinese jails. (Youtube.com)

Forced labor, chemical testing, and taser shocks to the mouth are just a few of the horrors one can expect to experience in a Chinese prison, according to New Zealander Danny Cancian.

The last four years of Cancian’s life were spent mostly in Dongguan Prison, which he called a “hellhole on Earth” in a recent YouTube video. He holds up placards detailing his time in jail. One reads: “The Chinese government has no compassion or regard for life.”

The 46-year-old used to do business in China. One day, he said, he was attacked by five men at a restaurant. One of them died from bleeding in the brain, after Cancian fought back to defend himself. In 2011 he paid NZ$90,000 in compensation to the family of the deceased, and was sentenced to five years in jail for manslaughter. He was released early for good behavior.

“There were people hanging themselves every week” in the prison, he said in an interview with Fairfax New Zealand. “They had to take all the wire clothes lines out of the cells.”

He said the prison police controlled the 5,400 inmates using violence and threats. “One Chinese policeman can control 1,000 prisoners, that’s how bad it is.”

Cancian said he suffered beatings, forced labor, sleep and food deprivation, pepper spraying, being tasered in the mouth, and solitary confinement.

The prisoners had to work six days a week in a neighboring factory. “Every morning at 5 a.m., they’d march us all to the factory, and then at 7 p.m. we’d come back.” They were given 10 minutes to drink rice water for breakfast. Lunch was rice and boiled cabbage. Dinner was far from pleasant. “Disgusting, horrible, smelly things,” he said. “The prison used to buy all the old dead pigs and dead animals and stuff.”

He also witnessed chemical testing on prisoners, and narrowly missed being a guinea pig for a flu vaccine. “[They would] march us off to get tested. I said to them, ‘No way, you just put me in solitary confinement because you are not trying out drugs on me.'”

After his release, Cancian was told that he would not be allowed to return to China for five years. “I said to them you might as well make it 500 years because I am never setting foot back in China again.”

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