Friday, September 27, 2013

The story of Yong Vui Kong - Give Life a 2nd chance

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Photo – Yong Vui Kong’s Family Plead for his Life Outside the Istana – Courtesy from secondchances.asia

I was touched by a video titled ' Yong Vui Kong's Family Plead for his Life', which goes viral on the internet.

A group of people wearing the T-shirt with slogan 'Give life a 2nd Chance' gathered outside the Istana. After passing over piles of petition signatures to the President's security, Yong Vui Kong's father, brother and sister kneeled down and cried. They pleaded the President to give mercy to Vui Kong, to grant him clemency and spare him from the death penalty.

This scene struck me, and pained me. I could understand their sorrow if I were in their position. 

Yong Vui Kong was about to be hanged, and they had to save him....

Yong's story 

Yong Vui Kong is a Malaysian from Sabah. He is sentenced to death for trafficking 42.27 grams of heroin into Singapore in 2007. He was only 19-year-old then. Anyone caught with more than 15 grams of heroin faces mandatory death penalty in Singapore. 

In the video titled 'Yong's story', Vui Kong's brother - Yong Yun Leong, told us about Vui Kong.

Yong Vui Kong grew up in Sabah countryside. Yong's family is poor, and parents are divorced. Her mother brought up four children by herself. He has two elder brothers and one younger sister. Vui Kong stopped his studies at a young age, and left for Kuala Lumpur to work when he was just fourteen.

Vui Kong first worked as a kitchen hand, later he started selling pirated CDs. And it was during this time that he started hanging out with gangs. His 'boss' tempted him with money, bought him nice clothes and treated him dinners at hotels. Vui Kong felt he was rich and powerful under his new 'boss'.

Vui Kong needed money. Vui Kong's mother suffers from depression, and he wanted the money to pay for his mother's medical fees.

Working under his new 'boss', he first helped him to collect debts, later he helped to deliver 'gifts'. 'Gifts' refers to drugs which are gift-wrapped.

Yun Leong pleaded in the video. He knows drug trafficking is a serious crime and Vui Kong deserves to be punished. But death penalty is cruel because Vui Kong is a 1st time offender, and was only a naive 19-year-old boy at that time. And because of this silly mistake, there is no turning back, and it is tragic.

Yun Leong said the law in Singapore should look at Vui Kong's case in different angles. They should judge his case based on his family background, his personal story, the fact that he was tempted by his 'boss' and was being controlled by him.

Faith transformed Vui Kong

Yun Leong said Vui Kong understood the meaning of freedom and the pain of losing now that he was in prison. Vui Kong slowly embraced Buddhism, started chanting and meditation. He has been a vegetarian for 6 years. Vui Kong's personality changed after he was exposed to Buddhist's thinking. Vui Kong is now a good kid whom the wardens and his Master doted on.

Below is an extract from a letter Vui Kong - The Fourth Letter: Studying Buddhist Philosophy
"I feel that every young person needs faith. Only with faith can you save yourself, because a good religion, no matter if it’s Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism, teaches you what is right and what is wrong. This, to me, is extremely important. When I was a rebel, I didn’t have faith, and so I went astray and followed a path from which there is no return.

Studying Buddhism teaching allows me to understand about gratitude, and about what courage is. To me, this is the biggest experience I gained.

With a soul that found faith, we will be at peace, content, happy, free and full of hope, now, in the future and in the afterlife!"

After taking up Buddhism while in prison, Vui Kong did not want to lie to save himself. And he once instructed his counsel to withdraw the appeal.

Vui Kong's mother does not know about his death sentence. When her mother came to Singapore and visited him in prison. Vui Kong told her mother to give up on him, and not to think about him, he would be leaving with his Master to seek enlightenment. He does not want her mother to be worried about him, and live well.

Vui Kong drew pictures of Lord Buddha standing at the gates of hell, saving souls from eternal damnation. He understood what he did was a sin, and he is now having his retribution. He is remorseful and his greatest wish is to join the anti-drug campaign and guide other young people back to the right path.

Below is an extract from a letter Vui Kong wrote about The Importance of Education
: (translated into English, and published on http://secondchances.asia/the-tenth-letter-drugs-and-the-death-penalty/)


"I was a rebellious youth who never had a proper education, unfamiliar with the sentencing of different offenses. Because I lacked education and knowledge, I was tricked by others into believing that smuggling drugs would not attract the death penalty, which is why I in all my ignorance made mistakes upon mistakes!’

Although compared to others I might seem unprivileged because I never received a proper education; but I think that it is not too late to start now.

Now, I don’t want to make any more mistakes. Every day I read a lot of books, learning new things like English, and I keep meditating."

"If the presidential clemency is granted, what I would like to do the most is to tell the world about the dangers of drugs and how sinful drugs are." Yong said.

Rethinking about the use of the mandatory death penalty on drug couriers

Vui Kong's boss, Chia Choon Leng was once faced with 26 drug-related charges. But the charges were dropped due to the difficulty to obtain evidence. The alleged mastermind is still enjoying freedom. But those ignorant, naive young boys he controlled are facing death because they helped him to deliver the drugs. It is time we rethink about the use of the mandatory death penalty on drug couriers.

Below is an extract from a letter Vui Kong wrote about drugs and the death penalty: (translated into English, and published on http://secondchances.asia/the-tenth-letter-drugs-and-the-death-penalty/)

"My lawyer Mr Ravi also mentioned him before. His story is like this: after Chun Ying’s parents divorced, Chun Yin stayed with his father, helping his father run stalls selling clothes and VCDs in morning and night markets. He got to know a regular customer. This regular customer convinced him to go overseas and bring gold bars into Singapore. All the arrangements were made by this customer. But it turned out that hidden in the bag were not gold bars, but drugs. Chun Yin did not know that it was drugs hidden in the bag until the police ripped open the lining. He told the court all the details of the matter, and also revealed the identity of the customer and his phone numbers. But the judge did not believe him. My lawyer told me that the police had not done their best to trace this customer, and the judge did not think that it was important.

I am not a lawyer, but I cannot understand, why didn’t they trace this man? Often it is because of people like him that we are in such a situation. If this man was found, wouldn’t we be able to find out if Chun Yin was telling the truth or not? Chun Yin is currently locked inside here, how can he find the truth himself?

I am beginning to wonder, are there really people who have been wronged? Are all the sentences really fair? If a person has been wronged and hanged, isn’t it very tragic?

I have mentioned my next-door inmate before. He was very young, and he had already died. We talked about a lot of things. He never mentioned his case, but I feel that he was a very naïve, very ignorant kid. He could not face death. That morning at 3am, he was dragged out. His crying really made my heart ache. I kept chanting, hoping that his suffering would be decreased. I wonder, how could a person like him be a drug trafficker out to harm society?"

In November 2012, the Singapore parliament has made amendments to the mandatory death sentences in drug trafficking.

The Courts have the discretion to sentence him to death or to life imprisonment (with caning in some cases), if:

(i) the accused is found to be only a drug courier, and
(ii) the accused has substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau (“CNB”) to disrupt drug trafficking activities within or outside Singapore, or the accused proves that he was suffering from such abnormality of mind that it substantially impaired his mental responsibility for committing the offence.

But the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking kingpins and organisers of syndicates maintained.
  
Give Vui Kong a 2nd chance

Recently, the Central Narcotics Bureau had issued certificate of substantive assistance to Yong Vui Kong, for his effort in assisting the CNB to disrupt drug trafficking within and outside Singapore. Vui Kong might be spared the death penalty.

Below is the Statement from M Ravi, lawyer for Yong Vui Kong:

"The news of the certificate for Yong Vui Kong came as a tremendous relief to me and to those who have been fighting to spare his life since Vui Kong's arrest when he was 19 year's old. Certainly he deserves the Court's exception from death as his case clearly illustrates the injustice of the Mandatory Death Penalty regime in Singapore's war on drugs. This young man has spent years on death row while others, more responsible than him, have never been so much as charged by the Public Prosecutor."

"We are very grateful today to Vui Kong, his family & anti-death penalty advocates in Singapore & around the world for never giving up on the possibility that Yong could live. We now have another day in Court to make the case that Vui Kong's life should be spared."

Perhaps there are people who think that he is like another piece of scum that should be wiped off.

But according to famous quote by Henry Ward Beecher - 'Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation'.

“Punishment and Justice must always include MERCY” – Sister Susan Chia
(Carer of the Nugyens family – Van Tuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese Australian, was hanged to death on 2 December 2005, for trafficking 396.2 g of heroin into Singapore)

Life is to be cherished. Give life a second chance.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Save Yong Vui Kong - Punishment and Justice must always include MERCY!

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 It is too cruel to kill a life just because of a silly mistake he made. 
It is not wise to punish the ‘drug mule’, but neglecting the real ‘boss’ behind the crime.
Why is the law being so rigid? Must there be a ‘mandatory’ death penalty? It is so injustice.
“Punishment and Justice must always include MERCY” – Sister Susan Chia
(Carer of the Nugyens family – Van Tuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese Australian, was hanged to death on 2 December 2005, for trafficking 396.2 g of heroin into Singapore)
It’s about the imminent death of a boy called Yong Vui Kong. You might have already heard his name. Read his sorry tale somewhere. That stupid kid who at 19, got busted for trafficking drugs into Singapore.
Vui Kong was caught with 47.27 grams of heroin – he was a runner taking instructions from his so-called ‘Big Brother’. He sits in a prison cell now, waiting to pay for his crime, with his life.
We saw the boy in court last Wednesday. A pale, skinny thing surrounded by four policemen. He had been scheduled to hang on Friday. And his lawyer was trying to convince the judge to stay the execution pending an appeal. The judge agreed. It was a decision no one, least of all Vui Kong, expected. He broke down and cried as he was being led out of the room.
Does Vui Kong deserve to die? The mainstream media in Singapore has been strangely silent about the matter. But there’s been plenty of debate online. We won’t rehash what’s already been said. We will instead, share with you, an interview we did with Vui Kong’s older brother, Yun Leong. Please listen to what he has to say:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

6-Year-Old Boy Has Eyes Gouged Out in Northeast China, Organ Harvesting Suspected

By Epoch Times | August 28, 2013

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A young boy recovers in hospital in northeast China on Aug. 27, after his eyes were gouged out by a woman who may have been an organ trafficker. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A young boy in Shanxi Province has been left blind after a woman gouged out his eyeballs.
Guo Bin, aged 6, went missing on Saturday, and was found unconscious in a field by his parents that evening with his face covered in blood.
After receiving extensive medical treatment, the boy said that he was threatened by a woman with an accent, suggesting she comes from a different province. He is still recovering in hospital.
Police are offering a 100,000 yuan reward (over $16,000) for any information that leads to the perpetrator’s arrest.
According to state mouthpiece China Radio International, the boy’s eyeballs were foundnearby. China Radio International quoted police saying that the corneas, the transparent front part of the eye, were still attached to the eyeball. Earlier reports in the Chinese press, citing the boy’s parents, had indicated that the corneas were missing, raising fears that the case was a particularly brutal example of organ harvesting. It is impossible to independently verify the state’s later statement that the corneas were still attached to the eyes.
“This is terrible. With the Communist government in power, any kind of strange things can happen,” wrote a netizen on Sina Weibo.
Another commented on United Daily News: “I can’t believe that people can be this crazy and lawless.”
 
Ophthalmologist Chen Youxin at Peking Union Medical College Hospital told China Daily that there is a high demand for corneas in China, although legally they can only be removed from dead people.
“Corneas are quite limited in China because of the lack of donors,” Chen said, adding that “only 10 percent of the need is met.” 
Dr. Torsten Trey, Executive Director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) in New York, told Epoch Times via email that the incident may be connected to the widespread abuse of organ transplantation in China, where death row prisoners are harvested for organs, and prisoners of conscience in detention are killed for their organs. 
“The “self-service” mentality over more than a decade to harvest any kind of organ at any time from prisoners, in particular from Falun Gong practitioners, as they contributed to a large standing pool of potential, matching donors in China, has lead to a form of addiction among medical doctors in China (let alone the addiction to the fast money that they can easily earn with such operations),” Trey wrote.
The Communist Party has promised it would end the practice of organ sourcing from prisoners, but the reforms so far have been untransparent and unconvincing, Trey said. 
“Black markets have been established in China,” Trey said.
Research by Hsin-Yi Lin.

(Source - http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/267991-6-year-old-boy-has-eyes-gouged-out-in-northeast-china/)

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Insider Reveals All at Sujiatun Are Falun Gong Practitioners

— Subjects of live cornea removal are mainly the elderly or children

The Epoch TimesMar 21, 2006
The front entrance to the Sujiatun Concentration Camp and a map of the region (The Epoch Times)
Warning: graphic photos below ]The Epoch Times has conducted another interview with the witness who came forward several days ago to reveal details regarding the Sujiatun concentration camp in Northeast China. In this interview the witness revealed that her ex-husband was one of the main surgeons in the concentration camp. He is a brain surgeon, and was mainly in charge of cornea removal. Because of the horrifying character of live organ removal and the burning of corpses, the witness and her family have had destructive life experiences. Every time she recalls events in Sujiatun, she endures indescribable pain.The witness said that her ex-husband had a cell phone specifically for this type of business. No matter when and where, as soon as the cell phone rang, he would go to perform the operation. During the 2 years of working at Sujiatun, he did several cornea removal operations per day.Her ex-husband told her that those detained in the Sujiatun concentration camp were all Falun Gong practitioners. For others, even prisoners sentenced to death, organ removals could not be done without proper paperwork and procedures. Only for Falun Gong practitioners, due to the central Communist Party policy that the deaths of practitioners are “counted as suicide,” the hospital can detain and remove organs from them live without any procedures. Every surgeon knew they were Falun Gong practitioners. They were told that doing such things to Falun Gong practitioners were not crimes. Instead, they were “cleaning” for the Chinese Communist Party. Those on theoperation table were either mentally destroyed or had lost consciousness. Major targets of cornea removal were the elderly and children.A reader from Mainland China called the Epoch Times New York office Saturday and told us that: a celebrity in China had a liver transplant. The liver belonged to a Falun Gong practitioner. This reader also revealed that the General Hospital of the Army and Police Force in Beijing still stores organs of Falun Gong practitioners for high-ranking officials and celebrities. He said that he obtained this information from a relative of this celebrity.According to recent reports on the Minghui web site, the Sujiatun Concentration Camp might not be the only concentration camp in China. In 2000, the police of Sanhe City in Hebei Province and the Beijing Office of Sichuan said to Falun Gong practitioners: “You don’t tell us your names. We will send you to very faraway concentration camps. Nobody will know you are there.” “There are concentration camps in Northeast China and Xinjiang.”
The following is the translation of the conversation between the Epoch Times reporter and the witness:
Epoch Times: How could the Sujiatun Concentration Camp remain so secret?
Answer : Because several people share the profit. So they won’t tell others. This room here can hold at least 100 people. You know, when Falun Gong practitioners are detained, they are not allowed any private space. All are packed together. Maybe one goes to the toilet and comes back; one will not find any space any more. Many Falun Gong practitioners were detained in a one-story residential house in the hospital. This house was dismantled in 2003. We guessed that there was an unknown basement. A living room of a regular U.S. house can easily hold 100 people. Our hospital is very large. They will not admit there was once that one-story residential house. They might say that it was built for peasant workers or the homeless.
ET: Do you think Chi Mingyu, the head of the Sujiatun hospital, knew about this?
A : I think he should know.
ET: This is a concentration camp in a public location?
The organs of some Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured to death were excised. Mysterious holes in blood vessels and cuts on the remains have attracted serious attention. The photo is of Falun Gong practitioner Liu Yufeng, who was beaten to death. (www.clearwisdom.net)
A : It’s semi-public. Everyone has heard of this hospital. It’s quite famous. However, people who don’t have heart or thrombi diseases usually won’t come to the hospital. So it’s not an entirely public location either.
Sujiatun is a suburban district of Shenyang. It is like a rural area. Whether other hospitals in the Sujiatun District did the same thing, I don’t know. Staff in the public health system can rotate within the system freely.
We found that supplies in the hospital suddenly increased. We guessed: what are so many people coming for? I commuted to work by a shuttle. We didn’t care so much. We also didn’t know whether Falun Gong was good or bad.
ET: How did you know about the live organ removal?
A : During the 2003 Chinese New Year, people visited each other for the New Year. For example, they gathered to play Chinese chess, or Mahjong. When they chatted, they talked a little bit about this kind of thing. I knew that my family had easy money, but didn’t know the source. Later on, my ex-husband told me about this.
My ex-husband is a quite talented brain surgeon. Many heads of hospitals wanted him to work at their hospitals. It was easy to use him. He’s smart. He knew how to obtain money.
When he joined the Sujiatun hospital, he was an intern doctor. Very soon, he was promoted to surgeon. Starting from 2003, I noticed that he was often absent-minded. For example, he watched TV holding a sofa pillow. When I shut off the TV, he would not notice.
At the beginning, my ex-husband simply said he wanted to find another job. I was very surprised: Why? We are having a good life here at Sujiatun. Gradually, he started sweating at night and having nightmares. When he would wake up, the bed sheet would be soaked with his sweat in a human shape. I asked him whether his job was too stressful. Sometimes he had long discussions with my father in our reading room. He said he wanted to change jobs and asked my father to help him. However, for some reason, nobody in our family helped him switch his job.
Finally, I couldn’t tolerate any more. I asked him. Then he told me this. My friend witnessed Falun Gong practitioners detained in Sujiatun. Everyone knew that a lot of Falun Gong practitioners were sent from Masanjia and Dabei prisons. We didn’t mind thinking about it. A lot of people who work at Sujiatun are from families of high-ranking cadres. We have formed this habit since very young: Do not ask anything that’s not relevant to us.
The brother of one of my classmates went overseas in 2002 shortly after he participated in this business. He left after performing a few operations.
ET: What kind of operations did your ex-husband do?
Wang Bin, a 44-year old Falun Gong practitioner from Heilongjiang Province was mercilessly beaten to death by policemen Feng Xi and others at Daqing Men’s Labor Camp on September 24, 2000. Afterwards, his heart and brain were removed, and the remains were placed in the morgue of Daqing People’s Hospital. The photo is of Wang Bin’s scarred body. (www.clearwisdom.net)
A : He did cornea removal. At the beginning, he didn’t know whether those people had been granted permission. People who were on operation tables were not conscious. They were alive. He knew it after performing a few. How could there be so many people who donated their corneas? He said that the person who asked him to do this kind of thing told him: you are already on this boat. Killing one is murder. Killing several is also murder. He said that later on he also knew that the people were alive. Where the organs and corpse were sent, he didn’t ask.
Then he began to face retribution. He was even very nervous when driving. He could not live a normal life.
By 2003, many people in the public health bureau knew about it. Not only family members knew, even some outsiders knew about it.
My ex-husband told me that those patients who needed kidneys were in other hospitals. The kidney would be removed in the Sujiatun hospital. He didn’t know much about the aftermath. Maybe corpses were sent to the Sujiatun crematorium or the incinerator.
A person would not have cornea removal only. Very possibly, other organs would be removed from this person as well. This was no different than murder. When surgeons deviate a little bit, their knives are killing people.
I divorced because of this. If it had been extra-marital affairs, maybe I could still tolerate it. The fact that he could tell me this indicated that he had a little conscience left. If he hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have believed it. He told me this with his own mouth. Nobody would say that he did something like this.
ET: Were there any other surgeons?
A: There are other surgeons. My ex-husband is a brain surgeon. It’s not possible that he does kidney removal.
ET: How did you now that all detainees at Sujiatun were Falun Gong practitioners?
A : They are all Falun Gong practitioners. For other people, they have relatives. Relatives would come to ask for family members. Only when Falun Gong practitioners are sent here, their families don’t know. Masanjia and Dabei prisons detain a lot of Falun Gong practitioners. Now there are not that many any moreEveryday people are released. Where were these Falun Gong practitioners sent?
Those Falun Gong practitioners who were detained in Sujiatun, they had refused to sign a letter saying that they wouldn’t practice Falun Gong any more. Many protested via hunger strike. They were very weak due to not having food.
Everyone was given a piece of paper. If you wouldn’t practice Falun Gong, put your fingerprint on the paper, and you would be released immediately. Once a person went out of where the practitioners were detained, the people inside didn’t know where they went. They thought that these people were released. Or they were told that these people were taken to other hospitals for treatment. Those who were taken out were usually first beaten until they lost consciousness. Then anesthetic would be injected.
ET: According to the official web site of the Shenyang City legal system, the Sujiatun hospital organized in 2000 all Chinese communist party cadres to study the decision to persecute Falun Gong.
A : I didn’t know about this. Sometimes my ex-husband lived in the hospital dorm. He usually didn’t mention that kind of thing to me. He would simply call home and say he was busy, and then he wouldn’t come home.
My ex-husband knew they were Falun Gong practitioners. Every surgeon knew it. At that time, they were told that persecuting Falun Gong was not counted as a crime. Instead, it was “cleaning” for the Chinese communist party. Those on the operation table were either mentally destroyed or had lost consciousness. Major targets of cornea removal were the elderly and children.
Many Falun Gong practitioners were detained in a one-story residential house in the hospital. This house was dismantled in 2003. We guessed that there was an unknown basement. They will not admit there was once the one-story residential house. They might say that it was built for peasant workers or the homeless.
My ex-husband was also worried that someday he would be killed for the purpose of destroying evidence. So he went abroad. Other people knew he wouldn’t dare to speak out.
ET: Over the years, no relatives came to ask for family members?
A : During 2001 and 2003, only one peasant came to ask whether his family members were detained here. It was all secret. Nobody knew. When people were arrested, there was no paperwork. When people were released, there was no paperwork either.
Persecution is persecution. It is against humanity. As a Chinese, I feel quite sad. This is Chinese killing Chinese. It’s unlike the slaughter in Nanjing when the Japanese invaded China. This is killing our own fellow people. No matter whether they practice Falun Gong or not, they are our fellow people. This is very brutal.
ET: Did those who were part of it feel that they did wrong things?
A : Between life and money, some people choose money. After I knew this, I told my ex-husband: “Your entire life is ruined. You will not be able to hold surgical knives any more.” When you perform an operation for people, you will remember things you did in the past. I am not the surgeon. Even so, whenever I talk about this, I’m trembling and afraid.
Later, after my ex-husband completed procedures for going abroad, he had to explain to me why he had to leave. I told him that you could only choose things prior to this [live organ removal], but not anything after this.
I don’t practice Falun Gong. I am not so noble. I did not come to the U.S. from so far-away to expose this to the world. My friend told me to travel to the U.S. to cheer me up. He told me that America is a country that emphasizes human rights. It’s a free country. He said that you could speak out your experiences here. People think that I divorced because my ex-husband wanted to go abroad, and I didn’t want to go. Others were not happy with me. They asked me why I divorced my ex-husband, and that he was such a good man.
Now we expose this to the world. At least a portion of people there can still survive. I don’t care if they admit it or not. Exposing it will deter these evil actions.
I think for those who have read this news, if they have missing relatives, they should gather together and demand an explanation from relevant government agencies. When people disappear, they are either dead or crazy. Otherwise, they will find a way to send a message home.
The Shenyang Morning News reported on the 11th that a peasant worker was cremated without a family signature. The person is already cremated. Who knows whether the organs have already been removed?
I saw that there was a confession from a spy. There will be a confession from a doctor. He doesn’t have to reveal his name. However, he can spread the information. Anyone who has done this kind of things feels the burden of guilt.
************ **************
The furnace unit on the southwest side in the Sujiatun Concentration Camp, where a witness says Falun Gong practitioners are cremated after their organs have been removedfor sale. (The Epoch Times)
Brief Introduction of the Sujiatun Concentration Camp
Sujiatun is one of the nine districts governed by Shenyang City. It is a satellite city 15 kilometers to the South of Shenyang City. The Sujiatun Concentration Camp is also called National Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Thrombus Treatment Center. The address is 49 Xuesong Road,Sujiatun District,Shenyang City,Liaoning Province,China. It is also called Liaoning Thrombus Treatment Center of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine.It was built in 1998.
For more articles, see:
Sujiatun Death Camp