For the first few weeks, Shen Yongmei was told to sit on a
rough plastic stool from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., her back absolutely straight,
her hands on her knees, and stare in silence at three sentences painted on a wall.
“What is this place? Why are you here? What attitude are you going
to employ in order to comply with the police?” were the three questions
the 55-year-old woman was told to contemplate. Any slackening of
concentration invited a beating.
Then, her brain supposedly washed clean of disobedient thoughts, she was sent to work.
For months, she screwed in the plastic plugs at the end of ballpoint
pens, working with only brief food and bathroom breaks as she fulfilled
her daily quota of 12,000 pens....
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