A 34-year-old man from Jiangxi province was recently rescued from a cotton workshop in Qingyuan city, Guangdong province, where he had been held against his will and forced to work for the past 18 years.
Law local enforcement officials received a tipoff from residents about a supsected illegal workshop operating out of an apartment in the city’s Qingcheng district, and went to investigate the scene. Upon arriving, authorities stumbled upon the typical stash of counterfeit products that would later need to be confiscated.
They also found Xie Shisheng, who had been locked up by himself inside a red brick room, Tencent News reports.
Xie shook and stuttered when police tried questioning him. He had no idea what year it was or how long he’d been locked up.
When authorities and villagers tried to help escort him out of the room, Xie trembled uncontrollably and said that if he left, the workshop owner would ‘beat him to death’.
He later told police that he’d been brought to Guangdong as a 16-year-old by Du Shaorong, a resident in his hometown of Ganzhou, Jiangsu and the owner of the workshop. That was in 1997. He says he hadn’t had any contact with the outside world ever since.
“I only ate a small bowl of food every day. I was woken up to work after only one or two hours of sleep. They would scold and beat me if I didn’t obey them.”
Xie said that Du and his wife clubbed him with a hammer and fed him filth. Worst of all, he said, Du’s wife occasionally sat on him and peed.
The couple fled when the officials arrived, leaving Du’s ID card at the scene.
A neighbor told reporters that he could hear cries from the house every night, but assumed that it was a child getting beaten by his parents and decided not to get involved.
Xie was sent to the local police station for an injury assessment and further investigation is underway.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent News // China News]