in South East Asia.
It was supposed to have been a 14 days vacation in an exotic country,
before starting her last year at college.
Crystal had bought a
little thing to bring back home to her mother at a souvenir shop.
It had cost 8 $, but when she paid with a 10 $ note, the saleswoman
took the money without giving her any change.
always had a bad temper if she thought somebody was trying to cheat
She wanted her 2 $ back, and started arguing. The police
came - Nobody seamed to understand English -
She was only a single blond foreign girl among a crowd of
Soon after she was taken away in handcuffs.
- Contact the embassy and let me get a lawyer !
Donīt anybody speak English here?"
Crystal should have known better -
Asking for a lawyer is in these countries the same as telling the
police, they have made a mistake.
Such a insult must be punished very hard!
"You must pay 2000 $ fine for making trouble in our peacefull
another 1000 $ in compensation to the saleswoman." the
local interpreter told her.
"Then you must let me phone my parents. They are rich,
but they donīt know I have gone on this trip."
Allowing her to phone abroad is out of the question.
Instead poor Crystal must see all her baggage, clothes, money and jewellery
Then she is sent to prison for life for insulting the authorities.
Two days later
Crystal arrives to her future home,
together with a bunch of local girls.
As an attempt to impede with the growing problem with
overpopulation, the single-party system has orderet,
that in some parts of the country, all
families, with more than one daughter,
must sent the surplus ones to be
concentrated in large work camps.
This also includes rich families.
Ma Ling walking in front of Crystal, has got a lot of money.
She is the only one of this bunch, that has been able
to afford a real womenīs prison uniform.
She will be treated as a queen here.
The not so rich receives randomly either a jacket or
a par of trousers from a stock of used maleīs
The poorest are given a thin shift, and
Those with no money at all, a small rag as loincloths.
Being a criminel,
a foreigner and with no money at all to bribe the guards, means
special hard treatment in the prison camp.
From the very first day,
she is bullied by the other girls.
She tried to fight back, but the guards seized her,
and being a troublemaker, Crystal from now on
had to sleep in a stock beside the piss bucket.
The other prisoners looks upon Crystal,
as she is even more disgusting than the bucket.
The girls are frustrated from knowing they have to
spend their lives as forced labours,
with no boy friends and never getting married,
while their brotheres, with their sisters out
of the way, now can afford higher educations
and will get good jobs.
In this situation it is good to have some one
in a worse state than one self to victimize.
morning and every evening all the girls
have to line up to be counted.
Often these roll-calls lasts for hours, because the
guards usually wants to enjoy their breakfast or dinner
before bothering going out to count the prisoners.
The roll-calls are also used to inflict punishments
for laziness or other offences against the rules,
committed durring the day.
With so many young girls crammed together
in the overcrowded work camp, itīs absolutely
necessary to maintain a very strict discipline.
Even Ma Ling hasnīt been able to completely
avoid the whip, even she only do light duties.
But for those who comes from not so wealthy
families, there are no mercy.
Any kind of real or just suspected offences
are punished very hard.
3 months later not even her mother
would have recognized Crystal.
14 hours work days, doing the hardest labour,
the endless roll-calls standing outside in all kinds of weather,
the bad food and daily punishments for being lazy
has taken a heavy toll on her slight young body.
is fed before she is put into the stocks to sleep.
Her food is always the same: A sticky lump of
mouldy rise mixed with pebbles and small splinters of wood.
Desperate of hunger the starving girl eats it
as quickly as she can, trying
to ignore her bleeding mouth and brocken teeth.
She has only 10 seconds to eat it all,
while the guard counts down to zero.
When the 10 seconds is over, the rise she has not yet
eaten, is knocked out of her hands onto the ground.
Crystal is crazy of thirst , but no money means no water.
She will have to wait to the other girls have fallen into sleep.
Then she will with a skilled movement lift her stock,
lean over the piss bucket and stick her head
deap into it.
"Lazy bitch -
Now you will hang there all night!
Then maybe tomorrow you will work much harder!"
Rapidly weakened by the poor food
and no freash water to drink,
the guards have to punish her
harder and harder to make her work.
Hanging here she even donīt
have the piss bucket to drink from.
Tomorrow she will have to fulfil
the quota - She has to!
Crystal is not the
only girl been punished.
This girl dosnīt miss the piss bucket.
For hours she is left standing on her knees
with the bucket over her head.
In between the guard hits the bucket hard
with her baton giving a loud noise.
She hits it with various intervals, sometimes
several times in a minute, and other times after
a half an hour, so the girl never know
when the next blow come.
Ma Ling has also
fallen deaply since she lived
her pleasant life at home on the rich estate.
Her brothers and her elder sister have complained to their
parents, about why they waisted the family money
on their little sister, as they would never
see her again anyway.
When Ma Ling tells the guards she can not pay them
anymore, they get real angry on her, and order her
to clean the latrines using her dress.
From now on there will be no more light duties for her.