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China sentences Shanxi kiln slave masters, disciplines officials

[JURIST] China's Shanxi province High People's Court Tuesday announced the completion of 7 trials and verdicts against 29 defendants [Xinhua reports, in Chinese] accused of involvement in the use of slave labor at various brick kilns in the Shanxi and Henan provinces Tuesday, sentencing kiln bosses, foremen, and other workers to punishments ranging from 18 months to 9 year prison terms for illegal detention. The court also announced a life sentence and death sentence against two defendants found guilty of more serious intentional infliction of injury charges. Five more trials involving 12 defendants are still in progress. Shanxi Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials also announced disciplinary actions against 95 party officials [Xinhua report, in Chinese] for dereliction of duty Tuesday, expelling 3 from the CCP, dismissing or demoting 45, and issuing various reprimands against the remaining officials.

In June, two Chinese labor officials were arrested [JURIST report] for allegations that they failed to report the enslavement of hundreds of people at Chinese brick kilns. In late June, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress adopted a new labor contract law [JURIST report], which codifies administrative and criminal penalties for employers and government officials who either abuse or neglect their duties to laborers. AP has more. China Daily has local coverage.

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