Fwd: Query: Prison Camps Under Mao

From Saul Thomas <stthomas@uchicago.edu>
Date Sun, 23 Oct 2005 00:14:57 -0500

Forwarded from Walt Byars <waltbyars@gmail.com>

I am interested in any sources giving reliable information on the number of 
prisoners under Mao, as well as the death rate in the prison camps. I am 
only aware of the dubious estimates of Mao haters like Chang/Halliday and 
the Black Book of Communism which give 50 million or so prisoners and a 
death rate of ~5-10% per annum. I know these figures are wrong, but I don't 
know of any osurves for more correct figures (I saw an article by the 
respected historian of Chinese prisons Frank Dikotter say that 20-30 
million people had gone through the prisons from 1949 into the late 1990s 
but he didn't give a source) . I also noticed that Brian Turner posts on 
this list.He has pointed out on amazon and elsewhere that the number of 
"rightists imprisoned" in the 1950s can reasonably be estimated, and the 
number released as well, and that these figures show that it would have 
been impossible to have as high of a death rate as some claim. I would be 
very interested in having a source for these figures (I did keyword 
searches of the issues of journals like The China Quarterly but really 
found nothing on this topic).