A second teenager has been killed in one of China’s rehab camps designed to help break internet addiction.
A little over one year after a Chinese teenager was killed in an internet addiction rehab camp in 2009, a report has come out about a second death. The story has emerged from a completely separate camp, but is disturbingly similar in nature.
16-year-old Chen Shi’s mother made the decision to send the boy to the Beiteng School in the capital of China’s Hunan province because, in her words, he was “afraid of hardship, had weak willpower and not enough self-confidence.” She lured her son to the school by a promise that he was going to study IT. School directors reportedly encourage parents to either lie like this, or to just “kidnap” their children to get them to attend.
Two days after Chen’s mother returned home after dropping him off, she was notified that her son was in the hospital for “sunstroke.” He died before she and her husband were able to reach him, but they found his body covered in bruises. Witnesses say a Beiteng instructor and two others beat Chen with a wooden baton, handcuffs, and a plastic pipe when he refused to run during a training session.
Beiteng has been shut down and police have detained three people on the suspicion of murdering Chen. I get that China doesn’t want its citizens using the internet too much or playing online games with anything but flowers and happy faces in them, but maybe the government should be more concerned with the way its youth is being treated in these brutal camps instead of how much fun they’re having killing virtual dragons.