Chinese magazine's report on abuses at labor camp adds fuel to debate on reform

A Chinese magazine's report on abuses at a notorious labor camp is giving reformers added ammunition in a campaign to abolish a widely disliked part of the penal system.

The report in Lens magazine this week documents the long hours worked by female inmates at the Masanjia labor camp and beatings and other punishments received for breaking rules.

Officials in Liaoning province, where Masanjia is located, declined comment. The report has been seized by legal experts and others to renew calls to close the punishment centers, known formally as labor re-education.

The system allows police to send people to prison for up to four years without trial. The new Communist Party leadership installed in November has said it will stop using the system but has not provided details.