Laogai Museum in D.C. focuses on human rights abuses in China

The faded patchwork coat and pants once belonged to an accused counterrevolutionary named Liu Zhuanghuan, who spent a decade at a forced labor camp during China’s brutal Cultural Revolution.

His son was confined to the same camp but never allowed to see his father. One exception was made: He was allowed to identify his father’s body and collect his belongings after Zhuanghuan committed suicide in 1973.

Zhuanghuan’s tattered clothing — and the human suffering it represents — are now part of a collection of artifacts, photos, videos, books and government documents on display at the recently expanded Laogai Museum in Northwest Washington.

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