07 Sep '11, 6am
China authorities say they have rescued 30 mentally disabled workers forced into slavery at illegal brick factory
BEIJING (AFP) - Authorities in central China said on Wednesday they had rescued 30 workers with severe learning difficulties used as slaves in illegal brick factories, in the nation's latest case of labour abuse. State media reported that some of the victims, who were also regularly beaten, had toiled for more than seven years without pay in Henan province - already the scene of a huge slavery scandal in 2007. 'These 30 people are mentally disabled, and were taken from their home town and tricked into working,' a spokesman for the provincial police, surnamed Zhang, told AFP. He said authorities freed them on Sunday and were in the process of locating their families. But he added that some of the victims' disabilities were so severe they were not able to identify them. 'In that case, they are being sheltered by the departments that rescued them,' he said.