The alarm rings at 5am every morning in Yerzhan’s overcrowded concrete cell. He dresses in a thin blue uniform before armed guards escort him to a bathroom, where he has minutes to wash under supervision.
At 7am there is breakfast: tea and a single steamed bun for each of the cell’s 18 inmates. For the rest of the day, Yerzhan is forced to sit straight on a stool, learn Mandarin, sing patriotic songs and memorise ruling Communist Party ideology. In order to receive a small portion of rice at noon and 6pm he, like all the others, must praise the Chinese president and shout “Long live Xi Jinping!”. Those who refuse are electrocuted with a cattle prod that causes their limbs to spasm uncontrollably. …READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE TELEGRAPH