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Beijing (CNN) -- Tree leaves were turning yellow and red in Damascus, Oregon, in late October. Competing with fall foliage for attention were Halloween decorations, which adorned almost every house in this sleepy middle-class suburb of Portland on America's Pacific West Coast.

A few pumpkins sat on the steps leading to Julie Keith's house, while three fake tombstones greeted visitors in the front porch -- as they did last year.

"I feel obligated to use them every year now because I feel they need to have some worth," said Keith, 43, who lives here with her husband and their two young children. "I am sad for the people who have to endure torture to make these silly decorations."

The decorations came in a $29 "Totally Ghoul" toy set that Keith purchased in a local Kmart store in 2011. When she opened the package before Halloween last year, a letter fell out.

In broken English mixed with Chinese, the author cried for help: "If you occasionally (sic) buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here... will thank and remember you forever."

The letter went on to detail grueling hours, verbal and physical abuses as well as torture that inmates making the products had to endure -- all in a place called Masanjia Labor Camp in China.

"It was surprising at first and I didn't know if it was a hoax," recalled Keith, a program manager at a company that runs a chain of thrift stores and donation centers. "Once I read the letter and researched on the Internet, I realized that this may be a real deal.

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well, U.S-ians just loves cheap products, and by Capitalizm (or was it Communism?) the Chinese just trying to make profit from it.

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well, U.S-ians just loves cheap products

 

Who doesn't like cheap products?

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i've read some news very similar to this one a couple of months ago...not sure if here.

 

this is very sad; just to imagine that in this day of age people are still enslaved to work till they die, with torture, bad working conditions and lack of hygiene.

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Reminds me of that note I once found in a calender ...

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The whole reason why the US economy is in the toilet is that we make all of our crap in China. If we made products in the USA like we did in the mid 20th century it would create jobs, bring tax revenue into towns and states and so much more. China is the reason why our economy is so bad. Then we would have lower taxes because of the influx of taxes from companies. Then there will be a decrease in the  Chinese factories that have horrifying work conditions. Its ironic we put labor laws in place back then in the USA but now we don't care about getting products from borderline slave factories in China.

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dont really care about the cheap labour... thought this was going to be about dead stuff :(... was disappointed.

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i've read some news very similar to this one a couple of months ago...not sure if here.

I thought I was reading the same article when I read about the letter.

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That is creepy!

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dont really care about the cheap labour... thought this was going to be about dead stuff :(... was disappointed.

 

well i though it was dead people a well, but this news was already on CNN today. It's sad that people work in such conditions that can't even express their opinion freely.

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...China is the reason why our economy is so bad....

 

Corporations are the reason your economy is so bad.

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So is the government so many of you trust in so much.

Who do you think changed the rules of the economic game and drove manufacturers overseas, often offering incentives to do so in a pollyannish drive to modernize developing world economies?

The federal govt. is like a bull in the china shop - the more it messes with things the more f****ed up they get.

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