This is insane!
A woman by the name of Stephanie Wilson was in for a surprise when she reached into her Saks bag for her store receipt.
Instead of finding a piece of paper with dollar amounts, Stephanie stumbled upon a message from a desperate man
asking pleading for help!
The cry for help appears to have been written two years ago by man in question, Tohnain Emmanuel Njong, who claims he made the bag Stephanie was holding onto, all while being held unfairly in a Chinese prison factory.
With a passport picture included in the note, he tucked it at the bottom of the bag and wrote:
"We are ill-treated and work like slaves for 13 hours every day producing these bags in bulk in the prison factory…
Thanks and sorry to bother you."
After reading the letter, the 28-year-old did the right thing and brought it to the attention of Laogai Research Foundation, an advocacy group based in Washington D.C. that was founded to fight human rights abuse in Chinese prisons.
The letter also included a Yahoo! email, which lead investigators to go a hunt for this man. Unfortunately, the email bounced back and investigators weren't able to trace his whereabouts.
Henry Wu, founder of the foundation, revealed the dire consequences Tohnain could have faced if someone found out what he did.
"There would be solitary confinement until you confess and maybe later they increase your sentence — or even death."
Thankfully, the letter did not lead to his death.
After all those years, Tohnain was released from confinement in 2013 and returned to his homeland to his relatives. The former prisoner found a secure job in Dubai and has been living there ever since.
Tohnain said he had always hoped his letter would fall into the hands of someone. He said:
"It was the biggest surprise of my life. I am just happy that someone heard my cry."
While this story had a happy ending, others may not have the same fate.
Tohnain's story certainly makes us think twice about the things we purchase, something even as simple as a shopping bag.
It's best to educate ourselves to know wether or not the items that we purchase were created in sweatshops or not.
[Image via Stephanie Wilson.]
Tags: chinese prison factory, imprisoned, legal matters, sad sad, saks, shopping bag, stephanie wilson, tohnain emmanuel njong, unfair hours