A Chinese girl recently murdered her mother after enduring harsh treatment at an internet addiction boot camp, according to reports.
Sixteen-year-old Chen Xinran from Heilongjiang, China was sent to an internet addiction facility in Shandong Feb. 26. She returned home four months later. Chen then killed her mother Sept. 16, reports The Paper. The exact details surrounding the murder have yet to be revealed.
After killing her mother, Chen turned herself into authorities.
The “school,” as it is called, where Chen was sent says that it helped over 7,000 “students” break free of addiction to the internet since it was established in 1996, according to shm.com.cn.
There are roughly 250 internet addiction boot camps in China, a nation where internet addiction is a rampant problem. Many young Chinese find themselves addicted to surfing the web or online games.
China’s internet addiction facilities are notorious for their extreme measures. The strict punishments and militaristic management practices have caused many Chinese citizens to question whether or not these places are even legal.
Chen was forcibly sent to the internet school without her consent. After finishing work one night, she was kidnapped by a group of people who confiscated her cigarettes, cell phone, and money and forced her into the back of a car. Chen spent the next four months trapped in what she described as “a terrifying cage,”or an internet addiction boot camp.
Like Chen, abduction and compulsory attendance is the way many students find their way to an internet addiction school.
Reports suggest that Chen’s treatment at the school may have caused her to resent her parents, leading her to lash out violently.
Schools for recovering web addicts usually involve intense physical training, psychological counselling, and, if deemed necessary by a medical professional, prescription drugs, reports South China Morning Post (SCMP). These facilities also tend to be highly oppressive and occasionally violent.
A 19-year-old girl died at one such school in Henan in 2014. She was dropped from a semi-dangerous height repeatedly for over two hours. A witness who experienced the same treatment and dislocated a bone in her neck said that the girl eventually started vomiting blood. When the girl passed out, the trainers started kicking her over and over again because they thought she was faking. Medical professionals were unable to revive her — the girl died from her injuries.
Students regularly become unhinged at these facilities — some try to commit suicide. Others throw notes out of windows begging people to save them.
The murder of Chen’s mother has once again drawn attention to China’s internet addiction facilities. Police are investigating the murder and the details behind it.
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