Fourteen young detainees overcame their guard and fled a boot camp regime of physical training and psychological treatment designed to cure their addiction — to the internet.
The group, aged 15 to 22, staged their mass breakout by grabbing a duty supervisor when he was in bed and immobilising him in his quilt.
He shouted for help and they apologised before tying him up. They then made their way in groups of three to the home town of the leader of the group.
The addicts made their break from the Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in eastern Jiangsu province last Wednesday, complaining that they could no longer endure its “monotonous work and intensive training”.
It is the latest incident to highlight the sometimes brutal techniques employed at camps across China to wean young people off the internet. A 15-year-old boy was beaten to death last year days after he was admitted to a camp. Last month a court sentenced two instructors to up to ten years in jail for the incident.
The China Youth Association for Network Development estimates that about 24 million Chinese adolescents are addicted to the internet, many to gaming sites.
(Chinese internet addicts stage mutiny at boot camp. Times Online. June 8, 2010.)