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Why women prisoners work graveyard shift to make masks for Hong Kong

Angel and Tina sometimes spot a Hong Kong government official on television, wearing a mask that looks familiar.

“I made that mask,” one will say.

“It looks like one I made,” the other will reply with a laugh.

Angel*, from the Philippines, and Tina*, from Uganda, are among 28 prisoners who volunteered in February to work the overnight shift and increase the production of masks needed for the Covid-19 pandemic .

“If there is something you can do to help, even in a little way, why not? It is so rewarding to see people wearing the coloured face masks we made,” Angel, 39, said in an interview with the Post.

She has been serving an 11-year sentence at Lo Wu Correctional Institution since 2012 after being convicted of drug trafficking. She was arrested in 2011 while on transit to Vietnam.

Due to be released in two years, Angel said she would have been “long gone” if she had been arrested in Vietnam, where drug trafficking carries the death penalty.

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