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“Black Jails” (1): China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention Facilities

Posted by Author on November 4, 2008

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, October 19, 2008) – A year after CHRD released the report “Black Jails” in the Host City of the “Open Olympics” in October 2007, Chinese authorities continue to detain individuals in these illegal and secret detention facilities in Beijing and around the country. The black jails documented in CHRD’s 2007 report are still in operation while others have sprung up in the capital and elsewhere in the country.

These detention facilities operate completely outside China’s judicial system– they have no legal basis in Chinese law.

The interception and detention of petitioners, in most cases involving beating and other forms of mistreatment, are carried out not by law enforcement officers, but by government officials. However, these operations take place under the eyes of the police, and often with their active cooperation. Detainees could be held incommunicado for months without charge, trial or access to legal counsel.

Evidence suggests that this shadowy system of interception of petitioners and their detention in black jails have become increasingly extensive and systematic. The establishment of centralized black jails for petitioners from all over the country, such as Ma Jia Lou and Jiu Jing Zhuang in Beijing would not be possible without some form of approval and possibly assistance from the Beijing municipal government. The fact that petitioners, once intercepted and detained in these centralized black jails, are then taken away by interceptors from their local jurisdiction and forcibly returned to their home towns or villages, also point to a well-organized, coordinated and swift system to catch and punish petitioners and activists.

Besides these centralized black jails, smaller black jails are operated by local officials from provincial and municipal governments. In Beijing, these officials have used their liaison offices or rented spaces as temporary detention and interrogation centers for petitioners from their local areas. Petitioners detained in these black jails are forcibly escorted by interceptors back to their home provinces where they could be further detained in local black jails. (to be cont’d)

Chinese Human Rights Defenders

One Response to ““Black Jails” (1): China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention Facilities”

  1. […] to China’s ‘black jails’A visit to one of Beijing’s ‘black jails’(?)“Black Jails”: China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention FacilitiesThe Olympic Black Jails RSS Filed under: […]

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