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“Black Jails” (2): China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention Facilities

Posted by Author on November 4, 2008

Chinese Human Rights Defenders, October 19, 2008 – (cont’d)

(previous)

Black Jails in Beijing

Ma Jia Lou, Beijing

Ma Jia Lou, established in 2004 and located at Fengtai District within the South Fourth Ring Road in Beijing, is a centralized black jail where petitioners intercepted by Beijing police are sent. When petitioners first arrived in Ma Jia Lou, they are registered and detained before officials there notify interceptors from their local areas, who then take the petitioners away and forcibly escort them back to their home provinces. Ma Jia Lou can incarcerate up to several thousands of petitioners at a time and is the black jail with the highest capacity documented by CHRD. The period of detention varies widely–ranging from a few of days to a couple of months. At Ma Jia Lou, beatings of petitioners by interceptors are common occurrences. Petitioners are also fed poorly—they are given two meals of steamed buns and preserved vegetables every day.

Jiu Jing Zhuang, Beijing

In July 2008, when Ma Jia Lou could no longer accommodate an increasing number of intercepted petitioners, another black jail, Jiu Jing Zhuang was setup at an abandoned factory in Dahongmen, Fengtai District in Beijing to incarcerate individuals who are new to petitioning in the capital. The situation in Jiu Jing Zhuang is very similar to those in Ma Jia Lou—petitioners are poorly fed and routinely beaten by interceptors.

Hufang Road Youth Hostel, Beijing

This black jail, one of the latest documented by CHRD, is managed by the Beijing Liaison Office of Henan Province. On October 14, Xu Zhiyong (许志永), a professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, visited the black jail after he received a phone call for assistance from a detained petitioner. The petitioner, Ma Xirong (马喜荣), was detained there with at least twenty others. Xu was unable to enter the jail and he was beaten by the guards. During the beating, one of the assailants shouted at Xu, “we are the government, what can we be afraid of? Do you want to call 110 [police hotline for emergency]? You can call now!”

The following Beijing black jails documented in our 2007 report have continued to operate with impunity:

* A converted two-storey building behind the Jingyuan Inn in Wulidian, Fengtai District, Beijing managed by the Beijing Liaison Office of the Nanyang City government in Henan Province;
* The basement of an Inner Mongolian inn located behind the Beijing Art Museum in Dongcheng District managed by the Beijing liaison office of Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province;
* A two-storey building at the northwestern corner of Taoran Ting Park, in the back wing of the Green Tree Inn, about five hundred meters south of the Supreme Court. This is another “centralized” black jails incarcerating petitioners from all over the country;
* In the basement of the Beijing liaison office of Pingdingshan City, Henan Province, at the southwestern corner of Taoran Ting Park to jail petitioners from Pingdingshan;
* The Tianmei Inn at 131 Canlan Lane, which is across the street from the Nanheng Street stop of the No. 381 bus that leaves Beijing South Train Station. The place is for the detention of petitioners from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province.

(to be cont’d)

Chinese Human Rights Defenders

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