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Archive for the ‘Black jail’ Category

China PM’s meet with petitioners a carefully orchestrated political show, Human Rights Watch says

Posted by Author on January 26, 2011


By Susan Stumme (AFP), Jan. 26, 2011-

BEIJING — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has met citizens in Beijing petitioning for redress over unpaid wages, home demolitions and land grabs, state media said Wednesday — the first such meeting in six decades.

Wen’s visit to the State Bureau for Letters and Calls — where petitioners go to file complaints with authorities — highlighted the mounting anger felt by many Chinese living in a one-party state that enforces its will by diktat.

It was the first such trip by a premier since communist China was founded in 1949, the reports said, and it received widespread coverage in print and broadcast media.

But amid rising levels of public protest across China, Wen’s conversations with unhappy citizens were slammed by Human Rights Watch as a political show. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, Black jail, China, Forced Evictions, Human Rights, Land Seizure, Law, News, Official, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China PM’s meet with petitioners a carefully orchestrated political show, Human Rights Watch says

China: Secret “Black Jails” Hide Severe Rights Abuses– Report

Posted by Author on November 11, 2009


Human Rights Watch, November 11, 2009 –

(New York) – Since 2003, large numbers of Chinese citizens have been held incommunicado for days or months in secret, unlawful detention facilities known as “black jails” by state agents who violate detainees’ rights with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.

The 53-page report, “An Alleyway in Hell,” documents how government officials, security forces, and their agents routinely abduct people off the streets of Beijing and other Chinese cities, strip them of their possessions, and imprison them. These black jails are often located in state-owned hotels, nursing homes, and psychiatric hospitals.

“The existence of black jails in the heart of Beijing makes a mockery of the Chinese government’s rhetoric on improving human rights and respecting the rule of law,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should move swiftly to close these facilities, investigate those running them, and provide assistance to those abused in them.”

Human Rights Watch found that it is usually petitioners who are detained in black jails. These are citizens from mainly rural areas who come to Beijing and other provincial capitals seeking redress for abuses ranging from illegal land grabs and government corruption to police torture. Local officials, with the tolerance of public security authorities, establish the black jails as a way to ensure these complainants are detained, punished, and sent home so that these officials will not suffer demerits under rules that impose bureaucratic penalties when there is a large flow of petitioners from their areas.

The Chinese government has flatly denied the existence of black jails. In an April 2009 Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) press conference, a MOFA official responded to an Al Jazeera correspondent’s query about black jails by stating categorically that, “Things like this do not exist in China.” In June 2009, the Chinese government asserted in the Outcome Report of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of China’s human rights record that, “There are no black jails in the country.”

Black jail guards routinely subject these detainees to abuses including physical violence, theft, extortion, threats, intimidation, and deprivation of food, sleep, and medical care.

A 46-year-old former detainee from Jiangsu province, who spent more than a month in a black jail, cried with fear and frustration as she recalled her abduction.”[The abductors] are inhuman…two people dragged me by the hair and put me into the car. My two hands were tied up and I couldn’t move. Then [after arriving back in Jiangsu] they put me inside a room where there were two women who stripped me of my clothes…[and] beat my head [and] used their feet to stomp my body,” the former detainee said.

The majority of the former black jail detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that they were abducted by individuals who provided no legal justification for detention or any information about detainees’ eventual destination or possible length of detention. One 52-year-old petitioner from Liaoning province told Human Rights Watch: “I was detained by retrievers from [my home province of] Liaoning who were in plainclothes and never showed me any identification. I doubt they had any [official] identification. They never told me the reason why they detained me; they never even spoke to me and didn’t tell me how long they were going to detain me for.”

Black jail detainees are also subject to psychological abuse, including threats of sexual violence. A 42-year-old former detainee from Sichuan province was told by her black jail guards that if she attempted to escape they would “… take me to the male prison and let [the inmates] take turns raping [me].” Human Rights Watch also documented black jail guards’ use of sleep and food deprivation and denial of needed medical care as a means of punishment or to control or elicit information from detainees. A 70-year-old former detainee from Hubei province resorted to a three-day hunger strike to compel her captors to allow her access to a doctor.

Minors under the age of 18 have been detained in black jails in blatant violation of China’s commitments to the rights of children. One former detainee interviewed by Human Rights Watch was a 15-year-old girl, abducted from the streets of Beijing while petitioning on behalf of her crippled father, who was locked up in a nursing home in Gansu province for more than two months and subjected to severe beatings.

“To visit these kinds of abuses on citizens who have already been failed repeatedly by the legal system is the height of hypocrisy,” said Richardson……. (more details from Human Rights Watch)

Posted in Black jail, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Petitioner, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Secret “Black Jails” Hide Severe Rights Abuses– Report

China: Petitioner raped by security guard in Beijing’s “black jails”, reporters investigated

Posted by Author on August 10, 2009


Radio Free Asia, Aug. 10, 2009-

HONG KONG— Chinese journalists who reported claims that a security guard raped a petitioner from Anhui province in one of Beijing’s “black jails” have been investigated by authorities, as the woman’s family calls for a full inquiry.

Journalists Chao Getu and Yang Jibin were not currently at work, their colleagues at the Guangzhou-based cutting-edge Southern Weekend newspaper said.

“They made the reporters write an examination report,” said an employee who answered the phone in the newspaper’s editorial department.

“Probably the government thought there was a problem, because it touched on human rights.”

“They’re not working any shifts right now,” he added.

Meanwhile, Anhui petitioner Li Ruirui has been sent to a psychiatric institution for “treatment” by the municipal authorities in her hometown of Jieshi after she alleged that a security guard at an impromptu detention center set up in Beijing’s southern Fengtai district had raped her, Li’s relatives said.

Li, 21, had gone to a local police station to report the rape, which she said left blood on the bed where she was attacked by a security guard at 2 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 5.

The detention center was in Fengtai’s Juyuan Hotel, where officials frequently detain people from outside the capital who travel there to complain about them.

Li said she was raped by a hired security guard known as “Xiao Qiang,” who was well-known to staff there.

Complaint lodged

The case was being handled by the Yangqiao police station in Fengtai.

Civil rights activist Zhao Lianhai said he had lodged a complaint on behalf of Li at the Beijing municipal police department last week, but was detained as soon as he did so.

“We are all here at the east gate of the police station, and we are all discussing the topic thoroughly. Call me again in half an hour,” he said.

Thirty minutes later his telephone was switched off.

Zhao later sent a text message saying he had been detained at the Dongjiaomin police station in the capital and calling on the media to take photographs of the remaining evidence before it disappeared.

An employee who answered the phone at the Juyuan Hotel said the police had told them Li Ruirui’s claims were untrue.

“The police at that station told me that these claims were false,” the receptionist said.

“You can ask them. We don’t know what happened.”

An officer who answered the phone at the Dongjiaomin Alley police station declined to answer questions about Zhao and his companions……. (more from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in Beijing, Black jail, China, Human Rights, Law, News, Politics, Social, Women, World | Comments Off on China: Petitioner raped by security guard in Beijing’s “black jails”, reporters investigated

China city checks petitions into mental hospital

Posted by Author on December 9, 2008


Reuters, Dec. 8, 2008-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Authorities in eastern China have found a creative way to deal with residents with complaints — checking them into a mental hospital and force-feeding them drugs, local media reported on Monday, citing victims.

Authorities in Xintai, a municipal region in eastern Shandong province, had forced at least 18 people with grievances, ranging from police brutality to property disputes, into a local mental hospital, the Beijing News said.

Chinese residents with complaints directed at local governments often travel to “petitions and appeals” offices (also called “letters and visits” offices) in provincial capitals and in Beijing after failing to get redress through lower channels.

Local governments, fearing embarrassment, often send police and other officials to intercept them and forcefully take them back to their home villages.

Sun Fawu, a 57-year-old retired miner from Dagouqiao village in Xintai, was force-fed drugs and injections during a more than 20-day stay at the Xintai Mental Health Hospital in October, the paper said.

“My head was always dizzy and I could not stay up,” the paper quoted Sun as saying. He had campaigned for years to get compensation for spoiled farm land and housing stemming from coal mining near his village.

Sun was released only after he signed a document saying he was mentally ill and “would not petition again,” the paper said……. (more details from Reuters)

Posted in Black jail, China, East China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Petitioner, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on China city checks petitions into mental hospital

“Black Jails” (3): China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention Facilities

Posted by Author on November 5, 2008


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

(previous)

Black jails elsewhere in the country

It is impossible to list them all as CHRD has received numerous reports of black jails in the past year. Below are just some of the examples:

* Minhang Assistance Station, No. 1774 Humin Road, Minhang District, Shanghai:  Minhang Assistance Station is a “centralized” black jail that detains intercepted petitioners from all over China in Shanghai. The jail is made up of small rooms, each fitted with a small window and an iron door and guarded by two guards. Between August 13 and 27, Shanghai petitioner Shen Peilan (沈佩兰) was held there together with about thirty others. According to Shen, the detainees are barred from speaking with each other.

* Yancao Station, Hongtai Yuansigou Village, Yunxi County, Hubei Province: This black jail holds many Hubei petitioners including the petitioner-turned-activist Zheng Dajing (郑大靖), who has been detained since September 2007 after he was kidnapped by Hubei interceptors in Beijing. Zheng have been subjected to repeated beatings and mistreatment. Zheng has also been denied access to medical treatment.

* At an isolated building near Wangcheng Village
, Xiaoduchuan Street Office, Enshi City, Hubei Province: Petitioner and activist Wang Guilan (王桂兰) was detained in this black jail between April 17 and July 29. Wang was sent there after she was intercepted by Beijing police and forcibly escorted back to her hometown, Enshi City, by Hubei interceptors.

* The third floor of Jingtian Restaurant on Yuanda Road, Furong District, Changsha City, Hunan Province: The jail is fitted with a steel door and windows with steel bars and guarded around the clock by a dozen security guards and officials from the local court and the Public Security Bureau (PSB). Petitioners held there are subjected to mistreatment and beatings. On August 4, Li Maofang (李毛芳), a petitioner against forcible demolition from Chaoyanger Village in Furong District, was intercepted by officers from the Beijing Liaison Office of Changsha City while petitioning in Beijing. Li was forcibly sent back to Changsha, where she was first interrogated at Changyanger Village Police Station and then detained at this black jail on Yuanda Road.  Li was frequently punished. For example, she was dragged on the floor for attempting to go out of her room for a walk.

* An isolated villa in the hills of Qipanshan about thirty kilometers from Shenyang City, Liaoning: This black jail has over ten rooms and each detains about eight individuals. Petitioners are held incommunicado, poorly fed and barred from venturing outside of their rooms. Petitioners are released if they sign an agreement promising that they will cease petitioning. Between August 6 and 9, Li Shufen (李树芬), a petitioner from Tiexi District in Shenyang, was detained there after she was kidnapped from her home in Beijing.

(to be cont’d)

Chinese Human Rights Defenders

Posted in Black jail, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Petitioner, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on “Black Jails” (3): China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention Facilities

“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

Posted in Beijing, Black jail, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Petitioner, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on “Black Jails” (2): China’s Police-operated Growing Network of Illegal Detention Facilities