Accounts From Inside China’s Secret Prisons

Accounts From Inside China’s Secret Prisons.

Black jails are a network of extralegal detention centres established by Chinese security forces and private security companies across the People’s Republic of China in recent years. They are used mainly to detain, without trial, petitioners, who travel to seek redress for grievances unresolved at the local level. The right to petition was available in ancient China and was later revived by the communists, with important differences. Black jails have no official or legal status, differentiating them from detention centres, the criminal arrest process, or formal sentencing to jail or labour camps. They are in wide use in Beijing, in particular, and serve as holding locations for the many petitioners who travel to the central Office of Letters and Calls to petition. The jails were introduced to replace the Custody and Repatriation system after it was abolished in 2003 following the notorious Sun Zhigang incident. The existence of such jails is acknowledged by at least part of the CCP officialdom, following a police raid of one of them and criminal trial of the company running it. According to human rights groups, black jails are a growing industry. The system includes so-called “interceptors,” or “blackguards,” often sent by local or regional authorities, who abduct petitioners and hold them against their will or bundle them onto a bus to send them back to where they came from. Non-government sources have estimated the number of black jails in operation to be between 7 and 50. The facilities may be located in state-owned hotels, hostels, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, residential buildings, or government ministry buildings, among others. Credit: Wikipedia.

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