Torture in [China] [other countries]
Human Trafficking in [China] [other countries]
Street Children in [China] [other countries]
Child Prostitution in [China] [other countries]
Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance
& Other Ill Treatment
In the early years of the 21st Century gvnet.com/torture/China.htm
CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in China. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false. No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.
*** ARCHIVES ***
Former inmates of China’s Muslim ‘reeducation’ camps tell of brainwashing, torture
Simon Denyer, Washington Post, Beijing, 16 May 2018
[accessed 16 May 2018]
Kayrat Samarkand says his only “crime” was being a Muslim who had visited neighboring Kazakhstan. On that basis alone, he was detained by police, aggressively interrogated for three days, then dispatched in November to a “reeducation camp” in China’s western province of Xinjiang for three months.
“Those who disobeyed the rules, refused to be on duty, engaged in fights or were late for studies were placed in handcuffs and ankle cuffs for up to 12 hours,” he said. Further disobedience would result in waterboarding or long periods strapped in agony in a metal contraption known as a “tiger chair,” he said, a punishment he said he suffered.
The disappeared - Accounts from inside China's secret prisons
Chieu Luu and Matt Rivers, Cable News Network CNN, 24 November 2017
[accessed 25 November 2017]
The 709 crackdown - While being a human rights lawyer has never been an easy path in Communist China, forced disappearances of lawyers were rare before 2015.
But on July 9 of that year, prominent Beijing rights lawyer Wang Yu disappeared, along with her husband, also a lawyer, and their teenage son.
The following day, police raided Wang's law firm and detained seven of her colleagues. Seven other rights lawyers were also detained or reported missing, according to the Hong-Kong based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, which has meticulously documented the cases. It became known as the "709 crackdown" -- a reference to the date the first arrests occurred.
Sui was among them. He'd earlier in the day spoken to two foreign media outlets to raise concern about Wang's disappearance.
That night, a security guard called up to Sui's apartment and said his car had been scratched in an accident and when he stepped outside, a group of police quickly whisked him away, said Sui. He wasn't seen again for nearly five months.
China lawyer recounts torture under Xi's 'war on law'
John Sudworth BBC News, Beijing, 26 October 2017
[accessed 27 October 2017]
For Xie Yanyi it was not the physical abuse that was the hardest to endure - although his list of the deliberate cruelties inflicted upon him is long. He was kept in a stress position, crouched on a low stool, from 06:00 in the morning until 22:00 at night. After 15 days like this, he tells me, his legs went numb and he had difficulty urinating.
At times he was denied food and was subjected to gruelling interrogations for "dozens of hours" on end. He was beaten. And he was watched while he slept, with his guards insisting that he kept the same sleeping position all night. But harder to bear than all of this, Mr Xie insists, was the time spent in solitary confinement.
"I was kept alone in a small room and saw no daylight for half a year. I had nothing to read, nothing to do but to sit on that low stool." "People could go mad in that situation. I was isolated from the world. This is torture - the isolation is more painful than being beaten.".
Tiger Chairs and Cell Bosses - Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China
Human Rights Watch, May 13, 2015 -- ISBN: 1-56432-765-5
[accessed 11 August 2015]
Our analysis of court cases and interviews with former detainees show that police torture .and ill-treatment of suspects in pre-trial detention remains a serious concern. Former detainees described physical and psychological torture during police interrogations, including being hung by the wrists, being beaten with police batons or other objects, and prolonged sleep deprivation.
Some said they were restrained for days in so-called “tiger chairs” (used to immobilize suspects during interrogations), handcuffs, or leg irons; one convicted prisoner awaiting review of his death sentence had been handcuffed and shackled for eight years. Some detainees spoke about abuses at the hands of “cell bosses,” fellow detainees used by detention center police as de facto managers of each multi-person cell. In some cases, the abuse resulted in death or permanent physical or mental disabilities. Most suspects who complained of torture to the authorities had been accused of common crimes such as theft. Interviewees said torture is particularly severe in major cases with multiple suspects, such as in organized or triad-related crimes.
In most of the cases we examined, police used torture and other ill-treatment to elicit confessions on which convictions could be secured. Abuses were facilitated by suspects’ lack of access to lawyers, family members, and doctors not beholden to the police.
Chinese police to film interrogations as government promises end to torture following miscarriages of justice
Jamie Fullerton, The Independent, Beijing, 22 February 2015
[accessed 30 March 2015]
The announcement of major new reforms of the police force in China has sparked hopes that police torture and corruption are to be curbed and further miscarriages of justice avoided.
One crucial new rule will require all police interrogations to be filmed. It was announced days before the plan was announced that Nian Bin, a man who spent eight years on death row before being acquitted of a double murder, will receive ¥1.14m (£120,000) in compensation from the state.
In 2008 Mr Nian, a former food stall owner, was found guilty of killing 10-year-old Yu Pan and eight-year-old Yu Han in the village of Aoqian in Fujian province in 2006. He said he confessed after being tortured by the police, and that officers faked reports and concealed evidence.
Former Tibetan nun recalls 'jail torture'
Marianne Barriaux, Agence France-Presse AFP, March 14, 2015
[accessed 27 March 2015]
[accessed 30 December 2017]
Gyaltsen Drolkar spent 12 years in a Chinese jail where she says she was relentlessly tortured, escaping after her release in an arduous trek across the Himalayas to Nepal and then onto Belgium where she now lives.
"We were victims of all sorts of torture, mental, physical," she told AFP, speaking through a translator.
"For instance, they tied me up and hung me up, covered my face, and beat me.
"They used electric instruments. I would faint, and when I came to, they would start again."
"When you suffered a lot and screamed, they put electric instruments inside your mouth because you were shouting."
Others of her fellow detained nuns had dogs set on them, she said, although that never happened to her.
Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014
Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015
[accessed 18 March 2015]
China remains an authoritarian state, one that systematically curbs fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion, when their exercise is perceived to threaten one-party rule. Since a new leadership assumed power in March 2013, authorities have undertaken positive steps in certain areas, including abolishing the arbitrary detention system known as Re-education through Labor (RTL), announcing limited reforms of the hukou system of household registration that has denied social services to China’s internal migrants, and giving slightly greater access for persons with disabilities to the all-important university entrance exam.”
A new wave of torture hits Tibet
James Tapper, Global Post, 28 Sept 2014
[accessed 17 November 2014]
Dawa was taken to one of the many detention centers in Tibet set up by Beijing, where she was allegedly badly abused. She was eventually released in a critical condition with severe head injuries. Family members said she was unable to move or speak.
She was deliberately denied medical help after her torture, according to human rights campaigners, who have been unable to verify her latest condition due to restrictions imposed by the Chinese regime.
The International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group, says there is a growing trend of Chinese officials denying medical care to torture victims, who are released before they die so that they do not become official deaths in custody.
Cases of torture in police detention revealed
Beijing, 22 Sept 2014
[accessed 17 November 2014]
Three police officers and four other people helping them have been convicted of torturing suspects to obtain confessions, in a rare example of a prosecution of the practice.
One of the cases resulted in the death of a man after he had been tortured with electric shocks and hit on the head and face with a shoe, Xinhua News Agency said Sunday. Mustard oil was poured into suspects' mouths in other forms of torture, it said.
Chinese Dissident Gao ‘Utterly Destroyed’ Following Torture in Prison
Parameswaran Ponnudurai, Radio Free Asia RFA, 14 August 2014
[accessed 15 September 2014]
RIGHTS LAWYER - Once a prominent lawyer lauded by China's ruling Communist Party, Gao fell afoul of the government after he defended some of China's most vulnerable people, including Christians, coal miners, and followers of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement. He has spent most of the last decade repeatedly disappearing into secret jails and undergoing torture.
Since his release from the Xinjiang prison, the family has learned some terrible details about how he was treated in prison, Freedom Now said. From the time of his reappearance in Shaya prison in December 2011, Gao was held in a small cell, with minimal light and guards were strictly instructed not to speak with him, the rights group said. He was not allowed any reading materials, television, or access to anyone or anything. He was fed a single slice of bread and piece of cabbage, once a day; as a result, he has lost roughly 22.5 kg (50 pounds) and now weighs about 59 kg (130 pounds), Freedom House said. Gao has lost many teeth from malnutrition, it said. It is believed he was also “repeatedly physically tortured.” “Unfortunately, it is hard to get much more than basic information from him.”
New Book Exposes Inhuman Sexual Torture in Masanjia Labor Camp
Lu Chen, Epoch Times, 28 July 2014
[accessed 1 August 2014]
“As a human being, there’s no reason or excuse to tolerate the atrocities that happened in ‘Masanjia Women’s Labor Camp,’ including the long-time use of a uterine dilator for tube feeding women, making women lie in their own waste, tying up several toothbrushes and twisting them in women’s vaginas, putting pepper powder in women’s vaginas, shocking women’s breasts and vaginas with electric batons, and putting women into male cells …” the author Du wrote on twitter after the release of the book.
The book records in detail the testimonies of dozens of survivors from Masanjia Labor Camp who were victims or eyewitnesses. One of the important sources of the book is a diary written by Liu Hua, a former inmate who witnessed those tortures to Falun Gong practitioners and petitioners.
"They helped to spotlight what we have been saying for years that because of many factors like 300 years of slavery and several military dictatorships, torture has unfortunately become an acceptable and ingrained practice in our country," Salvatti said by telephone.
Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
The Associated Press AP, Beijing, 15 April 2014
[accessed 21 August 2016]
“I got hoisted with my head facing down, feet off the ground and butt in the air,” Tang said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Five or six people were hitting me and kicking me. All I heard was ‘thud, thud, thud,’ throughout.”
Tang is among a group of four Chinese rights lawyers who say they were tortured by police when they were rounded up in late March after protesting outside a detention center in Jiansanjiang, a farming community in northeastern China. They had joined several people shouting to demand information about relatives believed locked up inside because they were members of Falun Gong — banned as a cult though they claim to be a peaceful spiritual movement.
Tibetan Political Prisoner Dies After 'Brutal' Torture in Jail
Radio Free Asia RFA, 21 March 2014
[accessed 21 March 2014]
A Tibetan who was “brutally tortured” and suffered other abuses in jail for challenging Chinese rule has died following his release from custody before the end of his term, a rights group and sources close to the former political prisoner said.
Goshul Lobsang, 43, who had been beaten so severely that he could not even swallow his food, died on March 19 at his family home in Machu (in Chinese, Maqu) county in the Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern China’s Gansu province, the sources said.
“His condition never improved after he was released, and he remained bedridden until he took his last breath on March 19 at around midnight local time,” a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Separately, the Dharamsala, India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) confirmed Lobsang’s death in a statement Friday.
“Chinese police and prison authorities [had] brutally tortured him in detention and in prison,” TCHRD said, adding, “He suffered life-threatening injuries as a result.”
“When Goshul Lobsang died, it hardly surprised his family and friends given his extreme health condition,” TCHRD said.
Tibet: Monk Dies After ‘Torture’
Radio Free Asia RFA
[accessed 17 March 2014]
A Tibetan monk detained last week [28 February 2014] by Chinese police on suspicion of possessing politically sensitive writings has died after being severely beaten in custody, according to a Tibetan source.
Tashi Paljor, 34, a monk at the Wenpo monastery in Chamdo (in Chinese, Changdu) prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), died en route to a hospital after authorities returned him to his family the day after he was detained, a local resident told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Wednesday [5 March 2014].
“He was taken away by Chinese authorities at around 3:00 p.m. on 28 February , and he was so badly beaten afterward that when he was handed over to his relatives on March 1 , he could not talk,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“His family rushed him to the local Chamdo county hospital, but unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries and died on the way between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. that same day.”
Paljor was seized by police on Friday [28 February 2014] when he arrived at a residence in Wenpo village where authorities had found banned recordings and writings by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and exile political leader Lobsang Sangay, the source said.
“It was on this pretext that Tashi Paljor was detained and taken away,” he said.
“It was very clear that his death was caused by torture suffered in detention,” he said, adding, “He was a young and healthy man before he was detained, but he could not even speak when he was released into the care of his family.”
In China, Graft Confessions are Extracted Via Brutal Torture
Matt, 1913 intel, 10 March 2014
[accessed 13 March 2014]
[accessed 30 December 2017]
Zhou Wangyan begged them to stop. But the men taunted him and kept pushing. Then, with a loud “ka-cha,” his left thigh bone snapped. The sickening crunch reverberated in his mind, nearly drowning out his howls of pain and the frantic pounding of his heart. “My leg is broken,” Zhou told the interrogators. According to Zhou, they ignored his pleas. Zhou, land bureau director for the city of Liling, was confined in the party’s secret detention system at a compound in central Hunan, touted as a model center for anti-corruption efforts. Nobody on the outside could help him, because nobody knew where he was.
In a rare act of public defiance, Zhou and three other party members in Hunan described to The Associated Press the months of abuse they endured less than two years ago, in separate cases, while in detention. Zhou said he was deprived of sleep and food, nearly drowned, whipped with wires and forced to eat excrement. The others reported being turned into human punching bags, strung up by the wrists from high windows, or dragged along the floor, face down, by their feet.
Chinese Youth Sues Over Alleged Police Torture
Didi Kirsten Tatlow, Sinosphere, The New York Times, 15 November 2013
[accessed 16 Nov 2013]
When the police detained Yang Zhong, 16, for the crime of “spreading online rumors” after he raised questions on his Sina Weibo account about the mysterious death of a local karaoke club manager, they took him to their headquarters in Zhangjiachuan, in the northwestern province of Gansu.
There, Mr. Yang said, they tied him to an interrogation chair used for criminal suspects and four or five officers beat him, kicking him, hitting him about the ears and shaking his head to and fro. “On and off for two hours, from about 3 o’clock until after 5 that day,” he said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Yang had been sentenced to seven days of administrative detention. But six days later, on Sept. 22, he was released, as protests over his detention surged online, though no one knew then about the alleged torture.
As Mr. Yang left, he said, the police warned him: Don’t tell anyone about the beatings.
“I want to make the police who beat me responsible. What they did was illegal. It was definitely not O.K.,” he said.
Prisoners Are Subjected To 'The Big Hang' And 'The Death Bed' At China's Notorious Re-Education Labor Camps
Mamta Badkar, Business Insider, 15 November 2013
[accessed 15 Nov 2013]
The 2010 United Nations Report submitted to Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, included the following description in his 2010 Report:
“On 2 September 2008, Mr. Yu’s term was extended for another year. He was sent back to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in October, and has been held in solitary confinement since then. At the camp, Mr. Yu was forced to sign a suicide letter before he was beaten, including on his head with a steel baton, hung and shocked with electric batons. As a result, he bled severely and lost consciousness for more than a week. Repeated requests by his family to visit him have been denied.”
On June 4, 2002, without any legal recourse, cause, or documentation, Ms. Wang was taken to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp.
During the day, more than four collaborators participated in the torture of Falun Gong practitioners. They interrogated Ms. Wang and tried to force her to give up practicing Falun Gong. They made her squat, remain in a kneeling position, or stand still for a very long time. Typical torture methods included hanging her up by her hands, which were handcuffed behind her back, or forcing her to stand still or squat for a long time. Another time, two guards from Benxi, holding electric batons, shouted, "We will see who is tougher!" The two men tore Ms. Wang's shirt open and shocked her breasts with two electric batons for 30 minutes. Afterwards, they made her stand still for the entire night. Her breasts were disfigured and became infected. Finally, Ms. Wang gained her release. Later her family found out that the Masanjia camp staff believed that she had only two months to live.
Water torture killed Wenzhou official, lawsuit claims
Agence France-Presse AFP, 4 Sept 2013
[accessed 21 Aug 2016]
A Chinese official was allegedly drowned by investigators who stripped him naked and held him down in a bathtub as they attempted to extract a confession to corruption, state-run media reported.
They only stopped when Yu, 42, the chief engineer of a state-owned company in eastern Wenzhou, stopped struggling, the report said. He died in a hospital a few hours later.
Relatives also found multiple bruises on his body after his death in April, it added. He had been detained since early March over suspected wrongdoings in a land deal, the report said.
“Yu Qiyi was a strong man before he was detained... but was skinny when he died,'' the dead man's wife Wu Qian was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “He was bruised internally and externally during the 38 days [in detention].
Tales of torture, death as 'corrupt' officials targeted
Malcolm Moore, New Zealand Herald, 25 June 2013
[accessed 25 June 2013]
[accessed 21 July 2017]
Since a major anti-corruption campaign was started by the President, Xi Jinping, at the end of last year, glimpses have emerged of the torture that wayward party members are subjected to, sometimes fatally. The system is run by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, an arm of the party that operates above the law. Since January, about 2300 officials have been "disciplined" by the system known as "shuanggui".
Guan was grabbed by agents from his office and interrogated for seven days at a secret detention centre over 42,000 yuan ($8832) of alleged bribes. "He was kept in room 1118 and all the interrogation was carried out there. He said he had not been allowed to sleep for four days and from the surveillance video they allowed us to see it is very clear that his right eye was bruised and he had difficulty standing," said his wife, Wang Jinping, an economics professor. Later, Wang was called to Dandong No 1 Hospital. Her husband had broken his coccyx and gone deaf in one ear.
In the past decade, hundreds of officials have committed suicide or died while under "shuanggui". In the past four months, three officials have died in suspicious circumstances.
Falun Gong practitioners arrested for fabricating torture pictures
Xinhua News Agency, Qingdao, 3 June 2013
[accessed 4 June 2013]
[accessed 21 July 2017]
Police in the coastal city of Qingdao on Monday announced the arrests of 16 Falun Gong practitioners who allegedly staged pictures depicting scenes of torture.
Acting on tip-offs, border police raided a residence in Dongnvgu Mountain Village of Qingdao's Chengyang District on May 2, where they found Falun Gong practitioners led by suspect Lu Xueqin acting out torture scenes.
Some suspects were found on the ground with red-colored fluids on their bodies, pretending they had been tortured. Some were acting as the ones carrying out acts of torture, holding batons and sticks in the air, while others pretended to help them by pinning down the "victims." All of them had their pictures taken by their peers, according to police.
Authorities reject report on torture at women's labour camp in Liaoning
Chris Luo, South China Morning Post, 23 April 2013
[accessed 23 April 2013]
Liaoning authorities have lashed back at a news report alleging torture at a women's labour camp, calling the piece phony and containing “malicious attack rhetoric” characteristic of the outlawed Falun Gong group.
A 10-day investigation by a joint panel in northern China's Liaoning province concluded that the article “distorted facts and applied a large amount of overseas Falun Gong malicious attack rhetoric", said Xinhua on Friday. The report gave one-sided and false accounts and had “serious inconsistencies with the truth", the state-owned news agency said, citing the investigation results.
Liaoning hit back, saying its investigation found that allegations of corporal punishment were “malicious fabrications”. Some prisoners were treated with measures that were “absolutely righteous", said the investigation, which also acknowledged that inmates were restrained only when they broke prison rules or went on hunger strikes.
Medical examinations also ruled out an inmate’s claim in the Lens article that she was forced to do intense labour even though she was heavily pregnant and close to her expected due date, the investigation said. The panel found the woman was not pregnant at all.
The investigation team also found prisoners’ meal rations, medical treatment, working hours and stipends were all in line with guidelines from the Ministry of Justice, Xinhua said.
The joint panel - consisting of members of the Department of Justice, provincial bureau of labour camp administration and local procuratorial organs - interrogated 116 prison officials and 55 inmates, pored over 73 relevant case documents, conducted field investigation and extracted 663 copies of testimonies, Xinhua said.
Reporter Yuan Ling, who wrote the Lens article, on Monday challenged the government investigation results on his microblog.
Women 'chained up and tortured' in labour camp
Chris Luo, South China Morning Post, 9 April, 2013
[accessed 9 April 2013]
Masanjia female labour camp, near Shenyang, houses nearly all the female forced-labour prisoners in Liaoning province and is one of over 300 labour camps in China, where police can imprison people for up to four years without trial, a practice condemned by critics as arbitrary and unconstitutional.
The Lens report revealed that women prisoners had frequently undergone torture for not obeying prison officials, according to the prisoners’ accounts.
Labour camp administration laws stipulate police officials can only employ electric rods during prison breaks or riots or if they are assaulted by prisoners. But the report claimed prison guards had used electric rods regularly to torture prisoners, leading in cases to disfigurement and nerve damage.
“It was extremely painful, causing my body to shake,” one woman recalled. Another woman who had an electric rod pressed on her tongue said, “I could not stand still when the electric current flowed through my tongue. It was like being pricked by needles.”
Use of handcuffs was reportedly widespread with prisoners handcuffed to iron bars or gates for prolonged periods of time, sometimes more than a week. Some prisoners said they were handcuffed with both hands above their heads and unable to touch the ground with their feet.
Chinese Judge Calls Himself "Hooligan" in Torture Video
New Tang Dynasty Television NTD, 27 Feb 2013
[accessed 6 January 2015]
In the video, shot between April and June 2011, Xu is stripped naked and hung up, his nose and mouth are bleeding, and a judge is cursing him loudly. His ribs are broken and his teeth knocked out.
[Judge]: “Are you going to write confession? No?”
[Xu Chongyang, Wuhan Businessman]: “You want to fabricate evidence by forcing me. I won’t do it… what kind of judge are you?!”
“You know, when I wear this robe I am a judge. When I take it off I am a hooligan. You don’t want to cooperate… you want to see Hu Jintao? You want to go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? I will let you walk vertically, but will throw you out horizontally.”
This is just one of multiple instances when Xu says he was tortured. Beijing police and the Wuhan judge were involved. Sometimes dozens of people were present.
[Hu Jia, Beijing Activist]:
“They record this, sometimes for filing, sometimes for watching it themselves, just for fun! Kind of a joy from sadism. This is a common practice among CCP thugs. No matter what position they have—policemen, security guards, judges or staff for dismissing petitioners, they hide such videos very carefully, because once exposed, they become evidence of crimes they committed. To obtain such videos is very, very difficult.”
In April 2011, Xu was detained for exposing forced demolition in the Zhongnanhai area in Beijing. After being tortured and disappearing into secret detention, he was formally arrested.
Police accused him of masterminding the so-called “Chinese Jasmine Revolution” and being a “US spy.” That’s why he was tortured into giving a confession.
Xu says during his 18-month prison term, Beijing police used psychedelic drugs on him, causing his hair to fall out and skin ulcers to form. They locked his feet with chains and handcuffed his hands, continuing to torture him. He still cannot dress himself and has difficulty breathing.
The state of the world's human rights
Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2012
[accessed 20 Jan 2014]
ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES - The number of people subjected to enforced disappearances grew. Many were held in secret detention, including Hada, a Mongolian political activist. Many others remained or were placed under illegal house arrest. They included Liu Xia, wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, and Zheng Enchong, a housing rights lawyer from Shanghai.
On 30 August, the authorities released draft revisions of China’s Criminal Procedure Law, the first proposed changes since 1997. Notwithstanding some positive amendments, the revisions proposed to legalize detention of individuals for up to six months without notification of their family or friends. Many legal commentators regarded this as a legalization of enforced disappearances. Prohibitions against the use of illegal evidence, including coerced confessions and other evidence obtained through torture and other ill-treatment, were incorporated into the draft revisions. However, torture remained pervasive in places of detention, as government policies, such as ones requiring prison and detention centre staff to “transform” religious dissidents to renounce their faith, fostered a climate conducive to torture.
On 16 December, Gao Zhisheng, a well-known human rights lawyer who had been subjected to enforced disappearance on and off for nearly three years, was sent to prison to serve his three-year sentence for “repeatedly violating his probation”, just days before his five-year probation was due to end. During his disappearance he was believed to have been in official custody.
Rules to stem police torture of suspects
Macau Daily Times, 31 May 2010
[accessed 21 August 2016]
China has issued new rules to halt the use of police torture to extract confessions from suspects following outrage over a case in which a man was jailed for 10 years after a coerced admission. The regulations ban courts from accepting confessions obtained via torture or other “illegal” means and lay out guidelines for judges to better scrutinise evidence.
The rules were issued after a convicted murderer in central China’s Henan province was freed in early May after more than 10 years in prison when his “victim” reappeared in perfect health. Zhao Zuohai, 57, caused a national stir after he revealed that police tortured a murder confession out of him by beating him with sticks, setting fireworks off over his head and depriving him of sleep for about a month, state media reports said earlier.
Zhao had been arrested after a neighbour went missing following a fight between the two men over a woman. Zhao was charged when a headless, decomposed body was found 18 months later. “They taught me how to plead guilty. They told me to repeat what they said, and I had to, or I would be beaten,” the state-controlled China Daily quoted Zhao as saying. “They wrote down what I repeated and said it was my confession.”
Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture
U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment -- Doc. CAT/C/CHN/CO/4 (2008)
[accessed 24 February 2013]
Widespread torture and ill-treatment and insufficient safeguards during detention
11. Notwithstanding the State party’s efforts to address the practice of torture and related problems in the criminal justice system, the Committee remains deeply concerned about the continued allegations, corroborated by numerous Chinese legal sources, of routine and widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of suspects in police custody, especially to extract confessions or information to be used in criminal proceedings. Furthermore, the Committee notes with concern the lack of legal safeguards for detainees, including:
(a) Failure to bring detainees promptly before a judge, thus keeping them in prolonged police detention without charge for up to 37 days or in some cases for longer periods;
(b) Absence of systematic registration of all detainees and failure to keep records of all periods of pretrial detention;
(c) Restricted access to lawyers and independent doctors and failure to notify detainees of their rights at the time of detention, including their rights to contact family members;
(d) Continued reliance on confessions as a common form of evidence for prosecution, thus creating conditions that may facilitate the use of torture and ill-treatment of suspects, as in the case of Yang Chunlin. Furthermore, while the Committee appreciates that the Supreme Court has issued several decisions to prevent the use of confessions obtained under torture as evidence before the courts, Chinese Criminal procedure law still does not contain an explicit prohibition of such practice, as required by article 15 of the Convention;
(e) The lack of an effective independent monitoring mechanism on the situation of detainees (arts. 2, 11 and 15).
As a matter of urgency, the State party should take immediate steps to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment throughout the country.
As part of this, the State party should implement effective measures promptly to ensure that all detained suspects are afforded, in practice, all fundamental legal safeguards during their detention. These include, in particular, the right to have access to a lawyer and an independent medical examination, to notify a relative, and to be informed of their rights at the time of detention, including about the charges laid against them, as well as to appear before a judge within a time limit in accordance with international standards. The State party should also ensure that all suspects under criminal investigation are registered.
The State party should take the measures necessary to ensure that, both in legislation and in practice, statements that have been made under torture are not invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. The State party should review all cases in which persons were convicted on the basis of coerced confessions with a view to releasing those who were wrongly convicted.
The State party should establish consistent and comprehensive standards for independent monitoring mechanisms of all places of detention, ensuring that any body established, at the local or the national level, has a strong and impartial mandate and adequate resources.
Conditions of detention and deaths in custody
12. While the Committee takes note of the information from the State party on conditions of detention in prisons, it remains concerned about reports of abuses in custody, including the high number of deaths, possibly related to torture or ill-treatment, and about the lack of investigation into these abuses and deaths in custody. While the Committee notes that the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture has found the availability of medical care in the detention facilities he visited to be generally satisfactory (E/CN.4/2006/6/Add.6, para. 77), it also notes with concern new information provided about inter alia the lack of treatment for drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS and regrets the lack of statistical data on the health of detainees (art. 11).
The State party should take effective measures to keep under systematic review all places of detention, including existing and available health services. Furthermore, the State party should take prompt measures to ensure that all instances of deaths in custody are independently investigated and that those responsible for such deaths resulting from torture, ill-treatment or willful negligence are prosecuted. The Committee would appreciate a report on the outcome of such investigations, where completed, and about what penalties and remedies were provided.
Administrative detention, including “re-education through labour”
13. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation to the State party to consider abolishing all forms of administration detention (A/55/44, para.127). The Committee remains concerned at the extended use of all forms of administrative detention, including “re-education through labour”, for individuals who have never had their case tried in court, nor the possibility of challenging their administrative detention. It is also concerned with the failure to investigate allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in “re-education through labour” (RTL) facilities, in particular against members of certain religious and ethnic minority groups. While the State party has indicated that the RTL system has recently been reformed and that further reform of the system is currently being envisaged, the Committee is concerned with repeated delays, despite calls from Chinese scholars to abolish the system (arts. 2 and 11).
The State party should immediately abolish all forms of administrative detention, including “re-education through labour”. The State party should provide more information, including current statistics, on those currently subject to administrative detention, the reasons for their detention, the means of challenging such detention and the safeguards put in place to prevent torture and ill-treatment in RTL facilities.
Secret detention centres
14. The Committee is concerned by allegations that secret detention facilities, including the so-called “black jails”, exist and are used to detain petitioners, such as those seeking to come to the capital, such as Wang Guilan. Detention in such facilities constitutes per se disappearance. Detainees are allegedly deprived of fundamental legal safeguards, including an oversight mechanism in regard to their treatment and review procedures with respect to their detention. The Committee is also concerned over other unacknowledged detention facilities such as those where prominent disappeared persons have been reportedly confined (arts. 2 and 11).
The State party should ensure that no one is detained in any secret detention facility. Detaining persons in such conditions constitutes, per se, a violation of the Convention. The State party should investigate, disclose the existence of any such facilities and the authority under which they have been established and the manner in which detainees are treated, and make reparations to the victims of enforced disappearances where appropriate.
Common methods of torture and abuse in the People's Republic of China
Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM), ISHR.org > Reports at Human Rights > Methods of torture in the People's Republic of China
[accessed 21 August 2016]
Beatings and kicks / Contortion and excessive twisting of limbs / Being forced to remain in a painful position / Hanging / Electric shocks / Forced feeding / Burning and scalding / Hunger, thirst, sleep deprivation / Sexual violence / Isolation / Stabbings and lacerations / Psychiatric abuse / Suffocation / Abuse with animals / Further methods of torture and abuse /
BEATINGS AND KICKS - Almost every detainee in China has to, or has had to, suffer being beaten and kicked. This method of abuse, by far the most common, is often especially noticeable after release from detainment, as some victims possess extensive bruises and injuries on their bodies. However, a range of torture victims have reported that in the weeks prior to their release from camps or prisons they were no longer tormented by beatings and other methods of torture which leave obvious external marks. Beatings, like other methods of torture, inflict wounds upon victims which in most cases do not receive any medical attention, or receive it far too late. Infections and more serious pain caused further abuse are the consequence.
South Korea Repeats Call to Investigate Torture Claim
Choe Sang-Hun, The New York times - Asia Pacific, Seoul, South Korea, July 31, 2012
[accessed 9 January 2013]
Mr. Kim, 49, who has said he was trying to help North Korean refugees in China, was arrested with three other activists from the South on March 29. They were held for 114 days on charges of endangering national security until they were expelled on July 20.
“They put a cattle prod, wrapped in electric coils, inside my clothes and placed it on my chest and back,” Mr. Kim told Chosun Ilbo, a mass-circulation daily newspaper in South Korea. “It felt like being continuously electrocuted. I could smell my flesh burning,” he said. “They also threatened several times to send me to North Korea.”
Mr. Choi, a South Korean human rights advocate who spent nearly four years in a Chinese prison starting in 2003 for trying to smuggle 80 North Korean refugees out of China by boat, said that Chinese inmates repeatedly beat him and that he was injected with something that made his legs “wooden” so he could not walk without help.
Another activist, Chung Peter, said on the same TV Chosun program that “sleep deprivation” and “letting you hear the sound of torture from the next room” were standard interrogation tactics when he was held for a year and a half starting in 2003 for helping North Korean refugees.
Inside Bo Xilai's dungeon: victims reveal ruthless torture
Keith Zhai, South China Morning Post, Chongqing, 19 December, 2012
[accessed 9 January 2013]
In mid-July 2009, 21-year-old Li Jun, freshly graduated from an American university, tried to call her father in Chongqing from a Greek restaurant in downtown New York. She could not reach him but thought, "that's all right, maybe he's in a meeting".
In fact, her father Li Qiang, once one of the southwestern municipality's most successful businessmen, had been shackled to a metal chair by police mounting the mainland's largest anti-triad campaign in decades. A stocky man with a round face and big eyes, he was forced to sit in the straight-backed, custom-made chair which was too small for him, for 76 days. In addition he had heavy leg irons around his ankles and his wrists were in manacles, his daughter and a fellow prisoner said. A black robe was often draped over his head most of the time. For the first five days and six nights he was not given any food or water, or allowed to go to the bathroom.
Most of the people she called were shackled to the same kind of chair as her father at that moment, undergoing interrogation in various motels in rural parts of Chongqing, leased by the police and used as torture centres during the crackdown.
Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
[accessed 9 January 2013]
TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Since the crackdown on Falun Gong began in 1999, estimates of Falun Gong adherents who died in custody due to torture, abuse, and neglect ranged from several hundred to a few thousand (see section 2.c.). In October Falun Gong adherents Liu Boyang and Wang Shouhui of Changchun, Jilin Province, reportedly died in custody after being tortured by police.
During the year police continued to use torture to coerce confessions from criminal suspects, although the government made efforts to address the problem of torture. A one-year campaign by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) to punish officials who infringed on human rights, including coercing confessions through torture or illegally detaining or mistreating prisoners, ended in May. The campaign uncovered more than 3,700 cases of official abuse.
A series of wrongful convictions in murder cases came to light in which innocent persons were convicted on the basis of coerced confessions. Among them, Nie Shubin of Hebei Province, who was executed in 1995 for a murder-rape, was exonerated in January after the true killer confessed. She Xianglin of Hubei Province was exonerated in March of murdering his wife in 1994 after she reappeared alive and well. The SPP campaign resulted in the prosecution of 1,924 officers and 1,450 convictions. Among them, a Gansu Province police officer was sentenced to life in prison in January for torturing a suspect to death. In June three Yunnan Province police officers were sentenced to one year in prison for torturing a suspect and rendering him disabled. At the campaign's conclusion, the SPP announced that preventing coerced confessions was its most important supervisory priority. Scholars advocated reform of police interrogation practices. In one highly publicized experiment, officials ordered audio and videotaping of police interrogations. Suspects in a few locations were offered the opportunity to have a lawyer present during interrogation.
During the year there were reports of persons, including Falun Gong adherents, sentenced to psychiatric hospitals for expressing their political or religious beliefs (see section 1.d.). Some were reportedly forced to undergo electric shock treatments or forced to take psychotropic drugs.
Petitioners and other activists sentenced to administrative detention also reported being tortured. Such reports included being strapped to beds or other devices for days at a time, beaten, forcibly injected or fed medications, and denied food and use of toilet facilities. A petitioner reportedly choked to death from force-feeding in a police-run psychiatric hospital in Beijing, according to a released inmate. Mao Hengfeng, a Shanghai housing petitioner who reportedly suffered various forms of torture while in reeducation-through-labor, was released in September, but authorities continued to monitor and harass her.
Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 3 Civil Liberties: 3 Status: Partly Free
[accessed 9 January 2013]
Though constitutionally recognized, religious freedom is sharply restricted. It deteriorated further in 2008 as the CCP used the pretext of ensuring Olympic security to crack down on minorities. All religious groups are required to register with the government, which regulates their activities via state-sponsored associations. Members of unauthorized groups face harassment, imprisonment, and torture.
The CCP controls the judiciary and directs verdicts and sentences, particularly in politically sensitive cases. In 2008, a party veteran with no formal legal training was appointed as chief justice. Despite recent criminal procedure reforms, trials—which often amount to mere sentencing hearings—are frequently closed, and few criminal defendants have access to counsel in practice. Torture remains widespread, with coerced confessions routinely admitted as evidence and police conduct searches without warrants.
Though in most cases security forces are under direct civilian control, they work closely with the party leadership at each level of government, which contributes to frequent misuse of authority. Cases of extrajudicial and politically motivated murder, torture, and arbitrary arrest continue to be reported.
Human Rights Overview
Human Rights Watch
[accessed 24 February 2013]
The Chinese Communist Party governs China as an authoritarian, one-party state. The Party sharply curbs freedom of expression, association, and religion. It equates criticism of the Party with “subversion” and rejects judicial independence and media freedom. The Party also extensively censors the Internet and maintains highly repressive policies in the ethnic minority regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. Chinese citizens have become more and more rights-conscious and increasingly challenge official abuses including, land seizures, forced evictions, and corruption. A small rights defense (weiquan) movement persists despite risks including surveillance, detention, arrest, enforced disappearance, and torture.
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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- China", http://gvnet.com/torture/China.htm, [accessed <date>]
Torture in [China] [other countries]
Human Trafficking in [China] [other countries]
Street Children in [China] [other countries]
Child Prostitution in [China] [other countries]