Abstract. Since 2003, Many Chinese Citizens Have Been Detained

1700 WordsApr 7, 20177 Pages
Abstract Since 2003, many Chinese citizens have been detained in extralegal detention facilities throughout the country known as “black jails.” Detainees within these jails, which are created for the purpose of detaining petitioners who seek rectification for problems at local and provincial levels of government, are subjected to a multitude of physical and psychological abuses. This paper analyzes the conditions that caused these detention facilities to appear, assesses the abuses and rights violations perpetuated by these jails, and offers several potential steps that American policymakers can take to address this issue.Introduction In 2003, China abolished a state-sanctioned system of extrajudicial detention known as “shourong.” Since…show more content…
In recent years, the central government has prioritized reducing the number of petitioners that come to Beijing. In order to do this, the State Bureau for Letters and Visits has begun to penalize officials that oversee ineffective local and regional petition offices. These penalties are levied when these officials fail to resolve petitioners’ complaints before they advance them to higher-level offices; the punishments themselves can range from mild reprimands to career-jeopardizing public criticisms. As a result of these penalties, officials have a financial incentive to curb the flow of petitioners to Beijing. In response to this financial incentive, local and provincial-level officials have developed a system of extralegal detention to ensure that petitioners are intercepted and secretly detained before they are detected seeking legal redress in Beijing. Once petitioners are abducted, they are transported to black jails. Government employees are sometimes involved in this process, but in most instances, abductions and detentions are carried out by private security forces that are paid by local and provincial governments. Private enterprises are also involved in the operation of these extrajudicial detention facilities as

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