Report details China’s system of allegedly kidnapping, torturing political dissidents

Much of the world is united in its concern about the growing influence of China’s authoritarian regime.

The inhumane lengths to which that nation’s communist leaders will allegedly go to silence activists and dissidents were laid bare in a damning new report by human rights organization Safeguard Defenders. 

“State-sanctioned kidnapping”

As Breitbart reported, the allegations were first made public in June and included the brutal practice of Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location, which is effectively a “system of state-sanctioned kidnapping” under which detainees face physical and psychological torture.

Safeguard Defenders based its report, Locked Up: Inside China’s Secret RSDL Jails, on extensive interviews and testimony from family members and attorneys.

The report was paired with artwork, sketches, and other imagery meant to help readers better envision the terror reportedly faced by those being detained.

As many as 60,000 Chinese citizens and foreigners are believed to have been victimized by the program since it began in about 2013. State agents appear to arrest detainees, who then disappear while being held in an undisclosed location.

Detention allegedly includes constant surveillance and torture, typically with the goal of forcing a confession to the crimes alleged by the state. Those who are subsequently released are believed to be forced to remain silent about what occurred in detention.

“It’s a black jail system”

Radio Free Asia interviewed a Safeguard Defenders researcher about the findings included in the report.

They give the police huge powers to detain people in secret facilities and cut them off from any contact with the outside world, and don’t tell anyone where they are,” said Chen Yanting. “It’s the same as disappearing.”

The researcher said detentions are supposed to be limited to six months, but some detainees have reported being held for up to four years.

“Basically, Chinese police and state security police are arbitrarily disappearing and detaining people without supervision, during which time victims are tortured for ‘confessions,’ so it’s a black jail system,” Chen concluded.

Although the United Nations Human Rights Commission has expressed “grave concern” over reports of human rights violations in China, the organization appears to be following the familiar formula of issuing a carefully worded statement while doing little to address the underlying issue.

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