China’s “Sharp Sword for Punishing Corrupt Officials”

A popular saying among Chinese government officials goes: “Fear not the heavens or the earth, but fear the summons of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s Anti-Corruption Office.”

The Dui Hua Foundation has translated and reposted a recent blog post showing, in photos, the inside of a “shuanggui” investigation facility, where Party members accused of corruption are held and interrogated:

People facing shuanggui, which can be translated as “dual designation” and refers to a designated time and place of inquiry, are usually apprehended at their places of work or summoned for “voluntary visits” with investigators. They are then held in an undisclosed location, often a specially designed hotel or office building. There have been reports of psychological manipulation and physical torture during detention and interrogation, such as sleep deprivation, simulated drowning, burning the detainee’s skin with cigarettes, and beating. Since shuanggui is rooted in Party regulations instead of formal legislation, it is a form of extra-legal detention. Because such regulations lack the transparency afforded by a legal system, the extent to which human rights violations are committed during shuanggui is not well documented.

Despite its susceptibility to human rights violations, shuanggui gained the unashamed support of Chu, who assumes the same disposition of his readers. In the post, Chu describes his rare visit to a shuanggui investigation facility. The circumstances that led to the visit are unexplained; however, the trip does result in the publication of what Dui Hua believes to be the first photographic exposé of the inside of a shuanggui investigation facility ….

Sadly, acceptance of shuanggui seems to have seeped into international human rights circles and resulted in a dearth of relevant research and advocacy.

July 6, 2011 9:57 PM
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Categories: Law, Politics