China’s Black Jail Industry
While there have been promising signs of change for those who travel to Beijing to present their grievances, there are still cases of petitioners being detained in China’s unofficial black jails. Chinese state media report on the black jail industry, focusing on a recent case where ten people were imprisoned for illegally detaining petitioners. Some argue that the chief conspirators are still at large, from The Global Times:
The recent Spring Festival holiday was the gloomiest ever for 70-year-old Yuzhou villager Wang Yuzhu. At a time when most Chinese return home for family reunions, his son, Wang Gaowei, was sent to jail by the Chaoyang district court on February 5, just five days before the start of Spring Festival.
Song Xuefang said she appeared at Wang’s trial last November, and “remembers clearly Wang admitted to the judge that a man named Bai Zhongxing hired him.”
This matches Wang’s father’s words, who recalled his son was hired by a man surnamed Bai. Bai Zhongxing, the official from Yuzhou Bureau of Letters and Calls who hired Wang Gaowei, is a well-known figure to Yuzhou petitioners as many of them know of Bai’s connections to the black jail.
That liaison officials and local letters and calls bureaus are profiting through illegal detention centers has become an open secret now. According to Yu Jianrong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, there are two major modes of cooperation between letters and calls bureaus and black jails.
Read more about black jails, via CDT.