In a sign that the concept of "black jails" to hold petitioners in extralegal detention may be losing support among Chinese authorities, the Shanghai Daily is reporting that Beijing police are investigating claims by former detainees:
A woman surnamed Zhou from Jiangsu Province said she was suddenly pushed and crammed into a minibus by four unidentified men, who refused to tell her the reason, after she left a government building in Beijing on July 4, The Beijing News reported yesterday.
Zhou said she and two other women in the vehicle were deprived of mobile phones and handbags before they were driven to a residential building in Changping District and locked up. Zhou said she saw at least 50 people, including a white-haired elderly woman, who were held captive in the poorly furnished apartment.
"It was basically 'black jail,'" Zhou said, adding that they were given inadequate food and hardly slept at night as there was no bed or pillow.
The woman reportedly said she and other detainees were beaten by the guards if they didn't behave well.
After a four-day detention, Zhou was released due to her "good behavior."