Tales of Torture: Time Spent in Chinese Police Custody

Tales of Torture: Time Spent in Chinese Police Custody

In a report for the South China Morning Post, Verna Yu relays harrowing accounts of torture from Chinese dissidents and activists who had been subjected to a wide range of physical and emotional abuse while in police custody:

During his ordeal, Cai was questioned for long hours while restrained in an “interrogation chair”, which was suspended more than 1.2 metres off the ground, with his hands cuffed onto a wooden board while his feet were left hanging.

[…]Ran Chongbi, a petitioner who was released last month after being held in Beijing’s Fengtai district police detention centre for eight months for “provoking trouble”, said she was handcuffed and had her feet manacled for three months.

[…]Lawyer Yu Wensheng, who was held for 99 days on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” after trying to help a detained supporter of Hong Kong’s Occupy movement, also said he had experienced torture in custody. He claimed he was often interrogated for 16 hours a day, given an inadequate amount of food, often had to sleep on the floor and lived in cramped conditions.

[…] Lawyers and rights groups say abuses in custody are due to unchecked police power and are facilitated by suspects not having access to lawyers and relatives.

[…] Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director of Amnesty International, said torture remained “endemic” in China. Unless the government’s torture curbing measures were matched with reforms to grant defendants’ the right to silence, right to legal representation and lawyers’ access, “they are not going to make a significant difference”, he said. [Source]

Despite government efforts to limit torture and detainee mistreatment, a recent report by Human Rights Watch indicates that abusive interrogations remain prevalent across China. A white paper published by the State Council Information Office earlier this month praised China’s progress on human rights in 2014.

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