“We’ll Beat You to Death With Impunity”: Secret Detention & Abuse of Women in China’s “Black Jails” A report by
Inside “Black Jails” • Detention facilities used to hold individuals without any due legal process, often operated by government officials or hired guards. “They warned me that if I told the truth about b w lac h k a
t ja h i a ls p a p f e e n r e I d g i o n t t o h u e t
, they’ll cause trouble for my child.” -
Chen Chunhong of Jiangsu Province, detainee • Typical y guarded by males, women are more likely than men to encounter physical, sexual, and verbal abuses and threats in black jails. “Some were pulled into bathrooms, stripped naked, and doused with cold water, and thugs brazenly kicked female pettoners in the stomach.” - Zhang Wanzhen, of Zhejiang Province, detainee
Who Is Affected? 1 7 in cases of deprivaton of liberty or detainee mistreatment since January 2012 involves a black jail, according to data compiled by CHRD. 80% of black jail detainees are women. Black jails often detainee the most vulnerable women in Chinese society: elderly women, women in fragile health, impoverished rural migrant women, women who lost land or were victmized by forced evicton, women with disabilites, and mothers with their infant or other young children.
Beatings & Torture
Chen Chunhong (陈春红) was tortured in Wang Delan (王德兰) died in a black a black jail in Jiangsu Province in August jail in Hubei Province in August 2013, 2013. Guards made her do the reportedly from a beatng by guards. “airplane,” tying her hands behind her Authorities, who claimed that Wang back and lifting them high into the air. At committed suicide, cremated the body one point, a local official slapped Chen, over her family’s objecton. causing her to bleed from her mouth.
Sexual Assaults In February 2013, interceptors from Henan A male guard raped Henan Province attacked Song Qiaozhi (宋巧枝) in pettoner Li Ruirui (李蕊蕊) in a a restroom at the Majialou “relief services black jail in Beijing in August center” in Beijing. One man stripped away 2009. He later received an 8-year all her clothes, and Song had to use only a sentence—a rare case of black jail blanket to cover herself. abuse that was prosecuted.
Types of “Black Jails”
Black jails can be temporary holding cells set up in buildings and out of public view, as well as facilities the government has “formalized” to project an appearance of legitimacy, with some supposedly providing “education” or “services” for petitioners. In November 2013, activists uncovered a black jail inside the Jiruigong Hotel in Beijing, set up by A facility designated for “legal education” officials from Jilin Province. in Qianjiang City, Hubei Province.
Deprivation of Basic Necessiti es Zhang Dinghua (张定花), a petitioner from Lianyungang City in Jiangsu (on right), was held in black jails three times between March 2012 and January 2013. Zhang was not fed nor given a blanket despite cold temperatures. She was also deprived of sleep, and when guards notced that she had dozed off, they poured hot sauce on Zhang’s eyes to wake her up. Petitioner Feng Lanmei (冯兰美) was given very little to eat or drink, and she was not allowed to bathe or provided a change of underpants during a detention in March and April 2013. For a stretch of five days, she only had very thin clothes to wear and slept on a bed frame without a mattress or blanket.
Deprivation of Medical Treatment
Liu Yinzhi (刘银芝), a petitioner Zhao Chunqin (赵春琴), from Zhenjiang from Hubei Province, was refused City, Jiangsu Province, was held in a black medicaton when she suffered from jail without access to proper medical diarrhea and other illnesses while treatment in March 2013 after a violent locked up in a black jail in Wuhan City violent abduction. Over several days, her for 20 days in September 2012. condition—a head wound, abdominal pain, and bloody urine—worsened.
Impunity for Officials, Light Punishments for Abusers Black jail victims in Wuhan City, Hubei Province look to file a collective lawsuit. Most of the few reported convictions for black jail abuses have led to light sentences. The lack of independence of Chinese law- enforcement and judicial bodies leaves women even more susceptible to violations.
Desperate for Freedom, Deprived of Justce In October 2013, Hubei petitioner Zhou Dazhen, who was deprived of food, water, and medicine, went to dangerous extremes to free herself, setting ablaze the bed and blankets in the room where she was being held. She was only after signing a guarantee promising not to petition further. Two female victims of black jails holding a banner saying “Protest the Detention of Petitioners in Black Jails.” With so little possibility for redress once they are freed, individuals held in the unlawful facilites ofen take to the streets to protest their use and the lack of true channels for justice.
Where Are Black Jails?
Locations of black jails for cases in CHRD’s report. Such facilities exist in every province and municipality in China. BEIJING MUNICIPALITY HEILONGJIANG PROVINCE “Relief services centers” are sites of countless abuses against women. HEBEI PROVINCE Woman and daughter SHAANXI PROVINCE held in blacks jails for nearly 6 straight years, since November 2008. TIANJIN MUNICIPALITY HENAN PROVINCE SHANDONG PROVINCE HUBEI PROVINCE JIANGSU PROVINCE Lawyer and activists documented 96 locations HUNAN PROVINCE in Wuxi City used as black jails as early as 2013. Two women died as a result of abuses in black jails, in 2011 and 2013. JIANGXI PROVINCE
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