onsdag 23. juni 2021

China stepping up use of secret detention without trial, report warns

China has ramped up its use of secret detention without trial, creating one of the most far-ranging systems of forced disappearance in the world, human rights activists warn in a report. Tens of thousands of people have been subjected to “residential surveillance at a designated location” (RSDL), an anodyne, bureaucratic name for an Orwellian system, the group Safeguard Defenders said in the report, Locked Up.

Researchers have combed China’s official court database to identify nearly 23,000 cases nationwide where it had been used since 2013, after a change in Chinese law gave police sweeping powers to detain with virtually no oversight. They also collected testimony from people who went through RSDL to create one of the first comprehensive accounts of how the covert system works, from the initial abduction of targets to daily routines, interrogation and torture in secret jails.

The RSDL system allows security forces to hold people for months without charges or trial, which Safeguard Defenders described as “state-sanctioned kidnappings”.