Black Jails: China’s Gulag Archipelago

One of my favorite bloggers has translated some materials that all of you have got to see. We thought sinister places like these were “reformed away” after the brutal murder of Sun Zhigang and that they no longer exist. They weren’t reformed and they still exist. The posts take you on a guided tour of the “Hutong Hiltons.”

I was going to give a long snip, but that’s kind of pointless. Go there and read it for yourselves. This medieval practice is taking place right here, in our lovely, prosperous, reform-oozing Beijing. He even has photos that show exactly where they are.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Certainly I have no intention of getting on a high horse, following Guantanamo and the many tragedies resulting from renditions “with American characteristics (you meiguo tese de)”. However, while I don’t have any intention of speaking from a particular haughty national position, I do hope to speak from a human position and say that these “black prisons” are the wrong direction for a society to progress (I saw a British television program about these privatized jails about a half a year ago and simply can’t forget it). I can only hope that the people of Beijing will be vigilant about the gradual concentration camp-ization of their city: we already saw it in the Cultural Revolution, and it was not pretty. Anyone who feels that I am exaggerating can trace the historical development of past imprisoning movements in the modern world and then tell me how this could be an exception. Without an exception, these are major causes for concern, particularly considering the quite arbitrary grounds for people to be held in these locations.

October 14, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

kevin, at least the US government doesn’t lock people up without charge for asking the White House to do something about injustice in America.

This reminds me of a horrible translated story (maybe via ESWN) of a petitioner’s time being taken to some “petitioner centre” only to be separated as one might going into a jail and then being screamed and assaulted by security guards/Police for daring to bring the petition in the first place.

There is no hope for political reform in China whilst people are persecuted for trying to use the law to seek justice. That the Chinese government allows this sort of thing to continue makes me refuse to believe that they have the best interests of the common man at heart. If they do, again, I must demand an answer as to why they allow petitioners acting perfectly legally to be treated so badly.

This is not Imperial China where one could say that the emperor would have little knowledge about what was actually happening outside the Forbidden Palace. This is the 21st century, and such information is widely accessible.

October 14, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

Sounds like an extortion racket, holding people in “jails” without charges until someone shows up to pay the appropriate “fine”

October 15, 2008 @ 3:45 am | Comment

Ah, beat me to it, Richard!

What amazes me is the utter banality of the setting. You’ve seen neighborhoods like that everywhere. I actually went to the google maps link to see where it is – just west of the Temple of Heaven.

October 15, 2008 @ 4:34 am | Comment

KPudong, thats putting it mildly

Just West of the Temple of Heaven, yep, that’s China for you, sick.

Raj, you still dont know the CCP is the biggest gangster outfit in China? Justice is just a mask in China and the country is run by a criminal organization. Innocent people are persecuted and bad people have all the hot jobs hah. The CCPs mandate is to hide the truth and safeguard its environment to commit criminal acts out of selfishness and profiteering. Its a big job, and the CCP has done it well, but I think it would work better if they had people eat some stupid drugs, because as long as there are people who will talk and who the CCP hasn’t yet murdered, then it won’t work. I know many people choose to disbelieve the Falun Gong people, but in the end you will know what they know very clearly already. The CCP IS evil (how can people just brush off their testimonies of gross injustice and torture?) and it’s regular people who can make a difference by speaking up, researching and doing whatever. Richard, you are surprised that this is rampant? and do you think its only in Beijing? The question for me is, Why don’t people know this already!? Because they just ignore the facts and testimonials, why?! How many people in the world does it take to investigate and publicize atrocities?!

October 19, 2008 @ 9:22 am | Comment

Snow, I wasn’t surprised at all. And about the whole evil schtick – I’ve said this many many times: All governments are evil. Most governments do some good things, too. The CCP is way up there on the Evil-o-Meter, but they are not really that different from most previous Chinese governments in many ways, for their chief goal being control of power, and for their main tactic being suppression, censorship and propaganda

There are indeed many testimonials of how good the CCP can be, and many about how evil and awful it is. I’ve seen the good they can do, and also the impossible stupidity. Your problem, Snow, is seeing China as monolithically as Hong Xing and Math see the US. In that way, you are very similar. I agree with many of your points, but you have to know that you sound like a fanatic.

October 19, 2008 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

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