Demolish Illegal Detention Centers

Torture Cell

Target: President Xi Jinping

Goal: Demolish illegal ‘black jails’ and prosecute abusers

Despite claims from the government that “China is a country governed according to the rule of law” something dark and troubling is taking spotlight in the news. Black jails, which are illegal detention centers, are being used by Chinese officials to silence complaints in local areas. China has denied their existence, but enough documented evidence say that they do in fact exist. It is imperative that China get rid of these detention centers as they violate many human rights and are illegal under Chinese law.

Petitioning is a method used by Chinese citizens to settle disputes on a local level. It allows citizens to report abuse of power from higher officials and is a favorable means of seeking justice because it is inexpensive. However, corrupt officials are detaining these citizens because they do not want to get demerits. These citizens, ranging from an average farmer to human rights lawyers, are detained in black jails. These black jails are typically hostels, hotels, or motels where as many as twenty or thirty people can be forced to live in one room.

The black jails are meant to silence the complainers into submission so they do not report about the abuse of power. Those who are detained are starved, beaten, and hosed down with water. In a recent case with human rights lawyers who were illegally detained, one claimed that they were beaten with water bottles, the others were hung up by their wrists with their arms twisted backward and feet barely touching the ground. The abductors also repeatedly beat the lawyers in their heads, chest, backs, and legs. It’s believed that their abductors were local police officers, and they sentenced the lawyers to between five to fifteen days of administrative detention. One of the lawyers who was released after his five day detention was diagnosed at a hospital with three fractured lumbar bones.

It is obvious that there is torture happening at these black jails. The jails are prevalent in Beijing and are becoming a growing industry as officials are trying to silence citizens into submission. Sign this petition and urge the Chinese government to accept the existence of these detention centers and demolish them.


Dear President Xi Jinping,

I know your country has denied the existence of black jails, stating that your country is one governed by the law. I have to disagree; black jails do exist and laws are being broken for the benefit of corrupt officials. Your citizens who are petitioning against abuse and corruption are being illegally detained without their family’s knowledge, where they are taken to hotels without their consent, to be beaten, threatened, and tortured. These citizens are trying to improve their way of life and yet they are being injured by the officials who are suppose to protect them.

I am writing to demand that your country accepts the existence of black jails and to tear them down. These jails are prominent in Beijing and I ask that you protect your citizens and begin an investigation and prosecute those who abuse your citizens. Support human rights, and support those who are trying to make China a better country.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: David Schroeter via flickr

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