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‘Black jails’ part of Chinese crackdown

world Updated: Nov 11, 2011 01:34 IST
Reuters
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China’s campaign to stifle dissenters such as artist Ai Weiwei through secret detentions could come cloaked in a thicker veneer of legality if proposed crime law changes go through, a prominent rights advocacy group said on Thursday.

China’s moves to amend criminal laws next year to effectively legitimise extra-judicial detentions of people for up to six months could see a hardening of the nation’s security crackdown in the run-up to a change in leadership, Human Rights Watch said.

Despite international criticism, China has continued to run so-called “black jails” - unlawful secret detention facilities used to hold critics and petitioners, where detainees are often subjected to beatings, sleep and food deprivation, as well as psychological abuse.

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