As Aninews reported on Jan. 31 2022, about 10,000 people were detained under China’s “systematized, arbitrary and secret detention.” 

The Hong Kong Post cited a Spanish report by Spain-based rights group Safeguard Democracy, as saying under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL) policy, Chinese authorities can detain anyone, local or foreign, for up to six months in an undisclosed location. 

The Hong Kong post said, “Anywhere between 27,000 and 56,000 people may have suffered such detention in the last seven years. Thousands more are said to be in detention as of today. In 2020 alone, over 10,000 people were detained, it is suspected.”

Last September, China’s secret detention without trial policy was exposed when two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were released after being held for over a thousand days.

The Hong Kong Post reported, “The number includes well-known names including artist Ai Wei Wei and human rights lawyers Wang Yu and Wang Quanzhang, who were caught up in China’s 2015 crackdown on human rights defenders. Other foreigners have also gone through RSDL, like Peter Dahlin, a Swedish activist and co-founder of Safeguard Defenders, and Canadian missionaries Kevin and Julia Garrett, who were accused of espionage in 2014.”

The Hong Kong Post added that China has a prison system called “liuzhi.” This manner of detention is for communist party members, state employees, and public officials. 

According to media outlet Al Jazeera, conditions under both RSDL and “liuzhi” have been regarded as “torture-like,” and prisoners are detained without a right to legal counsel. 

Human rights organizations reported that survivors of both systems had described sleep deprivation, isolation, solitary imprisonment, beatings, and forced stress positions. In addition, detainees may be placed in the infamous “tiger chair,” which prevents limb movement for days at a time.

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