Beijing didn't release 70,000 illegally detained petitioners
The release Tuesday of 70,000 illegally detained petitioners in Beijing blogged yesterday by the South China Morning Post would have been an extraordinary move by authorities and likely accompanied by a flood of social media content.
Unfortunately, it appears now that something quite different was underway.
After the 70,000 number was questioned online, the human rights organisation that first announced it on Twitter went on to apologise; it turns out, Christian Science Monitor writer Peter Ford learned after travelling to Jiujingzhuang, much more likely that only several hundred petitioners were released - likely to make room for new incoming captives.
In a telephone interview yesterday, director of the Chengdu-based Tianwang Human Rights Centre, Huang Qi, told the Post that the Jiujingzhuang facility has the capacity to house approximately 70,000 captives.
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