Black Jails

Rare victory for petitioners as 10 hired thugs are convicted over 'black jail'

Clothes hang from the entrance of a single-story brick house, known as a "black jail" in Beijing. Photo: AP

A Beijing court yesterday sentenced 10 people to prison for illegally detaining petitioners in a "black jail" after they tried to lobby the central government to handle their grievances - a rare victory for petitioners who are often subject to abuse.

Wednesday, 6 February, 2013, 5:22am

Sister speaks out after Henan petitioner beaten to death by black guards

Zhang Yaodong died after being beaten by black guards in Beijing. Photo: screenshot from Caixin.

A petitioner from China’s central Henan province died in Beijing after he was beaten by guards, media reported a month after the death. Now the sister of the victim is looking for justice.

12 Dec 2012 - 3:40pm 1 comment

Beijing didn't release 70,000 illegally detained petitioners

Clarification from the human rights group which first quoted the number and other media follow-up work suggests that Beijing was just making room for new captives.

6 Dec 2012 - 8:24am

Many freed from Beijing's biggest 'black jail'

A man walks through a former black jail, part of a large-scale system of secret detention centres in Beijing where dissidents are held to prevent them from lodging formal complaints with the central government. Photo: AP

Hundreds of petitioners have been released from one of Beijing's biggest "black jails" - detention centres where people from across the country are illegally detained after petitioning against local injustices.

6 Dec 2012 - 4:33am 1 comment

Beijing black jail 'releases thousands of petitioners'

An undated handout photo showing the inside of a detention centre in Beijing's Jiujing village. Handout photo by Tianwang Human Rights Centre.

A notorious Beijing detention centre known to illegally hold petitioners released thousands of prisoners on Tuesday, according to a source and media reports. 

5 Dec 2012 - 2:08pm 3 comments

China media retract report of black jail sentences

A man walks through a former black jail, part of a large-scale system of secret detention centres in Beijing where dissidents are held to prevent them from lodging formal complaints with the central government. Photo: AP

Chinese state media said on Monday that a court has yet to sentence 10 defendants for the highly sensitive crime of illegally detaining people seeking to have their complaints heard, retracting earlier reports.

3 Dec 2012 - 3:41pm

Beijing's good legal news turns out to be fake news

Screenshot of the China Daily rebuttal captured by @gadyepstein.

The story that 10 operators of a 'black jail' run by a city in Henan were convicted in Beijing has gone from news-of-the-day to being declared fake news by People's Daily, with follow-up reports disappearing and a ruling in the case even yet to be delivered.

3 Dec 2012 - 9:38am

Beijing court jails 10 for illegally detaining petitioners

A 2009 file photo of a man standing in the corridor of a former 'black jail' in Beijing, China. Photo: AP

A Beijing court has sentenced 10 people to up to 18 months in jail for illegally detaining petitioners from another city, state media reported on Sunday, in a rare case of the judiciary taking on the shadowy men who operate on the margins of the law.

2 Dec 2012 - 5:36pm

Petitioners languish for weeks in Beijing 'black jail'

The three petitioners from the central province of Hunan were held in Beijing for more than a month in a 'black jail' linked to their local government despite a crackdown on such secret detention facilities.

18 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Beijing Blitz takes aim at notorious 'black jails'

Beijing police are cracking down on security firms that profit from illegally detaining petitioners trying to air their grievances in the capital.

2 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

More secret 'black jails' exposed in the capital

More secret prisons locking up petitioners in Beijing have been exposed by mainland media, after several similar facilities were revealed to the public in the past couple of years.

5 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Wen's move lends hope for petition reform

Ever since he came to power in 2003, Wen Jiabao has been carefully cultivating his image as 'the people's premier'. His populist approach has helped him stand out from other mainland leaders and has earned him much adulation from ordinary mainlanders.

31 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Hope or hype? Petitioner visit divides public

Some saw renewed hope, others a cynical ploy. The unprecedented visit by Premier Wen Jiabao to petitioners on Monday, the first by a premier since the Communist Party took power in 1949, drew mixed responses yesterday.

27 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Wen in unprecedented visit to petitioners

Premier Wen Jiabao paid a rare visit to the country's top complaints body in a surprise bid to woo petitioners and ease escalating social tension fuelled by corruption, injustice and a widening wealth gap.

26 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Mental hospital for man who exposed official

Police have sent a Hubei man who helped expose a county leader's misconduct early this year to a mental hospital after detaining him for taking photographs of a demonstration outside a hotel where party disciplinary officers were staying.

13 Apr 2010 - 12:00am