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Chinese authorities accused of 'torturing' activists seized in rights crackdown

September 14, 2011 - London

Scores of Chinese activists and lawyers, who were detained in the wake of China's 'Jasmine Revolution', suffered beatings, sleep deprivation, multiple interrogations and were forced to make videotaped "confessions", it has emerged.

According to the Guardian, Chinese activists seized this year after anonymous tweets called for Arab-style protests, were also forced to sit in stress positions for hours at a time.

Although it is common practice in Chinese prisons to make people sit still for long periods, it was much more intensely enforced with these prisoners, so even slumping or closing their eyes could prompt a rebuke or threat, the paper said.

Some people were handcuffed for long periods. In other cases, air conditioning was run at full blast until rooms were unbearably cold.

According to the paper, the details of torture was not leaked immediately because detainees were ordered not to discuss their experiences with journalists, members of NGOs or diplomats, and many were fearful because of threats to their families.

The report further revealed that many of those detained lost significant amounts of weight and show clear signs of trauma, including disturbed sleep and Memory loss.

Many were hooded before they were driven away and several were badly beaten in the first day or two. In most cases they were watched around the clock by two officers at a time and deprived of sleep, the paper said.

A lawyer, Jin Guanghong, was held for days in a psychiatric institution, told the paper that he was beaten, tied to a bed, given injections of unknown substances and forced to take medicine.

According to the report, detainees were also ordered to write and read aloud confessions.

Some suspect the resulting videos could be used in future trials, helping to intimidate them into compliance, while others saw it as a way to humiliate activists and sow distrust among them.


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