Featured News

ChinaAid News

Related News

In the News

Walking with the persecuted faithful

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

Make a Difference

These are ways for you to get involved to help the persecuted in China. Click any of the links below to start helping the Chinese Church today.

Write Letters

Write to imprisoned prisoners of conscience to provide encouragement and send a signal to prison officials that there are people all over the world who care for these brave imprisoned.

Act Now

Sign Petitions

Raise your voice with other supporters and sign petitions to tell top-ranking Chinese authorities that these cases will not be forgotten.

Act Now


One of the most powerful ways that you can support the persecuted church is through a monetary donation. You can give to a specific program with a one-time gift or set up a monthly donation.

Act Now

Be Encouraged

Testimonies and words of encouragement from ChinaAid supporters:

Get Connected

Find out how you can stay in touch with ChinaAid:

ChinaAid on Social Media

Subscribe to Daily News Update

Subscribe to Monthly E-Newsletter:

Diplomat: Torture in China: A Vicious Cycle

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Diplomat
By David Volodzko
November 16, 2015

■ Reports from human rights groups paint a dark picture of the use of torture in China’s legal system.

Amnesty International just released its November 11 report, “No End In Sight: Torture and Forced Confessions in China,” detailing the prevalence of torture in China.

Upon hearing this, Chinese Community Party fundamentalists will no doubt pitch their best tu quoque curveball, and yes, to an extent it’s unfair to single out China, since it isn’t the only nation that practices torture.

Image Credit: China prison concept image via
On prominent cases is the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. However, when the Pentagon refused to release the names of prisoners held there, the Associated Press filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, something unimaginable in China’s political climate, and a federal judge ordered the Pentagon to comply.

On a much smaller scale, there are cases like that of the commissariat of Saint Denis, just north of Paris, who in 2005 faced allegations that he’d ordered police to rape and torture prisoners. But he was forced to resign, whereas “No End In Sight” notes that in China, “there is little legislation criminalizing torture as such, and anti-torture legislation is mostly confined to the prohibition of obtaining ‘confessions’ or other purported evidence through torture.”

Amnesty International has also published reports on Israel’s torture practices, but Israel has human rights groups such as B’Tselem fighting for the rights of Israeli and Palestinian prisoners, whereas the recent report states that in China, “the most active human rights lawyers have increasingly become targets of government crackdowns, and face disbarment and harassment at the hands of authorities” and “have themselves become victims of torture.”

The report also states that lawyers’ efforts to protect their clients from human rights violations are labelled “harmful” to the system and to social stability. But Patrick Poon, the author of the report, has countered, “[I]f they continue to crack down on lawyers and to allow this kind of torture to happen, it won’t help maintain social stability but will only create even more social unrest.”

Besides, if protecting people from abusive harm is itself harmful to the system, this raises questions about the ultimate value of that system. Asking such questions in China, however, often provokes censorship, arrest and further torture. By all appearances, the state wants to be able to oppress the people of China without the intervention of lawyers, and without anyone voicing objection.

According to a February 9 report submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), the main problem concerning torture in China is a lack of access to judges, doctors, and lawyers.

First, CHRD notes, “detainees are not brought before a judge promptly, and the length of the pre-trial detention period has reached beyond legally permitted duration of time,” in some cases almost two years.

Second, detainees aren’t given access to doctors of their own choice. The report notes the case of activist Cao Shunli, who “died on March 14, 2014, after she was denied adequate treatment in detention and refused medical bail.” CHRD says that “once she was in critical condition, authorities at the detention center transferred Cao to a military hospital and blocked her family from visiting for several days, and never allowed her lawyers to see her.”

Third, prisoners are routinely deprived of legal counsel, in violation of Article 37 of the Criminal Procedural Law. One common method of doing this is by citing “state security,” as police did at Zhengzhou No. 3 Detention Center in Henan, when they “arrested eight activists and two lawyers in July 2014 and then held them for 10 weeks without access to their lawyers or family members.”

Good people continue to fight to protect the legal rights of Chinese citizens and see better laws enacted, but meanwhile the people they seek to protect continue to be brutalized and they themselves remain in danger. As CHRD recently commented, “in China, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment remain persistent and widespread.”

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org