October 24, 2021

China’s secretive ‘residential surveillance’ jail system is booming under Xi Jinping, human rights group says

China’s secretive ‘residential surveillance’ jail system is booming under Xi Jinping, human rights group says

China’s secretive ‘residential surveillance’ jail system is booming under Xi Jinping, human rights group says

By China correspondent Bill Birtles
Posted Tuesday 22 Jun 2021

China is expanding the use of a little-known form of extra-judicial detention that allows police to exclude lawyers and cut suspects off from the outside world, with a new report saying it is being used in thousands of cases each year.

Two Australians jailed for alleged national security crimes in Beijing — Yang Hengjun and Cheng Lei — are among those who have been detained under “residential surveillance at a designation location”, known as RSDL.

The system was introduced in 2012 in the months before Xi Jinping’s reign as China’s leader commenced.

Human rights group Safeguard Defenders has published the most in-depth insight to date of conditions inside RSDL facilities, drawing on the accounts of multiple former detainees, including the group’s founder, Swedish activist Peter Dahlin.

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Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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