On March 21, 2014, four rights defense lawyers, Jiang Tianyong Tang Jitian, Wang Cheng, and Zhang Junjie, who went to the Jiansanjiang Farm Authorities in Heilongjiang Province to investigate human rights abuses in its so-called “Legal Education Center,” were unlawfully detained and tortured by police. A few dozen citizens from around the country who subsequently came to ask for the lawyers’ release were also detained and beaten up by police. This violent incident against regular citizens once again shows a grim picture of the human rights situation in China. Citizen Power for China (aka Initiatives for China) is outraged over this violent incident and strongly condemns the brutality.
The Jiansanjiang incident is just the tip of the iceberg, revealing the dark side of China’s widespread “Legal Education Centers,” which is better known as a “Brainwash Center.” As one of the many different forms of extra-legal jail systems under the Communist regime, the “Brainwash Center” is a completely illegal practice, which is used by local authorities to deprive innocent citizens’ of their basic freedom. In these “Brainwash Centers” citizens often suffer from severe beatings, some even have been killed and others are driven to insanity. The use of “Brainwash Centers” contradicts China’s own criminal law, criminal procedure law and other relevant laws, and is strictly prohibited by provisions of UN human rights treaties, such as those against “arbitrary detention.”
A recent survey found that there are 449 “Brainwash Centers” in 173 cities and 329 counties, among which Northeastern China, Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Sichuan Province and Hubei Province are the worst violators, despite the use of more benign names such as “Legal Education School,” “Legal Education Center,” “Legal Education Class,” “Legal Education and Training Center,” “Education Transformation Center,” and “Caring Love and Education Center.”
CPFC has noticed that in recent years, the Communist regime has increasingly used mafia-style tactics to control society. As one form of illegal detention ends, many more methods of coercion are instituted, the “Brainwash Center” being one of them.
CPFC warns the leader of the Communist Party, Mr Xi Jinping: Although the oppression against Falungong through these “Brainwash Centers” had begun well ahead of your presidency and you are not the initiator of this evil, yet as the head of the country you must know about this 14-year long persecution, and what has happened in Jiangsanjiang; you cannot turn a blind eye to this atrocity and pretend this human rights disaster does not exist; we sincerely hope this is not part of your Chinese dream.
CPFC calls on Mr. Xi Jinping to address this issue with sincerity and courage. As a first step, CPFC urges Mr. Xi to release those rights defense lawyers and their supporters detained in Jiansanjiang Farm and punish the police who used violence against those human rights lawyers and activists. Although you are not directly responsible for the initiation of many human rights abuses such as the June 4 massacre of peaceful protesters, violent and forced demolition of people’s homes, and oppression against ethnic minorities, yet you can hardly absolve yourself from blame if you fail to address the wrong, and your hands will be blood-soaked, leaving your legacy as that of a nightmare maker in the Chinese history.
CPFC understands that there is no hope without a strong civil society. Therefore, CPFC calls on the Chinese citizens to applaud the courage of these human rights defenders and their supporters, and take collective action in solidarity to gain the release of these illegally detained lawyers and innocent people. CPFC urges the Chinese people to care about those victims of the brainwash centers and black jails, and stand up to defend the basic rights and those of others as daily routine, and collect evidence of those gross human rights violations, so that the individual abusers cannot get away with their crimes in the name of “state act.”
CPFC also urges the international community to take action to press China to abide by international human rights laws, to support those human rights activists in Jiansanjiang and to end China’s extra-legal practices.