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China Police Torture Alleged in Amnesty International Report

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According to an Amnesty International reports, the torture of suspects in police detention is widespread in China with implements like spiked rods and torture chairs regularly deployed to extract confessions.

The report is based on interviews with nearly 40 Chinese human rights lawyers.

Despite China’s top court banning torture in 2013 and criminal justice reforms, rights groups say the practices are still widely used.

Chinese authorities have not responded to allegations.

After similar allegations by Human Rights Watch in May, the foreign ministry said Chinese law prohibited torture during interrogation.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The Amnesty International report describes suspects being slapped, kicked and hit with shoes or with bottles filled with water.

It also details tools of torture including “tiger chairs” in which individuals’ legs are tightly bound to a bench, with bricks gradually added under the victim’s feet, forcing the legs backwards as well as long periods of sleep deprivation and the denial of sufficient food and water.


Amnesty International said that for police, obtaining a forced confession is still considered the easiest way to secure a conviction.

The report’s author, Patrick Poon, said local officials and police “continue to pull the strings of China’s criminal justice system. Despite defense lawyers’ best efforts, many claims of torture are simply ignored”.

The Amnesty International report comes a week before China’s human rights record is set to be reviewed by the United Nations anti-torture committee in Geneva.

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