Hundreds of petitioners have been released from one of Beijing’s biggest “black jails” – detention centres where people from across the country are illegally detained after petitioning against local injustices.
The unusual mass release, which coincided with Tuesday’s Rule of Law Promotion Day, encouraged many petitioners, who took it as a signal that the new Communist Party leadership intends to rein in the practice.
But some rights activists and lawyers called on authorities to take much more drastic measures, with some noting that petitioners who arrived in the capital over the past two days have still been detained.
The release came amid extensive mainland media coverage of recent charges filed by prosecutors against a number of people who allegedly operated black jails in Beijing, sparking debate over whether top authorities are trying to curb the illegal treatment of petitioners.
A well-known detention hub in southern Beijing’s Jiujingzhuang village, officially named…
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