Mass Detentions and Torture Remain a Problem in China

By Courtney Cox

Chinese Human Rights Defenders allege that the government has begun to infiltrate “thought police” into universities to monitor instruction that promotes Western ideals like freedom of speech. To that end, despite the abolition of re-education through labor camps (camps designed to punish minor offenders for up to four years without a trial) allegations of security agents arresting and detaining government critics, academics, and journalists pervade human rights discourse. Aljazeera reports that detentions are occurring in “secret gulags and psychiatric facilities” and often involve torture. China has ratified the Convention Against Torture.  However, the Committee Against Torture has condemned the Chinese government for regularly violating the treaty. For example, the Chinese government has never comprehensively investigated the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, which involved an armed assault on peaceful pro-democracy protesters.