Washington Times on October 24, 2014, reported that illegal detention centers known as “black jails” have proliferated in China, according to a new report, even as government officials deny their existence before a United Nations committee this week. Excerpts below:

The report by the activist group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)—titled “We Can Beat You to Death With Impunity”: Secret Detention & Abuse of Women in China’s “Black Jails”—documented more than 1000 individual cases of detention and abuse in hundreds of extralegal black jails in the past five years. About 80 percent of the detainees were women, who were often physically or sexually assaulted and deprived of food, water, and medical treatment.

“In the black jail, the door was locked 24 hours a day…Thugs could do anything they wanted [to detainees]—bully, torture, humiliate, and abuse them,” said a petitioner once held in a black jail in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, according to the report. “Some petitioners suffered back injuries while others were pulled into bathrooms, stripped naked, and doused with cold water. Thugs brazenly kicked female petitioners in the stomach.”

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