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Docudrama of Black Jail Experience

March 5, 2013

Based on real-life experiences and enacted by a group of petitioners and rights activists from Nantong, Jiangsu, this docudrama shows what typically happens to petitioners when they are detained—often in unofficial places of detention, black jails—without formal charges, and sometimes without notice to families.

In the form of a mock “Rule of Law Study Class”—which detainees are routinely made to attend in real life—the rights defenders demonstrate the black jail experience: black hoods are placed over detainees’ heads; they are not allowed to eat, go to the bathroom, sleep, or receive visits from family members without permission; their cell phones and identification cards are taken away; they are made to promise that there will be “no more petitioning, no more Internet, no more interviews”they often end up being charged with one of four crimes: “disturbing social order,” “inciting subversion,” “extortion,” and even “preparing to petition.”

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