A shocking new report reveals that China held a U.S. citizen captive for eight months in a semi-secret detention facility where he was stripped of his rights and dignity and mentally tortured.
And he was never even arrested, much less charged.
The Wall Street Journal said pro basketball player Jeff Harper was detained after an altercation – and then, they simply locked him away.
Harper was held for eight months in deplorable conditions, including a room that had little more than “a rancid mattress and a plastic chair.”
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“[They fed me] a handful of rice. Sometimes it had bugs in the rice,” he told Fox News. “[And,] chicken ankles, knees, anus, raw chicken sometimes; It looked like it was baked but it wasn’t quite fully baked.”
He wondered if they were poisoning him as he lost 40 pounds while in captivity.
“They can do anything they want to at any moment,” he told the network.
The human rights organization Safeguard Defenders obtained brief footage of Harper’s conditions, in part of a system known in China as residential surveillance in a designated location or RSDL:
“The very nature of RSDL, that it takes place at hidden locations with the victim in isolation and incommunicado, and in facilities other than police stations and detention centers, means that there are very few images, or even information about their whereabouts,” the group wrote earlier this month.
“That RSDL is used by the Ministry of State Security for suspected national security ‘crimes’, and against foreigners, also adds another reason to why it is kept so secret.”
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The Journal said Harper was arrested in January 2020, when he was in Shenzen for a basketball tournament, and witnessed a couple fighting. Harper told the newspaper he shoved the man to protect the woman.
Chinese authorities later told Harper that the man had fallen into a coma and died, although it’s not clear if that was true or part of a psychological game Chinese inquisitors use on captives.
They never presented Harper with any evidence that the man died. And Harper was ultimately released without ever being arrested, charged, or tried.
Safeguard International says there is a phrase for this kind of treatment.
“Under international law, enforced disappearance or torture that is widespread or systematic is a crime against humanity,” the organization said.
China is known for its repressive regime and relentless human rights abuses, as well as an extensive mass surveillance system used at nearly every level of society for almost any purpose.
And it’s not just crime and suspected criminals in the crosshairs.
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“In 2019, media reports revealed that a Hangzhou school had installed cameras to monitor students’ facial expressions and attentiveness, while a Nanjing company had required sanitation workers to wear GPS watches to monitor their efficiency,” Human Rights Watch noted in its report on China.
China has also drawn international condemnation for its brutal treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in its Xinjiang region.
Human Rights Watch said the campaign against the ethnic minority “has entailed mass arbitrary detention, surveillance, indoctrination, and the destruction of the region’s cultural and religious heritage.”
Some 1 million people have been forced into “political education” camps, others have been sent to prisons and some have been given the death sentence because of their political activity.
Now, they’re giving a taste of that same type of treatment to American citizens who’ve never been accused of or charged with a crime.
“They do their justice system totally different than we do ours,” Harper told The Journal. “I’m not a fan of it.”
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.