"Direct and compelling, these first-person accounts give us a sense of the terrors of detention by China’s Party-State security apparatus, but also of the resilience of those who have come back and decided to speak about their experience. A rare and important collection."
Enforced disappearance in China, especially under Xi Jinping's rule, has become prevalent - widely used by police to persecute human rights activists and lawyers in recent years, as this book of personal accounts powerfully documents. It's conducted under the cover of Chinese law, which specifically legalizes the use of "residential surveillance at a designated location," a de facto form of enforced disappearance. The editors have compiled the first-personal accounts of this serious violation of human rights in China. It's timely and valuable.
Before the 2012 reforms of the Criminal Procedure Law, China’s activist lawyers feared being illegally "disappeared.” Within the new law many activists registered great alarm at new language that could legalize disappearances for long periods. Since the 709 Crackdown against lawyers and activists their worst fears have become brutal realities. This book gets behind the benign mask China shows the world to reveal a cynical use of law to subvert justice, destroy dignity, and erode humanity.
In the most comprehensive collective portrait to date, Disappeared compiles powerful first-person accounts of the degradation of criminal procedure law as defenders of justice are snatched from their homes and offices and coerced to admit they were subverting a state that repudiates international conventions and global norms for treatment of lawyers and citizens alike. These compelling accounts, helpfully framed by Teng Biao’s foreword on “Atrocity in the Name of the Law,” and Michael Caster’s lucid description of a law that is designed to crush the human spirit, disrupt lawyers’ collective action, and subvert China’s nascent civil society, demonstrate yet again that China is a deviant state, standing outside the community of nations who are committed to the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the dense web of legal standards articulated by the United Nations.
Until about six years ago, I was a blithe Chinese-American unaware of the practice of secret detention in China. On my trips back to China, I visited friends and relatives, traveled to scenic mountains and rivers, enjoyed the best food, and marveled at China's spectacular changes without knowing that somewhere in a nondescript hotel room, or basement, an abducted human rights lawyer or civil rights activist — people who in other parts of the world are honored — was being cut off from their family and lawyer, and horrendously tortured.
I can't be that Chinese person anymore. I can't be that American anymore. If you are like I was, this book is a necessary eye opener. For those who are already aware, this book will add depth and clarity to your understanding of abuse in China.