The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaging in torture in its efforts to root out political corruption, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] report [text, PDF] released Tuesday. The report claims that President Xi Jinping’s [BBC profile] “war on corruption” has resulted in the punishment of thousands of low-level corrupt officials, as well as hundreds of so-called “tigers,” high level officials deemed corrupt by the CCP. HRW specifically alleges that officials are summoned by the CCP to detention centers operated outside of the criminal justice system. Officials are reportedly held for up to several months and tortured until they confess to corruption. Many are then handed over to face criminal prosecutions based on these confessions. HRW called for abolition of this system, which the organization said [press release] “underscores the abuses inherent in President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.”
The CCP’s response to corruption in China has drawn international scrutiny for years. The CCP announced [JURIST report] in October that it had punished more than one million government officials for corruption. Earlier in October a former Chinese energy official was given a suspended death sentence [JURIST report] for stealing 200 million yuan (USD $29.99 million). And also that month Chinese officials announced that 70-year-old former legislator Bai Enpei had been sentenced to death [JURIST report] for his part in taking bribes.