Michael Caster is a human rights advocate and researcher. He is the co-founder of the human rights organisation Safeguard Defenders and its China-based predecessor, the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group. He is the editor of The People’s Republic of the Disappeared: Stories from Inside China’s System for Enforced Disappearances (Safeguards Defenders 2017). His profile photo was taken by Noemi Cassanelli, AFP.

Systematising Human Rights Violations

The People’s Republic of China has a long history of abusive coercive custody—from administrative reeducation through labour to forced incarceration in police-run psychiatric facilities and extra-legal black jails. Through recent legislative and constitutional amendments China has attempted to systematise human rights abuses behind the veneer of the rule of law. But in institutionalising arbitrary and secret detention, China is in stark violation of international human rights law and fundamental norms.

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