Chinese Citizens: We Were Jailed in a Holiday Inn
Officials want to silence citizens who are looking to air complaints: activists
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2012 10:41 AM CST
Some Chinese citizens claim they were held against their will in a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Shanghai.    (AP Photo/The Laredo Morning Times, Ricardo Santos)

(Newser) – Last March, while China's legislature held its 10-day annual meeting in Beijing, five citizens say they were being held against their will in a Holiday Inn near Shanghai, reports CNN. They had come to China's capital as "petitioners" looking to file grievances that had fallen on deaf ears in their local provinces. Instead, they say they were intercepted by plainclothes police officers and carted back to Shanghai—and to the hotel where they were guarded around the clock. One woman, who wanted greater compensation after being forced out of her home to make room for an airport, says she even attempted to escape off a third-story balcony; she says at least seven guards stopped her, brought her back to her room, and restrained her using the bedspread.

Both Chinese officials and the firm that owns Holiday Inn say the incident didn't happen, but human rights groups allege so-called "black prisons" are nothing new in the country. While being held in such facilities, prisoners are "routinely subjected to physical abuse, sleep deprivation, and very often they have to buy their way out of custody," says one activist, who adds that contractors pay "per head for each person they abduct and hold." What makes the most recent allegations different, notes CNN, is that a hotel owned by a Western company is for the first time being accused of serving as a "black prison."

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Nov 17, 2012 2:12 PM CST
they are right being at a hi is a lot like being in jail!
Nov 15, 2012 11:41 AM CST
.....nope, .........but I did do 8 to 10 in a Holiday Inn!
Nov 14, 2012 6:15 PM CST
I guess that means they are making human rights improvements - the petitioners weren't SHOT, just ignored. I wonder if they were billed for the rooom they were held in? Heck, our politicians ignore us. You write them and get a form letter or email in reply - often not even addressing your concern. Sometimes they press the wrong "reply buttton" and you get their reply saying how they support your position then a few days later someone realizes that you were AGAINST the topic and they send you the "I'm against" letter. What a joke ! That's why local control of issues and spending will always be better than state or federal control.