Kidnapping and Brainwashing in China

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On his way home from a bookstore in 2008, Teng Biao was forced into a black sedan by Chinese secret police, a hood was fitted over his head and his hands were tied behind his back. The police threatened, interrogated, and tried to brainwash Teng into denouncing his work as a public intellectual and critic of the Chinese government. He wrote about the experience for the new issue of China Rights Forum (pdf). The circular and changing logic of his interrogators resembled scenes from 1984, and some of the details Teng recalled provide a fascinating look into the police state.

Trying to convince Teng not to criticize the government, an interrogator said, “What country is without shortcomings? The United States is good? A lot more of this goes on in the U.S. than in China.”

He wrote, “The longer I was in there, the more I hated this system. Yet at the same time, the more sympathy I had for those who had to implement the system.” The interrogators, too, had been brainwashed and they believed in the righteousness of their cause. At the same time, they had read nearly every word of Teng’s dissident literature, if only to look for evidence. “I felt they couldn’t remain unaffected,” Teng wrote. “If this was the case, my words had not been in vain.”

Image by PeteSwede, licensed under Creative Commons.

Source: China Rights Forum

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