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Coercive Interrogation

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Chapter Summary

For most Chinese citizens, torture is a remote threat. Their physical and psychological integrity is susceptible to harm by minor offenders, rather than by the police. This chapter examines how such knowledge enters the realm of the collective consciousness. The spaces of interrogation rooms, informal jails, and prison cells have been appropriated by the media and made visible to the public. The pattern of media reporting described in the chapter leads the public to overlook or tolerate torture, provided that its victim belongs to an out-group. In the PRC, the media do not omit the mention of torture. The most essential part of posthumous rehabilitation is conveying a clear message about the victim's innocence. The fact that crime control policies can be conducive to torture is not regarded as a point of concern, unless one directly experiences the condition of bare life.

Keywords: Chinese citizens; coercive interrogation; posthumous rehabilitation; PRC media



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