Translate

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

CIA’s Trojan Horse enters the Heart of India

CIA’s Trojan Horse enters the Heart of India

Who Paid the Piper CIA AAP Arwind Kejriwal India
The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source. From the early 1950s to the present the CIA’s intrusion into the foundation field was and is huge. A U.S. Congressional investigation in 1976 revealed that nearly 50% of the 700 grants in the field of international activities by the principal foundations were funded by the CIA. The CIA considers foundations such as Ford“The best and most plausible kind of funding cover”. The collaboration of respectable and prestigious foundations, according to one former CIA operative, allowed the Agency to fund “a seemingly limitless range of covertaction programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses and other privateinstitutions”. The latter included “human rights” groups beginning in the 1950s to the present. One of the most important “private foundations” collaborating with the CIA over a significant span of time in major projects in the cultural Cold War is the Ford Foundation.

CIA & The Ford Foundation

By the late 1950s the Ford Foundation possessed over $3 billion in assets. The leaders of the Foundation
were in total agreement with Washington’s post-WWII projection of world power. A noted scholar of the
period writes:
“At times it seemed as if the Ford Foundation was simply an extension of government in the area of 
international cultural propaganda. The foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions inEurope, working closely with Marshall Plan and CIA officials on specific projects”. This is graphicallyillustrated by the naming of Richard Bissell as President of the Foundation in 1952. In his two years inoffice Bissell met often with the head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, and other CIA officials in a “mutual search” for new ideas. In 1954 Bissell left Ford to become a special assistant to Allen Dulles in January 1954. Under Bissell, the Ford Foundation (FF) was the “vanguard of Cold War thinking”.
FordLogosheet_A_2009[FOR PRINT ONLY]
One of the FF first Cold War projects was the establishment of a publishing house, Inter-cultural
Publications, and the publication of a magazine Perspectives in Europe in four languages. The FF purpose
according to Bissell was not “so much to defeat the leftist intellectuals in dialectical combat (sic) as
to lure them away from their positions”. The board of directors of the publishing house was completely
dominated by cultural Cold Warriors. Given the strong leftist culture in Europe in the post-war period,
Perspectives failed to attract readers and went bankrupt.
Another journal Der Monat funded by the Confidential Fund of the U.S. military and run by Melvin Lasky
was taken over by the FF, to provide it with the appearance of independence.
In 1954 the new president of the FF was John McCloy. He epitomized imperial power. Prior to becoming 
president of the FF he had been Assistant Secretary of War, president of the World Bank, High Commissioner of occupied Germany, chairman of Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, Wall Street attorney for the big seven oil companies and director of numerous corporations. As High Commissioner in Germany, McCloy had provided cover for scores of CIA agents.
Than CIA's head Allen Dulles’ best bud, John McCloy,is shown here with David Rockefeller and Chase Manhattan executives after he successfully merged the Warburg’s Manhattan bank with Rockefeller’s Chase bank. A top Rockefeller leutenant, McCloy acted for decades on the family’s behalf as an adviser to presidents and dictators. He even shared a box with Hitler and Goering at the 1936 Olympics.
Than CIA’s head Allen Dulles’ best bud, John McCloy,is shown here with David Rockefeller and Chase Manhattan executives after he successfully merged the Warburg’s Manhattan bank with Rockefeller’s Chase bank. A top Rockefeller leutenant, McCloy acted for decades on the family’s behalf as an adviser to presidents and dictators. He even shared a box with Hitler and Goering at the 1936 Olympics.
McCloy integrated the FF with CIA operations. He created an administrative unit within the FF specifically to deal with the CIA. McCloy headed a three person consultation committee with the CIA to facilitate the use of the FF for a cover and conduit of funds. With these structural linkages the FF was one of those organizations the CIA was able to mobilize for political warfare against the anti-imperialist and pro-communist left.
Official photo of Warren Commissioners that covered-up JFK Assassination. Allen Dulles(than head of  the CIA) is seen second from left. To his right is John J. McCloy, lawyer and troubleshooter for both  the Warburg and Rockefeller family. McCloy was appointed as a member of the Warren Commission, purely  for the purposes of disguising Rockefeller’s crime.
Official photo of Warren Commissioners that covered-up JFK Assassination. Allen Dulles(than head of the CIA) is seen second from left. To his right is John J. McCloy, lawyer and troubleshooter for both the Warburg and Rockefeller family. McCloy was appointed as a member of the Warren Commission, purely
for the purposes of disguising Rockefeller’s crime.
Numerous CIA “fronts” received major FF grants. Numerous supposedly “independent” CIA sponsored cultural organizations, human rights groups, artists and intellectuals received CIA/FF grants. One of the biggest donations of the FF was to the CIA organized Congress for Cultural Freedom which received $7 million by the early 1960s. Numerous CIA operatives secured employment in the FF and continued close collaboration with the Agency.
Here is McCloy (extreme left) with the rest of the gang, the other six hacks and fraudsters, of the  Warren Commission, as they present the phony report to President Ford.
McCloy (extreme left) with the rest of the gang, the other six hacks & fraudsters, of the Warren Commission, as they present the phony report to President Ford.
From its very origins there was a close structural relation and interchange of personnel at the highest
levels between the CIA and the FF. This structural tie was based on the common imperial interests which
they shared. The result of their collaboration was the proliferation of a number of journals and access
to the mass media which pro-U.S. intellectuals used to launch vituperative polemics against Marxists and
other anti-imperialists. The FF funding of these anti-Marxists organizations and intellectuals provided
a legal cover for their claims of being “independent” of government funding (CIA).
One prominent journalist, Andrew Kopkind, wrote of a deep sense of moral disillusionment with the
private foundation-funded CIA cultural fronts. Kopkind wrote
“The distance between the rhetoric of the open society and the reality of control was greater than 
anyone thought. Everyone who went abroad for an American organization was, in one way or another, awitness to the theory that the world was torn between communism and democracy and anything in betweenwas treason. The illusion of dissent was maintained: the CIA supported socialist cold warriors, fascist cold warriors, black and white cold warriors. The catholicity and flexibility of the CIA operations were major advantages. But it was a sham pluralism and it was utterly corrupting”.
When a U.S. journalist Dwight Macdonald who was an editor of Encounter (a FF-CIA funded influential
cultural journal) sent an article critical of U.S. culture and politics it was rejected by the editors,
working closely with the CIA. In the field of painting and theater the CIA worked with the FF to promote
abstract expressionism against any artistic expression with a social content, providing funds and
contacts for highly publicized exhibits in Europe and favorable reviews by “sponsored” journalists. The
interlocking directorate between the CIA, the Ford Foundation and the New York Museum of Modern Art lead
to a lavish promotion of “individualistic” art remote from the people — and a vicious attack on
European painters, writers and playwrights writing from a critical realist perspective. “Abstract
Expressionism” whatever its artist’s intention became a weapon in the Cold War.
The Ford Foundation’s history of collaboration and interlock with the CIA in pursuit of U.S. world
hegemony is now a well-documented fact. The remaining issue is whether that relationship continues into
the new Millenium after the exposures of the 1960s? The FF made some superficial changes. They are more
flexible in providing small grants to human rights groups and academic researchers who occasionally
dissent from U.S. policy. They are not as likely to recruit CIA operatives to head the organization.
More significantly they are likely to collaborate more openly with the U.S. government in its cultural
and educational projects, particularly with the Agency of International Development.
The FF has in some ways refined their style of collaboration with Washington’s attempt to produce world
cultural domination, but retained the substance of that policy. For example the FF is very selective in
the funding of educational institutions. Like the IMF, the FF imposes conditions such as the
“professionalization” of academic personnel and “raising standards.” In effect this translates into the
promotion of social scientific work based on the assumptions, values and orientations of the U.S.
empire; to have professionals de-linked from the class struggle and connected with pro-imperial U.S.
academics and foundation functionaries supporting the neo-liberal model.
As in the 1950s and 60s the Ford Foundation today has developed a sophisticated strategy of funding
human rights groups (HRGs) that appeal to Washington to change its policy while denouncing U.S.
adversaries their “systematic” violations. The FF supports HRGs which equate massive state terror by the
U.S. with individual excesses of anti-imperialist adversaries. The FF finances HRGs which do not
participate in anti-globalization and anti-neoliberal mass actions and which defend the Ford Foundation
as a legitimate and generous “non-governmental organization”.
In the current period of a major U.S. military-political offensive, Washington has posed the issue as “terrorism or democracy,” just as during the Cold War it posed the question as “Communism or Democracy.”  In both instances the Empire recruited and funded “front organizations, intellectuals and journalists to attack its anti-imperialist adversaries and neutralize its democratic critics. The Ford Foundation is well situated to replay its role as collaborator to cover for the New Cultural Cold War.

CIA’s Trojan Horse reaches India

India had been sucked into the spiral of this Cultural Cold War since a long time. However with the US 
economy already bust and the EU falling like dominos; it is again the East where the West would anchor 
it’s sinking ship of so called Exceptionalism that fuels the Western Civilization. The game on the 
Indian side is very well crafted and carried out through CIA’s Trojan Horse which has entered into the 
heart of Indian Politics – Delhi.
CIA-Trojan-Horse-Ford-Aam-Aadmi-Party-AAP-India
A new political party pledging to sweep corruption from the Indian capital made surprising gains in
state elections, grabbing a huge share of votes from the incumbent Congress party and leaving Delhi with
no clear leader on Monday — and no party willing to form a coalition.
The fledgling Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man’s Party, seized 28 of Delhi’s 70 assembly seats just nine
months after its formation. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took first place with 31, while
Congress was left with a meagre eight, a stunning decline from its previous 43.
Aam-Aadmi-Party-CIA-Ford-Kejriwal-India-Arwind-India
All three ruled out entering into a governing alliance, leaving the capital in a leadership lurch and
raising the possibility of new elections.

CIA lays the “Foundation” of Indian Policymaking

The Ford Foundation, which completes six decades in India next year, provides a continuing flow of
grants to institutions, think-tanks, civil society, and even farmer groups, to carry out research and
advocacy work. The sums are not inconsequential—about $15 million (about Rs 70 crore) a year. And the
recipients—320 grants, over the past four years—are the who’s who of civil society and advocacy groups
in India.
Its representative, Steven Solnick, said the Foundation’s last installment to Kabir (an NGO run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia) was in 2010. “Our first grant to the NGO was of $1,72,000 in 2005 ; the second was in 2008 of $1,97,000,” he told Business Standard.
Steven Solnick - Ford Foundation's representative in India
Steven Solnick – Ford Foundation’s representative in India
Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in AAP(Aam Aadmi Party), has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years.
Link for $197,000 – now removed by Ford. Refer screenshot of the same below.
Kabir Ford Foundation CIA
In reply to an RTI query that questioned the funding and expenditure of Kabir, the organisation has disclosed that they have received funds from the Ford Foundation (Rs 86,61,742), PRIA (Rs 2,37,035), Manjunath Shanmugam Trust (Rs 3,70,000), Dutch Embassy (Rs 19,61,968), Association for India’s Development (Rs 15,00,000), India’s friends Association (Rs 7,86,500), United Nationals Development Programme (Rs12,52,742) while Rs 11,35,857 were collected from individual donations between 2007 to 2010.
Interestingly, a major part of the funding to an organisation that is prominent in the “War against corruption” has come from abroad and mainly from the United States. Apar from the UNDP, Ford Foundation and the India Friends Association are US-based organisations, while PRIA and Association for India’s Development are headquartered in Asia.
Ford-Foundation-AAP-Kejriwal-CIA-India-1
Ford-Foundation-AAP-Kejriwal-CIA-India-2
Ford-Foundation-AAP-Kejriwal-CIA-India-3
Ford-Foundation-AAP-Kejriwal-CIA-India-4
The foundation, on its part, makes no bones about its neo-liberal agenda, broadly pro-market, seeking
accountability in governance, and promoting marginalised groups. It funds a small number of
institutions, but chooses effectively. At a post-budget meeting two years back, it was noted that all
the think-tanks represented (NCAER, NIPFP, ICRIER and the Centre for Policy Research) on the dais
received grants from the foundation. Academicians and scholars from these think-tanks are regularly
consulted by the government on various policy issues.
CIA Ford Foundation Aam Aadmi Party India
On whether the views of these intellectuals actually get reflected in subsequent policies, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia declines to comment. “I don’t really have a view on it,” he says. He does, however, concede that India’s association with the foundation “is something that has been on for a long time”.
Moreover, three of core members ( Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia) are also Magsaysay award winners which are endowed by the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller.
The Three Stooges
The Three Stooges
As far as the Magsaysay Award winners are concerned, this award is an American award for Asians established and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation ostensibly in memory of Ramon Magsaysay, the former President of Philippines.
According to well-placed sources in  the U. S.  Intelligence community opposed to the State Department’s policy toward the Philippines, $30 million in covert funds was supplied to the Philippine opposition to  help finance  its presidential campaign.  This  $30 million was  laundered through Hong Kong,  where the money was converted into  the Philippine peso at the black market rate of 20 pesos to the dollar.
Philippine  sources reported that  the money  had, been  in part funneled  into the CIA-controlled citizens elec­tion watch group,  called Namfrel ,  the National Movement for a Free Election, which was originally created  in  1953 in order  to  bring Ramon Magsaysay into power.  Namfrel  was central  in the State Department’s policy of intervening  into the Philippines election.
In 1957, the Rockefeller Foundation established the Ramon Magsaysay Prize for community leaders in Asia. It was named after Ramon Magsaysay, president of the Philippines, a crucial ally in the US campaign against Communism in Southeast Asia. In 2000, the Ford Foundation established the Ramon Magsaysay Emergent Leadership Award. The Magsaysay Award is considered a prestigious award among artists, activists and community workers in India. M.S. Subbulakshmi and Satyajit Ray won it, so did Jayaprakash Narayan and journalists, P. Sainath. In general, it has become a gentle arbiter of what kind of activism is “acceptable” and what is not. In reality the award is the living memory of the dictatorial president of Philippines known for the murder of thousands of communist guerrillas during the Huk Rebellion under US-planned anti-communist counter-insurgency operations. It explains the silence of the anti-corruption group against corporations and the private sector.
For more details read : CIA manipulation of 1953 elections
This perfectly fits in with a recent shift in the US policy of association with India, which is now focusing on building state-to-state partnerships by “engaging Indian state and local leaders” throughout the country on “topics of mutual interest”. Civil society groups and think-tanks are expected to play an important role in this. As Prof Anil Gupta of IIM-Ahmedabad observes, “Their influence is far beyond what is recognized, and not always benign.”
Should NGOs receiving grants from international agencies like the Ford Foundation and others be barred from participating in the shaping of public policy?
And are these civil society groups working as stooges of the West to execute an “American agenda” ?
These are the question the Aam Aadmi has to answer.
Not the copyrighted ones; but the real Aam Aadmi.

Report by

Shelley Kasli

Ukraine Kiev Lenin Statue Demolished CIA
Update : Just last night CIA’s Urban Guerrilla Unit demolished Lenin’s statue in Kiev, Ukraine same as they did with Saddam’s as part of a psychological warfare protesting against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych staunch stand against EU and East European countries and refusal to sign the free-trade agreement that would devastate his nation’s remaining industry already devastated by IMF.
References :
—————
The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters
Ford Foundation, a philanthropic facade for the CIA
CIA manipulation of 1953 elections
Warren Commission
Allen Dulles
John J. McCloy
Flowing The Way Of Their Money
Claims that Hazare’s movement is US-funded baseless: Arvind
‘We’re No Policy Advisors’
Kejriwal Admits, His NGO Took Money From Ford Foundation 2 Years Back
It’s Official – US-Based Ford Foundation Funding Anna’s Movement
Read more »

Monday, 24 March 2014

Young being indoctrinated into 'jihad' in Pakistan, confesses Indian Mujahideen terrorist Zia Ur Rehman

Young being indoctrinated into 'jihad' in Pakistan, confesses Indian Mujahideen terrorist Zia Ur Rehman

Alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorist Zia Ur Rehman alias Waqas, who was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Saturday, has further shed light on how innocent youths as young as 15 years are indoctrinated into 'jihad' at terror camps in Pakistan.
According to a senior police official associated with interrogation, in 2009, Waqas came in contact with one Taj Mohammed through some newspaper advertisement. He used to collect donations on behalf of Jamaat-Ud-Dawa, the front organisation for LeT. "He told Mohammed that he wanted to go to Kashmir and fight. To test his interest, Mohammed turned him down twice but as he insisted, Mohammed arranged for Rehman's training at the Naushera camp," the official said.
Here along with 20-25 youth, all between the age of 15 to 20 years he started the 21-day training called 'Daura-e-Aam'. Here, one Abu Bakar, Abdulla, Azhar, Naeem were their instructors while overall head was one Abu Manzur, he said. 
Waqas says that it was a rigorous training programme which started at 5:30 in the morning and continued till 5:00 in the evening. "It started with morning prayers and physical training exercises. Breakfast was given at 8:00 which was followed by religious classes. This was followed by training of using weapon including AK-47, INSAS, G-2 gun and pistols. There was lunch break between 12 to 2 PM after which they were taught firing," the official said.
After completing this, he wanted to do more following which one Abdur Rehman of JeM arranged for his training at a camp situated in Waziristan. Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), where he received intensive training in arms and ammunition. Here he got a 25-day training known as 'Zuhaib', where he got intensive training in handling of arms and ammunitions. 
He then jumped on to the next level where only a select few could reach. Here he got specialised 10-day training in preparation of IEDs, through Hydrogen Peroxide (liquid form), Potassium Chloride and Ammonium Nitrate. 
Read more »

Saturday, 22 March 2014

China Struggles to Curb Energy Growth Amid Smog Crisis

China Struggles to Curb Energy Growth Amid Smog Crisis

china-smog-tiananmen-march2.gif
A tourist wearing a face mask visits the Tiananmen Rostrum in heavy smog in Beijing, March 3, 2014.
 Imaginechina
China has raised its energy conservation targets for the second time in five months, acknowledging that it fell short of its goal last year.

In his annual work report on March 5 to the National People's Congress, the country's rubber stamp parliament, Premier Li Keqiang said the government has "tried hard to conserve energy, reduce emissions and ... control pollution," but China's smog crisis contradicts any credible claim to success.

The government has been trying to control pollution by setting targets for "energy intensity," an index of energy use per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) or economic output.

The targets are a key factor in the anti-smog battle because China met 65.7 percent of its energy demand with high-polluting coal last year, according to Reuters and China's state-owned Economic Information Daily.

While total energy consumption keeps rising as the economy expands, China has partially mitigated the effect by reducing energy waste per unit of GDP year after year.

But China's thick smog and new energy intensity targets suggest that the environmental effort has been losing ground.

Substantial increase
In his report, Li said the government would seek to improve energy efficiency this year by 3.9 percent, a substantial increase over the 3.5-percent annual target originally set under the current five-year plan.

Under the plan, China pledged to cut per-unit energy use in 2015 by 16 percent from 2010 levels.

In order to fulfill the five-year commitment, the government must raise its annual targets because it failed to meet them for the first two years, said Zhou Dadi, vice chairman of the China Energy Research Society, according to the official English-language China Daily.

Most of the trouble stems from 2011, when total energy use soared 7 percent while energy efficiency improved only 2.01 percent.

Last October, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's administrative ministry, issued a "special document" ordering an increase in annual targets to 3.84 percent.

In a report to the NPC, the NDRC said it had "basically attained" the goal last year with an improvement of 3.7 percent, although the performance fell short of the mark.

Behind the energy numbers lie a host of connections to major challenges facing China, including efforts to transform the economy, set a sustainable growth course, cut industrial overcapacity, reduce reliance onconstruction and infrastructure investment, and get pollution under control.

Not doing enough

The smog crisis suggests that the government is not doing enough by simply setting new targets to make up for failing to meet old ones, since total energy use is still growing at about 3.9 percent annually, based on official figures. The result has been more smog as GDP rose 7.7 percent last year.

"It's a numbers chase," said Derek Scissors, an economist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

While China is taking positive steps by improving efficiency, it is unclear whether its intensity targets have
had any effect on smog.

In January, Han Jun, deputy director of the State Council Development Research Center, said China's energy intensity remains more than twice the global average, Reuters reported.

Philip Andrews-Speed, a China energy expert at National University of Singapore, said energy intensity is only indirectly linked to air quality.

"The pollution arises mostly as a result of total energy use and the energy mix," Andrews-Speed said.

"Total energy use continues to rise and the share of coal in the energy mix can only change slowly. Add this to the growing number of vehicles and, in recent weeks, some unusually persistent weather patterns, and you have a problem which continues to get worse before it will get better," he said.

Little sign

Despite enthusiastic responses to Li's work report cited by China's official media, Scissors sees little sign that the government is ready to "declare war against pollution," as the premier said.

Li's report appeared to be a letdown from the reform agenda laid out in November at the Third Plenary Session of the ruling Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, said Scissors.

Instead, the report steered a conservative course, renewing last year's GDP growth and inflation targets of 7.5 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.

Scissors said the boilerplate report was reminiscent of those given by Li's predecessor, Wen Jiabao.

"This sounds like it could have been delivered by Wen Jiabao three years ago," he said.

Much will depend on how fast and how fully the government follows through on the report's promises of steps like energy pricing reforms, environmental taxes, property taxes and overcapacity cuts. Some tasks have been promised for this year, but most come with no set timelines.

Scissors suggested that the government may have been forced to adjust its energy efficiency targets because it expected higher GDP growth last year, which would have produced a better per-unit result.

The recent prevalence of smog raises the question of whether the efficiency targets will have any visible effect as long as they are lower than consumption growth.

Ultimately, residents can expect little relief from air pollution if total energy use keeps rising at current rates,
regardless of per-unit reductions.
Read more »

Four Chinese Lawyers Detained Over 'Black Jail' Appeal

Four Chinese Lawyers Detained Over 'Black Jail' Appeal

map-Jiamusi.gif
Map showing China's Heilongjiang province's Jiamusi city.
RFA
Authorities in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang have detained four prominent rightslawyers representing detainees in an unofficialdetention center, or "black jail," fellow lawyers said on Friday.

Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian, Wang Cheng, and Zhang Junjie were detained by authorities on Friday morning at their hotel in Heilongjiang's Jiamusi city, Guangzhou-based rights lawyer Li Xiaoling told RFA'sMandarin Service.

The lawyers had been hired by relatives of those held in the "black jail" to campaign for their release, according to Beijing-based rights lawyer Chen Jiangang.

"These four lawyers were representing human rights cases on the front line," Chen said. "They detained them and confiscated their cell phones."

"I have tried to call them several times, but no one is picking up, and I can't get through; there's a switched-off message," he said.

Fellow rights lawyer Zhao Yonglin confirmed the report.

"The situation now is that the four lawyers have been locked up in a detention center, on the grounds that Wang Cheng's lawyer's license is fake," Zhao said.

Threatening call

Zhao said he had received a call from a number listed as belonging to the Jiamusi police chief, threatening that if the black jail case wasn't dropped, the lawyers "would find it hard to practice their profession."

But the caller, who had a northeastern accent, declined to give his name or job title, he said.

Zhao said the lawyers had taken issue with an extrajudicial detention center officially known as a "legal study center," where the authorities send anyone who pursues complaints against them, particularly with higher levels of government.

"There's a place [in Qinglongshan] called the legal study center, where they hold citizens prisoner who haven't committed any crime," Zhao said.

"The four lawyers were detained while on an inspection visit to the Qinglongshan black jail ... the sign on the gate reads Jiansanjiang Rule of Law Education Center," said Zhao, who had planned to join the other four lawyers, but canceled owing to other commitments.

"In fact, it's a black jail."

He said many of the detainees are being held there for religious reasons.

"They have a lot of groups with religious beliefs locked up in there under the guise of legal education," Zhao said, adding, "They hold them for several months at a time, even up to a year."

Hired by relatives

He said the four lawyers had been hired by relatives of detainees to get them out.

"They were there to demand their release, because they were locked up without any legal process at all," Zhao said.

Rights lawyer Chen Jiangang said China's embattled legal profession has been under increasing pressure in recent years.

"There are no human rights in China, and we lawyers have to try to do our jobs in manacles," Chen said. "It's a humiliating business, being a lawyer in China."

"There's no guarantee of one's personal rights or safety, and yet we still try to help others defend their rights," he said.

"We are pretty helpless."

China's parliament voted on Dec. 28, 2013, to end its controversial "re-education through labor," or laojiao, system of administrative punishments following a prolonged campaign by lawyers, former inmates, and rights activists to abolish it.

But rights lawyers say many other forms of extrajudicial detention remain, and that some former laojiao camps have changed their name but not their function.

Torture, abuse

Rights activists in China have long campaigned for the abolition of "black jails," which are often used to detain those who complain to higher levels of government about local officials or to hold anyone regarded as a troublemaker or threat to "social stability."

Those held without due legal process are at increased risk of torture and general abuse, rights groups say.

Staff in such detention facilities often insult and humiliate detainees, and have even robbed, raped, seriously injured, and killed them, according to a report last year by the Chinese rights website Weiquanwang.

In May, Sichuan authorities detained and beat high-profile rights lawyers who tried to visit an unofficial detention center, or "black jail," according to fellow lawyers who spoke with them during the attack.

And according to London-based rights group Amnesty International, thousands of Chinese people are subjected to arbitrary detention in labor camps and unofficial "black jails" each year.

Earlier this month, Beijing announced a rise in the domestic security, or "stability maintenance," budget to 205 billion yuan (U.S. $33 billion).
Read more »