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Behind Closed Doors | what it’s like to be interrogated by the Chinese secret police

OWoN: Kafka would be proud.

The West has no idea of what it is throwing away or what it will gain.

Image: Reuters/Jason Lee

It can be grim to get on the wrong side of the Chinese government

By Kabir Chibber
20 July 2014

“I began to talk about Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience, but quickly felt like a ridiculous pedant. What’s the point of talking about the virtues of civil disobedience in a Beijing police station?”

So wonders Murong Xuecun, a Chinese author who was interrogated by the Chinese secret police for seven hours and wrote about it for the New York Times.

He was asked to come to the police station “for a chat” by the guobao after reading an essay at a private commemoration of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Others who had contributed had been arrested already. And so Murong voluntarily attended the meeting and found himself in a shoe-print-covered room discussing the nature of the law with two officers.

“We discussed whether citizens ‘must obey the law,’” Murong wrote. “I said good laws should be obeyed but evil laws must be challenged. They strongly disagreed, insisting that the law must be obeyed whether it’s good or evil. ‘And you’re a graduate of the China University of Political Science and Law, eh?’ the younger one asked mockingly.”

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