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Lifting the Veil on a Secret Chinese Jail

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News,World,China,Human Rights

A Chinese local official imprisoned for alleged crimes gives a firsthand account of a political culture open to vendettas and forced confessions in a secret detention system. His story is one of several told exclusively to The Associated Press. (March 10)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Liling, Hunan Province, China - 20 January, 2014

1. Close view of Zhou Wangyan standing outside his home

2. Mid view of Zhou looking across street at apartment complex

3. Mid view of apartment blocks under construction

4. SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) Zhou Wangyan, Detained Official: (transcript below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

ZhuZhou, Hunan Province, China - 20 January, 2014

5. Tracking shot of entrance to Qiobaotou 'shuanggui' facility

6. Mid view of China national flag flying over Qiobaotou

7. Wide view of Qiobaotou

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Liling, Hunan Province, China 20 January, 2014

8. Mid view of Zhou Wangyan on couch in apartment showing various physical abuse actions

9. UPSOUND - Zhou smacks bottom of feet with coat hangers

10. Still image from X-ray scanner showing damage and screws in Zhou's left thigh bone

11. Documents resting on Zhou's desk

12. UPSOUND - Zhou points to television monitor: "This is video taken on the day I was released."

FAMILY HANDOUT, PERMISSION FROM ZHOU WANGYAN

Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China - 12 January, 2013

13. Various of Zhou being helped by relatives and colleagues out of the Qiaobaotou 'shuanggai' detention center

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hong Kong - 30 January 2014

14. SOUNDBITE: (English) Flora Sapio, Chinese University of Hong Kong: (transcript below)

FAMILY HANDOUT, PERMISSION FROM ZHOU WANGYAN

Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China - 12 January, 2013

15. Zhou being lifted on to a stretcher and moved to ambulance

16. Various of amulance driving away and leaving Qiaobaotou 'shanggui' facility

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Liling, Hunan Province, China - 20 January 2014

17. Zhou steps out of his apartment with crutches and onto his back porch

STORYLINE:

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

ZHOU WANGYAN IS THE LAND BUREAU DIRECTOR FOR THE CITY OF LILING IN HUNAN PROVINCE, CHINA.

HE HAS A SAY IN WHO CAN BUY LAND IN THE CITY AND FOR WHAT PRICE.

ACCORDING TO ZHOU, THREE YEARS AGO HE WAS ACCUSED OF TAKING BRIBES AFTER HE REFUSED TO SELL COMMUNIST PARTY BOSSES LAND AT A PRICE CHEAPER THAN THE LAW ALLOWED.

SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) Zhou Wangyan, Detained Official:

"It's because of this issue that they came after me, and that's how I ended up in the 'shuanggui' system."

ZHOU WAS CAUGHT UP IN CHINA'S ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN AND DISAPPEARED INTO A SECRETIVE DETENTION SYSTEM FOR LOCAL OFFICIALS, THE 'SHUANGGUI.'

HIS FIRST HAND ACCOUNT TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GIVES RARE INSIGHT INTO A POLITICAL CULTURE OPEN TO VENDETTAS AND FORCED CONFESSIONS.

HE SAYS HE ENDURED SIX MONTHS OF WHIPPINGS, SLEEP DEPRIVATION, STARVATION AND WAS NEARLY DROWNED.

UPSOUND: Zhou smashes his heels with coat hangers

AT ONE POINT INTERROGATORS BROKE HIS THIGH BONE.

HIS ACCOUNT OF ABUSE IS SUPPORTED BY MEDICAL RECORDS AND STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL PROSECUTORS.

SOUNDBITE: Zhou Wangyan, Detained Official:

"This is video taken on the day I was released."

WHILE IN DETENTION ZHOU WAS FORCED TO CONFESS TO TAKING BRIBES BUT WAS RELEASED AFTER SIX MONTHS IN CUSTODY.

COMPLAINTS OF BRUTALITY FROM THOSE TRAPPED IN 'SHUANGGUI' ARE REACHING BEIJING AND REFORMS MAY BE MADE.

SOUNDBITE: Flora Sapio, Chinese University of Hong Kong:

"The Party itself has been the driving force behind decisions to reform 'shuanggui' because it has been understood how the existence of the system is automatically, or at least easily, leads to torture and abuse."

PROSECUTORS EVENTUALLY DECIDED NOT TO FORMALLY CHARGE ZHOU.

LOCAL ANTI-GRAFT OFFICIALS DENY HE WAS TORTURED, SAYING HE BROKE HIS LEG SLIPPING IN THE BATHROOM.

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