In 2012 China amended its Criminal Procedure Law, including a new provision in Article 73 that allowed for a practice called "Residential surveillance at a designated location" (known in short as RSDL).
This provision authorised holding someone in custody – prior to arrest – for up to 6 months in any location or building chosen by the police, without a need to disclose such location, and with very limited due process and possibilities for judicial review.
In August 2018, a group of 10 UN human rights experts wrote a long letter to the Chinese government inquiring about the legal provisions allowing RSDL. They had received information that China’s legislative body, the National People’s Congress, would be revising the Criminal Procedure Law, and that civil society groups and Chinese lawyers had great concerns with Article 73 allowing for RSDL. The experts studied the law as a whole, and in particular Article 73, and explained the ways in which it did not meet international standards, including the human rights treaties that China had itself ratified.
Based on the information they had received, their knowledge of the situation in China, and their expertise in international human rights standards, the UN experts made a series of clear conclusions about RSDL, both in its legal definition, and actual use. This infographics explains and summarises the findings of the UN experts.
RSDL is a form of enforced disappearance. And according to all sources of international law, enforced disappearance is a human rights violation prohibited under all circumstances. Join our campaign to mobilising the international community to put pressure on China to #RepealRSDL.