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23 Oct 2019

The People's Republic of the Disappeared - 2nd edition is coming November 1

On November 1, 2019, Safeguard Defenders is releasing the second edition of its acclaimed book ‘The People’s Republic of the Disappeared’, available worldwide on Amazon and other online bookstores, as both paperback and Kindle ebook.

“In the last two years, China has continued to scale its systems for arbitrary and secret detention to astronomical levels, whether the disappearance of Uyghurs in Xinjiang or constitutional amendments to create a shadowy network of secret detention centers across the country. Under Xi Jinping, China really has become the People’s Republic of the Disappeared.”

 – Michael Caster, editor The People’s Republic of the Disappeared

When The People’s Republic of the Disappeared was first released in November 2017, it was the only resource of its kind to dive deeply into China’s little known but rapidly expanding system for using ‘Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location’ (RSDL) to disappear its targets. The book used victims’ own stories to show the reality inside these secret prisons – from isolation, incommunicado detention, torture, involuntary medication, and forced confessions.

This second edition includes new testimonies from victims and presents the first in-depth overview of China’s rapidly evolving ecosystem for disappearances, from the mass detention camps in Xinjiang, to the new National Supervision Commission and its RSDL-like system for disappearances, liuzhi, to little known practices for disappearing those awaiting trial inside official detention centers and the ‘non-release release’ of prisoners who have served their time.


“China’s legal system has been on a severe and sustained downward trajectory ever since Xi Jinping consolidated power. The law now serves one purpose: strengthening the hand of the party and police, and weakening protections for its targets.”

Peter Dahlin, Safeguard Defenders

The use of disappearances, accomplished through sweeping legal changes, and also through extra-legal practices, stands at the center of the breakdown of China’s fledging legal system. Understanding China’s growing use of disappearances means understanding the most important change to China, its complete break with the international norms-based system.


A preview edition (PDF) is available on request for reviews, research or news coverage

related to China’s use of disappearances.


Media contacts

Peter Dahlin, +34-658 680 863 (Phone, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp),

Michael Caster, +1-781 475 8579 (Phone, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp), | | @SafeguardDefend