What You Need to Know About Arrests [in China]

A translation of an except of “Activtist’s Cookbook” from smrc8a.org

What you need to know about arrests

Before your action

Identify an emergency contact. Make sure they know your name in both English and Chinese. After an arrest, you will need to tell them which police station you are at so they can help bring you a legal representative.

Before an arrest

The police may issue warnings, requests or messages through a loudspeaker and/or by raising various coloured (yellow, red, etc.) flags. Take note of their procedure, stay calm and discuss how you want to respond with fellow activists.

During an arrest

  • The police can only arrest you if there is a reasonable suspicion that you have committed or are about to commit an offence. Upon the arrest, they must hence disclose the offence that you are suspected of. During an arrest, please remember a) the officer’s collar/shoulder number, b) the reason of arrest, and c) suspected offence.
  • After you arrive at the police station, all your belongings will be confiscated by the police and taken away from out of sight. So think about the consequences when bringing sensitive objects or information with you.
  • After being arrested, anything that you say may become a recorded statement, even if it’s not a formal statement (given in a police car, in the waiting room, etc.).
  • Any conversation or banter with the police can become a useful information for their investigation, so avoid it if possible.
  • You have the right to remain silent, to not answer questions, and to not sign documents.

At the station

  • If at any time you feel unwell, you have the right to request a break during the proceedings to receive treatment at the hospital. (But be careful about leaving your companions as it may leave you alone and unprotected.)
  • In most cases, aside from giving your telephone number, address and HKID number, you have a right to silence, to not answer questions, and to not sign documents.
  • You can ask to speak to an external contact. First, contact your emergency contact, tell them which police station you’re at and what crime you’ve been accused of. Then seek legal assistance.
  • You can ask the police to provide you with a list of lawyers.
  • You will receive a copy of the  “Notice to Persons in Custody”, which lays out your rights while you are detained, for you to keep.
  • The maximum period they can detain you for is 48 hours (and only if the case is serious or there are reasonable grounds).
  • The officers can request a body search, but they cannot ask you to undress without a valid reason.
  • You can ask for breaks, and for food and drinks.

Giving a statement

Aside from your name, address and HKID number, you can choose not to answer any other questions. Many people fall prey to the carrot and stick methods of the police and accidentally signed a statement that contains an admission of an offence. Beware of the following when giving a statement:

  • “You can see your lawyer after you give a statement” is a lie. It is key that you meet your lawyer and be legally advised before giving a statement.
  • You don’t need to speak or answer questions unless you want to. Everything you say will be recorded by the police with pen and paper, and used as evidence in court.
  • You can ask to be accompanied by a lawyer during questioning
  • After being questioned by the police, you will receive a copy of your statement. Before receiving a copy of this, you may refuse to answer any further questions.
  • The police cannot use intimidation, inducement or other inappropriate tactics to obtain a statement from you.

When you leave you can obtain

  1. Bail form (only available if bail was granted, it contains  the conditions of bail, information for court appearance or change of details on the bail form)
  2. Charge sheet (name of charge, document summary)
  3. Record of statement
  4. Detained belongings
  5. The police must record all seized belongings, and return them to you unless they are used as evidence
  6. If you are physically injured by the police, you should go to a private clinic immediately for an examination when you are allowed to leave the station after the procedure is over

The Legacy of the Original 9 in Tennis to U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Today

“While some sporting brands used International Women’s Day to launch their Women’s World Cup team kits, lawyers representing the world-champion U.S. team were on their way to a California courthouse to file a landmark lawsuit that would rock the sport.”

—Philip O’Connor, “U.S. women’s fight for fairness puts soccer World Cup in focus.” Reuters. March 9, 2019.

It seems like this might be a good time to mention the Original 9, Billie Jean King and women’s tennis: 

“We wanted to be paid equally and we wanted to be treated fairly. Originally we had hoped to partner with the men’s tennis tour and have a unified voice in the sport on a global basis. But the guys wanted no part of it. And not every women’s player wanted to join us.

So we went to plan B.

For a tense few days in September 1970, we sat in a semicircle in Gladys’ home in Houston and debated the pros and cons of breaking away and starting our own tour. For us, everything was at risk. The USLTA (now the USTA, the governing body of tennis in this country) threatened us with suspension and expulsion. The Australians faced an even stronger enemy in their federation. They were told if they signed with us, their playing days were over.

With one unified voice, each of us signed a ceremonial $1 contract with Gladys to play in the inaugural Virginia Slims of Houston. We drew a line in the sand and we put everything we had on that line. It was now up to us to create our own tour, to find a place to make a living and to breathe life into women’s professional tennis.”

—Billie Jean King, “The Legacy of the Original 9.The Player’s Tribune. August 26, 2015

It’s now 49 years later, and it’s still the same nonsense. But, on a hopeful note, things do change. It’s also great to see women players that have benefited from previous generations, such as Serena Williams, lending their voices to help women in other sports. If you are inclined, you might want to consider adding your voice as well, there are links to FIFA’s social media accounts on its website.

Also worth a mention, there’s a good retelling of Billie Jean King’s story in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, read by Jessica Valenti. It’s something little Rebel Girls, or anyone in your life, will appreciate. Recommended.

Too Broke to Be Woke

“Though it might grant social and professional benefits to members of the elite liberal class, engaging in scholarship and activism that demonizes men, white people, or heterosexuals doesn’t make the world more just, nor does providing students with empirically-unsupported implicit-bias training and “toxic masculinity” workshops. These practices bake the seeds of prejudice and discrimination into educational experiences that are supposedly focused on fighting prejudice and discrimination. In fact, the use of divisive and hateful language in the name of social justice is a red flag: Those on the front lines know there is too much at stake to burn bridges and attack others. They want allies, not enemies.”

—Clay Routledge. “Social Justice in the Shadows.” Quillette. September 14, 2018.

Social justice is a fine idea frequently undermined by its strongest proponents. It’s a rare good idea that doesn’t have this problem.