Safeguard Defenders have published a number of books and reports since 2017 covering key campaign issues -- enforced disappearances, forced TV confessions and torture as well as training manuals. Localized training manuals are usually not released to the general public. Other published material, including submissions to UN mechanisms, shorter reports and official complaints can be found under news. For material on practical digital protection and related issues, see digital protection.

arbitrary detention and disappearances
Click here to purchase The People's Republic of the Disappeared

The People's Republic of the Disappeared

The People's Republic of the Disappeared: Stories from inside China's system for enforced disappearances (2017). Edited by Michael Caster. This critically acclaimed book, utilizing first-person accounts from victims to terrifying effect, was the first of its kind to expose China's then little known system for disappearing its critics - RSDL. It also offers the most exhaustive analysis of domestic and international law yet.


Click to download Hidden in Detention (pdf)

Hidden in Detention: Vanishing Suspects

Hidden in Detention: Vanishing Suspects (2019). This brief report exposes, for the first time, how it has become common for police to force prisoners in pre-trial detention centres to use a false name. This effectively disappears the victim, cutting them off from contact with their lawyer and their families and erasing their case from the legal database. Hidden in detention is yet another form of enforced disappearance in China. 

Click here to download report on National Supervision Commission

From Central Control to National Supervision

From Central Control to National Supervision (2018). This report looks at China's new National Supervision Commission, a super agency responsible for detaining suspects from the Party and the government, and its system of enforced disappearances, liuzhi. By comparing it to a parallel form of detention, RSDL and its predecessor, shuanggui, it predicts the massive reach of this new and feared system that is little understood.

Click to download Solitary Confinement as Torture in RSDL (pdf)

The use of solitary confinement as torture in RSDL

The use of solitary confinement in RSDL as a method of torture (2019). This brief report analyses the use of solitary confinement on detainees under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL) through the lens of international law and concludes that its use at these secret facilities with no independent overisght clearly constitutes torture. 

Click to download UPR Submission 2018 (pdf)

UPR Submission

NGO stakeholder submission - UPR China 3rd cycle (2018). Safeguard Defenders submission to the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of China. The submission focuses on the issue of RSDL, China's use of disappearances, and the systematic use of torture inside the RSDL system. The report also follows up on a prior UPR submission at the 2nd cycle in 2014, showing developments concerning these issues. 

Joint submission on RSDL to UN Special Procedures

Joint report to HRC on RSDL

A report developed and submitted (2018) by Safeguard Defenders, International Service for Human Rights, The Rights Practice, and the Network for Chinese Human Rights Defenders, concerning the issue of enforced disappearances within the RSDL - Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location, in China. Report was provided to 15 UN Special Procedures ahead of Human RIghts Council meeting, drawing on both legal analysis, public and non-public data and information on use of the RSDL system. 

forced confessions and torture
Click here to buy Trial By Media on Amazon

Trial By Media

Trial By Media: China's new show trials, and the global expansion of Chinese media (2018). Edited by Peter Dahlin. Through the use of first-person accounts from victims, this book explains in detail how China's forced TV confessions are made and exposes the active role China's state media has played in creating them via its collaboration with police. It also charts the Party's tightening control over the media and its aggressive international expansion.


Click to download Scripted and Staged (pdf)

Scripted and Staged

Scripted and Staged: Behind the scenes of China’s forced TV confessions (2018). This groundbreaking and illustrated report was the first of its kind to expose the reality behind China's Forced TV Confessions that have been beamed around the world on China's state TV channel CGTN. Through the use of victim stories, the reader gains a better understanding of how these show confessions are coerced and staged. Also availble as a full-color book in A4 format on Amazon worldwide. 

Click to download Battered and Bruised (pdf)

Battered and Bruised

Battered and Bruised: Why torture continues to stand at the heart of China's judicial system (2018). This report is based on research conducted by a group of Chinese lawyers with experience trying to protect their clients from torture and to secure the disqualification of confessions procured through torture. Battered and Bruised documents commonly practiced torture methods and why the country's legal system continues to fail to prevent its use.

other subjects

For material on practical digital protection and related issues, see digital protection. Also see News section for smaller releases, UN case submissions, databases and updates.