UN special rapporteurs have recognized prolonged solitary confinement may amount to torture – and yet on 18 March 2022, the Hong Kong prison administration claimed that 21 political prisoners detained for the NSL47 case requested solitary confinement for their own protection. Who’s convinced?
Defendants among the #NSL47, charged for “conspiracy to subversion” for organizing or running in a democratic primary, have been detained for over 1 year now. Some like Ventus Lau have been in solitary for almost the entire time.
Rather than anyone submitting to torture “of their own initiative”, it is far more likely that this is retaliation by the Hong Kong government by reducing these political prisoners’ contact with other detainees.