A new report says that increasing numbers of people have been prevented from leaving China in recent years.
Many do not know they are under an exit ban until they try to leave the country.
Since 2018, China has adopted five new laws, or amended existing ones, to increase the possibility of imposing so-called exit bans, according to a report by the Spanish non-profit Protection Foundation.
“Since Xi Jinping came to power in China in 2012, China has expanded the legal landscape and has increasingly used travel bans, sometimes without legal justification,” the group wrote.
Between 2016 and 2020, the number of cases where a travel ban was mentioned in the country’s top court database increased eightfold.
“The travel ban has become one of the many tools used by the Chinese Communist Party as part of its broader effort to tighten control over all aspects of people’s lives,” the report stated.
Safeguard Defenders estimates that tens of thousands of Chinese are under exit bans and dozens of foreigners have been prevented from leaving China in recent years. Among those who have been granted exit bans are foreign lawyers, journalists and businessmen.
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