China police
Paramilitary policemen take part in anti-riot training at a military base in Suining, Sichuan province, on Mar. 9, 2010. Reuters

China’s production and export of equipment used for torture has increased, facilitating more human rights violations at home and abroad, Amnesty International said Tuesday. The number of Chinese companies engaged in producing and exporting such tools has increased to 130 from 28 a decade ago despite Beijing explicitly banning the torture and mistreatment of prison inmates amid allegations that it still uses such methods, according to the report.

London-based Amnesty said, in a statement, that most companies mentioned in the 38-page report are state-owned, and advertise themselves online and in trade shows, to generate sales. The report provided examples of torture equipment being sold by Chinese companies, including metal-spiked batons, sticks to shock and stun, and weighted leg cuffs, and recommended that the production of such devices be immediately banned.

“This trade – which causes immense suffering – is flourishing because the Chinese authorities have done nothing to stop companies supplying these sickening devices for export or to prevent policing equipment falling into the hands of known human rights abusers,” Patrick Wilcken, security trade and human rights researcher at Amnesty International, said in the statement.

Amnesty said that seven companies in China, which is the only country to produce spiked batons, openly advertise them for export while electric stun batons are manufactured by 29 Chinese companies for export. The spiked baton has been used by police in Cambodia and has been exported to security forces in Nepal and Thailand, according to the report.

“There is no excuse whatsoever for allowing the manufacture and trade in equipment for which the primary purpose is to torture or inflict cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on people. These heinous acts are totally banned under international law and Chinese authorities should immediately place a ban on the production and trade in such cruel and inhumane devices,” Wilcken said in the statement.

Chinese-made torture equipment are also being used in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt and Madagascar, according to the report.

A senior manager at Anhua Police Equipment Manufacturing Co., in Jiangsu province, who identified himself only by his second name Ma, said, according to Associated Press: "I think China has pretty good human rights records, and I suggest those countries finding issues with China's human rights records look at themselves first."