Detained in China: A chair with hand-cuffs, ankle-cuffs, and a torso lock

By , Asia editor

Reporters on the Job: While reporting the story on China’s annual New Year’s mass migration, I was briefly detained by the Shenzhen train station’s police office.

They just asked what I was doing, then even invited me to keep interviewing people. But in the middle of the room where I was detained, I saw a frighteningly medieval chair, where the police must lock up the more suspicious people.

And by lock, I mean restrain one’s entire body from moving more than a centimeter. The chair was made of black metal and had hand-cuffs, ankle-cuffs, and a wide bar to lock in the torso.

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I was sitting five feet away (on a normal chair) trying not to stare at it. Andy Nelson, the photographer working with me, was dying to take a picture but decided it wouldn’t be wise.

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