Overcrowding has prompted Qincheng prison – where former high-ranking officials are jailed – to pull the plug on Lunar New Year visits, source says.
It looks like being a particularly grim Lunar New Year in the “tigers’ cage” this week. The notorious Qincheng maximum security prison houses many disgraced senior Communist Party officials – including fallen security chief Zhou Yongkang, former Chongqing boss Bo Xilai, ex-presidential aide Ling Jihua and Guo Boxiong, who was once a top general.
Normally, some of those prisoners who are aged over 60 can look forward to a Lunar New Year meal with a few family members, but a source close to the jail told the South China Morning Post that this year, the celebration has been cancelled.
The source said the prison was packed to the gills with inmates – a product of President Xi Jinping’s ferocious anti-corruption drive that has netted more than 1.3 million officials at various levels, from the elite “tigers” to the ordinary “flies” – and there was not enough room to accommodate the annual family gatherings during the most important Chinese festival of the year.