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Full Text: Assessment Report on the Implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015) (7)

Xinhua, June 14, 2016 Adjust font size:

I. Civil and Political Rights

Between 2012 and 2015, the construction of socialist political democracy and the rule of law have been pushed forward in a comprehensive way, citizens' civil and political rights have been effectively protected, and the people have been guaranteed and supported to act as masters of their own country.

(1) Rights of the person

The amended Criminal Procedure Law adopted in March 2012 clearly stipulated the respect and protection of human rights, and improved the evidence collecting system, compulsory measures, defense system, criminal investigation, trial procedures and enforcement procedures.

The personal rights of suspects in lawsuits are guaranteed. The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security promulgated regulations in greater detail on the applicable conditions, approval procedures and informing procedures for the adoption of such compulsory measures as arrest, release on bail pending trial, and residential surveillance. Between 2012 and 2015, the procuratorates throughout the country disapproved the arrest of 816,379 people, among whom 340,491 were not arrested on the grounds that they were posing no danger to society, 63,809 were not arrested on the grounds that their behavior constituted no crimes, and 379,290 were not arrested on the grounds of unclear facts and insufficient evidence. The public security organs strictly followed rules that required notifying the family members of criminal suspects within 24 hours of detentions or arrests. During the first interrogation or while taking compulsory measures, the security personnel should inform the suspects of their right to retain defense lawyers, or to apply for legal aid. An internet appointment platform has been established to publicize phone numbers for appointments and provide convenience for lawyers to meet suspects. Great efforts were made to push forward the construction of legal aid centers within detention houses to make sure that detainees and their families obtain timely legal aid. During a criminal investigation, defense lawyers can inquire about the accusations and major established facts implicating the suspects in the crimes and the situation on compulsory measures taken by the investigation organs.

The supervision and examination against extortion of confession by torture and other illegal acts have been strengthened. Between 2012 and 2015, procuratorial organs made 869,775 remedial proposals on illegal acts during criminal investigations including abusing compulsory measures, collecting evidence through illegal means and extorting confessions by torture. In 2015, China handled 208 cases against 243 procurators for their violation of laws and disciplines. Since 2012, the country' s procuratorial organs have continued to take stern actions to investigate and deal with cases concerning staffers of state functionaries who violated citizens' personal rights by taking advantage of their functions and powers.

The regulations on comprehensive collection and examination of evidence have been strictly implemented. Public security organs put all evidence collected proving guilt or innocence, felony or misdemeanor on file, with all records then transferred to examine the reliability, legitimacy and probative value of evidence. The people's procuratorates placed on record all the proposals made by defense lawyers about cases of suspects constituting no crimes, causing no harm to society or excluding evidence collected through illegal means. Before the end of criminal investigations, if defense lawyers make demands, public security organs are required to listen to their views, verify facts according to specific circumstances and place them on record. If defense lawyers submit opinions in written form, the document should be attached to the other records. The public security organs have standardized the use and management of the venues of law enforcement and case investigation. Case investigation areas are separated physically from other areas to ensure that criminal suspects have food and drinks and necessary time for rest in these venues. After being taken into public security organs, criminal suspects should be taken directly to case investigation areas where video surveillance systems should be installed. By the end of 2015, public security organs at various locations had completed the standardized renovation of the venues of law enforcement and case investigation.

The system of community-based correction has been further improved. The amended Criminal Procedure Law adopted in 2012 stipulated that those criminals sentenced to public surveillance, probationary suspension, parole and serving terms outside of jail temporarily, should undergo community-based correction according to law, and be subject to the administration of community correctional institutions. According to the provisions of the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law, the Ministry of Justice worked with other related departments in jointly laying down Measures for the Implementation of Community Correction, and made comprehensive stipulations on the delivery, execution and legal supervision of community correction. Efforts were made to strengthen education and management and effectively raise the quality of community correction. To help those serving sentences adapt to society, the government formulated, improved and fulfilled earnestly the assistance policy, and coordinated with others to find solutions to the problems concerning the employment, schooling, subsistence allowances, provisional aid and social security, which has helped create conditions for those serving sentences to feel reassured in receiving community correction and assimilate back into society. By the end of 2015, China had established 1,339 community-based correction centers at the county (district) level, which received cumulatively 2.702 million people serving sentences, and released cumulatively 2.004 million such people. There were 698,000 people serving sentences on the roster to receive community correction, and the rate of recidivism for people receiving community correction has remained at a relatively low level of 0.2 percent.

In December 2012, the NPC Standing Committee adopted a decision to abolish laws and regulations on reeducation through labor.

In August 2015, the NPC Standing Committee decided to grant amnesty to four categories of prisoners. By the end of 2015, official pardons had been given to 31,527 prisoners according to law.

(2) Rights of detainees

Supervision over detention has been strengthened. For those detainees who are sick or injured or in a situation eligible for release on bail or residential surveillance and unsuitable for continued detention according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law, public security organs will change compulsory measures according to law. Between 2012 and 2015, procuratorial institutions across the country proposed release or changing compulsory measures for 83,341 people who were involved in cases unnecessary for detention, and case-handling organs accepted such proposals for 77,591 detainees, with the adoption rate standing at 93.1 percent. Supervision over the term of criminal detention was intensified in a comprehensive way. Between 2012 and 2015, 1,974 detainees were found to be in extended custody, calls for correction were then made about 1,967 detainees, and the situations of 1,939 detainees have been corrected so far.

Efforts were made to guarantee the legal rights of detainees. In 2013, the Ministry of Public Security organized the amending of Construction Standards for Detention Houses that call for the all-round adoption of the goal of one bed for one inmate in newly built, renovated and expanded detention houses. The Ministry of Public Security worked together with the National Health and Family Planning Commission to specialize and socialize medical care for inmates in venues under public security supervision and establish medical records for detainees, with professional medical institutions in charge of daily medical and health care services. The systems of physical examination for detainees when they are taken into custody, regular body surface examinations for detainees and the notification of the rights and obligations of the detainees and emergency alarming procedures were strictly implemented. The system of interrogation and remand of criminal suspects was also strictly carried out. The systems of assessing detainees' security risk, psychological intervention and investigation, and handling of their complaints were continually improved. The same was so for the system and working mechanism for inviting special supervisors to inspect the detention houses. Various regulations were formulated concerning detainees' rights of the person and belongings, and their litigation rights in detention houses of public security organs. Through the working mechanism and system regarding the establishment of procurator mailboxes, detainees' requests to see resident procurators, meetings between resident procurators and detainees in detention houses and prisons, people's procuratorates were able to find out whether there were violations of the rights of detainees, such as physical punishment, torture, insult and retaliation, and propose remedies and supervise the prisons and detention houses for correction. Between 2012 and 2015, procuratorial organs across China proposed to supervisory organs 7,770 remedies for practices that had been conducted on detainees, including physical punishment, torture, the illegal use of instruments and confinement. All of the practices were corrected. In March 2015, Regulations on the Handling of Cases Involving the Death of Detainees in Prisons were enforced to provide for concrete steps for reporting, investigating and handling, inspecting and establishing accountability. (mor