Originally Posted by Article: China to investigate prison abuse, BBC NEWS
Originally Posted by AngryABCGirl
Which China Daily is this? I'd be really surprised if one of the ones based in China was allowed to make the opinion, even in English language format.
Last month the English-language China Daily ran a full-page article on the subject, saying experts were calling for inmates to be put into "neutral hands".
I found this China Daily article that the BBC article makes mention of:
Call to put inmates in 'neutral hands'
By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-24 07:45
Family members of Xu Gengrong, the 19-year-old high school student who died while in a detention center in Shaanxi province, cannot hide their grief after learning of his death on March 8. Xu had been held for seven days on suspicion of stoning a schoolmate to death. Xi He
After two high-profile deaths at detention houses across China, as well as reports of inmates being regularly tortured, experts on criminal justice have said only a radical reform of the system will bring an end to the scandals.
Employed to hold unconvicted suspects during criminal investigations, the facilities fall under the management of the nearest public security bureau. But after being brought into the spotlight by five tragedies in the past three months, many have said only when they are put under the control of a "neutral" organization will the tragedies cease.
"Detention houses are supposed to be neutral ground where defendants are held pending the outcome of prosecutions," said Chen Ruihua, a professor at Peking University. "They should be safe places where inmates are protected from harm."
Detention facilities first hit the headlines last month when 24-year-old Li Qiaoming was beaten to death in Yunnan province. Local authorities initially ruled out foul play, blaming his death on an accident during a game of hide and seek. It was only after a public uproar, which led the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) to intervene, was the truth uncovered.
The issue was made worse when 19-year-old Xu Gengrong died on March 8. The student was in his seventh day of detention in Shaanxi province on suspicion of stoning a schoolmate to death, with an autopsy report showing he died from several injuries. Authorities were investigating two police officials.
The three other cases involved robbery suspect Hu Fenqiang, who died after spending 12 days in custody on Mar 12 in Hunan province; 58-year-old Luo Jingbo, who was beaten to death by fellow detainees on Mar 2 in Hainan province, and Zhai Junbao, who died on Feb 16 in Hebei province.
Several officers at the centers in Hunan and Hainan were sacked and detained for investigation, while the head of the Hebei detention house was suspended, according to police sources.
Journalists and investigators swarm outside the Jinning county detention facility in Yunnan province where 24-year-old Li Qiaoming was beaten to death. Local authorities initially blamed his death on an accident during a game of hide and seek. Liu Jinli
Although the centers are the absolute responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security, which is empowered to arrest, detain, interrogate and investigate, Chen said the power was at risk of being abused at local level, with police officers given full control over the timing, frequency and location for interrogations without any third-party supervision.
"Gradually, detention centers have become a place controlled by the police as part of their turf and the most profitable piece of their territory," he said. "Every suspect will face pressures in interrogation to confess and implicate others in wrongdoings in the hope of shortening their jail term."
Chi Susheng, head of the Susheng Law Firm, based in Heilongjiang province, said the solution to violence in detention houses is to put them under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice.
"If we could separate the investigation role from the detention role, at least we could set up a checks and balance mechanism to avoid the frequent events exposed by the hide-and-seek incident, or so-called 'eluding the cat' incident," he said.
In China, while unconvicted suspects are put in detention, the condemned are kept in jails under the management of Ministry of Justice. But there has not been as many problems with bullying and torture in the prison system, where inmates are allowed to have jobs, given time to enjoy the outdoors every day and receive regular visits from relatives.
"Bullying and torture in police custody has become a persistent problem over the past few decades," Jiang Jianchu, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, told China Daily yesterday.
The length of detention time can usually last from a few days to several months - and in some special cases even a few years, according to the Criminal Procedure Law.
Chen Weidong, a criminal procedure professor with Renmin University of China, said that the conditions and security in detention facilities were "worrying".
"Police will sometimes have the detained suspects, especially new ones, tortured so they can get confessions and complete an investigation as soon as possible," he said.
"Inside, inmates form a small social system in which the newcomers lie at the bottom. Their rights and physical security are in danger," Chen said, and explained that all newcomers faced a "greeting gift" from fellow detainees.
And when an inmate is attacked, he or she has no effective channel to call for help, with the shocking fact that, in Li Qiaoming's case, the monitoring facilities in the detention center were not even working.
"The case not only reflects the chaos and malpractice going on in facilities, but also society's long-term indifference on the management of the sector," Chen added.
That indifference seems to be turning into outrage for many people. But despite calls for a change in management for the centers, the coming round of judicial reform will not include such a radical plan, according to guidelines for the coming four years released in January by the central politics and law committee of the Communist Party of China.
The document highlighted such areas as power distribution, intensifying judicial forces and extra financial support. But insiders have told China Daily it has no such designs to separate detention facilities from police control.
"That has always been strongly resisted by police departments, which complain such a reform will not help their investigations and the crackdown on crime," said Hou Xinyi, deputy dean of the law at Nankai University in Tianjin.
As the highest authorities work on effective measures to stop the torture, several pilot projects have already been rolled out, including the enlisting of 20 National People's Congress deputies and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to spring surprise inspections on detention centers in Liaoyuan city, Jilin Province.
Li Guizhi, a 48-year-old community director in the city, was one of the public investigators and visited one facility five times between March and September last year, asking inmates face to face about conditions and whether they have been told about their rights to see a lawyer or doctor.
Those on the inspection team who have legal training are able to put forward proposals for improvements after each tour.
"Through the introduction of public supervision, which is more independent, to oversee the detention center exercising its power, the system is conducive to ensuring prisoners are treated in accordance with the law," said Chen Weidong, a professor who is in charge of the program.
"Public supervision allows close and independent observation, the result of which is more convincing and can help improve China's image in protecting human rights."
Sponsored by the European Union, the program was part of cooperation agreements in political, legal, cultural and economic fields. The first phase, which started in 2006, ended last year, with the second seeing the cities of Jinzhong and Zhangjiagang added to the visiting list.
It is hoped the system, which was considered as an innovation of China's judicial reform, can be promoted nationwide.
Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the SPP, said the inspection of detention houses and prisons had always been one of its major tasks, while SPP spokesman Tong Jianming said it will be intensifying prison inspections this year, as well as using more electronic technology to monitor detention houses.
"But the responsibility to eliminate bullying and torture in detention lies with the departments managing the facilities. Prosecutorial supervision is important but it should not be solely responsible for safety," Tong told China Daily.
In Beijing, Changping district people's procuratorate has set up a monthly meeting with the local police department, with both sides agreeing to crackdown on bullying.
The procuratorate will also hold frequent lectures for prosecutors and police working in the detention facilities to remind them of their supervision responsibilities.
(China Daily 03/24/2009 page7)
Originally Posted by SunWuKong
probably this one: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/
it's been noted that the English-language versions of the news are sometimes more critical. China analysts think this is because the Chinese government wants the international community to believe it is doing something about the things that are wrong with the country.
Just saw your link too. Yeah, good point, knowing that many countries including ours (the United States) uses their news media channels to spread propaganda. It makes me wonder. Teach me something, how are the English versions more critical then the Chinese version of the newspaper? The political slant of the reporting in the different versions of the newspaper?
Last edited by Sunflare; 04-06-2009 at 06:03 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost