left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Law experts seek ways to protect suspects in detention

Updated: 2015-04-11 13:28
By Cao Yin (China Daily)

Supervision of detention centers should be tightened to protect suspects and uphold their human rights, according to a legal expert.

"An effective way to prevent suspects being tortured would be to strengthen supervision and make the detention system more transparent," said Chen Weidong, a law professor at Renmin University of China.

The need to protect suspects was discussed by a number of law professors who reviewed a revised draft of proposed legislation at a seminar organized by the China Law Society. They shared their opinions and made suggestions.

The new version is based on a draft of what would be the country's first law covering detention centers. The legislation has been under consideration at the Ministry of Public Security since 2009, and the State Council's Legislative Affairs Office asked the experts for their views.

The seminar was intended to develop the legislation further, making it more scientific and rigorous, according to the law society.

Detention centers came under intense public scrutiny some years ago when a number of suspects died and cases were exposed in which confessions were obtained by torture.

Gao Yifei, a law professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law, who took part in the seminar, welcomed the fact that the new version treats the protection of human rights as a priority.

"Suspects are called 'defendants' instead of 'convicts' as in the original version, which is more respectful," he said.

The new version consists of eight sections and contains 124 clauses. It requires detention centers to disclose their procedures for handling cases, which Gao supports. However, he said the law should ensure that the authorities respond quickly when incidents occur.

Public security authorities are mainly responsible for carrying out investigations and also manage the centers.

Hou Xinyi, vice-president of the law school at Nankai University, says this makes it difficult to guarantee objectivity.

He said the management of the centers should be transferred from the public security bodies to justice departments, but such a move is not included in the revised draft.

Chen said the most important point is how the centers are managed, not which department runs them.


  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.