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Full text: New Progress in the Judicial Protection of Human Rights in China

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

09-12-2016 14:33 BJT

The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and the National Health and Family Planning Commission jointly formulated the Regulations on Execution of Sentence Outside Prison, which came into effect on December 1, 2014. If persons serving sentences are injured or maimed while working during imprisonment, and are allowed to enjoy execution of sentence outside prison, the fees including their medical subsidies and living allowances outside the prison will be reimbursed in accordance with the relevant regulations of the state. Pregnant or lactating women, those who suffer severe illnesses and need to be released on bail for medical treatment, and those who cannot take care of themselves are also allowed to enjoy execution of sentence outside prison.

Enhance supervision over prisons and detention houses to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of detainees. To increase the transparency of their law enforcement, detention houses should open to the public on a regular basis. By 2015, a complaint handling mechanism for detainees had been installed in 2,610 detention houses, and 2,558 had employed special supervisors. Procuratorial organs supervise activities in detention houses such as health examinations upon entrance and temporary removal of detainees, with a view to preventing and rectifying illegal interrogation and forced confessions outside detention houses. We should strengthen supervision over the term of criminal detention and urge relevant departments to settle outstanding cases. In 2013, 4,459 detainees involved in outstanding cases had been in detention for more than three years, but the figure fell to six in 2015.

Standardize commutation, parole and execution of sentence outside prison and safeguard detainees' rights to implementation of penalty change. We must open prison affairs wider to the public, including the legal conditions, procedures and results of commutation, parole and execution of sentence outside prison. People's courts should improve online public notification and hearings, and open a national information network on commutation, parole and execution of sentence outside prison. From 2012 to 2015 people's courts adjudicated 2,406,100 commutation cases and 160,100 parole cases. Prisons and detention houses should carry out relevant procedures in a timely manner for those who are qualified to enjoy commutation, parole or execution of sentence outside prison in accordance with the law. People's procuratorates should strictly perform their supervisory duties so as to ensure the justice and fairness of penalty changes.

Implement national amnesty to highlight humanitarianism. On August 29, 2015, the 16th session of the 12th Standing Committee of the NPC approved the decision on amnesty for prisoners, and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an amnesty decree, granting amnesty for four types of criminals who had been serving sentences according to effective judgments made by people's courts before January 1, 2015 and were no longer considered to be a danger to society on release. This was the eighth national amnesty since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and the first time since the adoption of reform and opening-up in 1978. It was a new approach to implementing the amnesty system stipulated in the Constitution, to implementing rule of law and highlighting humanitarianism, so it was of great political and legal significance. According to judgments made by people's courts, 31,527 prisoners were granted amnesty across the country. Those who were incapable of work, or had no job, no source of income, and no legal supporters were granted subsistence allowances so that they could better reintegrate into society.

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