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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

Put in place a system to exclude unlawful evidence and protect the legitimate rights and interests of criminal suspects. The Criminal Procedure Law revised in 2012 has specific provisions on respecting and protecting human rights, and their implementation has been guaranteed through improving the evidence system, compulsory measures, defense system, investigation methods, trial procedure, and enforcement procedures, and by adding special procedures. The Criminal Procedure Law stipulates that after detaining and arresting suspects, the law enforcement agencies should immediately commit detainees and arrestees to custody in detention houses and ensure the interrogations of suspects and defendants are audio- and video-recorded. In 2014, the Ministry of Public Security issued more explicit regulations concerning the scope of and interrogation recording requirements for cases subject to audio and video recording. The interrogation rooms of public security organs and detention houses are all equipped with audio and video recording facilities to prevent misconduct in law enforcement such as extorting confessions by torture and obtaining evidence through illegal means. The Supreme People's Procuratorate issued the Provisions on Making Synchronous Audio and Video Recordings Throughout the Entire Process of Interrogation of Suspects in Work-Related Offences by People's Procuratorates to further regulate investigation and interrogation activities and strengthen protection of the legitimate rights and interests of criminal suspects. The Criminal Procedure Law outlines the scope of unlawfully-obtained evidence and procedures for excluding such evidence. The judicial organs should exclude such unlawful evidence if they find any during the criminal investigation, examination and prosecution, or trial of a case. In 2015, the procuratorial organs at all levels demanded the withdrawal of 10,384 cases wrongly filed by investigation organs, and regulated 31,874 cases of illegal conduct involving abuse of compulsory measures and unlawfully obtaining evidence. In 2014, the procuratorate of Shunping County, Hebei Province resolutely excluded illegally-obtained evidence in reviewing a murder case and decided not to approve arrest, and demanded provision of more evidence. The real murderer was later caught by a public security organ.

Implement the principle of presumption of innocence to prevent and correct miscarriages of justice. In 2013, the Ministry of Public Security issued the Notice on Further Strengthening and Improving Law Enforcement to Prevent Miscarriages of Justice and some other documents to prevent cases of misjudgment and to strengthen comprehensive, complete and real-time scrutiny of law enforcement to prevent miscarriages of justice at source. The Ministry of Justice issued the Opinions on Maximizing the Functions of the Forensic Assessment System to Prevent Miscarriages of Justice to strengthen forensic assessment management and further regulate such activities. The Supreme People's Procuratorate released Several Opinions on Effectively Performing Procuratorial Functions to Prevent and Correct Miscarriages of Justice, scrutinizing all activities concerning evidence, procedures and application of laws and to improve the system of discovery, correction, and prevention of cases of misjudgment, and to hold to account those responsible. In 2015, the procuratorial organs at all levels decided not to arrest 131,675 people and not to prosecute 25,778 in cases involving lack of evidence or actions that do not constitute a crime. In addition, they appealed against 6,591 judgments of criminal cases that they deemed wrong judgments. The Supreme People's Court issued the Opinions on Establishing and Improving the Working Mechanisms for the Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice in Criminal Cases, stipulating that the defendants should be acquitted for lack of evidence and no one should be prosecuted without criminal evidence. From 2012 to 2015, people's courts at all levels acquitted 3,369 defendants. A number of wrongful convictions were overturned in accordance with the law. These included the following cases:

. rape and murder by Zhang Hui and Zhang Gaoping, nephew and uncle

. poisoning by Nian Bin

. rape and murder by Hugjiltu

. rape and murder by Xu Hui

. murder by Huang Jiaguang

. rape and murder by Wang Benyu

. murder by Yu Yingsheng

. murder and arson by Chen Man

. poisoning by Qian Renfeng

. murder by Xu Jinlong

. murder by Yang Ming 

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