CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Human rights underlined in China's long-anticipated criminal procedure law revision

03-14-2012 12:51 BJT Special Report:2012 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- After the last revision 16 years ago, China amended the Criminal Procedure Law and highlighted human rights protection, eight years after the principle was explicitly written in the Constitution.

The National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, adopted the amendment Wednesday with overwhelming votes at the closing meeting of annual parliamentary session, presided over by NPC Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo.

The phrase of "respecting and protecting human rights" is written in the revised law's first chapter on aim and basic principles.

"The highlight of this revision is to better embody the constitutional principle of respecting and protecting human rights," said Wang Liming, deputy president of Renmin University of China and an NPC deputy.

Personal freedom should be honored as the most essential human right, Wang said.

The revised law stresses protecting suspects and defendants from illegal restriction, detention and arrest, which is an important contribution to protecting personal freedom of every citizen, he said.

China's current Criminal Procedure Law was enacted in 1979 and first amended in 1996.

Over the past years, many lawmakers submitted motions and suggestions urging the law's revision, and law enforcement departments also expressed similar opinions.

Since China is in a transition period with prominent incidence of conflicts, problems emerging in judicial practice require the law to be improved, said Prof. Chen Weidong, from the Law School of Renmin University of China, who took part in drafting the amendment.

Several high-profile cases, in which innocent people were convicted of serious crimes, have exposed weakness in law enforcement, especially concerning forced confession.

In 2010, the story of Zhao Zuohai, a villager in central Henan Province, roused national sympathy as he had spent ten years in prison for murdering a man who was actually alive.

Zhao was acquitted and released from prison after the supposedly murdered victim showed up alive. That led to the arrest of three former police officers for allegedly torturing Zhao into confessing to a crime that never happened.

In the revised law, it is written that no one would be forced to prove their own guilt, together with provisions on how to rule out illegal evidence.

For the first time, the law makes it clear that confessions extorted through illegal means, such as torture, and witness testimony and depositions of victims obtained illegally, such as by violence or threats, should be excluded during the trials.

Besides articles on illegal evidence, provisions on the procedure of collecting evidence and summoning witnesses to court will also effectively curb torturing practices, Chen said.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program