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'New Chinese law allows police to make people "disappear" in politically sensitive cases'

Beijing, Fri, 09 Mar 2012 ANI

Beijing, Mar 9(ANI): New Chinese law that restricts police's powers to detain people at undisclosed locations without informing their families, has many flaws that would still allow police to make people "disappear" in politically sensitive cases, experts have said.


The revisions to the Criminal Procedure Law presented during an annual parliament session will allow police to detain suspects only in certain serious crimes under "residential surveillance" outside their homes or state-run detention centers.


But even in those cases, the new revisions require police to inform suspects' relatives within 24 hours, according to draft legislation that the National People's Congress.


China's security forces have routinely detained dissidents, human-rights lawyers and other activists at undisclosed locations without informing their relatives, The Wall Street Journal reports.


The detention of China's most famous contemporary artist, Ai, had earlier sparked off an international outrage.


"Police behavior is violating the law every day. In my case I still don't know why I was detained, or why I was released. I can't sue anybody because the courts won't accept the case. You can't argue with their power because it is too unified. There is no structure or system to limit it," he said.


Legal experts, however, admitted that the revisions marked an improvement over the last version of the law, which was approved in 1996, and a draft revision circulated in August 2011.


They have been welcomed by legal experts are designed to improve lawyers' access to suspects and defendants, and to prevent the use of evidence obtained through torture and other illegal means. (ANI)


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