17 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/02/2007 12:59
CHINA
Human rights groups doubt ‘laojiao’ abolished
Changes to the system of ‘re-education through labour’ and prison without trial will help minor offenders, not political and religious prisoners. Even then, proposed reform remains in doubt.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China's move to reform its re-education through labour system is good news for minor offenders, but human rights groups doubt whether political and religious dissidents will benefit, this according to various organisations fighting for human rights in China.

The law will replace the laojiao system and its three types of re-education practices, Xinhua reports. According to the state-run news agency the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee is set to discuss new legislation on the "Correction of Illegal Acts" in October to replace the 1955 law.

Under the current system police are empowered to put all kinds of minor offenders, or people believed to be a risk to social stability, into laojiao centres to serve a maximum term of four years of forced labour without going through judicial procedures.

Under the proposed law, the maximum penalty is expected to be reduced to 18 months and a judicial review by a court can take place after the punishment is imposed, Xinhua said.

There are no official statistics on the mainland's laojiao population, but the China Labour Bulletin—a labour rights watchdog—estimates that there are more than 300,000 detainees at laojiao centres.

“If the law is submitted to the NPC Standing Committee, it means the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice have reached an agreement,” said Prof Fu Hualing, a mainland criminal law specialist at the University of Hong Kong. “The public security ministry had opposed [the changes] because it would lose the power it has enjoyed for so long.”

Kan Hung-cheung, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement (persecuted by the authorities on account of its ‘evil’ nature), said he did not believe the new law would help much religious believers who do not submit to state control.

Bruce van Voorhis, the Asian Human Rights Commission's communications officer, said he also suspected the law might only apply to minor offenders.

“[T]he re-education through labour system covers a lot of political prisoners,” he said. “It remains to be seen how this [new rule] will be implemented. It is one thing to have something in paper or even in the constitution. But how will it be actually implemented?”

Mark Allison, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Amnesty International, said the organisation welcomed reform, but doubted China's sincerity when it came to abolishing laojiao.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/02/2010 CHINA
New laws on state secrecy and military power in case of crises
10/14/2011 CHINA
Economy and Maoist slogans at the CP Central Committee
12/30/2005 CHINA
Beijing admits to "widespread" violations against workers
10/22/2007 CHINA
Hu Jintao consolidates his power as 17th Party Congress ends
10/28/2013 CHINA
Xi Jinping's economic reforms face a bumpy road ahead
by Wang Zhicheng

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.