Excerpted from Reuters:
Information can become a state secret retroactively and those charged with violating related laws are often not allowed to have their lawyers present in court, Human Rights in China said in the report.
"The state secrets system allows large amounts of information to be classified as state secrets, employs extensive technological, police and social controls to monitor the flow of information, and places it all under political reins," it said.
Human Rights in China said the government should stop politicizing the state secrets system and carry out proper reforms.
"State secrets charges should not be used as a means to silence dissent and inappropriately curtail freedom of expression," it said.
"The politicized use of state secrets charges to silence dissent and the dissemination of 'sensitive' information need to be prohibited and monitored through legislative and agency guidelines and other measures," the group added.
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For more information on this issue:
- HRIC Report:
State Secrets: China's Legal Labyrinth
- HRIC Press Release:
HRIC Report Details State Secrets System
- China Rights Forum, No.2 2007:
Legal Reform and Accountability
- HRIC Trends Bulletin:
Setback for the Rule of Law – Lawyers Under Attack in China
- China Rights Forum, No.2 2005:
Law and Justice
- China Rights Forum, No.2 2003:
Rule of Law