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Empty Promises: Human Rights Protections and China's Criminal Procedure Law

This study evaluates the effect of the 1996 amendment of China’s Criminal Procedure Law (CPL, enacted in 1979) and shows that the Chinese authorities have circumvented the CPL’s rights safeguards by exploiting loopholes, watering down existing provisions, and blatantly violating the law. In some areas, the revisions have actually resulted in greater limitations on rights. Includes HRIC’s recommendations on steps that China and the international community can take to improve respect for international human rights norms in China’s criminal justice system.

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In this joint proposal, 121 lawyers and legal professionals ask the State Council to amend article 374 of the Procedural Regulations for the Handling of Criminal Cases by Public Security Organs to ensure the right of lawyers to meet with detained clients is not arbitrarily deprived on the grounds...
In this statement, lawyers Pang Kun (庞琨) and Wen Yu (闻宇), who represent detained lawyer Chang Boyang (常伯阳), describe how the Zhengzhou authorities have continuously obstructed them from meeting with their client, on the basis that Chang's alleged actions are "national security crimes" and that...
In the weeks leading up to the 25th anniversary of the 1989 June Fourth Democracy Movement, many Chinese activists have been detained. A group of 25 Chinese lawyers have issued this statement calling on authorities to abide by Chinese law in the treatment of the recently detained citizens. For more...
Zhang Zanning ( 张赞宁) , who represents lawyer Ji Laisong ( 姬来松) , has filed a complaint before the Zhengzhou Municipal People's Procuratorate against the Zhengzhou Public Security Bureau's Erligang Sub-branch for allegedly fabricating facts and criminal charges against Ji, and illegally criminally...
Today, the Guangzhou Municipal Tianhe District People’s Court opened the trial of rights activist Guo Feixiong ( 郭飞雄) , also known as Yang Maodong ( 杨茂 东) , and Sun Desheng ( 孙德胜) , but did not proceed as lawyers for the defendants did not appear in court in protest of what they alleged were...
Five years ago, in July 2015, the Chinese authorities rounded up some 300 lawyers, legal advocates, and other rights activists in a campaign aimed at strangling rights defense work in China, including within the legal system. In what has come to be known as the 709 Crackdown, many were charged with...
In the afternoon of December 7, 2017, lawyer Sui Muqing met with well-known netizen Zhang Guanghong (web name Nianhua Shiping) at Yuexiu District Detention Center in Guangzhou. Zhang, who was arrested for the crime of “insulting,” told the lawyer that Yuexiu police accused him of reposting a...
Reports continue to expose the serious human rights violations committed against lawyers and activists arrested in the 709 Crackdown. In addition to attorneys Xie Yang, Li Heping, Li Chunfu, as well as activist Wu Gan, many rights defenders caught up in the crackdown are reported to have been...

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