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Chinese lawmaker proposes videotaping police interrogation
2006-03-05 20:26:18 Xinhua English
BEIJING, March 6(Xinhuanet)-- The entire process of police interrogation in cases that may result in death penalties should be videotaped to prevent police inquisition by torture, a Chinese lawmaker proposed to the national legislature.

"Although much rectification efforts have been made, there remains an outstanding problem of inquisition by torture in judicial sector," said Yu Min, a deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

The means of torture is "terrible" in some cases, which led to very serious consequences, said Yu in a proposal submitted to the ongoing NPC annual session.

The case of She Xianglin, a wrongly convicted man released after more than 10 years in jail, aroused keen public attention last year. She, a former security guard in central China's Hubei Province, was convicted of murdering his wife in 1994. But his wife had actually fled home due to disappointment with her marriage.

His wife reappeared in 2005 and cleared him of the charge. The Jingshan County Public Security Bureau, which handled the case, gave 450,000 yuan (about 56,000 U.S. dollars) to She in compensation for his mental suffering and economic losses.

Similar cases make people think inquisition by torture is involved in police interrogation.

"It's apparently not enough to merely ask judicial staff to change their mindset," said Yu Min. "Necessary measures are also needed to curb inquisition by torture."

In an interview with Chongqing Evening News, Yu said in view of Chinese conditions, it's at least possible to introduce audiotaping in police interrogation.

The discipline inspection bureau of China's Ministry of Public Security has decided give priorities to tackling inquisition by torture, excessive use of compulsory measures, failure to perform duties and other outstanding problems in law enforcement at present and in the coming period.

A national regulation on handling minor offense of public order,effective from March 1, rules that materials extracted through inquisition by torture will not be used as proofs for penalties.

From March 1, 2006, China's procurators started to dispatch special technicians to conduct live audio and video recordings of the interrogation of criminals suspected of job-related crimes in procuratorate.

He also said by Oct. 1, 2007, procurators will conduct real-time videotaping of all interrogations concerning job-related crimes, which mainly involve graft and dereliction of duty. Enditem

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