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Amnesty International Report 2007 – China (3)

Posted by Author on May 27, 2007

Amnesty International, May 23, 2007-

(… cont’d)

Death penalty

The death penalty continued to be used extensively to punish around 68 crimes, including economic and non-violent crimes. Based on public reports, AI estimated that at least 1,010 people were executed and 2,790 sentenced to death during 2006, although the true figures were believed to be much higher.

The National People’s Congress passed a law reinstating a final review of all death penalty cases by the Supreme People’s Court from 2007. Commentators believed this would lead to a reduction in miscarriages of justice and use of the death penalty.

Executions by lethal injection rose, facilitating the extraction of organs from executed prisoners, a lucrative business. In November a deputy minister announced that the majority of transplanted organs came from executed prisoners. In July new regulations banned the buying and selling of organs and required written consent from donors for organ removal.

Xu Shuangfu, the leader of an unofficial Protestant group called “Three Grades of Servants”, was executed along with 11 others in November after being convicted of murdering 20 members of another group, “Eastern Lightning”, in 2003-4. Xu Shuangfu reportedly claimed that he had confessed under torture during police interrogation and that the torture had included beatings with heavy chains and sticks, electric shocks to the toes, fingers and genitals and forced injection of hot pepper, gasoline and ginger into the nose. Both the first instance and appeal courts reportedly refused to allow his lawyers to introduce these allegations as evidence in his defence.

Torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trials

Torture and ill-treatment remained widespread. Common methods included kicking, beating, electric shocks, suspension by the arms, shackling in painful positions, cigarette burns, and sleep and food deprivation. In November a senior official admitted that at least 30 wrongful convictions handed down each year resulted from the use of torture, with the true number likely being higher. There was no progress in efforts to reform the Re-education through Labour system of administrative detention without charge or trial. Hundreds of thousands of people were believed to be held in Re-education through Labour facilities across China and were at risk of torture and ill-treatment. In May 2006, the Beijing city authorities announced their intention to extend their use of Re-education through Labour as a way to control “offending behaviour” and to clean up the city’s image ahead of the Olympics.

Ye Guozhu was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in 2004 for his opposition to forced evictions in Beijing associated with construction for the Olympic games. It emerged during 2006 that Ye had been tortured while in detention. He was reportedly suspended from the ceiling by the arms and beaten repeatedly by police in Dongcheng district detention centre, Beijing, and also reportedly tortured in another prison in the second half of 2005. (to be cont’d…)

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original from Amnesty International

One Response to “Amnesty International Report 2007 – China (3)”

  1. Hi
    Congratulations, this seems to be a popular blogg. I just started blogging and I am learning how to do. My blog is in Swedish. I am also talking about human rights in China.

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