Chinese prisoner killed in 'hide and seek' torture

China's official criticised torture in the country's prisons, state media said.

Chinese prisoner killed in 'hide and seek' torture

China's former vice-minister of justice criticised torture in the country's prisons, state media said on Friday, after the death of a prisoner was originally covered up as a game of "hide and seek".

Judicial authorities pledged increased inspections of prisons and detention facilities to prevent inmates from being bullied or tortured, the China Daily said.

"Detention houses should not be managed by public security departments, because they make the arrests, and sometimes torture the accused to force them to confess," the paper quoted former vice minister of justice Duan Zhengkun as saying.

Authorities initially claimed that a prisoner who died in a Yunnan province detention centre had run into a wall while blindfolded and playing hide and seek. After an outcry on the Internet, an investigation revealed he had been beaten to death by a fellow prisoner who acted as kingpin in the jail.

The case "put a huge question mark on security inside China's prisons" the China Daily said, citing procurator spokesman Tong Jianming. Officials pledged inspection tours and punishment in cases of judicial corruption or dereliction of duty.

Abuses in China's jails and detention centres, where defendants have few rights and lawyers and families have little access, are regularly criticised by human rights groups.

Chinese lawyers who attempt to represent people accused in politically sensitive cases, including Uiyghurs, banned spiritual group Falun Gong and Tibetans detained after an uprising last year, have themselves been harassed and detained.

China launched a review of death penalty cases over a year ago after the prevalence of forced confessions and wrong sentences was highlighted when a woman turned up in Hubei, years after her husband had been convicted of her murder based on a false confession.

The work reports of China's Supreme Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate received the worst marks at the close of China's annual legislative session on Friday, with over 500 delegates of the 2,898 delegates voting against each report and about 200 more abstaining.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mart 2009, 12:39