China announces plans to boost secret detention powers


Chris Buckley
Reuters
August 30, 2011

BEIJING (Reuters) – China wants to cement in law police powers to hold dissidents and other suspects of state security crimes in secret locations without telling their families, under draft legislation released on Tuesday that has been decried by rights advocates.

The critics said the proposed amendments to China’s Criminal Procedure Code could embolden authorities to go further with the kind of shadowy detentions that swept up human rights lawyers, veteran protesters and the prominent artist-dissident, Ai Weiwei, earlier this year.

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“If this was already law, then people like me, Ai Weiwei and many others could have been detained with even fewer problems and obstacles and with a firmer legal basis,” said Jiang Tianyong, a lawyer in Beijing.

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