Sheng Lang: No Secret Detention in China, hence no such Provisions

The latest draft of China’s Criminal Procedure Law introduced Thursday at the National People’s Congress removed a clause that would allow police to secretly “disappear” criminal suspects deemed a threat to national security without notifying their families.

Legislative vice chairman Wang Zhaoguo defended China’s current criminal procedure as “reasonable,” but said the revised law was necessary to further protect the rights of criminal suspects.

Breaking News, VoA, March 8, 2012

According to the current code of criminal procedure, concerning detention of criminal suspects and arrest measures, relatives will be informed within 24 hours, unless there is no way to notify them, or if information could impede the investigations. The criminal procedure amendment draft stipulates strict limitations for not notifying family people. After long and careful deliberations about the pros and cons, the Standing Committee believes that there is a need to reinforce limitations on exceptions where relatives would receive no information.

根据我国现行刑事诉讼法的规定,对犯罪嫌疑人采取拘留、逮捕措施,除了无法通知或者有碍侦查的以外,应该在24小时内通知家属。刑事诉讼法修正案草案对不 通知家属的规定作了严格的限制。在审议过程中,综合考虑惩治犯罪和保障人权的需要,反复权衡研究以后,人大常委会认为有必要进一步限制不通知家属的例外情 形。

[…] When it comes to the forceful measures of detention under urgent circumstances, there are only two kinds of situations, which are suspicion of crimes that harm national security and terrorist activity, or if informing the relatives could impede the investigations. Apart from these two kinds of situations, relatives must be informed within 24 hours. Such provisions fully reflect the importance the standing committee attaches to the protection of the broad masses’ and people’s rights. Of course, I’ve been aware of some sayings today on the internet after the end of the session, saying that there could be secret detention in cases of harming national security, but these kinds of sayings were inaccurate. Because there is no secret detention in our country, the law also doesn’t have such provisions. The exceptional situations I have just mentioned mean that with the exception of terrorist crimes suspicion and harming national security, or if investigations could be impeded, in all other cases, notifications must be made.

[…..] 对拘留这种紧急情况下采取的强制措施,只限于两种情况,就是涉嫌危害国家安全犯罪、恐怖活动犯罪,如果通知家属可能有碍侦查的情况。除了这种例外情况,其他的情况都需要在24小时以内通知家属。这样的规定充分的反映了人大常委会对广大人民群众或者广大人民权利的保障的重视。当然我也注意到,今天在大会结束以后,网上出现了一些说法,说对危害国家安全的可以秘密拘捕,这种说法是不准确的。因为在我们国家没有秘密拘捕,法律也没有这样的规定。我刚才所说的这种例外情况,就是所说的拘留后除了涉嫌恐怖犯罪、危害国家安全的犯罪通知有碍侦查的,其他的都需要通知。

Even if there is suspicion of these two crimes, relatives must be immediately notified if there is no risk of investigations being impeded, or if the situation of such a risk ceases to exist. The amendment which is underway stipulates these regulations. […]

即便是这两种犯罪,如果不是有碍侦查,或者有碍侦查的情形消失,也必须立即通知家属,现在修正案里都做了规定。[…..]

NPC Standing Committee Legal System Work Committee deputy chairman Lang Sheng (郎胜), quoted by People’s Daily Online (人民网), from a press conference on March 8, 2012

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Updates/Related

Everything has a Bottom Line, AlJazeera, March 8, 2012

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Related

» Where is Gao Zhisheng, Under the Jacaranda, February 15, 2012

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