New system to safeguard rights of detainees

Procedures in a new detention system that aims to formally safeguard the rights of those under investigation will be regulated, according to a draft law.

The draft law on the national supervision, which was submitted to China’s top legislature for its second review at the bimonthly session on Friday, stipulates that the time in detention cannot be longer than three months and diet, rest and safety while in detention should be safeguarded.

The detention time could be extended for three months under special circumstances, the draft said, adding that medical care should be also provided.

The new detention system replaces the practice of Shuanggui, an intraparty disciplinary procedure of the Communist Party of China requiring a member who is being investigated to cooperate with questioning at a set time and place. The practice is exercised by the Party’s disciplinary officials and is largely informal, creating tricky legal issues.

In addition, the draft said that family members and employers of detainees would receive written notice of a detention within 24 hours.

When the draft was reviewed for the first time in June, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress said the legislation was aimed at deepening the national supervision system and forming a unified authoritative and efficient system.