China Aims to Stop Police Brutality by Filming Cops during Interrogation

By | Feb 16, 2015 09:00 AM EST
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China police

Chinese police officials. (Photo : Reuters)

As part of the ongoing anti-graft and wide-scale government reform initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2012, interrogation by local police of suspects would now be required to be videotaped.

The move is also made to shift heavy reliance of Chinese police on confessions to solve crimes rather than investigative work.

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These initiatives aim to make Chinese police more accountable through the new law introduced by the Ministry of Public Security, reports Xinhua.

The change is seen as China's attempt to appease the Human Rights Watch, which criticized Beijing for its heavy reliance on confessions obtained from defendants.

"Weak courts and tight limits on the rights of the defense mean that forced confession under torture remain prevalent and miscarriage of justice frequent," Reuters quotes the group as saying.

Heavy reliance on interrogation to solve crimes is seen as the reason behind the rash of wrongful convictions in the country, such as the male teen who was executed for rape and murder in 1996 in Inner Mongolia.

The Inner Mongolia High Court reversed the lower court's ruling and ordered a 2-million yuan to the parents as compensation for the loss of their son.

The aim of these reforms is to reduce incidents of false charges and liberate the courts from state meddling, sources said.

To support the president's reform, the Supreme People's Court issued guidelines in November 2013 that ordered the stop to the practice of the use of torture methods or tools such as exposure to cold temperature, hunger, drying, scorching, fatigue and other unlawful means to extract confession.

Outside the mainland, police brutality was also seen in the manner that Hong Kong police dispersed crowds during the weeks of pro-democracy rallies held in various parts of the special administrative region.

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