採訪/李蓮 編輯/周平 後製/君卓
China’s Revised Laws: More Restrictions Over Civilians
On the first day of 2013, revised version of a number
of laws or ordinances start to take effect in China.
These include Criminal Procedure Law, Civil Procedure Law,
and the Method of Disposition of Thesis Fraud.
In the revised Criminal Procedure Law, the wording,
“respect and protect human rights” has been added.
However, Chinese lawyers commented that both,
the legislative and juridical systems are controlled by the one-party dictatorship.
Therefore it is very difficult to apply those laws
without judicial independence.
On the other hand, making more laws would mean
imposing more restrictions over civilians.
According to mainland media, over 100 revisions, applied
to the Criminal Procedure Law, will take effect in 2013.
The revisions involve over 80% of the original law,
and cover the whole litigation process.
These include case registration and investigation,
prosecution, pleading, trial and execution, as well as the law of evidence.
Zhang Zanning, China’s Southeast University’ Law Professor,
thinks the revised Criminal Procedure Law is retrogressive.
Zhang remarked that now the rights of the Chinese
are no longer protected by the law.
Everyone can “legally” disappear,
which is simply horrifying to think of.
Zhang Zanning (Law Professor, Southeast University):
”I think the Criminal Procedure Law is extending the power of public security departments in an unlimited way.
Now they can secretly arrest people,
even without informing their families.
This is a huge step backwards, and it is a result of the fact
that our legislative and juridical system only serve the one-party dictatorship regime.
There is no restriction on its power. Thus there is
no protection of the rights of the Chinese people.”
Beijing lawyer Jiang Tianyong remarked that the provision
to legalize “making anyone disappear” has become notorious among Chinese.
On the other hand, the aspects claimed as improvements
can hardly be applied without judicial independence.
Jiang concluded that making more laws is equivalent
to imposing more restrictions on the civilians.
Jiang Tianyong added that the Law of Citizens’ ID Cards
in fact intensifies the control over the Chinese people.
Last May, Jiang revealed his location
while buying tickets at a train station with his ID card.
On the same day, governmental staff suddenly appeared
and apprehended him.
Jiang Tianyong (Beijing lawyer): ”This time the situations
to apply the Law of Identity Cards have been extended.
You can be inspected almost anywhere.
Plus, more information, such as fingerprints, is required
to be stored on the ID card. This is a real identity control.
The ID card is being requested in more cases,
such as taking a bus or during hotel check-in.
Especially for groups of people like us,
they will control our actions with such means.”
Jiang Tianyong believes that China will not be ruled
by a law, no matter how many more laws are made.
That is because the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
is making laws to boost its “stability maintenance” rather than to protect civil rights.
Jiang Tianyong: ”In Civil Procedure Law, every citizen has
a very important right to commission authorized agent.
This right is currently restricted in China.
If a Chinese citizen wants to commission any other citizen
who is not a lawyer, the authorized person has to have the recommendation of the local community committee.
So such a restriction compels you to visit
the local community committee.
But in fact China’s community agencies
are also under the control of CCP.
So you see how the whole procedure is just designed
to assist the control over the Chinese people.”
In addition, the judicial interpretation bans
any sound or video recording of court hearings.
It also bans anyone other than authorized journalists
to report on the trial by email, Internet blog or microblog.
An official of the Supreme Court said that such a provision
is directed against litigant participants who make live reports on the progress of court hearings.
The official criticized such behavior as “an attempt to draw
media attention to interfere with the trial by public opinion.”
Recently, “Measures for Implementation of Regulation
on Detention Facilities” also started to take an effect.
The measures require detention facilities to install
protection equipment such as surveillance cameras for real-time monitoring of detainees’ safety.
The new regulation requires such video data
to be kept for at least 15 days.
In cases of detainees’ injury or death, records can be used
from archives to assist in possible compensation’ claims.
Another Beijing lawyer, Tang Jitian, remarked that the CCP
authorities revised the laws to push forward the control over Chinese civilians to extreme.
They spare no efforts to apply any revision
that benefits the officials.
On the other hand, even the very few revisions protecting
civilians’ rights will not be applied in their original form.
Tang pointed out the revised ID Cards’ Law, and the new
decision to intensify Internet information censorship,
stressing that with those two, Chinese citizens’ freedom
and other rights can only be further violated by the CCP.