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even if the government promised to pay for its wrongdoings, the victims may not dare to appeal for it. even if they successfully get the approval, they may wait for years to get the money. but i really doubt that the local government will allow the residents to appeal, since the case may affect their "achievement". |
i really doubt that the police can freely arrest people without proving any evidence. they can arrest a person for 36 days, and then free him without admitting their wrongdoings. how's that be solved with the law?
south china morning post
A person could be detained for up to 37 days without compensation, even if they are not eventually charged, under the latest draft amendments to the State Compensation Law.
The clause, which some have criticised as a step backwards from previous drafts, is stirring debate among law experts and internet users alike.
The 15-year-old State Compensation Law is meant to be a cornerstone of the protection of human rights in the mainland's faulty criminal system but has proved feeble so far. It went through one draft amendment in 2008 and two last year.
To everyone's surprise, the third draft of the amendments was not passed in October as scheduled, exposing a gulf between lawmakers on the law's basic principle - whether compensation should be based on government wrongdoing or the infringement of a citizen's rights.
A fourth reading of the draft amendments began yesterday in the mainland's top legislative body, the National People's Congress Standing Committee. It appears from the official agenda that they are not expected to be passed this time either.
One of the most significant changes in draft three, hailed by administrative law experts, is that it no longer requires wrongfulness as a basis for compensation. However, when it comes to legal but wrongful arrests - those carried out legally but that result in the suspects' eventual release - lawmakers remain hesitant.
"Some committee members said that when it comes to complicated criminal cases, police need time to screen suspects, especially if the suspects are highly mobile, or if they had criminal records or if they are part of a gang," the vice-chairman of the NPC Law Committee, Hong Hu , said yesterday.
Under the Criminal Procedure Law, police are only allowed to detain a person for three days, and then must decide whether or not to prosecute. But under special circumstances, this can be extended by up to four days, and in complicated cases, for a further 30 days - a total of 37.
According to mainland media reports - the draft amendments are not available to the public - the fourth draft says a detainee set free could only sue for compensation if the detention was against procedures, or lasted longer than 37 days.
While it is important to strike a balance between protecting human rights and ensuring police can do their work, the country's faulty criminal system makes the clause vulnerable to abuse. Peking University's Professor Jiang Mingan , who was consulted on earlier drafts, said "paying compensation for wrongful detention is something the government could afford to do".
"If it's only a few days, normal people would not sue for compensation either," he said. "The compensation is important for protecting the people's rights, reputation, as well as keeping the authorities in check so they will not just drag on their investigations."
Veteran criminal lawyer Li Xiaolin said a change in the attitude towards arrest and the establishment of a bail system were needed. "In the West most people are released on bail after, say, 48 hours' detention, and only exceptionally dangerous suspects are kept locked up. In China it's the opposite," Li said, explaining how difficult it was to apply for bail - one had to be sick or pregnant.