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The use of torture, cruel and inhuman treatment in law enforcement and detention in China is not only well documented by international human rights NGOs but widely considered an ‘open secret’ within China itself. There is growing recognition from both officials and academic commentators that the problem of torture has to be tackled more effectively than hitherto. The fight against torture remains a momentous task, but as this book demonstrates, there is much that can be achieved through the collaborative efforts of reform-minded academics and practitioners in China and Europe.
Three Approaches to Combating Torture in China is the culmination of a three-year EIDHR-funded collaborative project between Renmin University of China, the University of Maastricht, the Rights Practice, and the Great Britain China Centre to prevent torture in China. In Part one, Chen Weidong, Chai Yufeng and Taru Spronken analyse the relationship between rules of evidence, the newly passed Chinese Criminal Procedure Law and forced confessions in China and Europe. Through their research they advocate that the exclusionary rule as a sanction against torture should be made more operational in China. Part two draws on the practical experience of running two pilots, a lay visitor scheme, and a complaints mechanism in two detention centres in China. Gerard de Jonge examines the importance of detention centre regulations and mechanisms to monitor places of detention. Cheng Lei then sets out a new draft on detention centre law for China, which provides greater respect for detainee rights, and better safeguards against ill-treatment. The final part is based on training for police which took place in Gansu and Sichuan in 2011. Here, Miet Vanderhallen challenges the practice of police investigators who take shortcuts in interrogation and rely too heavily on forced confessions. She presents a model for ethical and responsible suspect interviews.
This book is meant for anyone with an interest in legal reform in China and essential reading for academics, researchers, students and policy-makers in the area of human rights and criminal justice.