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Human rights underlined in China's long-anticipated criminal procedure law revision

(Xinhua)

10:59, March 14, 2012

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- After the last revision 16 years ago, China amended the Criminal Procedure Law and highlighted human rights protection, eight years after the principle was explicitly written in the Constitution.

The National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, adopted the amendment Wednesday with overwhelming votes at the closing meeting of annual parliamentary session, presided over by NPC Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo.

The phrase of "respecting and protecting human rights" is written in the revised law's first chapter on aim and basic principles.

"The highlight of this revision is to better embody the constitutional principle of respecting and protecting human rights," said Wang Liming, deputy president of Renmin University of China and an NPC deputy.

Personal freedom should be honored as the most essential human right, Wang said.

The revised law stresses protecting suspects and defendants from illegal restriction, detention and arrest, which is an important contribution to protecting personal freedom of every citizen, he said.

China's current Criminal Procedure Law was enacted in 1979 and first amended in 1996.

Over the past years, many lawmakers submitted motions and suggestions urging the law's revision, and law enforcement departments also expressed similar opinions.

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