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New punishments for police abusing prisoners


08:39, May 31, 2012

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police will face punishment ranging from demotion to dismissal if they are found to have abused inmates or connived in the maltreatment of prisoners, according to a provision published by the Ministry of Supervision on Wednesday.

Police will be fired if prisoners die as a result of their beating, corporal punishment or maltreatment, as well as their manipulation or connivance in similar misconduct, reads the provision.

Dismissal also applies in cases of police found to have harbored criminal activities committed by inmates, or to have helped prisoners escape.

The provision, which will take effect on July 1, serves as a discipline guidance for police in prisons and labor camps, meaning police will face criminal charges simultaneously if their misconduct breaks the law.

In China, those who commit misdemeanors are normally placed in reeducation-through-labor centers instead of prisons.

China promulgated a six-article ban governing the conduct of prison and labor camp police in 2006. It prohibits police from abusing prisoners, collecting money and belongings from prisoners' families, gambling and drinking in working hours.

Those violating the ban will receive disciplinary punishment or be sacked, it says, without elaborating.

Analysts believe the latest provision, which is more specific and comprehensive, will better protect inmates' legitimate rights and interests by enforcing a clearer discipline standards for police.

The provision will mete out punishment ranging from reprimand to dismissal for police in corruption cases, which often involves taking kickbacks from prisoners' family, or embezzlement of inmates' personal belongings.


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