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China publishes draft law on detention houses

Updated: Jun 19,2017 8:53 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Ministry of Public Security is soliciting public opinion on a draft law on detention houses, which will consider better human rights protection for those in custody.

All people’s procuratorates must supervise enforcement of detention house law, regarding detention of suspects and defendants, as well as inquiries and meetings with attorneys to avoid power abuses, according to the draft law published on the ministry website.

The use of police instruments and weapons by detention house staff must also be supervised by procuratorates, according to the draft.

Medical units must set up branches in detention houses, ensuring basic medical access for those in custody to treat suspects, defendants and criminals with AIDS, contagious diseases and other illnesses.

Detention houses may ask authorities to change detention to other legal measures for those who are seriously ill, pregnant or nursing a child under one year.

The suspects and defendants must be allowed to go home and visit their spouses, parents and children in cases of their family members’ in critical conditions or dying, after approval.

Access to complain and prosecute detention house staff or others will be granted.

Detention houses should respect the dietary habits of those detained.

They should make their work transparent for the public, and an internal inspection system should be established, while legislators and political advisers must be invited to inspect detention houses regularly.

The public can e-mail their opinions to the ministry before July 15.

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