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National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010)
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II. Guarantee of Civil and Political Rights

In the period 2009-2010, China will continue to strengthen work to improve democracy and the rule of law, improving systems for democracy, diversifying the forms of democracy and expanding the channels of democracy, strengthening the protection of civil rights in the execution of administrative laws and in judicial practices, and raising the level of ensuring people's civil and political rights.

(1) Rights of the person

China will improve its preventative and relief measures to protect citizens' personal rights in every process of law enforcement and judicial work.

- The state prohibits the extortion of confessions by torture. Evidence will be collected in accordance with the legally prescribed process. It is strictly forbidden to extort confessions by torture and to collect evidence by threat, enticement, deceit or other unlawful means. Anyone who coerces confessions out of a suspect by torture, corporal punishment, abuse or insult shall be handled in accordance with the seriousness of the acts and consequences. If the case constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with the law.

- The state prohibits illegal detention by law enforcement personnel. Taking a criminal suspect in custody, changing the place of custody, or extending the term of detention must be carried out in accordance with the law. Wrongful or prolonged detention shall be prevented. The state will improve the measures of providing economic compensation, legal remedies and rehabilitation to victims. Those who are responsible for illegal, wrongful or prolonged detention shall be subjected to inquiry and punished if found culpable.

- Death penalty shall be strictly controlled and prudently applied. Every precaution shall be taken in meting out death sentence, and the system of death sentence with a two-year reprieve shall be improved. If a criminal sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve commits no intentional offense during the suspension period of the sentence, he/she will not be executed at the end of such suspension period, and his/her punishment will be commuted in accordance with the law.

- The state implements stringent judicial procedures for death sentences, and improves such procedures for review. Death penalty cases shall be handled in accordance with the relevant articles of the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law. China adheres to the basic principle of legally prescribed punishment for each specified crime, suitable punishment for each crime, criminal law equally applicable to everyone, public trial and statutory procedures. It attaches equal importance to procedural impartiality and substantive impartiality, and guarantees the full execution of litigation rights(including the right to defense) of criminal suspects and defendants. China sticks to the principle of public trial for death penalty cases of second instance, so as to ensure the integrity of such cases. Apart from the death sentences given by the Supreme People's Court in accordance with the law, all death sentences must be reported to the Supreme People's Court for review and approval. The People's Procuratorate shall tighten its supervision over death penalty cases in accordance with the law.

- The state establishes and improves supervisory mechanisms for enforcement of law and administration of justice. The state shall rigorously implement a responsibility system in law enforcement, a law enforcement quality evaluation system, a system of accountability for cases mishandled, a system of leadership accountability, and a system of resignation. In accordance with the law, China punishes unlawful infringements of citizens' personal rights by state functionaries taking advantage of their positions and powers. Judicial officers shall be punished for infringements of citizens' personal rights, such as extracting evidence illegally or by violence, in accordance with the law.

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