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China to Investigate Officials Infringing on Human Rights

China has decided to launch a yearlong clean-up campaign to probe human rights infringement crimes committed by government officials across the country, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced in Beijing Wednesday.


The sweeping investigation, starting this May, will focus on crimes like inquisition by torture, extorted confession, illegal detention, interference with citizen's voting rights, and other crimes that lead to human rights infringement.


"China launches the campaign to practice the principle of 'respect for and protection of human rights' that has been newly written into the Constitution and to better protect people's legitimate rights and interests," said Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general of the SPP.


From 2001 to 2003, China's procuratorates at all levels investigated 4,029 cases of human rights infringement crimes and punished a group of government officials whose dereliction of duty had caused great loss of people's lives and assets.


The SPP has ordered local procuratorates at all levels to publicize their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to accept supervision from the public.


Wang pledged that procurators themselves will first bear the idea of protecting human rights in dealing with such crimes and punishing those officials who infringe on peoples' legitimate rights and interests.


(Xinhua News Agency May 27, 2004)


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