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People's Republic of China: Law reform and human rights

, Index number: ASA 17/014/1997

This document examines the major legal changes introduced last year which are particularly relevant to human rights protection and practice, including amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) and two new laws, the Administrative Punishment Law and the Martial Law of the PRC. While noting some positive changes, Amnesty International remains concerned that the CPL fails to protect detainees from arbitrary detention, unfair trial and torture, and retains provisions for the death penalty. Other concerns relate to the Administrative Punishment Law (APL), which continues to provide for "re-education through labour", a form of adminstrative detention imposed without charge or trial, and the Martial Law of the PRC which permits restrictions to the exercise of basic rights in states of emergency in violation of international standards.

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