UPI en Espanol
facebook
twitter
account
search
search

Chinese prison reforms met with caution

Jan. 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said while suspending a controversial labor system is a step in the right direction, China should aspire to abolishing it altogether.

China's official Xinhua news agency reported Monday the government would advance reforms in its controversial re-education-through-labor detention system.

"The system allows police to detain people for up to four years without an open trial, leading experts to argue that it contradicts high-level laws, including China's constitution," the report read. "No further information on the reforms has been made available."

Human Rights Watch said the system, known as Re-Education Through Labor, has been in place since the 1950s. The advocacy group described it as a police-run system in which at least 160,000 Chinese are held without trial in a re-education facility.

Sophie Richardson, director of Chinese programs at Human Rights Watch, said ending the practice has been an objective sought by a growing number of Chinese political activists.

"This decision, if it truly put an end to Re-Education Through Labor, would be an indisputable step towards establishing rule of law in China," she said in a statement from New York.

Xinhua reports that a village leader was sentenced recently to two years in a labor camp for spreading "negative information" about the government.

Related UPI Stories
Top Stories
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio requests new judge and public assistance with legal fees
New Orleans police officer fatally shot in patrol car
Islamic State says it can soon buy nuclear weapon, smuggle it into U.S.
Landslide in Nepal blocks Kali Gandaki River, threatens flooding
Federer upset over fan who stormed tennis court for 'selfie' at French Open