BEIJING, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- China plans to reform a system under which people are held for up to four years without an open trial, participants at a Beijing conference were told Monday.
The system, known as re-education through labor, has been criticized by experts as contradicting China's constitution, Xinhua reported.
The plan to advance reforms this year was announced at a national political and legal work conference, but no other information was released.
Complaints by educators, media and the public recently led to the release after one week of a woman who had sought tougher sentences for the people who had captured her daughter, but in two cases last year sentences of up to two years were imposed without trial on people who spoke out against the government.
Some 160,000 people were imprisoned in 350 re-education through labor camps in China as of 2008, the Bureau of Re-education Through Labor under the Ministry of Justice says.