China considers abolishing 're-education through labor' program

Dec. 17, 2013 at 1:02 AM
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BEIJING, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- China may abolish its decades-old reeducation-through-labor program to safeguard human rights, the state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported the standing committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, next week will consider a motion drawn up by the State Council or Cabinet to get rid of the system called "laojiao," which was instituted in 1957.

Laojiao was designed to deal with offenders whose crimes were not severe enough to require a court trial. Instead, the system allows for detention of up to four years without an open trial.

Xinhua said the new motion comes following policy decisions made last month relating to rights issues.

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