Authorities take aim at torture of suspects
Attorneys will dispatch technicians to record interrogation interviews of
people suspected of job-related crimes to ensure confessions are not extracted
by torture. The policy takes effect on March 1.
Wang zhenchuan, vice
procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, announced the new
policy at an ongoing national meeting on job-related crimes in Ningbo, Zhejiang
He also said that as of October 1, 2007, attorneys will make
real-time videos of interrogations concerning job-related crimes including graft
and dereliction of duty.
"Recording interrogations will help prevent
violations of the law, ensure the accuracy of evidence and prevent criminal
suspects from revoking confessions or bringing false charges against
interrogators," Wang said. "New clues may also be found by repeatedly watching
Investigating job-related crimes such as graft and
dereliction of duty is one of the key functions of prosecuting bodies and an
important part of the country's fight against corruption. Ensuring objective
interrogations will also help fight corruption, Wang said.
He stressed that
interrogations should be recorded live and in whole. No detail should be
skipped. No one should edit videotape materials without authorization. Recording
and videotape materials should be kept confidential.
Technicians or attorneys
who take responsibility for recording or videoing will be forbidden to have
dealings with interrogators. If illegal editing of a video or audio file is
discovered, the attorneys concerned will be referred to a disciplinary
Li guifang, vice director of the Criminal Committee of the All-China
Lawyers Association, said recording or videotaping interrogations concerning
job-related crimes can prevent the abuse of power by interrogators.
phenomenon of policemen extorting confessions from criminal suspects by torture
has been repeatedly exposed and reported by Chinese media in recent years,
leading to a public outcry.