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China lawyers urge probe into torture claim in mob crackdown

A group of Chinese lawyers called on the nation`s top prosecution agency to investigate allegations that torture was used to extract confessions from defendants in a high profile mafia crackdown.



Beijing: A group of Chinese lawyers on Sunday
called on the nation`s top prosecution agency to investigate
allegations that torture was used to extract confessions from
defendants in a high profile mafia crackdown.

In a letter to the Supreme People`s Procuratorate, the
lawyers highlighted the case of Fan Qihang, an alleged mobster
who was sentenced to death as part of the crackdown in the
southwestern city of Chongqing.

Prominent rights lawyer Li Fangping, who emailed the
letter to a news agency, said more than 20 lawyers and scholars had
signed it on Sunday, including Teng Biao and Tang Jitian, two
other well-known attorneys.

The letter reveals that Fan`s lawyer recently made public
documents including photos and videos allegedly showing Fan
was tortured after he was detained last year.

He was allegedly regularly beaten, deprived of sleep, and
on one occasion, hung from iron bars with his hands shackled
behind his back for five days, the letter says.

Fan says he confessed to crimes he did not commit, and
the Supreme Court is currently reviewing the sentence,
according to rights group Amnesty International.

The letter also says that the documents made public by
Fan`s lawyer alleged other defendants were also tortured.

"We call on the Supreme People`s Procuratorate to
immediately investigate if torture was used in the Chongqing
crackdown cases, including Fan Qihang`s case, based on the
Constitution and relevant regulations," it reads.

The letter, which also calls on results of the
investigation to be made public, comes just over two months
after China issued new rules banning courts from accepting
confessions obtained via torture.

PTI

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