China introduces law on detainees' rights
Beijing: China for the first time has
introduced a law on the protection of the detainees' rights,
but it will be applicable only to those held in custody for
A regulation promulgated by the Cabinet asked the
detention centres to protect the detainees' legitimate rights
and interests and prohibited the canters and the warders from
insulting, abusing and imposing physical punishments on the
However, the regulation is applicable only to the
detention houses holding people in custody for minor offences.
It will not cover the sites where criminal suspects are
In China, minor offenders such as those who disturbed
public order or court order will be detained for up to 15
Analysts say that this is the first time China is
elaborating on the rights of the detained, which human rights
activists say was non-existent so far.
The detention centres should inform the detainees of
their legal rights and the rules they should abide by.
The centres should also give timely notice to the
detainees' family members, according to the regulation, state-
run Xinhua news agency reported.
Moreover, the regulation required the centres to organise
proper physical and cultural activities for the inmates, and
the inmates should be allowed of outdoor activities of no less
than two hours each day.
The regulation also banned forced labour in the detention
Furthermore, the detention centres are told to provide
necessary drug rehabilitation treatments for the detained drug
The body frisking and administration work on female
detainees should only be conducted by female police officers,
according to the regulation.
The regulation will take effect from April 1.