China Parliament Restricts Secret Detention of Criminal Suspects

Posted March 13th, 2012 at 10:45 pm (UTC-5)
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China's parliament has approved changes to a criminal procedure law that aims to restrict police powers to secretly detain criminal suspects.

The bill was passed Wednesday at the final session of the National People's Congress.

Lawmakers dropped earlier plans to legalize the detention of suspects in secret locations, following a public outcry over an increase in forced disappearances by police.

But critics say the revision still allows police to secretly detain anyone accused of endangering national security or terrorism.

Forced disappearances are commonly used to silence dissidents in China. Instances of such detentions have increased dramatically in recent months, as Beijing has sought to prevent popular uprisings like those that spread through parts of the Middle East and North Africa in 2011.