It seems that the Chinese government’s always engaged in one crackdown or another, whether it’s corrupt officials, Internet essayists, tax evaders, you name it. Now they say they’re going after officials who violate human rights.
China has decided to launch a year-long clean-up campaign to probe human rights infringement crimes committed by government officials across the country, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) announced here Wednesday.
The sweeping investigation, starting this May, will focus on crimes like inquisition by torture, extorted confession, illegal detention, interference with citizen’s voting rights, and other crimes that lead to human rights infringement.
“China launches the campaign to practice the principle of ‘respect for and protection of human rights’ that has been newly written into the Constitution and to better protect people’s legitimate rights and interests,” said Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general of the SPP.
From 2001 to 2003, China’s procuratorates at all levels investigated 4,029 cases of human rights infringement crimes and punished a group of government officials whose dereliction of duty had caused great loss of people’s lives and assets.
The SPP has ordered local procuratorates at all levels to publicize their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to accept supervision from the public.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.