Yunnan Suspends Approval of All Re-education-through-Labor within the Province

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Yunnan Suspends All Approvals of Re-education Through Labor in Province (Full Text)

 

2013-02-06 07:36:59 来源: People's Daily Online(Beijing, China)
Summary: On February 5, Yunnan Politics and Law Committee Secretary Meng Sutie, said that approval of reeducation-through-labor (RTL) would be uniformly stopped for conduct such as endangering state security, ,petitioning to harass officials or cause trouble and disparaging leaders' images; approvals of RTL would be suspended for other unlawful circumstances. RTL should continue to be enforced for those currently under it, and in principle, petitions regarding historical problems with RTL will not be accepted.

The RTL system has protected public security in ever historical era, and played an active role in ensuring social stability, but at the same time a few abuses have gradually been revealed, and reform is essential.

Every family holds its own children close, 坚决防止因信访渠道不畅、部门间推诿扯皮而导致越级访、重复访、非正常上访的情况。

Guangdong Might End the Reeducation-Through-Labour System This Year

Nanfang Daily reported, on January 28, that the non-voting delegates of the National People's Congress of Guangdong Province and Provincial Department of Justice Director Yan Zhichan told reporters that, based on the currently released information, the RTLreform plan will be submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for consideration in accordance with the procedures. If it passes, there is a chance that Guangdong will end the RTL system this year, in accordance with the plan and request of the Central Political Legal Committee and Ministry of Justice to advance reform.

Yan Zhichan said that once the cessation of the RTL system is confirmed, it means that the RTL system will no longer receive detainees and persons currently undergoing reeducation-through-labor will be released when they reach the end of their term.

"We have already made all the preparations. Most of those in RTL in Guandong are patients in compulsory drug rehabilatation, the ratio of those who are in RTL in the real sense is quite low." Yan Zhichan added that the province's current RTL population are primarily there for illegal conduct such as gambling, prostitution and solicitation offences in violation of public security administration regulations.

As to whether the public attention on stopping the reeducation-through-labour system would affect the focus of the RTL agencies and police teams, Yan Zhichan bluntly said, "it's not that big an issue. ”

"From now on, approval of re-education through labor for all alleged endangerment of national security, petitioning to harras or make trouble, and disparaging leaders' images is stopped. All approval of of re-education through labor for other unlawful circumstances is suspended and will be handled in accordance with relevant law, and not using the RTL method." "Those currently under re-education through labor will continue its enforcement, and it will naturally wind down" " In principal, petitions relating to historical problems with the re-education system will not be accepted, but where there was truly wrongful enforcement, it will be handled on the basis of the individual case," said Political Legal Committee Secretary Meng Sutie yesterday, on a video conference with the Provincial Political Legal Committee and the Provincial Standing Committee. This means that the the province will not have another person sent to re-education through labor this year. Our province's reform of reeducation through labor has taken a historic step.

At the same time, Meng Sutie expressed that the entire corps of re-education through labor police have made an important contribution towards promoting economic social development, social stability and harmony. In the course of reform, we should especially care for and really do well by this team.

Yesterday's meeting also honored 25 individuals for their current and future excellence in working to implement reforms in the letter petitioning and household registration system.

Reeducation-Through-Labor (RTL)

劳教审批全部暂停 三类行为劳教审批停止

At yesterday's meeting, Meng Sutie emphasized the desire to ensure the smooth advancement of reforms to the RTL system . "The RTL system has played an active role in every era for maintaining public security and ensuring social stability, but at the same time also gradually revealing some shortcomings and reform is essential." He said that on the basis of the province's actual conditions, promoting the reform of the RTL system requires a grasp of several circumstance:

First is mastering principles. From now on, approval o fRTL for alleged endangerment of national security, petitioning to harass or cause trouble, or defaming leaders' images are uniformly stopped; approval of RTL for other unlawful circumstances is suspended and will be handled according to relevant laws, and re-education through labor will not be utilized again. Those currently under RTL will continue with it's enforcement and it will naturally wind down. In principal, petitions dealing with historical problems with theRTL system will not be accepted, but where there really was wrongful enforcement, it shall be handled on an individual case basis

Second is continuing the safe stability of RTL facilities. We need to strengthen the administration of education to those currently under RTL and ensure the stability of their thinking, strengthen security and protection measures and prevent safety accidents, strengthen the connections of those released from RTL and put into place assistance and education measures to help those released from RTL smoothly enter society.

Third is overall planning of relevant work. TheRTL system and the community corrections, compulsory isolated drug treatment and basic-level construction must be considered together, so that existing resources bring about greater benefits. For a long time, the province's RTL system has made an important contribution in promoting economic and social development, social stability and harmony, and the entire corps of RTL police have paid for this with their blood and sweat. In the process of reform, we must especially care for them, and truly do well by them. He said the corps' obligations in compulsory drug treatment is also very heavy.

Letter Petitions

Party committees and Political Legal Committees at all levels will no longer concentrate assignment of petition cases downward.

Meng Sutie noted that in recent years, there has been remarkable success in the resolution of letter petitions involving lawsuits but the total numbers are still quite high; a minority that 'has faith in petitioning but not the law", "believe in higher officials, but not the lower", "abandon the law and turn to petititioning" and other similar problems stand out and seriously damage judicial authoritativeness. He said that, we want to take the implementation of the revised Criminal Procedure Law and Civil Procedure Law as the moment in which to separate petitions relating to law and litigation from ordinary petitions, and bring those that meet the requirements into the judicial process. Party Committees and Political Legal Committees at all levels will no longer concentrate the assignment of petition cases to the lower level Party and Political Legal Committees, and political legal organs at every level must follow their jurisdictional limits in assigning and handling cases, the responsible unity bears the responsibility for handling it, "Each family carries its own children." Firmly prevent the impediments to petition channels and buck-passing between agencies that has led to phenomenon such as petitioning to the level above, repetitive petitioning, and irregular petitioning.

Quickly and effectively resolving social conflicts and, resolving conflicts at the base level and nipping the problem in the bud, preventing and reducing the number of mass-incidents, remain the the core mission of Peaceful Construction; people's mediation work will be strengthened with the goal of 'small matters staying in the village, large matters staying in the towns and counties, and not passing conflicts upwards."

In addition, we will promote the safe and orderly reform of the household registration system, fully implement the residential permit system, advance basic public services to fully cover the resident population, gradually making the majority of the migrant population in urban and rural areas safe and happy in their endeavors.

Observation

National Political Legal Work Conference Signals Possible End of the Reeducation-Through-Labor (RTL) System

Yesterday, the province's political and legal work conference's news of "suspending RTL" is undoubtedly the implementation and execution of the National Political and Legal Work Conference.:.

On January 7, the National Political Legal Work Conference was held in Beijing, and promoting the reform of the RTL system was a key point of this year's work; at the same time, many media outlets reported via Weibo [Chinese Twitter]: The Central Political Legal Committee Secretary Meng Jianzhu said that the central government has already researched the possible cessation of use of RTL this year, and reported it to the NPC for approval.

"Cessation is not far from abolition! RTL reform finally has some substantial progress! " As soon as the news came out, many well-known experts and scholars expressed there support one after the other. The has been regarded as the most positive signal coming from the National Political Legal Work Conference.

Although the central media has not yet clearly referred to "stopping the use of the RTL system this year" in its coverage of the National Political and Legal Work Conference, many officials who participated in the conference have confirmed the above news to the media.

Subsequently, XinHuaNet released a report saying that the National Political and Legal Work Conference was held in Beijing on January 7, 2013 . The Conference set the intellectual course for 2013's work, putting four reforms as its key points: promoting the reform of the RTL system, reform of the system for petitions involving law or litigation, reform of the household registration system, and reform of judicial power.

At the same time, Xinhua News Agency released an op-ed titled "looking forward to sweeping social-stability style RTL into the dustbin of history“: half a year ago, China NetEvent published "Three Criticisms of Yongzhou", pointing out that the Tang Hui case didn't leave a period, but a giant question mark; directed at the recurring controversy over RTL for social stability. The National Politics and Legal work Conference was convenes in Beijing on the seventh, we look forward to the further advancement of RTL reforms, sweeping RTL for social stability, which drags us back to another era, into the dust bin of history as soon as possilbe. This is the best answer to the question posed by Tang Hui.

The Reeducation-Through-Labor System has been Altered, Continuing to Preserve it is Anachronistic

In fact, there have always been voices of opposition to the RTL system. In recent years a number of scholars and professors joined together in calling for its abolition. Prominent economist Mao Yushi, , famous sociologist Yu Jianrong, legal scholar He Bing and a number of prominent lawyers advocated the repeal or thorough overhaul of the RTL system. The Tang Hui case and the Ren Jianyu case, did more to inflame public opinion; petitioners and those punished for their speech are all put into the large framework of RTL. The RTL system has been mutated and changed into a tool for a few unrestricted powers, the call for abolition is surging.

Beijing Pacific Century (Kunming) Lawfirm partner Yang Mingkua said RTL is a system developed in the 1950s by the new regime against the background of the the legal system being extremely incompletely formed, to strengthen social control, particularly the problem of a large number of enemy agents and opposition members

The "unlawfulness" of RTL was widely criticized. The legal field largely finds it obviously inconsistent with Constitutional provisions. According to the 37th article of the Constitution, no citizen can be arrested except by approval or decision of a people's procuratorate or court decision.. Arrests is only a temporary compulsory measures during criminal investigation, but requies approval by a court or procuratorate; RTL can be up to 4 years deprivation of physical liberty, but is decided only by the police.

Secondly, it directly violates the Legislation Law. Under article 8 of the Legislation Law, compulsory measures and penalties that restrict citizens' physical liberty can only be established by the national people's Congress formulation of laws. As for the RTL system. regardless of whether one considers its initial approval by the NPC or later approval by the State Council, neither is sufficient to be viewed as having the same status as legislation from the NPC.

Li Chunguang, director of the Yunnan Gun Law Firm, said the RTL system is incompatible with the current legal system and that there are obvious conflicts necessitating repeal. Generally speaking, long-term restrictions on physical liberty should be as provided for in the Criminal Law punishments, the police investigate, the procuratorate reviews indictment and the court adjudicates, but in RTL, these three procedures are covertly simplified into a single procedure, and the public security investigates, reviews and decides. " This is entirely contrary to the rule of law."

Without RTL, There Is Still Compulsory Drug Treatment The impact on Police Is Not Large

It is reported that China currently has more than 300 RTL administration sites, belonging to organizations established under the justice system, with more than 100,000 police and employees taking in 260,000 RTL detainees. Some are concerned that if RTL is abolished, it will impact the police and organization set up. This reporter has learned that, this province has more than 800 listed RTL detainees, with the actual number currently under enforcement only than 200 plus people.

 

This reporter has learned that, Yunan's RTL work was begun in October 1955, and was one of the first provinces to establish RTL facilities. By July 2001, the provincial RTL Bureau was upgraded to Deputy-Minister level institution. At present, Yunnan has 14 RTL facilities including the Yunnan Provincial Detoxification RTL Administration Site, the Yunnan Provincial Women's RTL Administration Site, and the Kunming Municipal Compulsory Drug Treatment RTL Management Site. Generally speaking, The number of RTL detainees in Yunnan is gradually declining. From January 2002 to December 2006, the aggregate number of RTL detainees in Yunnan was 41,742. Whereas from 2007 to late September 2012, the aggregate number of new RTL detainees in Yunnan was only 6,008.

Since 2011, after the power of compulsory detoxification was transferred from the police to the RTL sytem, many RTL facilities added a 'compulsory detoxification site' sign, and began to shoulder the heavy burden of compulsory drug detoxification. In fact, this work has become the primary job of RTL police.. "Without forced labour, there is still Compulsory Detoxification. It can't be said that if RTL was ended the RTL police wouldn't have anything to do. There are a lot of compulsory detoxification tasks, a lot of work," said a relevant figure.

The Road to Aboloshing RTL

It is generally believed that the RTL system began on August 3, 1957, with the State Council issuing the "Decision on the Issue of Re-education-through-labor"

In late January 2004, Guangdong Provincial Political Consultative Congress members jointly signed a proposal initiated by Zhu Zhengfu calling for the abolition of RLT; calling for Guangdong to take the lead in abolishing the RTL system and receiving the support Shenzhen Academy of Social Sciences Director Le Zhen, Sun Yat-Sen University History Department Professor Qiu Jie, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies Professor Wang WeiHong, Guangdong Institute of Economic Management Law Department Professor Lan Yanxia, China News Agency's Guangdong branch director Chen Jia, Yangcheng Evening news Editor-in-chief Pan Weiwen and six other members of the Political Consultative Congress

At the end of 2007, 69 Chinese scholars and legal personnel, including economist Mao Yushi, rights lawyer Li Fangpeng and scholar Hu xingdu, jointly signed and published an open letter calling for the revocation of the RTL system.

In March 2008, NPC representative and Shaanxi Province Standing Committee Member Ma Kening formally submitted a suggestion calling for the abolition of the RTL system. Ma felt that the State Council 's administrative regulation on RTL should be abolished as it violates provisions of the Constitution and the Legislation Law, and also violates the Administrative Punishments Law.

On October 9, 2012, the State Council Newd Office released the white paper on "China's Judicial Reform", the head of the Central Office for Judicial Reform, Jiang Wei said that the relevant departments are currently studying the reform plan for the RTL system.

January 7, National Political Work Conference was held and placed promotion of RTL reform as a key focus of this year's work; the : the new coming out was: the central government has already researched and submitted a report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for approval, use of the RTL system might stop this year.

Typical Cases

The Tang Hui Case

 

Tang Hui, whose 11-year-old daughter was forced into prostitution more than 100 times, angrily petitioned but was repeatedly treated unjustly, it was not until six years later that the case got redress. After only two months, however, on August 2, 2012, Tang Hui was put into RTL for a year and six months by Hunan, Yongzhou for "seriously disturbing public order creating an extremely negative social impact:" A few days later under pressure from public opinion, Tang Hui was released.

The Ren Jianyu case

College student village official Ren Jianyu was sent to 2 years in RTL by the Chongqing RTL department for repeatedly publishing "negative speech and information." On November 19, 2012, the RTL Committee withdrew the RTL decision, and Ren Jianyu regained his freedom.

Peng Hong case

In September 2009 during the Chongqing campaign against organized crime, Peng Hong posted a forward of a comic called 'umbrella' about the anti-mafia campaign in a Forum. It was found to be "defamation", and he was given 2 years of RTL. On September 10, 2011, the RTL term expired and he was released. On September 7, 2012, the Chongqing RTL Committee decided to withdraw the original RTL decision.

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