Court Flaunting of Nian Bin Acquittal Raises Questions of Lessons Learned

The acquittal of Nian Bin that followed the death penalty review by China’s highest court has been hailed as a landmark victory after a hard-fought, eight-year struggle by Nian’s family and lawyers. Fujian’s provincial high court recently noted the “positive” legal and social impact of the case in its annual work report. It did not, however, discuss mistakes made, in particular how it ultimately approved a death sentence despite acknowledging that the case had insufficient evidence.

PHOTO Nian Bin reunites with family after his release in 2014. Credit: You Jingyou, Weibo

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Dui Hua Digest

In this issue of Digest, Executive Director John Kamm discusses findings from his recent two-week trip to China, including information on prisoners and developments in bilateral human rights dialogues. Chinese interlocutors provided Kamm with information on 15 prisoners including two acts of clemency. Dui Hua history looks at criminal trials Kamm attended in Beijing and Guangdong.

PHOTO China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Credit: Global Times.

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Behind the Rarity of China’s Acquittals

For every 10,000 people tried in Chinese criminal courts in 2013, just seven were acquitted. Despite an incremental rise in 2013, the number of people found not guilty plummeted between 2000 and 2012. Chinese prosecutors have tended to attribute high acquittal rates to “judicial precision,” but a closer look at the justice process indicates that stability maintenance may play a bigger role.

PHOTO Credit: 163.com

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Congressional Action on Hong Kong Set to Roil US-China Relations

Members of Congress are taking action on Hong Kong. Be it to support democracy or scrutinize Beijing’s control, legislation is being reintroduced to require annual reporting on the region. A long legislative process complete with the denial of visas to American congressmen and strong statements by the Chinese government is expected to result, making human rights and democracy in Hong Kong a contentious issue in US-China relations for the months ahead.

PHOTO Hong Kong people demand genuine democracy during Occupy Central in 2014. Credit: ezone.hk news

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State Security Indictments, Cult Trials Up in Xi Jinping’s 2013

2013 was Xi Jinping’s first year as party secretary, and statistics recently released in China Law Yearbook indicate that in that year indictments for crimes of endangering state security reached the second highest level on record. The authoritative compendium also provides first-ever official data on the number of trials for “cult” offenses nationwide, showing 60 percent more trials than in 2012. This article looks at the names and numbers of those involved.

PHOTO Zhao Haitong, one of many arrested for ESS crimes in 2013. Credit: RFA.

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Featured Video: China’s Human Rights Diplomacy

Developments in China’s human rights diplomacy since June 4, 1989.

What We Do

Dui Hua is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that brings clemency and better treatment to at-risk detainees through promotion of universally recognized human rights in well-informed, mutually respectful dialogue with China.

We focus on four areas, with an aim to help at-risk detainees—political and religious prisoners, juvenile justice, women in prison, and selected issues in criminal justice. And we take a five-pronged approach, premised upon our belief that positive change is realized through constructive dialogue—advocacy, expert exchange, research, publications, and community engagement.

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