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Quest for Retrial: Court Holds Novel Hearing on Nie Shubin Case

Executed in 1995 for crimes that another man confessed to 10 years later, Nie Shubin has been synonymous with the problem of wrongful conviction in China for a decade. Nie’s family has been trying for years to get his conviction overturned, and a novel hearing procedure conducted by a provincial court last month may be the key to reopening the case. With so much public attention, it seems almost inevitable that the court will agree to a retrial. But, what then?

PHOTO Evidence is presented to a 15-person panel during the hearing. Credit: Shandong People’s High Court

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Dui Hua Digest

In this issue of Digest, we discuss an event hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations, the release of the Beijing Five through non-custodial measures, and inciting subversion cases with strange twists. We also introduce a new feature, “Roots of Dui Hua,” to share stories from John Kamm’s human rights activism before he founded Dui Hua in 1999.

PHOTO Executive Director Kamm speaks at a UCUSCR event.

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How Chinese Institutions Manufacture Conviction and Quash Acquittal

In a frank interview with Phoenix Weekly, Professor Chen Ruihua of Peking University Law School explains why excluding illegal evidence is not the way to curb wrongful convictions and why Chinese courts do not dare acquit defendants. Chen argues that the powerful role of procuratorates and police is a fundamental reason for miscarriages of justice. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic about public support for legal reform.

PHOTO Vindication comes slowly for innocent individuals courts fail to acquit. Image credit: Sina

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Paraplegic Petitioner Jailed for Disturbing Real, Not Online, Space

The crime of “provoking a serious disturbance” has received a great deal of attention inside and outside China over the past couple of years partly because it’s often used to punish rights activists. Petitioners are particularly vulnerable. Wei Biling (韦碧玲) was recently sentenced to four years in prison under the charge, but in its ruling, the court refused to punish Wei for online speech despite a judicial interpretation that appears to extend the crime to virtual space.

PHOTO Wei Biling (center left). Credit: Boxun.com

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Dui Hua Welcomes Release of American Geologist Xue Feng

American geologist Dr. Xue Feng (薛锋) has been released from Beijing No. 2 Prison after serving all but ten months of his eight year sentence for “illegally procuring state secrets.” In accordance with the verdict, Dr. Xue was deported the same day as his release. He arrived home in Houston on the evening of April 3. At the time of his release, Dr. Xue was the only American citizen serving a sentence in a Chinese prison for the crime of endangering state security.

PHOTO Dr. Xue Feng. Credit: AP

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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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