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Xinjiang’s State Security Prisoners: Failing to Reform (Part 1 of 2)

In 2008, the Xinjiang Rule of Law Leading Small Group published a policy document examining a number of challenges faced by prison authorities when managing prisoners in the region serving sentences for endangering state security (ESS). The first two sections of the document focus on external factors, like increasing US attention to the “Xinjiang question” and the “three forces” of ethnic separatism, Islamic extremism, and terrorism.

PHOTO Twelve men accused of ESS are publicly sentenced in Xinjiang. Photo credit:

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Draft Criminal Law Amendment Takes Aim at Defense Lawyers in China

One of the more controversial parts of the current proposal to amend China’s Criminal Law concerns the possible expansion of Article 309, covering the offense of “disrupting courtroom order.” Lawmakers have argued that new measures are necessary to “ensure the ability of the people’s courts to implement their adjudicatory powers in an independent and impartial manner” by punishing those who might try to use courtroom disruptions to influence judicial decision-making.

PHOTO China’s National People’s Congress in session in Beijing. Credit: Xinhua

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China Mulls Harsher Penalties for Protesters, “Cults”; Fewer Capital Crimes

In July, members of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee published and opened for a one-month period of public consultation a set of proposals for amending China’s Criminal Law. Among the proposed changes were removing the death penalty from nine criminal offenses, broadening the scope of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” to include solo petitioners and funders, and raising the maximum penalty for “cult” offenses from 15 years to life.

PHOTO Director Li Shishi of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPCSC. Credit:

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Fewer Juvenile Arrests Approved; Migrants Bear Brunt of Charges

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate recently announced that lower percentages of juvenile arrests and indictments were approved in 2014 than in the previous two years. SPP data showed that juvenile offenders are getting younger and violent offenses are not uncommon. Sources say that non-custodial sentences still result in about 40 percent of juvenile trials. Two-thirds of juveniles tried in 2014 were migrants.

PHOTO Judge reads verdict to juvenile defendants. Credit: Yunnan Qujin People’s Congress

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Dui Hua Digest

In this issue of Digest, we discuss the public consultation process for China’s draft law on the management of foreign non-governmental organizations. Prisoner updates include sentence reductions for Falun Gong prisoners, but not for members of Almighty God, another so-called cult. Looking back, we review Executive Director John Kamm’s meeting with Party Politburo Standing Committee member Li Ruihuan, where they discussed the significance of prisoner releases.

PHOTO The NPC opens a legislative session at which the draft foreign NGO law was deliberated.

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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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