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November 10, 2009

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Detainee draft opinions sought

A DRAFT regulation that seeks to ban forced labor by Chinese mainland detainees was published yesterday to seek public opinion.

The document, available on the Website of the information office of the State Council, or the Cabinet, also seeks to rein in jailhouse bullies and makes it clear that "accommodation" for detainees is covered by government budgets and no extra charges are levied.

According to the draft, detainees in China refer to people detained by police, state security agencies, courts, entry and exit authorities.

The draft made by the Ministry of Public Security and reviewed by the legal office of the Cabinet states that detainees must be told their rights and rules they should follow as soon as they arrive at detention centers.

It said any person mistakenly jailed would receive a review by authorities and have the detention revoked and reputations restored if the initial decision is wrong.

The detainee's family and attorney must be immediately informed after the decision.

Female detainees should be managed by policewomen, according to the draft.

Detainees were also entitled to "adequate food," especially for those on restricted diets, and proper medical treatment as well as at least two hours a day for outdoor exercises.

They must also have the right to communication during detention and most should have letters freed from checks or seizure, the draft said.

Detainees may be allowed to leave when they are seriously ill, need to meet their spouses during childbirth or attend family funerals.


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