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Police to battle prisoner abuse

POLICE across the country have been ordered to launch a three-month campaign to combat the abuse of prisoners in Chinese jails, the Ministry of Public Security said, following a series of accusations of torture and an uproar over suspicious inmate deaths.

The campaign aims to eliminate the misuse of authority and boost awareness of the law and human rights, according to a notice posted late on Tuesday on the Website of the ministry, which oversees the police.

Inspections will be carried out after the campaign to determine if problems have been corrected, the notice said.

"We request every detention department at all levels to focus on strengthening their ideology ... their professional ethics, as well as their work style and anti-corruption awareness," it said.

The notice said officers must learn from the death of 24-year-old Li Qiaoming earlier this year.

In that case, officers initially said the man died accidentally while playing a game of blind man's bluff with other inmates in a detention center in Yunnan Province in February. Li was later found to have been beaten to death by other inmates.

Other cases highlighted by state media include a report on the death of 50-year-old suspect Li Wenyan.

He was certified dead in a detention house in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, on Friday, and authorities said the Hubei native died after having a nightmare.

Li Wenyan's family demanded an autopsy and discovered bruises on his forehead, according to the Wuhan-based Chutian Metropolis Daily.

Several weeks ago, two teenage offenders died while serving jail terms in a reformatory in central China.

Authorities said they died naturally. But the family of Xiao Haixing, 19, found blood, bruises and cuts on Xiao's body, according to the Oriental Outlook magazine.

Qiu Xiaolong, 18, was found unconscious in a cell at the same reformatory on March 6 and was pronounced dead at a hospital after receiving emergency treatment.

Qiu's father found that his son's body bloodied and with bruises, though authorities denied that any violence had been involved.


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