Amenesty International [advocacy website] on Tuesday warned [press release] that China’s new Supervision Law is a “systemic threat to human rights.”
The stated purpose of the new law is to centralize local and provincial supervision bodies in order to limit corruption. However, Amnesty expressed its concerns over the new supervision body, “the Liuzhi system,” which creates a body that has the authority to detain government officials with no oversight. The Liuzhi system will run separately from the Chinese judicial system.
Prior to approving the new law, the National People’s Congress amended the Chinese Constitution to create a national level Supervision Commission ranked higher than Supreme People’s Court and the top prosecutor’s office. The law does not include a pathway to challenge detentions made by the supervision body.
Under the new system, supervision bodies can detain and interrogate Communist Party members or public sector personnel—virtually anyone working directly or indirectly for the government. Judges, academics, and personnel of state-owned enterprises could all face up to six months detention without charge or legal process, and without guaranteed access to lawyers or their families being told.
In August Amnesty submitted a draft report [text, PDF] to the Chinese government on the Supervision Law, recommending its withdrawal. In addition, Amnesty urged the Chinese government to ratify the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights [text].