China Raises Compensation for Wrongful Imprisonment

According to a Xinhua report, the compensation rate for wrongful imprisonment will increase:

China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) Friday ordered prosecutors to compensate victims of wrongful imprisonment at a rate of 125.43 yuan (18.5 U.S. dollars) per day of incarceration, up 13.44 yuan per day from last year.

Compensation for civil liberties violations are based on the previous year’s average wage for workers, the State Compensation Law which took effect in 1995 says.

Compensation for injured feelings must be paid for serious violations of civil liberties, according to the newly amended compensation law that takes effect December 1 this year.

In related news, Wu Zhifeng, a Shaanxi man wrongfully accused of murder in 2007, has still not received compensation for his 472-day-long detention. Shanghai Daily:

A northwest China farmer has been refused state compensation for being locked up in police detention for 472 days before being declared innocent of murder.

Heng Longwen with Jingyang police explained the rejection was because the murder investigation is not yet concluded, today’s Chinese Business View newspaper reported.

Wu Zhifeng, 49, a farmer in Jingyang County of Shaanxi Province’s Xianyang City, told the newspaper that he was caught by Jingyang police on September 29, 2007 while working in his field.

Police suspected him of killing a woman who was found dead in a village well. He was detained for alleged manslaughter on October 25 and arrested on November 8 that year.

During the detention, Wu repeatedly told police that he didn’t kill the woman but they still beat him in interrogation, he said.

Perhaps the most notable case of wrongful imprisonment is that of Henan villager Zhao Zuohai, who was recently released from prison after being held 11 years. The prison stay ended when the man Zhao was said to have murdered returned to the village. Zhao received 770,000 yuan in compensation.

According to reports, five police officers involved in Zhao Zuohai’s case have been charged with using torture to force a confession, and one has been charged with dereliction of duty. From China Daily:

Six police officers involved in a high-profile case of forced confession in Henan province have been charged, local media reported on Wednesday.

On April 30, Zhao Zuohai, a villager from Henan, was released from serving 11 years in prison after the man he was alleged to have murdered turned up alive. Zhao said the police tortured him into making a confession.

Ding Zhongqiu, deputy director of the police bureau in Zhecheng county, which handled Zhao’s case, has been charged with dereliction of duty. Five other policemen were charged with forcing a confession.

Read more about Ding Zhongqiu and Zhao’s police treatment at Global Times.


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