The Chinese government is about to enact legislation to “legalise” the existing police-state practice of secret detention. Individuals simply disappear into the hands of the state security apparatus for months without any contact with friends, relatives or the outside world. The new law is part of broader repressive measures directed at a range of political opponents, from social networking bloggers to Uigher separatists, amid rising social tensions.
A draft amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code released on Tuesday has been sent to the National Peoples Congress (NPC) for approval by the end of September. All of this is supposedly to allow public discussion on an amendment to enhance the “human rights” of suspects and protect privacy. In reality, significant changes expanding the police power of “residential surveillance” are buried in the middle of the draft new Article 73.