Jiangsu, an 80 year old spends 4 years in prison without any criminal conviction

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Originally published in The AsiaNews on October 10, 2012

The provincial authorities arrested Chen Yudao in 2008 over the murder of a neighbor. Without evidence, witnesses or motivation they kept him one year in prison, three years ago at the trial the judges did not sentence him. The abuses of the new Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows the police to do what it wants.

Nanjing (AsiaNews) – Without any criminal conviction, the authorities in the eastern province of Jiangsu continue to keep an 80 year-old man they arrested four years ago in prison. He was tried three years ago (after more than 1 year in “preventive” prison) for murder: Despite pressure from the police, however, the judges did not issue any sentence. The case is reported by the Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

In May 2008, the Nantong police arrested Chen Yudao over the murder of a neighbor. For a week they questioned him relentlessly and without warning the family, as required by law. However, the man resisted pressure and torture, which he later denounced at the district court.

According to his son, the police tried to “solve” the case with a confession, failing to get this they attempted to convince people to present themselves as “witnesses” and brought false evidence before the judges. All this to get a promotion promised by their superiors.

After more than one year of continuous abuse, the police presented the case to the courts. Today, after three years, the court has not yet issued a final judgment notwithstanding Article 168 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires the court to rule more than two and a half months after the initiation of the proceeding.

This is a clear case of abuse of office: in December 2011 a new and controversial Code of Criminal Procedure was issued in China which grants police freedom to practically do anything they want. The text will be examined and approved by the next Communist Party Congress, scheduled for November 8, but in the meantime it is already in force.


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