China Tightens Bill On Enforced Disappearances

By Salon Staff

Published March 8, 2012 3:18AM (EST)

BEIJING (AP) — China's government is restricting police powers to secretly detain people, at least on paper, announcing stricter revisions to a key criminal law after a wave of public complaints over so-called forced disappearances.

A revised criminal law introduced to the national legislature Thursday says that families of people detained must be notified within 24 hours except if the families cannot be reached or unless notification would impede an investigation into cases of national security and terrorism.

The provisions are stricter than proposed changes announced in August that drew strong criticism from the legal community and tens of thousands of complaints online.

Despite the changes, police have ignored the current law often detaining political critics for months.

Salon Staff

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