Media Reports Critical of Law Enforcement in Guangdong Prompt Official Responses

December 8, 2004

After a series of critical media reports, Guangdong law enforcement and judicial agencies are defending their performance before the provincial legislature and in the news media. In mid-November, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate reported on the results of a national campaign to eliminate illegal extended detentions. The report, which was covered widely in domestic media, singled out Guangdong for the largest number of unresolved extended detention cases. On November 24, Southern Metropolitan Daily reported that in an October survey, only 45% of respondents said they felt "safe" or "relatively safe." More than two thirds said they did not feel secure on the street or at public transportation stations.

In response, Guangdong public security, procuratorial, and judicial agencies issued a joint report to the provincial People’s Congress claiming that the SPC bases its extended detention figures on faulty statistics and that only ten cases remained unresolved in Guangdong. At the same time, the Guandong officials complained about a serious shortage of judicial personnel. A day after the article on the public security survey was published, Guangzhou public security responded by citing official statistics on increases over the previous year in the criminal case closure rate and the number of criminal suspects arrested. The bureau promising to redouble public security efforts in key districts.